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This documentary about Melbourne is filled with hilarious lies about the city

Written by
Rose Johnstone

Did you know that Melbourne is famous for having over million gardens? Or that Melbourne is one of the most ancient cities in the world?

Nope, us neither. It turns out that much of what we’ve been taught about our fair city is woefully untrue. Thankfully, there are two filmmakers who are finally setting the record straight, and their names are Sam Gould and Chloe Christodoulou

Last year, the pair released Melbourne: A Guide to Living, which combines fascinating historical facts with advice on how to navigate the city as a tourist.

It’s well-researched stuff. Astonishingly, contrary to the common misconception that Charles Dickens wrote about life in Victorian London, he was in fact writing about Victoria from his residence at the Charles Dickens Tavern on Collins Street. Here are more eye-opening facts:

1. The real reason Melbourne is dubbed the ‘world’s most liveable city’ is because more than 98 per cent of its residents live here. Who knew?

2. Our city has had many names over its long lifespan (RIP, Batmania). Its most recent is named after Mel Gibson – as in, Mel was born here.

3. Puffing Billy is an 80-year-old man who lives in the forests east of Melbourne.

4. 80 per cent of NASA scientists retire to Melbourne to make coffee (it makes so much sense!)

5. The famous ‘cool change’ (as in, “I’ll go out once the cool change arrives”) refers to an old law in which Melburnians had to go home at 5pm and change into something cooler.

Naturally, the video is a parody (although judging from the YouTube comments, not everyone knows this), and a bloody hilarious one at that. It follows on from Gould’s ‘London: A Guide for the Naive’ (loved by Time Out London), and was an official selection at this year’s Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.

So bring on more spoof Melbourne guides, we say. In the meantime, we suggest passing these ‘facts’ on to tourists as often as possible, and seeing whether any of them stick.

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