Even though it may be the smallest state in Australia, Victoria has a pretty long history. The southeastern coast of Victoria was first seen by British explorer, Captain James Cook, in 1770. Port Phillip Bay was first explored in 1801, and in 1835, a settlement was established, and from then on many people have lived and enjoyed Australian life. The history also had to do with The 19th- century gold rush, where the settelers arrived at Port Phillip Bay about 160 years ago in search of gold. That's when more people started moving in.
In Victoria, farming is a major part of many people's lives. The main crops they grow include the following: wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, hay, and grapes. The most important livestock that are raised include the following: cattle, sheeps, and pigs. There are also many important exports, such as, wool, meats, wheat, butter, fruits, skins, milk products, and flour. The five year export average growth rate is 7.5 per cent. Their two largest import items in '96 were cars and crude petroleum, making 11 per cent of the value of imports. In '96, a record export value of $104.4 billion was achieved. Never was there such a surplus in both goods and services.
The government of Victoria is a federal parliamentary state. The constitution was put into effect on January 1, 1901 stating freedom from the United Kingdom. Their chief of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, represented by the Governor General Sir William Deane.
Victoria, Australia may be the smallest state in Australia, but it is jam packed with people from all over the world which creates many different cultures.
One of the cities in Victoria includes Wangaratta. This city is known for its hip, moving music! They have jazz and blues festivals constantly, which are a main tourist attraction , but very popular with the locals too! Wangaratta is also known for its art displays from all over the world; their famous art museums and galleries are also a main attraction. This city is also big in the theatre business, they have many performances that are phenomonal and people love to come and relax at the theatre for an evening performance. Recently "The Crucible" was performed. The theatre crew says that it's the biggest hit yet!
Bendigo is also a popular city, known for its ancient history and architecture. In Bendigo they have many different culteral experiences a main cultural attraction is their Chinatown. In Chinatown they have an old Chinese tea house. They also have an old Chinese museum containing the oldest dragon ever made. They are also known for their art displays(Victoria is big on art!) Bendigo is also known for its gold. Settlers came for its gold and built homes of gold. Now these homes are "museums of gold."
Melbourne is probably one of the biggest cities in Victoria. It's Known for its rich opera houses, with big and expensive performances. They also call Melbourne "the city of romance" because there are a lot of couples everywhere and vast restaurants and romantic cruises.
Geelong is poular for its museums and gardens. One of the most famous botanicle gardens are located here, "The botanicle gardens." Here is where the main source of botanicles substances that are found in soaps, and shampoos. Geelong also is known for its restaurants, and also is a very romantic place to dine.
"There is good bush walking in the Dandenongs on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, at Wilson Promontory, and near Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham in the High Country." The Alpine Walking Track starts at Mt. Erica, near Walhalla, and runs all the way to the ACT. The Great South-West Walk covers 250 km of coastal scenery between Portland and the South Australian border.
The Victorian snowfields are north-east of Melbourne, "scattered throughout the Great Dividing Range."
The main ski resorts are Falls Creek, Mt. Buller and Mt. Hotham. Baw Baw and Mt. Buffalo are smaller centers, popular with "novices and families." The ski season lasts from mid-June to mid-September.
Canoeing and rafting trips can be arranged on the Snowy, Glenelg and Murray rivers. There is good sailing in Port Phillip Bay and on the large Gippsland lakes. There are scuba diving centers at Angelsea, Flinders, Lorne, Mallacoota and Portsea. The best surf is between Lonsdale and Apollo Bay, and on the ocean side of the Mornington Peninsula.
Mt. Bogong, Bright and Apollo Bay are favored hang-gliding spots. Mt. Arapiles, near Horsham, "is famous among rock climbers for its range of climbing options." The best places for horse riding are Mt. Beauty, Bright and Omeo in the High Country, and Corryong, on the Murray River.
The Port Fairy Folk Festival takes place in March and the Maldon Folk Festival is held in November. The Bells Beach Easter Surfing Classic is in April at the famous surf beach east of Lorne; the Falls Creek World Loppet Ski Marathon takes place in August and the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycle Classic is in September.
"Victoria is not vast enough to require internal flights," but if you need to get around in a hurry there are scheduled flights to Albury-Wodonga, Mildura, and Portland. Country services are operated by V/Line, with trains servicing the main centers and buses filling in the gaps and doing cross-country runs between towns. The major train routes are from Melbourne to Warrnambool via Geelong, to Adelaide via Ballarat, to Mildura, to Swan Hill via Bendigo, to Albury via Seymour, to Cobram via Seymour and to Bairnsdale via Traralgon. "Cars can be hired in all decent-sized regional towns."
The state capital is a grand, "civilized city of Victorian architecture, muscular skyscrapers, city parks and anachronistic but charming trams. It's built on the edge of the sluggish Yarra River and the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Devoid of defining geographic or architectural landmarks," Melbourne has traditionally been characterized by its people, its multicultural restaurants, its passion for sport and its reputation as a center of cultural excellence. "Melbourne is by no means inundated with natural attractions," but it can be a pleasing city to explore.
Highlights include the Parliament House, St Paul's Cathedral, Chinatown, the Botanic Gardens, and the National Gallery of Victoria. Inner city excursions to black-is-the-new-black Fitzroy, the frighteningly trendy beachside suburb of St Kilda, and the Vietnamese section of Richmond are equally rewarding experiences.
The Great Ocean Road
This route along the south-western coast of Victoria is one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world. It winds around ragged cliffs, windswept beaches and tall bluffs, passing through lush rainforest and towering eucalypt's. The most outstanding section is the Port Campbell National Park, which features an amazing collection of limestone sculptures, including the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge. The other highlight is the section through the forests of the Otways Ranges, between Apollo Bay and Lorne. The best towns along the coast are the resort town of Lorne and the quaint, historic Port Fairy, west of Warrnambool. The road officially starts at Torquay and ends at Warrnambool, but the road follows the coast to Portland Limestone cliff formations along the Great Ocean Road
This fertile undulating region east of Melbourne, is a mixture of scenic beauty and heavy industry. If you avoid the towns of the Latrobe Valley, which form Victoria's industrial heartland, then you're in for a treat of forests, mountain ranges, dairy farms, coastal scenery and pockets of rainforest. Gippsland is an undeveloped tourist region and all the better for it. The Grand Ridge Rd., a narrow country lane which runs along the ridge of the Strzelecki Ranges is one of the most spectacular drives in the state. The gourmet trail in west Gippsland has abundant fruit and berry orchards, cheese factories and trout farms. In the north of the region, Walhalla is probably the state's most idyllic former goldmining town.
Wilsons Prom's superb bushwalking, dramatic coastal scenery, beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife have made it one of the most popular national parks in Australia. The `Prom' protrudes from southern Gippsland into the Bass Strait. There is only one access road, which leads from the town of Foster to the camping ground at Tidal River. Highlights include the walks to Mt Oberon, Squeaky Beach and Sealers Cove.
Ballarat & the Goldfields
Ballarat, Victoria's largest former goldmining town, is a thriving regional centre, with a grand main street lined with impressive Victorian buildings belying the wealth once generated from the rich quartz reefs in the region. The main tourist attraction is the theme park reconstruction of the Sovereign Hill goldmining township, and the towns historical connections with the Eureka Stockade Rebellion. However, it also has one of the oldest and best provincial fine art galleries in the country, an excellent lakeside botanic garden, and a monumental tree-lined Avenue of Honour, which provides a dramatic entrance to the town from the north-west Bendigo is the next largest former goldmining centre, and retains some of the reminders of the thousands of Chinese diggers who worked in the goldfields. Maldon, Castlemaine, Clunes and Talbot are the best old goldmining towns to visit - the latter is already resembling a ghost town. The former goldmining towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have reinvented themselves as spa centres and thrive on weekend visitors from Melbourne.
Off The Beaten Track
The Snowy River, Croajingolong, Errinundra and Coopracambra national parks in the Wilderness Coast area of eastern Gippsland are four of the state's most spectacular and remote national parks. Much of this area of Victoria has never been cleared for agriculture, although controversial logging still takes place. Landscapes range from temperate rainforests to alpine gorges and unspoilt beaches and inlets. Activities include bushwalking, canoeing and river-rafting. The nearest sizeable town to the four parks is Orbost. Mallacoota is a peaceful fishing and boating resort in the middle of Croajingolong. The Big Desert Wilderness in the Wimmera is aptly, if not very imaginatively, named. The area is mostly sand dunes, red sandstone ridges, and mallee heath and scrub. There are no roads, no tracks, no facilities and no water. Visitors have to walk in, carry all their food and water requirements and be handy with a map and compass. Part of the grandeur of the area is that its remoteness and infertility have left it virtually untouched by white Australians. Nhill and Murrayville are the closest communities.