The royal Garden State of Victoria may be Australias
smallest state, but it is very large on life. The pulsating heart
of the State of Victoria is the grand city of Melbourne.
Melbourne has taken on the mantle of Cultural Capital of
Australia. It is a kaleidoscope of colour and excitement
for people who are lovers of fashion, art, music and
entertainment. Over recent years the rivalry with Sydney has lost
its sting, and Melbourne residents are convinced they live in the
most culturally advanced city in Australia.
This elegant city of three million people has an aura of
sophistication and contemporary style. The modern architecture of
Federal Square contrasts with fine examples of Victorian
buildings, which have been carefully preserved in the CBD. The
city is being revitalised with an increasingly international
character. Growing immigrant communities add colour and variety
to this melting pot of world-class cuisine, great wine and
glamorous events. Melbourne residents enjoy an exceptional
lifestyle that is the envy of many.
Highlights of the Melbourne cultural scene
are; the Victorian Arts Centre, Southgate Arts Complex, National
Gallery and Museum. The city is buzzing with exhibitions,
theatres, concerts, festivals and street entertainment. This
sense of style and good taste extends to the Citys 3000
restaurants representing no less than 70 nationalities. Countless
outdoor cafés grace the Yarra River banks at Southgate, St Kilda
and South Yarra. Serious shoppers are spoilt for choice at modern
complexes on Collins Street and the Bourke Street Mall. A
comprehensive tramway system serves the downtown area of
The Crown Casino also has restaurants, shops and theatres.
Ideas for day trips into the country
include Phillip Island, where you will see the famous fairy
penguin parade and the treetop koala boardwalk. The Mornington
Peninsula has lovely boutique wineries, rustic restaurants and
coastal scenery. The Dandenong Ranges make a pleasant drive,
providing the visitor with stunning views of the city. Here you
will discover quaint villages, craft shops and eateries nestled
in the hills.
Travelling northwest of the city you can relive wild gold rush
days at the historic towns of Ballarat and Bendigo. Further
north, take the Murray River Drive, which brings you to Echuca,
where you can enjoy an historic paddle-steamer ride on the river.
For a longer journey follow the Great Ocean Road to the Shipwreck
Coast, and the Grampian Ranges. Along the coast you will see the
Twelve Apostles - towering rock stacks defying the boiling surf.
Or alternatively head east to the natural wonders of Gippsland
and the ski fields of the Victorian Alps.
The variety of things to see and do in Victoria is simply
amazing. By taking virtually any highway or byway you will find
something that excites the imagination or tantalizes the senses.
As for the good life, well, the Melburnians have got