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Biking in Batmania.

MOVE over Batman! It's hard to believe, but Melbourne was originally named Batmania.

MOVE over Batman! It's hard to believe, but Melbourne was originally named Batmania.

Nothing to do with the forbears of Bruce Wayne.

Nothing to do with the forbears of Bruce Wayne.

In fact, it was all down to a guy called John Batman who bought the land from the Aborigines and thought he'd combine his name with that of Tasmania.

In fact, it was all down to a guy called John Batman who bought the land from the Aborigines and thought he'd combine his name with that of Tasmania.

Unfortunately for him, Captain James Cook had claimed the entire area for the British Crown - and so the settlement was named Melbourne, after the British Viscount.

Unfortunately for him, Captain James Cook had claimed the entire area for the British Crown - and so the settlement was named Melbourne, after the British Viscount.

The discovery of gold in the 1850s sparked a population boom, The discovery of gold in the 1850s sparked a population boom, and the city - once the capital of Australia as a whole - grew ultimately to be the rather more sophisticated and civilised city of today.

and the city - once the capital of Australia as a whole - grew ultimately to be the rather more sophisticated and civilised city of today.

So how to get to grips with this city that prides itself as the cultural capital of Oz? Well, if you're fit enough, a great way is to go on a four-hour bicycle tour with former journalist Murray Johnson, with breaks, coffees, cakes and lunch included. Or you can try one of the equally fascinating and more leisurely "Hidden Secrets" or "Coffee Culture" walks, run by Fiona Sweetman.

So how to get to grips with this city that prides itself as the cultural capital of Oz? Well, if you're fit enough, a great way is to go on a four-hour bicycle tour with former journalist Murray Johnson, with breaks, coffees, cakes and lunch included. Or you can try one of the equally fascinating and more leisurely "Hidden Secrets" or "Coffee Culture" walks, run by Fiona Sweetman.

The bike tour took in the Yarra The bike tour took in the Yarra River area, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Fitzroy Gardens - with Captain Cook's Cottage, brought over from England - Parliament House and the central area of the city.

River area, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Fitzroy Gardens - with Captain Cook's Cottage, brought over from England - Parliament House and the central area of the city.

Fiona Sweetman knows what to do, too. Her three-hour Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades walk Fiona Sweetman knows what to do, too. Her three-hour Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades walk highlights the revival of the "Lanes" - or small back streets. They're packed with restaurants and wonderful coffee shops.

highlights the revival of the "Lanes" - or small back streets. They're packed with restaurants and wonderful coffee shops.

Finally, don't forget the tram service. You can catch one out to St Kilda's pier and see the little penguins hiding away in the sea wall. Not every city offers that!

wall. Not every city offers that!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Feb 6, 2014
Words:527
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