Living in Victoria gives you the best Australia has to offer. In summer, swim or surf at an ocean beach. In winter, ski down a snowy mountain slope. All year round, there’s something exciting to enjoy.
Victoria is one of Australia's smallest states. So wherever you live in Victoria, nothing is too far away. And living in Melbourne you’re in the centre of the state.
Whether you choose to study and live in Melbourne or regional Victoria, there’s so much to do in your spare time. Make new friends, explore new interests and even connect with home.
If you’re after fun, young fashion, Melbourne’s the best place in Australia to be. Make up your own style from Melbourne’s laneway boutiques, recycled clothing shops or one of the many fashion shopping strips and centres.
Discover tiny cafes, hidden designer shops and urban art in Melbourne’s laneways. Jump on a tram and uncover the secret treasures of the city the old-fashioned way.
Melbourne is the restaurant capital of Australia. With so many cultures coming together you’re sure to find the food you love. Try:
- Chinatown in the heart of the city for real regional Chinese food
- Richmond for cheap and colourful Vietnamese fare
- Carlton for classic Italian
- just about anywhere for authentic Thai.
Cute and amazing animals
See Australia’s unique animals in their natural settings. Visit Victoria’s popular wildlife parks and zoos and say hello to a koala, meet a kangaroo and listen to the lyrebird. Admire the popular penguin parade at Phillip Island or wonder at the whales near Warrnambool.
Passion for sport
Australia is world famous for sport and in Melbourne there’s always something on:
- Aussie rules or cricket at our famous Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Springtime racing action with the Melbourne Cup
- F1 motor racing at Albert Park.
Your school, local area or country town is sure to have a team in your favourite sport. Join up and make friends.
Living history and culture
Tour Melbourne’s heritage buildings and landmarks and discover the variety of settlers who are part of our culture. You may find a connection to your home town, or even an ancestor who made their way to Australia many years ago.
Visit the villages of Victoria and experience our colourful past and our wonderful local fresh food and produce. From gold and bushrangers to wineries, seafood and spas, there’s something for everyone.
Living in Victoria means you’re never far from the coast. Swim, sail or fish in the bays around Melbourne or learn to surf at the ocean beaches close by.
If you like wide open spaces and the great outdoors, then you'll love regional Victoria. But you don’t have to go far from Melbourne to find nature reserves such as the Dandenong Ranges. There are always walking and cycling trails close to home.
Everything from mountains and rivers to goldfields and the sea is here in Victoria. Choose your adventure with a day trip or weekend away with your homestay family or local relatives. Join a school trip with teachers and friends.
Gateway to Australia
The icons of Australia are never too far away. Melbourne airport is a key transport hub for access to the rest of Australia. Just a short plane journey and you could see:
- Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) in central Australia
- the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland
- Sydney’s Opera House and famous beaches.
Your school may even organise a trip during your studies.
Tourism Victoria for loads more great ideas.
The Garden State
When you’re living in Melbourne, you have access to more than 480 hectares of parks and gardens, a greater proportion of open space than any other major city in the world.
And Melbourne is not Australia's wettest capital city. Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth all receive much higher annual rainfalls than Melbourne.
View Things to do in Melbourne and Victoria
People who live in Melbourne have sophisticated palates. If they’re not whipping up a feast for family and friends in their own kitchen they’re probably out wining and dining at a new eatery with a ‘chef’s hat’ or three (Melbourne’s restaurant rating method). Melbourne has more cafes and restaurants per capita than anywhere in the world.
A dim sim affair
There ‘s nothing like a homemade steamed ‘dim sim’, also known as a ‘dimmy’, with soy sauce on a cold Melbourne day. Don’t confuse this with the authentic Asian ‘dim sum’, although it is related. The dim sim was developed by a Chinese chef, William Wing Young, who was living in Melbourne.
Film, music, theatre, opera, ballet, comedy, visual arts – you name it, Melbourne’s got it. And the buzz continues with a vibrant arts scene when you’re living in Victoria’s country regions.
One of our most famous home heroes was internationally renowned Australian operatic soprano Dame Nellie Melba. She chose her famous ‘stage name’ in honour of her beloved Melbourne hometown.
Find out more about Melbourne’s
People and Culture
Sport is a passion for many people living in Victoria. Most popular is Australian Rules Football (AFL), otherwise known as ‘the game’. AFL began in Melbourne in 1858 as a way to keep cricketers fit during the wintertime.
At different times of the year cricket, tennis or racing fever also fills the city. Smell the burning rubber during the Grand Prix or hear the thunder of thoroughbreds charging home during Spring Racing Carnival.
The first surfing reserve in the world was Bells Beach, Victoria in the early 70’s. Improve your skills with some surfing lessons along the coast.
Let’s meet under the clocks
For decades, the clocks on the corner at Flinders Street Station have been a popular Melbourne rendezvous spot. A few years ago, an attempt was made to replace them with video screens, but the public outcry was enormous so they stayed.
Pioneers of plastic money
The Note Printing Branch of the Australian Mint (near Craigieburn in Melbourne) was the developer and printer of the world’s first plastic banknotes. They also recycle used banknotes – very sustainable!
An early capital
Did you know that Melbourne was the capital city of Australia for 26 years, from 1901 to 1927, before Canberra was built?
Home of the secret ballot
These days, in a democracy we expect to be able to cast our votes in secret during an election. Victoria led the way to this right to privacy. The secret ballot system was adopted by the colonies of Victoria and South Australia in the 1850s and became known around the world as the ’Australian Ballot’. These Australian colonies were eventually followed by New Zealand in 1870, the UK in 1872 and Canada in 1874. The first presidential election in USA to use the Australian Ballot was in 1892.
In 1891 Victorian women took to the streets to fight for the vote. They gathered 30,000 signatures on a petition made of pages glued to a roll of fabric. The completed petition measured 260 metres long and came to be known as the ‘Monster Petition’. There is now a statue inspired by the petition near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Notorious Victorian bushranger Ned Kelly is an Australian folk hero famed for his contempt for authorities whose home town was in regional Victoria. Bushrangers were outlaws in the early years of British settlement of Australia who had the survival skills to use the Australian bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities. The 2003 movie of Ned Kelly starred Australian film idol Heath Ledger.
Victorians are naturally inventive. Some of our famous developments in science and technologies include:
- the Bionic Ear (Professor Graeme Clark) – first implanted in 1978
- testing and producing penicillin (Howard Florey) – first tested on mice in 1940
- the Black Box flight recorder (Dr David Warren) – first developed in 1957.
In the 1870s, an imperial dragon known as Loong was sent from China to the gold-rush town of Bendigo, Victoria where many ethnic Chinese were then working. He’s now the oldest Chinese dragon in the world.
Sun Loong was brought to Bendigo from Hong Kong to replace Loong in 1970. The longest Imperial dragon in the world, at more than 100 metres in length, he needs 52 people and 52 reliefs to carry him. Sun Loong is the highlight of Australia’s oldest event: the Bendigo Easter Festival.
A Great Ocean Road
Victoria’s number one tourist attraction is a seaside road with awesome views that was constructed by soldiers returning from World War 1. Along the Great Ocean Road you’ll see the majestic Twelve Apostles, originally known as the ‘Sow and Piglets’. These limestone stacks formed as a result of erosion forced by wind and sea over time.