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Heading to VIC, otherwise known as the state of Victoria? Melbourne is the capital and biggest city, but you can also drive down the Great Ocean Road, see the Twelve Apostles (12 Apostles), visit the national park of the Grampians, drink wines from the Yarra Valley,or see penguins on Phillip Island


Victoria (VIC)
Garden State/Come-In-Second State


"In the United States, the Garden State is New Jersey, long regarded as the armpit of the country until Tony Soprano and his thugs made it cool to live there again.  New Jersey never deserved its second tier reputation. Neither does the Garden State in Australia, which comes in second -- in finances, in population, and in tourist visits -- despite containing one of the most livable cities in the world."  Doug Knell, Doug's Republic


Victorians really do have a chip on their shoulder, due to the competitive nature of their capital, Melbourne, with Sydney.  Each of the state's respective capitals, like the capitals of all Australian states, overshadows the rest of the state.  7-in-10 Victorians live in Melbourne, so Melbourne is naturally the showpiece for Victoria.  Victorians, unfortunately, can't lay claim to enough grandiose and universally desirable claims at #1 spots.  There are the general claims that, for example, Melbourne is the most sporting capital in Australia, and it probably is, with the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the G), the annual Melbourne Cup horse race, and its home to Australian rules football.   Ten of the sixteen clubs in the Australian Football League are found in Victoria.   In 2009, Melbourne scored the #1 city spot on the Mercer's Quality of Living Survey and Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index, and #3 on the the Economist's World Most Livable Cities list.  Recent stats show Melbourne growing in population faster than Sydney and may surpass Sydney's population by 2056, although who ever said having a more congested city was a good thing?  

flag of Victoria

 

But these boasts all rest on one city.  Victoria as a state cannot lay claim to a lot of #1's worth shouting about.  It doesn't have the country's largest economy.   It's the second wettest state after Tasmania, not that the #1 ranking here is worth envying.  In size, it ranks at #6, but as the most densely populated state, not a great mix.  The Yarra Valley is home to some superb wines, yet it's overshadowed by the more famous Swan Valley (Western Australia), Barossa Valley (South Australia), and Hunter Valley (New South Wales).   

Immigrants, particularly Greeks and Italians, love Victoria.  The restaurant-cafe culture here has no rival in Australia, but again, this culture only benefits those who live in and around Melbourne.  Look for good food in Maryborough, Bendigo, or Castlemaine, and you're talking about eggs and chips.  Queensland and New South Wales have a better distribution of quality eats scattered throughout the state.   

Sydney Melbourne rivalry
#1 doesn't always mean something

A lot of visitors to Oz never make it to Victoria.  The Queensland-New South Wales east coast circuit occupies their time.  Of those that do come, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road are all that they sees.  The Dandenongs, Phillip Island, and the Grampians may as well be on the moon for all the interest they garner from overseas visitors.



 

 

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The Harry Dandruff Universe

 VIC or Victoria has the second largest population of any Australian state. Melbourne has the second largest population. Compared to New South Wales, not many people drive the Great Ocean Road or glimpse the Twelve Apostles (12 Apostles). Coming to hike the Grampians? Want to try grapes from the Yarra Valley? Or see a race on Phillip Island?