Credit for the founding of Melbourne is generally given to John Batman, the son of a Sydney convict. In the best tradition of Australia's pioneer spirit where a man was judged by his word and what he has accomplished rather than the manner of his up bringing, he came to this area in 1835 to establish a new city. In the 1850's gold was found in the surrounding area and the rush caused a population explosion. A land boom in the 1880's continued Melbourne's expansion. By the end of the 19th century it was the financial capital of Australia as well as the home of its national parliament until 1927, when it was shifted to the federal city of Canberra. Melbourne is still the capital of the state of Victoria.
Melbourne is now Australia's second largest city
and that what brought me there; the site of its annual Grand Prix. It has many things to
offer including Albert Park, landmark Victorian houses and gardens and fine shopping
around Melbourne's Central Station and along Chapel Street. Melbourne is about 900
kilometers from Sydney which is similar to the distance between San Francisco and San
Diego. Like Northern and Southern California there is quite a rivalry between Australia's
two largest cities. Escalated by Sydney's Olympics and Melbourne's Commonwealth Games.
F1 Expo - Australian GP
The following photos were taken at the F1 Expo at the Australian GP. One difference between here and Silverstone was that the cigarette companies were not to be see and actually there were signs everywhere stating in no small way that smoking kills. Getting to Albert Park which is located right in Melbourne couldn't have been easier as was exiting the park after the race. The Grand Prix itself was marked with many retirements as this was the first race of the season. After leaving the field high an dry during the opening laps both McLarens succumbed to mechanical problems. Michael Schumacher's problems were somewhat self induced as he stalled his car on the restart and later shredded his tires trying to catch up. Eddie Irvine drove a wonderful race and claimed a well deserved maiden victory. It's been a long road for the Irishmen who returns to his supporting role for the next event on the calendar in Brazil. For McLaren it was more a matter of what could have been. The race also saw fine drives by Heinz-Harald Frenzen and Ralf Schumacher in a Jordan and Williams respectively.