Victoria might look like one of Australia's smallest states, but what it lacks in sheer size it more than makes up for in history, culture and beauty. From rural landscapes, to cosmopolitan Melbourne, to the breathtaking beauty of Victoria's southern coastline and beaches, this state provides something for everyone in terms of tourist attractions and its manageable size means that Victorian sightseeing can be a much more varied experience. Here are four of the most exciting elements about a trip to beautiful Victoria...
Victoria has a colourful and incredibly interesting history, from the ancient traditions of the indigenous peoples of the area to the convict and colonial settlements that established the state as we know it today. The gold-mining town of Bendigo is steeped in tales of people from across the lands coming to try their luck prospecting, and also boasts a rich Chinese history, established around the time of the gold-rush. For Australian history aficionados, Victoria is a destination that can't be missed, as it features the birthplace of Ned Kelly, infamous historical bush-ranger, as well as the location of his 'final stand' (in which he was eventually captured) at the town of Glenrowan.
Melbourne's Pub Culture
Due to a difference in licensing laws in Melbourne, smaller, more intimate venues in terms of pubs and bars are the favoured type of nighttime entertainment, and the range and choice on offer is incredible. The local music and arts scene thrives in these smaller venues and as a result Melbournites enjoy some of the country's best acts live in their local watering holes. Brunswick, Fitzroy and St Kilda are all excellent spots to sniff out some great bars and pubs, and the laid-back, friendly vibe of the local Melbourne crows will see you kicking up your heels in no time!
While many favour the North Coast of Australia for beaches and natural beauty, there is so much to see in Victoria that often is overlooked. The Great Ocean Road is a stretch of cliff-faces and coastal towns that takes in breathtaking expanses of ocean and features landmarks like the Twelve Apostles rock formation (which have now become eight, due to four structures collapsing into the sea) and legendary Bells Beach.
World Class Sports and Events
Victoria and its capital, Melbourne, are definitely sports-mad locations. With AFL the most popular sport in Victoria, followed closely by Cricket, it features some world-class sporting arenas such as the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and Flemington Racecourse, home of the world-renowned Emirates Melbourne Cup Gala. After hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2006 Melbourne further established itself as a sporting capital and there are several Melbourne sightseeing bus tours which focus specifically on the sporting history and culture of the region.