With only three weeks to go until Hadoop Summit Melbourne, anticipation is building for what looks set to be a fantastic event for the Hadoop community. Whether it’s pre-event training, our keynotes, sponsor sessions or the 3-4 business or technical sessions you have to choose from every hour, your agenda is undoubtedly going to be packed from early morning to mid-evening each day!
While many of our guests will consider Melbourne home, I’ve no doubt many of you who are traveling in and, much like me, will be taking the opportunity to explore the city.
As luck would have it, our London office manager, Rikki-Lee Brandon, hails from Melbourne and having only moved over to London a year ago, I asked her to provide us with some local knowledge and tips ahead of Summit.
Here’s what Rikki-Lee has to share from a local information point of view but you can expect another post soon with the all-important restaurant and tips! Before I share Rikki-Lee’s facts and figures, don’t forget to follow all the news from Hadoop Summit Melbourne on Twitter via @hadoopsummit.
Over to you Rikki-Lee….
I may be biased as it’s my home City but Melbourne is a major hub of arts, dining and huge scale sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere. With a population of 4.5 million, and the most culturally rich demographic in Australia, it’s easy to see why there is such a vibrant, exciting feel to the city.
There is a true array of things to do and see in Melbourne, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. I have put together a list of some of my favorite facts about this spectacular city.
In 1922, Australia’s popular concentrated yeast extract, Vegemite, was invented in Melbourne. In an attempt to compete with English spread Marmite, Vegemite was renamed Parwill. Using a clever play on words, they adopted the slogan, “If Marmite… then Parwill.” Unfortunately, the campaign was deemed a failure and the name was changed back to Vegemite shortly after. (Louise note: Rikki-Lee’s vegemite sits alongside my Marmite in the kitchen at London HQ… I’m yet to be convinced to swap!)
Melbourne is often referred to as a global sporting mecca. With 5 international standard venues bordering the CBD, you can catch anything from Melbourne Cup, the 2nd richest horse race in the world, the Australian Open Tennis Championships at Rod Laver Arena, to first class cricket and AFL games at the ever-impressive MCG. (Louise note: Depending on how long you may be staying in Melbourne for around the Hadoop Summit, you could take a look at what’s on here.
Prior to 1956 Olympic Games, held in Melbourne, neither opening nor closing ceremonies were part of the games as we know them today. A local school boy made the proposal via letter, suggesting that it would be a good way to unite the athletes as one nation. The tradition has carried on ever since.
The oldest, largest and most visited art museum in Australia is Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria. It boasts the largest stained glass ceiling in the world stretching a huge 51m long and 15m wide.
Food and beverages are second to none. Literally. Melbourne was recently given the title of best coffee in the world, ahead of Italy and Vienna. It is officially home of the best Pizza, with 2 different Melbourne pizzaiolo’s taking out the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy, since 2014.
As of May 2014, Melbourne leap-frogged 3 European cities when they extended their tram network. It is now the largest system in the world. Covering 250km with 493 trams. There are 1763 stops on 25 routes across the greater Melbourne area. Including the City Circle tram which is completely free to ride.
It is a little-known fact that Melbourne was at one point, a pioneer in the film industry. In 1906, The Story of the Kelly Gang, was shot in and around Melbourne. It was the first ever recorded feature film. The movie ran for more than an hour and its reel length was about 1200m long!
Luna Park is located on the beaches of St. Kilda overlooking the picturesque Port Phillip Bay, just south of the CBD. It is the oldest, privately owned theme park in the world, celebrating 100 years of operation in 2012. The Scenic Railway Roller Coaster is the oldest continually operating wooden roller coaster in the world and boasts a standing brakeman onboard it’s moving carriages who is in control of the ride. This is the only one of its kind left on the planet!
In 2014, Melbourne was named the world’s most liveable city. Criteria that were taken into account included quality of healthcare, personal risk factors, and infrastructure.
Thanks to Rikki-Lee for collating her favorite facts from a variety of sources for us! As I say, stay tuned next week for more recommendations from Rikki-Lee and if any of you would like to add to these posts with information, recommendations or ideas ahead of Hadoop Summit, we’d appreciate it. I’m looking forward to seeing you a lot of you there.