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Melbourne Celebrates Its 181st Birthday In Style

There are lots of reasons to give thanks for Melbourne.

30/08/2016 11:18 AM AEST | Updated August 30, 2016 12:53
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There's lots to celebrate in Melbourne on the city's 181st birthday.

Unless you're one of about 4 million Melbournians, you probably didn't know that today is officially Melbourne Day.

That's right, Melbourne has its very own special day, every single year.

And to mark the occasion this morning, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle hoisted the city's flag along with some locals dressed up as first settlers.

There's also a big concert planned, with Daddy Cool frontman Ross Wilson headlining a free lunchtime bash at Federation Square.

It's all about Melbourne kicking up it's heels to celebrate 181 years since the ship Enterprize sailed from Tasmania to the north bank of the Yarra River to set up a permanent place to live.

We all know lots of the good stuff Melbourne has to offer -- the race that stops the nation, the MCG, the NGV and lots and lots of small bars.

But as the festivities kick into gear, we thought it was the perfect time to acknowledge some of the Victorian capital's often overlooked talking points.

Melbourne could have been named 'Batmania'

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Melbourne ended up being names after Lord Melbourne, not John Batman, or the comic book character.

If things had been different, the first settlement that ultimately became Melbourne could have taken its name not from the caped crusader, but after John Batman, one of the first settlers in the area and a key founder of the city.

Melbourne's tram system is really, really big

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Melbourne has a whopping great tram network.

The city's famous tramway system is the largest outside Europe and the fourth largest in the world, stretching along 244 kilometres of track and comprising 450 trams.

There are heaps of great sports stadiums in Melbourne

Allan Baxter
The MCG is one of 5 incredible sports stadiums in Melbourne.

Melbourne's the only city on the planet that has 5 sporting facilities that meet international standards really close to its CBD. There's the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium, Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Olympic Park in Melbourne Park.

Melbourne is as Aussie as Vegemite

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The idea for Vegemite was sparked in Melbourne.

Vegemite was invented in Melbourne in 1922 and more than 1 billion jars of Vegemite have been manufactured at its Port Phillip plant. There's even a Melbourne street named after the iconic spread.

Melbourne's the birthplace of movies

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The world's first feature film was made in Melbourne.

The Story of the Kelly Gang opened in Melbourne on Boxing Day 1906 and is thought to be the world's first feature-length narrative movie. The story of the famous bush ranger is said to have "enthralled audiences across the country".

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