Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, and Tasmania to the south, across Bass Strait. Victoria is the most densely populated state, second most populous state in Australia and has a highly centralised population, with almost 75% of Victorians living in Melbourne, the state's capital city.
Victoria has a varied climate despite its small size. It ranges from semi-arid and hot in the north-west, to temperate and cool along the coast. Victoria's main land feature, the Great Dividing Range, produces a cooler, mountain climate in the centre of the state.
Famous for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts renowned restaurants and bars, arts and cultural festivals, as well as an ever-expanding music and art scene. Be challenged by award-winning theatre, wander through inspiring architecture and make the most of the best shopping in Australia.
Discover the diversity and beauty of regional Victoria. From world-class wineries to natural springs, the coastal villages of the peninsulas to alpine towns. Drive along one of the many scenic routes, pull on your walking boots and follow tracks and trails, or wander the shops and local produce markets.
Victoria's compact size means you can travel from high in the mountains to the coast to the city in a short space of time. Whether you drive a touring route, follow an itinerary or make your own way around, you'll be graced with breathtaking landscapes, historic towns to explore and local food and wine.
Some of the highlights of a visit to Melbourne and Victoria include:
- The vibrant city of Melbourne, with its wide tree-lined boulevards, historic colonial buildings and narrow laneways where visitors can find cafes, designer fashion and eclectic art galleries.
- Melbourne is renowned for its appreciation of arts and culture and has a fine collection of galleries and museums including NGV International and NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne Museum, The Arts Centre, Melbourne Recital Centre and the grand State Library.
- Favourite family attractions include the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium and Eureka Sky Deck 88 for 360 degree views over the city and surrounds.
- Melbourne also has a signficant Aboriginal history that can be found at the Koorie Heritage Trust, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Bunjilka at Melbourne Museum.
- Within 90 minutes of Melbourne regions such as the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula are renowned for their fine wines and wonderful local produce and winery restaurants set in stunning locations and serving both.
- Gold was discovered in the 1850's in Victoria and historic towns such as Ballarat and Bendigo have beautifully restored buildings of this period. In Ballarat you can visit Sovereign Hill and experience the hustle and bustle of life in Ballarat in the 1850s, one of Victoria's most popular tourist attractions. In Bendigo you can take a tram ride on an historic tram or take a tour down the Central Deborah Gold Mine.
- With more than a third of the state set aside as national or state parks, and other public land, nature is on the doorstep of our cities and towns. Our major natural attractions include the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, the Dandenong Ranges National Park, Wilsons Promontory and the Grampians.
- Native wildlife abounds in natural settings, although if you're pushed for time you can visit Healesville Sanctuary just an hour from Melbourne and see Australian native wildlife. A little further afield Little Penguins at Phillip Island come ashore each night.