Victoria is a state in the southeast of Australia. It is the geographically smallest mainland state and the most densely populated. Before European settlement, some 30,000 indigenous Australians are estimated to have lived in the area now occupied by the state. By contrast, over five million people now inhabit the region. European settlement in Victoria began in the 1830s as a farming community. The discovery of gold in 1851 transformed it into a leading industrial and commercial centre. Victoria is the second most populous Australian state, after New South Wales, with an estimated population of 5,402,600 as of March 2009. Melbourne is Victoria’s capital and largest city, with over 70 per cent of Victorians living there.
1. The Mungo National Park
The Mungo National Park World Heritage listed site is the home of Mungo Man and Woman, whose remains date back 42,000 years.
Explore stunning landscapes at Wyperfield, Hattah Kulkyne, Murray Sunset and Little Desert National Parks. The diversity of the region can be further discovered in townships such as Mildura, Dimboola, Nhill and Kaniva.
Melbourne is recognised as Australia’s “cultural and sporting capital”. It is the birthplace of Australian film and television (as well as the World’s first feature film), Australian rules football, Australian impressionist art movement (known as the Heidelberg School and Australian contemporary dance (including the Melbourne Shuffle and New Vogue styles).It is also home to Australia’s very first, and largest, art gallery (the National Gallery of Victoria) and largest sports stadium (the Melbourne Cricket Ground).
3. Original Australians
Prior to European settlement within what is now known as Victoria, there were around 38 separate language groupings, and within each of these large connected language groups were many clans.
Each clan or family group exists by virtue of descent from the creation ancestors, with membership of a particular clan given at birth. People retain clan membership for life, even if they move away and live in other areas or in cities. Across Victoria social, cultural and political uniqueness of each group continues to exist.
4. Live Music
Victorian crowds and venues have a long and celebrated tradition of nurturing live music, and have supported the formation of acts like AC/DC, Crowded House and more recently Jet and Wolfmother. Visiting superstars and local legends alike play Melbourne’s huge venues like Melbourne Park, Festival Hall or the Melbourne Concert Hall and a healthy pub band circuit ensures that on most nights you can find a rousing mix of hopefuls and seasoned rockers.
Details appear in Melbourne’s free street papers Beat and Inpress and weekly lift outs in The Age and Herald-Sun.
5. Getting Around
Victoria’s network of first-class roads, connecting the state’s cities and towns as well as interstate locations, means it is easy to reach your destination by car, motorbike or bicycle. Various train and bus companies connect Melbourne with intrastate and interstate destinations, while scheduled flights service regional centres. Find out the best ways to get to Victoria’s regions.
6. There’s a good chance to meet an Australian
About 72% of Victorians are Australian-born. This figure falls to around 66% in Melbourne but rises to higher than 95% in some rural areas in the north west of the state. Around two-thirds of Victorians claim Australian, English or Irish ancestry. Less than 1% of Victorians identify themselves as Aboriginal. The largest groups of people born outside Australia came from the British Isles, China, Italy, Vietnam, Greece and New Zealand.
7. Study in Regional Victoria
Study Melbourne also has a significant regional and rural focus.
This is to accommodate the increasing numbers of international students who may be looking for a study and lifestyle alternative to that of a major city.
Victoria’s country regions include Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Shepparton and Warrnambool.
They are all vibrant, independent and compact rural communities
8 Victorian Climate
Melbourne, Victoria enjoys manageable summers, glorious springs, mild autumns and crisp winters. With its variable climate, Melbourne is warm to hot in summer (December to February), mild in autumn (March to May), cold and damp in winter (June to August) and cool in spring (September to November).
Victoria’s warmest months are January and February where the average temperature is 25.8°C – this is the time when picnicking, cycling, sailing, windsurfing, swimming and surfing are at its peak. In contrast, June and July are the coldest months where the temperature ranges between 5.9°C and 14°C – during these months skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing are enjoyed in the picturesque High Country, one of the most beautiful alpine regions in Australia. For those in-between months, Victoria’s climate is perfect for fishing, playing a round of golf, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing or touring the many wine growing regions and stopping off at farm gate and roadside stalls offering local produce.
UK Head OfficeTel: +44 (0)844 5555 480