Hugging the tip of Australia's east coast, Victoria is Australia's second-smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometres – roughly the size of the British Isles.
A wealth of diverse regions and attractions are packed into this compact area, with sweeping coastlines, pristine beaches and national parks and forests teeming with wildlife, plus wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Best of all, many of Victoria's unique and varied landscapes are easily reached as day trips from Melbourne.
Seasons and climate
Despite the small size, Victoria's climate varies across the state. The north has much drier and warmer weather than the south. Australia's seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. The climate is warm to hot in summer (December to February), mild in autumn (March to May), crisp in winter (June to August), and cool in spring (September to November).
Victoria's capital, Melbourne, sits on the banks of the Yarra River and around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Melbourne boasts a packed program of festivals and events, Australia's best and most stylish shopping, has a lively passion for eating and drinking, and supports a flourishing arts scene.
Melbourne and Victoria host some of Australia's most prestigious events throughout the year, including the Spring Racing Carnival culminating in the Melbourne Cup in November, the Australian Open Tennis in January, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and the Formula 1™ Australian Grand Prix in March, Melbourne International Comedy Festival March to April, international jazz, film and writers' festivals May through September, and Melbourne Festival in October. Victoria also hosts an ever-changing schedule of blockbuster exhibitions from around the world.
Grand nineteenth-century architecture and elegant gardens, built following the discovery of gold, are a reminder of Victoria's 'Gold Rush' past, while Aboriginal cultural landmarks and landscapes continue to connect Indigenous Australians from South Eastern Australia with a living cultural heritage dating back more than 60,000 years.