Victoria - Travel Guide

The second smallest state in Australia, Victoria is also the second-oldest, and in the 1800s it was producing more gold than just about any region in the world. Immigrants flocked in from around the world to seek their fortune, the cities boomed and for a time it looked like Melbourne was going to overtake Sydney as the biggest, most important city in Australia.

Gold fever didn't last, but the foundations were laid for a multi-cultural, progressive society. It's now the arts capital of Australia and home to an incredibly divers range of cultures, particularly Greeks, Italians and Vietnamese, which has made for a wonderful array of foreign cuisine.

For more information visit our page on things to do in Victoria.

Regions of Victoria


A Melbourne winter could freeze the toenails of a penguin, the summer heat has been known to melt roads and on any day in between you don't know if you'll get extreme sunburn, hypothermia, or both. Yet despite its erratic weather, locals love to get out and about.

The city has the highest proportions of attendance at pretty much any event you care to name: football, ballet, theatre, soccer, and even outdoor cinema. You could hold a combined grass-growing/paint-drying championship and half the city would turn out to cheer. While there's no harbour bridge, and the beaches along Port Phillip Bay have more in common with Brighton than Bondi, what the city lacks in natural wonder, it makes up for in zeal.

The Great Ocean Road

The name says it all really. Connecting the quaint seaside resorts of Victoria's southern coast with their Melbourne clientele, this is one of the best driving roads in the country, and rivals any section of bitumen in the world.


When gold, and lots of it, was discovered in the hills a day's ride north of Melbourne, Victoria's population grew an amazing seven-fold in 12 years. Victoria's goldfields were almost singlehandedly responsible for turning a white British colony into a multicultural nation and the place hasn't been the same since. There are still tours of the historical Goldfields, recounting the history and even giving tourists the chance to do a little of their own panning for gold.

The High Country

The Swiss Alps it's not, but Victoria's high country has a spectacular beauty of its own. In summer the eucalypt forests are a haven for bushwalkers, mountain bikers, and furry creatures and in autumn the deciduous trees (a rarity in Australia) work their leafy magic. When the sun grows cold and the snow piles high it's a winter playground, then in spring it's one of the few places in Australia where you can see the magic of melting snow and blooming wildflowers.

The Mallee

Australia's very own dustbowl, where talented farmers grow wheat and raise sheep without rain. The scrub is low, the sunsets long and the earth a patented shade of ochre.

The Grampians

In an otherwise flat landscape, this mountain range comes out of nowhere, and quickly returns to the same place. Stretching about 50km from Horsham to Dunkeld, west of Ballarat, the magnificent waterfalls, ancient forests and world-class rock climbing are major tourist attractions.


As the most Southern point on the Australian mainland, the Gippsland region has geographic bragging rights which are re-enforced by its tremendous natural beauty. The area is surrounded by marine parks, tranquil lakes, desolate islands, deserted beaches and coal mines. Wilsons Promontory is a particular highlight.

Goulburn Valley

Home to bushrangers and fruit-pickers, the Goulburn Valley isn't spectacularly scenic, but it's full of history and offers an insight into early Australian culture. Most people see it from the side of the Hume Freeway heading south from Sydney, and it's easy to whiz by at 110km/h, but if you like fruit, or 19th century bandits, take the time to stop.

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