One of the important first steps to planning a trip to Victoria is to visit the tourism bureau online. This site provides some excellent information on all of the "pieces" of Victoria, and uses the jigsaw puzzle to seperate the different tourism areas throughout it.
Victoria is split into several different territories:
Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and The Ranges
Melbourne's Bays & Peninsulas
Macedon Ranges and Spa Country
Goulburn Murray Waters
The Great Ocean Road
Legends, Wine and High Country
Phillip Island and Gippsland Discovery
Mildura and Murray Outback
Lakes and Wilderness
Fondest memory: http://www.visitvictoria.com
For over 40,000 years prior to the arrival of European colonists, 30 nations or clans of Aboriginal people lived in what is now the state of Victoria.
Their rich tribal culture developed through intricate social systems and a profound connection to the land.
For Aboriginal people, including those in highly urbanised communities, land is central to their identities, their heritage and their spiritual existence.
The Dreamtime refers to the Creation era when Spirit Ancestors made epic journeys across a flat and barren landscape creating the geographical features of the land and every living thing.
During this creation period the Ancestors created the laws that govern Aboriginal life.
The events of the Dreaming form the basis of Aboriginal law, religion, spiritual values and social relationships. The Dreaming sets down the relationship of people to their land and to every living creature in it.
Through descent from Creation Ancestors, people belong to a certain stretch of country and maintain responsibility for caring for the environmental and spiritual wellbeing of that country. The stories, particular designs and images are ‘owned’ by those people as their Dreaming.
A person’s Dreaming is the place where that person’s spirit came from and to where it must return.
Aboriginal people have, for many thousands of years, had an association with Gariwerd, as the Grampians is traditionally known.
Linked culturally and linguistically, the numerous clans have left much evidence of their lives in the region. Ancient oven mounds, scatterings of stone left over from tool making, rock art sites and, of course, the beliefs handed down from one generation to the next.
To this day, descendants of the original clans of Gariwerd continue their strong connection with the Grampians region.
In 1991, the traditional names of 49 places within the Grampians region were restored, recognising the important heritage and mythology of western Victoria’s Aboriginal people.
Traditionally, Elders governed the clans, making decisions on matters such as deciding penalties for transgression of Aboriginal Law, directing hunting and gathering activities to maintain harmony with the environment, ceremonial activities, trade and clan gatherings.
In Victoria and throughout Australia, Elders are highly respected as the keepers of the knowledge. Elders know the Dreaming stories, the sacred sites, the traditions and cultural practices.
I have put together some scenic drives and their websites to help you plan your Victorian Holiday.
I have done all of them, have travelled most of the backroads and main roads, so you may have guessed, I like Victoria.
* THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD.......Recognised as one of the world’s most scenic drives
The GOR follows the stunning coastline for 243 kilometres from Torquay, just south of Geelong, to Allansford, just east of Warrnambool.
Remember on this journey, you will be stopping a lot to see the sights. The road is not a race track either, although it is in good condition.
This is a great website that will give you all the information that you need to know, even the driving times, like from Melbourne to Warnambool along the GOR will take approx 51/2 hours to do the 350km journey.
I always like to add a few information tips about the plants and animals I see along my path.
Here is a picture of Bower Spinach (Tetragonia implexicoma), which is a common bluff plant found along the Victorian coast.
It has a beautiful yellow flower, and there are smaller red berries which are great food for lizards and birds.
The main purpose of this vegetation is to prevent landslides from coastal areas, and it has protected Phillip Island's "Nobbies" Nature Park from soil erosion.
Favorite thing: When you're not looking at the beach, you'll be loooking at this, equally beautiful in my opinion, in its own way. Whole segments of the road look like this, rough scrub as far as the eye can see. Small sections pass through rainforest, and there are towns, but passing point to point, you see a lot of this.
Favorite thing: The "London Bridge" was a famous natural bridge structure along the Great Ocean Road. Years back, the middle of the bridge structure collapsed and some tourists were trapped on the other side. After many hours in the cold coastal weather, they were finally rescued. This is a photo of the remains of the structure today.
Loch Ard Gorge - you need to do some walking to the lookout...but the view is really magi\nificent. There is a signange to tell the history of it.
The view is so beautiful and you may want to walk around the beach - take the wooden steps down etc...there you will be treated with towering cliffs, sparkling blue-green sea and a small, sandy beach.
I first moved to Melbourne from New Zealand 16 years ago and settled into the lifestyle very quickly. After a few years living there I moved to Singapore for a while, only to return to Melbourne and live there another few years. Melbourne is a great place to visit and to live. There is so much to do, the range of arts and cultural activities are huge, there is always something going on in and around the city. I cannot even begin to stress the fabulous restaurants that you can find in Melbourne. There are also the wineries scattered around Victoria to visit and sample. The State has most things that you could ever want from great skiing, to nice beaches (although not all), mountain ranges and valleys and rugged coastline.
The only thing not going for it is the famous Melbourne weather. You can easily have 4 seasons in one day. It can get really cold in winter (although not snow) and go to the extreme in Summer when the wind blows down from the dessert. Within half an hour the temperature can drop 10C or more. I hope to return to live there again one day.
The weather at the Great Ocean Road is unpredictable so be prepared. I remembered starting in the rain, followed by long periods of sunshine and then the rain came again. The wind is very strong so extra clothing is essential.
Fondest memory: Taking a leisure walk along the famous Yarra River and experience the sights and sounds is indeed a very good experience. When you are tired, you can sit on the benches and watch the world go by.
Enjoy the people of Australia. It is a beautiful place with a small population, which must lend to the irrepressible friendliness of the inhabitants. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you will somehow remember the people more than the place.
Fondest memory: I had seen the name of a disc (Frisbee) player in a magazine and wrote him in hopes of maybe checking out the local scene. He replied and we kept up a correspondence right up to our departure, explaining that we should try and make the Nationals in Melbourne. We arrived there two weeks in advance and headed down to Tasmania to meet up with another local player. Called some more in Melbourne who offered to put us up and bring us to the tourney each day. This was working out like a charm and soon we were treated like visiting royalty. It was the National Championships and involved competition in all aspect of disc play. There was distance, disc golf, accuracy, discathon, Ultimate, and my personal favorite, freestyle. It was great to meet players from all over Australia and New Zealand. Everybody was super friendly and we competed in all events for the week. The most fun was freestyle. Freestyle is a dance-like routine you do with the Frisbee involving spinning it on your nail and doing trick throws and catches. See links below for more details if interested. Kristin had never competed but had jammed quite a bit the previous summer and I was without my usual partner so we teamed up for our first time. I was pretty rusty and pressure was mounting as the locals were expecting a show of sorts. Did a lot of jamming that day with players from all over and the younger players from Western Australia had taken a liking to me. I spent a lot of time showing them things and just hanging out. I really felt like a bit of a celebrity. As the prelims were about to begin, a storm threatened and the venue was changed to inside the gym, which I wasn’t too thrilled about. I grew up playing on the beach and using the wind was my forte. Now, I’d be playing in a vacuum more or less, something I’d never done in competition before. We got into the gym and I nervously waited our turn. When it was our go, the crowd was more than welcoming, it was quite loud. Okay, more pressure. We met at center court and as the Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” boomed through the speakers, we began a jam that I couldn’t have dreamed possible. The song wasn’t released there yet and the crowd loved the tune, so that just got us pumped up more. We hit everything. I think we were drop-less the first three minutes. I hit a patented gitis split and the WA kids went crazy. It was one of those rare moments where the moment seems to freeze and you are suspended in time. It lasted forever and was over before we knew it. We walked off the court to a standing ovation and full knew that we had shredded. We went on to lose and actually finish third in the finals, but for that one moment, we were the best.
BALLARAT is Victoria's larges inland city,& situated in the Central Highlands. Today Ballarat is a bustling city featuring many galleries,& museums,& and antique and craft shops. It has excellent recreational facilities,& and beautiful gardens and parks,& making is most attractive to visitors. For your pleasure there are Trash and Trivia Markets at Showgrounds,& Creswick Rd,& each Sun. jan: Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields. Feb: Super Southern Swap meet. Mar: Begonia Festival,& Antique Fair. Apr: Eureka Jazz Festival. July: Winter Festival. Aug-Nov: Royal South Street Eisteddford. Nov: Springfest Extravaganza,& Ballarat Cup.
Art gallery,& water sports,& paddle-steamer tours,& botanic gardens,& museums,& reptile park,& barbecue facilities,& trout fishing,& winery
Favorite thing: Katoomba of the main residential and tourist centre of the Blue Mountains. Take a trip to the Markets at Civic Centre, Katoomba St, 1st and 3rd Sat each month. Feb: Blue Mountains Folk Festival. June: Winter Magic Festival. Yulefest held during, June, July and Aug throughout the region. Visit the spectactular Three Sisters rock formation the Everglades Gardens, or ride on the scenic skyway in a cable car. Visit the town of Leura for shopping and devonshire teas and during the month of Oct the Leura Garden Festival and Village fair. Take a drive to Jenolan Caves
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
308-310 High Street, Princes Highway M1, Belmont, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Good for: Couples
Had a wonderful 5 day stay in this Hotel, conveniently located close to Sovereign Hill. The staff...more