A glimpse into Melbourne, Australia

I had the privilege of visiting Australia many years ago and even at that young age I was amazed by the country. The people were friendly, the beaches were clean, the food was excellent. Max Hartshorne from GoNOMAD.com was given the opportunity to visit Melbourne just a week ago and wrote up an excellent into to the city and all it has to offer. Read below for more on Melbourne, Australia: The City of Arts, Sport and Fun:

Melbourne has the prosperous feel of a city on the up and up. I got this sense right after we got off the plane and stood in a line waiting for customs. As a cute blond Labrador was walked through the line, sniffing every passenger’s feet and luggage, posters up on the wall described the multi-billion dollar upgrade going on at the airport, with new terminals, parking and jetways that will accommodate the biggest plane ever built, Airbus’ A380.

The Wines Were Great But No ‘Roos en Route

Today I joined a group of about twenty wine enthusiasts for a trip to the Yarra Valley’s wine country. The van drove down winding roads through wooded hills and then onto more wide open areas with rolling hills and mountains in the distance.

Here too, I learned that screw tops are becoming more and more popular, as winemakers have discovered that the metal tops avoid cork rot that can spoil good wines.

The Tiny Butterfly Club is Where Talent Begins

In Melbourne, the arts are a seriously high priority. Whether it’s public art in city squares, or nurturing the art of new clothing designers or performers, the arts are a big part of the experience of visiting here. Even the highways coming into the city are lined with gigantic steel posts, angling sideways, there just to make the city look nicer.

Last night I met two men who have developed the country’s most successful incubation center for new cabaret talent, and do it without a penny of government grants or other assistance. In a country where arts dollars flow freely, this is a big change. They prefer to make money with a jumping bar and sell tickets to the lucky few who can snap them up.

The Butterfly Club operates in a cramped Victorian apartment in South Melbourne, where guests stream for 600 shows a year. The one-hour cabaret performances are held in an intimate 50-seat theatre. Neville, the affable silver-haired gent in charge of the front of the house, welcomed me with a glass of wine as I mingled with the pre-show audience just before nine last night.

For more on this article and others, please visit GoNOMAD.com