There were, no doubt, a dozen lessons to be learned from the events of 2020 and 2021. But let’s not kid ourselves, right at the top is that it is amazing to get on a plane and visit some far flung city.

Since the world returned to what we loosely describe as normal, millions of travel bucket lists have been dusted off and studied with a renewed sense of purpose, and for anyone who lives in the US, Europe, in fact anywhere outside the Asia Pacific region, Australia is almost certain to be on it.

So far so good, but Australia is a big place. In a couple of weeks, you could do a whistlestop of the big cities, but where’s the fun in that? Far better to visit two or three and spend a few days in each. Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra – all are amazing.

But you won’t be able to visit them all. Which to leave for another time is down to you, but one piece of advice we will offer is this – ink Melbourne in from the start. Plenty of people around the world say their city is the best in the world. Most say it in jest, but when you hear it from someone who lives in Victoria, they might just be right. Here’s why.

The sports capital of Australia

The Aussies love their sport, and for a nation of only 25 million, it is incredible that they are able to compete at or near the top in practically every sport you can think of. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is one of the most iconic sporting venues on the planet, and hosts both cricket and Aussie Rules football.

But it is not just about the biggest domestic sports. When horse racing or Formula One or tennis venture to Australia, where do they go? Why, to Flemington, to Albert Park and to Melbourne Park of course – all of which can be easily reached on Melbourne’s impressive public transport system.

The biggest casino in the southern hemisphere

If there’s anything Aussies love more than sport, it is gambling. Pokies are part of the national culture, and even the smallest bar in the most remote outback village is likely to have one or two.

Failing that, there are dozens of online options where Australian gamblers can play pokies and other casino games with a minimum deposit payout – the best low deposit casinos often have hundreds of different slot games.

Move into the big cities, however, and you’ll find big casinos. The Star at Sydney and the Crown in Perth are great, but nobody does it better than Melbourne. The Crown Casino Melbourne covers more than 500,000 square meters and is the largest casino in the southern hemisphere.

Unforgettable nights out in the best company

There’s a common belief that Sydney has the best nightlife in Australia, and the glossy magazines are forever sharing snaps of A-listers at the city’s night clubs. If you happen to be an A-list celebrity, that’s great. If you’re not, the boisterous Friday night crowds and power-mad door staff can take the shine from a fun night.

That just doesn’t happen in Melbourne. Explore the back streets, and whether you’re looking for thumping dance music, live jazz or just a friendly pub to sink a beer and watch some sport, it won’t take you long to find it.