About Victoria (VIC)
Hugging the tip of the east coast is Australia's second-smallest state. Packed into such a compact area however is a wealth of diverse regional areas and attractions, from national parks and forests teeming with wildlife to wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Victoria is a state of scenic contrasts; the red deserts of the far west, the gentle valleys of the northeast, the rugged coastline west of Port Phillip Bay, and the famous Great Ocean Road. Best of all, many of Victoria's unique and varied landscapes are easily accessible as day trips from Melbourne.
Melbourne's melting pot of cultures is reflected in its micro-cosmos of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Fashionable, eclectic and eccentric – Melbourne's dining spots offer a dizzying spread of the world's great cuisines, serving meals from the substantial and classic to the truly exotic. Renowned for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts glamorous festivals and events, great shopping, a lively passion for eating and drinking, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Beautiful vestiges of nineteenthcentury architecture, built following the discovery of gold, are heady reminders of a prosperous age, while meticulously tended parks and gardens present a therapeutic respite from the pace of city life.
Outside of Melbourne discover the diversity and beauty of Victoria's regions, rich in both human and natural history. From the world-class wineries of the Yarra Valley to the mineral springs of Macedon Ranges and Spa Country, the coastal villages of the peninsulas to alpine towns in the Victorian High Country. Many monuments remain; celebrating the ingenuity of the Aboriginal tribes in the form of cave paintings on rock walls, where nature has created its own great monuments, from the desolate sandhills of the Wimmera, the prehistoric gorges of the Central Highlands, to the volcanic plains of the Southwest and the coastline's spectacular cliffs. Much also remains of the settlers' past: the fine old colonial buildings and villages of Otway-Geelong, the goldfields with their memorial for bushrangers and Kelly Country, domain of the infamous Ned Kelly. Drive along the scenic Great Ocean Road, survey vineyards and farmland from a hot-air balloon, or pull on your walking boots and follow tracks and trails through the Grampians.