Victoria’s geographical size is about equal to that of Britain and the climate is temperate, with cool to cold winters and warm to hot summers. With a large migrant population many different languages and dialects are spoken. More than a fifth of Victorians speak a language at home other than English.
Industry and economy
There are several major industries in Victoria, including:
Victoria is the largest producer of dairy products, mutton and grain crops in Australia. It also produces fruit, vegetables, lamb meat, wool and fodder.
Victoria is home to several mining and research development projects. Different mineral processing companies are also located here. Coal is mined for use in electricity generation. Large oil and gas industries are also located in Victoria.
Nearly 34 per cent of Victoria’s working population is employed in the manufacturing sector producing textiles, footwear and cars. The state also produces petrochemical products and aircraft parts.
Melbourne has the biggest cargo and container port in the state and exports cars, dairy products, medicines, wool and meat to China, Japan, the US, Korea and New Zealand.
More than 1.4 million international and domestic travellers visit Victoria each year. The tourism industry employs 6.6 per cent of the state’s working population.
Victoria has a well-organised network of public transport. This network consists of trams, buses and trains for local and intrastate travel.
The ticketing system for public transport is known as Myki and is used for trains, buses and trams. Smart cards are used which can be recharged at different stations. In order to pay for the trip you have to touch on when you start your journey and touch off when it ends. It is obligatory to touch on before starting your journey. Otherwise you could be fined.
Taxis are readily available and are distinguished by their yellow colour. You can also book a taxi by phone. The prices are metered but an extra charge is applied for a phone booking.
Sport in Victoria
Melbourne, a major centre of arts and entertainment in Australia, is internationally famous for its galleries, museums and festivals. But sports are the state’s passion, especially the Australian Football League (AFL). Melbourne hosts international cricket matches as well as football and other sports such as soccer, tennis, hockey, basketball, golf and netball. There are hundreds of local sports clubs in the state. They offer different recreational and sports activities that you can enjoy with your family and friends.
Major events include the Australian Open tennis which is held in January. Car racing is held at different circuits throughout the year. Another important event is the AFL competition, which runs from March until September.
Arts and entertainment
There is always something entertaining and interesting going on, from food and wine festivals to musical and comedy events. Melbourne is known as the home of theatre and has a well-earned reputation for ballet and classical music.
Dance is an important part of Victoria’s cultural life and there are several dance companies in the state.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, held every year around April, is a very popular and important festival, attracting thousands of visitors. International and local comedians perform over several days.
The oldest gallery in Australia is the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). It has many permanent exhibitions as well as touring exhibitions which are featured throughout the year. The NGV is a popular gallery for locals as well as visitors and is among Melbourne’s prime tourist destinations.
A popular event is the Australian International Airshow. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is held around March. Other events include fashion festivals and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Different arts festivals are held throughout the year.