V for Victoria
The Australian state of Victoria is the state where we live. Where I have lived for most of my life. When I first came to Australia I got a flight into Melbourne, not Sydney (where Mum came from and my planned ultimate destination) and I seem to have just stayed! Melbourne is a lovely city, so I’ve not really been tempted to go anywhere else. I did consider Perth once or twice, and I did move to Tasmania for a brief period. I just like Victoria.
Victoria is the pink area on the map to the left.
The following slide show has a random collection of images I’ve collected in my travels. Other Australian shots can be found on Australia in Pictures, including shots of Victoria. I’m just not big on city pictures: in my warped perspective on life, if you’ve seen one city, you’ve seen ‘em all!
Victoria is the smallest (land size) mainland state (not counting the Australian Capital Territory which is tiny and not a state). About a third of the population of Australia lives in Victoria, around seven million. Of those seven million, more than half , almost two-thirds, live in the city of Melbourne.
Victoria has several large regional cities: Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong to name three.
Being the most southern state of the mainland, Victoria is far more temperate than our tropical northern states. We do get snow in winter in the country and hills. I did once see snow falling in Melbourne when I worked on the 39th floor of an office block but it never made the ground! Yet we can also be hotter than those tropical states in summer. Generally, the air is dry although we do get humid days every now and then. The other day the humidity was 9%.
Victoria has beautiful beaches, such as our favourite beach, Anglesea, but even Melbourne has some wonderful beaches.
Renown for our diverse cuisine, we like to think Melbourne is the food capital of Australia. Of course, other states will disagree and I’ll admit the best steak I have ever eaten was in Hobart, Tasmania.
The Visit Victoria website praises our Melbourne golf courses. Not being a golfer (I can’t get the ball off the ground) I’ll take their word for it!
Victoria has a rich history, including the Eureka Stockade.
Prior to European settlement, the area now constituting Victoria was inhabited by a large number of Aboriginal peoples, collectively known as the Koori. With Great Britain having claimed the entire Australian continent east of the 135th meridian eastin 1788, Victoria was included in the wider colony of New South Wales. The first settlement in the area occurred in 1803 atSullivan Bay, and much of what is now Victoria was included in the Port Phillip District in 1836, an administrative division of New South Wales. Victoria was officially created a separate colony in 1851, and achieved self-government in 1856.
The Eureka Stockade was a rebellion against the government of the time, something Australians really are pretty good at.
The Eureka rebellion, which is often referred to as the ‘Eureka Stockade’, is a key event in the development of Australian democracy and Australian identity, with some people arguing that ‘Australian democracy was born at Eureka’ (Clive Evatt). In addition, the principles of mateship, seen to be adapted by the gold diggers, and the term ‘digger’ was later adopted by the ANZAC soldiers in World War I.
Victoria is a great place to visit and to live. There is something to do every day of the year. Yes, our weather can be predictably unpredictable. Four seasons in one day is not uncommon. In fact four seasons in an hour is possible!
I arrived here in February, 1974. I remember that day so clearly: I thought I’d arrived in hell, so hot it seemed to me! I left Christchurch in trousers, boots a jumper and a jacket! I arrived in Melbourne to walk out of the airport into 38 Celsius. I had never, ever, in my life experienced anything like 38 degrees. Admittedly a week later I visited an ex-flatmate in Adelaide – O.M.G. it was even hotter – over 40. I remember lying on her cool kitchen tiles to survive.
These days, I’m more acclimatised to the heat, but it can be draining and tiring, especially if there are a string of hot days AND hot nights. South Australia is experiencing just such a run of hot days right now.
Mind you, in spring we have lazy winds: too damn lazy to go around you. Hence we call our sloppy joes “windcheaters” Not sure how much cheating of the wind they actually manage!
Victoria has great schools, great hospitals and great universities. Some of the world’s best.
We love Victoria!
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Related Victorian trips: