The visual delights of Melbourne
With three years on the trot as the world's most liveable city, picture perfect Melbourne is definitely ''the place to be'' in 2014.
After spending years in the shadows of its better-known harbour rival, the city is stepping out of the shade and is relishing its role as Australia's cultural capital.
Whether it's the sport, art or good coffee that has you visiting, Melbourne has no shortage of photogenic gems to keep your Instagram interesting.
So in no particular order, here's a list of some of the city's best spots - guaranteed to leave your followers saying ''I wish I was there''.
MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND
On a weekly basis tens of thousands of Victorians make the pilgrimage to the state's great cathedral of sport. Whether visiting during the cricket, the footy or when the stadium stands silent on weekdays, the colossal G' inspires wonder in the flesh and on the small screen.
FLINDERS STREET STATION
Victoria's iconic home of travel, the main station building has stood for more than 100 years. The main building is best admired from the adjacent St Paul's Cathedral, while spectacular panoramic shots can be taken along Flinders Street. Take pictures while you can though, the Victorian government has earmarked the station for a revamp in coming years.
Across the Yarra and away from the bustle of Melbourne's CBD, Southbank has a carnival atmosphere, offering a bit of everything for everyone. The lively riverbank strip is one of the few places in the city where Instagrammers can capture the Melbourne skyline, which at dusk radiantly glows as the sun sets behind downtown Melbourne. At street-level, Southbank bristles with artists, magicians and on Fridays, a bag-piping Cookie Monster to ensure moments captured on camera live long in the memory.
Modern skyscrapers with their Victorian-era front facades are a curious quirk that dominates Melbourne's architectural scene. The InterContinental Hotel on Collins is a prime example of the juxtaposition between new and old, where beauty is balanced with pragmatism.
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS
With more than 10,000 native and exotic plants and 11 separate lawns to frolic on in the sunshine, Melbourne's premier horticultural playground is a must for any nature-loving photographer.
MELBOURNE STAR OBSERVATION WHEEL
The white elephant of Melbourne is finally up and spinning, offering unparalleled views and photographic opportunities of the CBD, Dockland and even the faraway Dandenong Ranges.
MELBOURNE MUSEUM, CARLTON GARDENS
Set in the picturesque Carlton Gardens, the Southern Hemisphere's largest museum hosts some of the world's premier exhibitions. Don't forget to snap a photo of the biggest and most famed item in the museum's collection, the Royal Exhibition Building which was the first structure in Australia to become a World Heritage Site.
The highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere gives photographers the opportunity to view Melbourne from a bird's eye prospective. If you're up for the challenge, head out onto the edge that protrudes from the building and has a glass floor. Brave Instagrammers can capture the 300 metres of empty space between them and the concrete pavement.
Combining an unlikely mix of urban art, up-market restaurants and cocktail bars, Hosier Lane embodies the essence of what makes Melbourne special. A lure for the best street artists from home and abroad, including the renowned Banksy, the gritty blue cobblestone lane explodes with colour and verve just waiting to be shared online.
THE BLOCK ARCADE
Once known for a larrikin gang called the Barcade Boys, The Block has shed its shady past to become a treasure amongst Melbourne's city laneways. Inspired by Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the richly decorated arcade is a haven for shoppers, tourists and architecture enthusiasts alike.