Melbourne might be the second biggest city in Australia in terms of size – after Sydney - but little about the state capital of Victoria settles for second best.

The coastal city is one of the world’s biggest sporting hotspots with Formula One, Aussie Rules Football and cricket – and the MCG’s annual Boxing Day test – all prominent fixtures on the Melbourne calendar.

That calendar is also packed with a host of other cultural festivals that are an important part of life in a city that was the second UNESCO City of Literature and boasts attractions such as the National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Modern Melbourne has the Federation Square building at its heart but this is a city packed with grand 19th-century buildings and tree-lined boulevards, making it one of the planet’s most attractive cities to live in.

The mansions in the suburb of Toorak are famous for being among the most expensive and desirable addresses in the whole of Australia. Hawthorn, too, is an affluent area that is an ideal base from which to enjoy Melbourne, while beach-side Brighton – named after the English seaside city – sports grand properties that cater for some of the richest residents.