Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Melbourne

As the second most populous city in Australia, Melbourne has a lot to offer tourists and locals alike. Just taking a few hours to walk through the town will have you falling for its beauty and simplicity. But just what do we know about the city of Melbourne?

Melbourne Facts

The city of Melbourne is more than just a livable city. It is also a city that has lived through so many historical events that now, it’s just brimming with secrets. But some secrets are better known than others. From coming close to being called “Batmania” to Vegemite’s origins, we are here to give you a few fun Melbourne facts you probably never knew about the city of Melbourne.

Fox Capital

Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Melbourne Fox Capital

Some say foxes are cats in a dog’s body. And you can see a lot of these guys in Melbourne. In fact, the city has been dubbed the Fox Capital as there are up to 23 foxes within every kilometer in the metropolitan.

The Story of the Ned Kelly Gang

The world’s first feature-length film entitled The Story of the Ned Kelly Gang was shot in the city of Melbourne in 1906. Isn’t that another interesting Melbourne fact. The movie directed by Charles Tait follows the story of outlaw Ned Kelly and his gang. The film is 60 minutes long, and it was first shown at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Hall on December 26, 1906.


Initially, the city was going to be named Batmania, after one of the founding fathers: John Batman. Imagine living in a town with the same name as the Dark Knight. You’d be the envy of your friends, and every comic book enthusiast is going to want to visit the place. Melbourne sure missed out.


Instead of a cool name like Batmania, Melbourne ended up earning the nickname Smellbourne in 1897 after a typhoid epidemic turned the Yarra River into a cesspool that caused the city to smell terrible. This prompted city officials to construct a sewerage system that transported their wastewater to Werribee, a good 30km from the city.

Foster’s Beer

Foster’s Beer is famous for being Australian. But did you know that it’s not entirely Aussie? Although it is true that Foster’s was first made in Melbourne in 1888, it was done by American brothers: William and Ralph Foster. These days, the beer is manufactured in Manchester and is Britain’s second best-selling beer after Carling.

Great Melbourne Telescope

Great Melbourne Telescope

Back in the 19th century, the Great Melbourne Telescope was considered as one of the largest in its time. In 1944, it was upgraded for modern astronomy and moved to Canberra. But the telescope fell victim to the bushfire of 2003. The fire destroyed the telescope’s modern features and equipment, but astoundingly, 90 percent of the original parts survived almost unscathed. It has since returned to Melbourne.

Kiwi Shoe Polish

William Ramsay and Hamilton McKellan invented the world-famous shoe polish in 1906 in Melbourne. The name was a tribute to William’s wife who was a New Zealand native.


Just about every Aussie love their Vegemite. But did you know that this delicious spread was invented in Melbourne? Dr Cyril P. Callister spent months testing and perfecting Vegemite before coming out with its final formulation in 1922. In fact, Vegemite is produced in the Vegemite factory in Bend, Port Melbourne and nowhere else.

These fun facts are just the tip of the iceberg! A lot more is waiting here in Melbourne, and all you have to do is book a few weeks off work, plan your trip, and find a reliable car rental in Melbourne to make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.

Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Melbourne

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9 Responses to “Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Melbourne

  • Sindhu Devi K
    2 weeks ago

    Quite fascinating facts to know! Only natives can help us know such interesting things. Good read.

  • Fantastic collection that. Great research on these lesser known things.


  • Now I know a little more about Melbourne. 🙂

  • Ahh the Smellbourne name is so unfortunate! I never knew that about vegemite either, thanks for sharing~

    Vivian | LIVE IN LOVE


  • These were definitely interesting facts I didn’t know about Melbourne … I hope to visit here someday!

  • Interesting facts. That telescope looks so cool. My kids would love to see it.

  • These are some cool facts. I never knew there are so many foxes in Melbourne and I will never try vegemite again in my life! 🙂

  • What, the city was going to be called Batmania? Haha, that would’ve been awesome! I also didn’t know about it being the fox capital. These are some pretty cool facts, thanks for sharing!

  • Batmania would have been hilarious and who knew about all the foxes?! I’d never think that in city like Melbourne. Is the big telescope still in working order? It would be pretty fun glimpse the stars with it! Am I missing out, by the way? I’ve never tried vegemite.

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