MELBOURNE (-burn), the capital of Victoria, and the largest city in Aus tralia, on the Yarra-Yarra river, about 9 miles from its mouth in the basin of Port Phillip; lat. 37° 49' 5" S., Ion. 144' 58' 35" E. Melbourne is one of the most im portant of British colonial ports. Its overseas commerce is exceeded by Syd ney. There are many fine public build ings, among them that of the university (with an annual endowment from the state and possessing valuable scholar ships and exhibitions, opened in 1855, and with a staff of professors, a considerable attendance of students in arts, laws, en gineering, etc.) ; the post-office, a mag nificent structure, in the Italian style, elaborately ornamented with sculpture, and having one of its facades surmounted by four towers, built in 1859; the Parlia ment House, erected in 1855, at a cost of $2,000,000. Ships drawing 24 feet of water can come up Port Phillip as far as Hobson's Bay, at the mouth of the Yarra Yarra; but vessels requiring more than 9 feet cannot get over the bars. Though the distance to the bay by the course of the river is 9 miles, it is not quite 2 miles by land, and a railway with an ex tensive jetty at its lower terminus has been made, connecting with Port Phillip at Sandridge. There is another railway to Williamstown, on the opposite side of Hobson's Bay, which, though consider ably longer, has the advantage of better shelter for ships lying at the jetty. A
ship railway has been constructed here capable of taking up very large vessels. From the anchorage in Hobson's Bay to the Heads of Port Phillip the distance is about 35 mlies, and the channels are con structed part of the way by sand-banks, which render the assistance of experi enced pilots necessary. The basin of Port Phillip, which receives the Yarra-Yarra and other rivers, is a large circular bay or inlet of the sea, whence the colony de rived its former name. It has a narrow entrance, not more than 1% miles in width, partly occupied with rocks and shoals. The bay is about 40 miles wide from S. to N., and at its greatest extent is about 40 miles long from E. to W. It is said to cover an area of above 800 square miles, and might accommodate all the navies of all the countries in the world. Melbourne was founded in 1837.
In the spring of 1901 the first session of the Parliament of the new Australian Commonwealth was opened here by the Duke of York. It has one of the three mints of the Commonwealth from which, up to 1918, about $700,000,000 of gold coin and bullion have been issued. Mel bourne is the second largest port of Australia, the total tonnage of vessels entered in 1916-1917 being more than 5,800,000. Pop. about 600,000; incl. of suburbs about 700,000.