December 2013
Melbourne and Victoria by numbers…
Fast facts Victoria:
 Where: Located in the south-eastern corner of Australia, Victoria is the nation’s second smallest state
 Population Victoria: 5.55 million
 Capital city of Victoria: Melbourne, population 4.08 million
 Climate: Average temperatures range from 21ºC-34ºC in summer, and -1ºC-12ºC in winter
 Rainfall: The median annual rainfall in Victoria varies considerably from greater than 1800mm
recorded in parts of the Otway Ranges and Eastern Highlands to less than 300mm in the northwest
 The magnificent Royal Exhibition Buildings, set in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne’s north city edge was used
for the first-ever sitting of Australia's federal parliament in 1901, well before Canberra was chosen as the site for
the country's capital. It was also the first building in Australia to achieve World Heritage status.
Melbourne's Eureka Tower is home to the highest viewing deck in the Southern Hemisphere. The glass on the
top 10 floors is 24 carat gold-plated, and it boasts a 360 degree observation level called Skydeck 88 on the 88th
Melbourne is known as Australia’s “Culture Capital” because it:
- has one of the highest densities of commercial art galleries anywhere in the world: there are more than 130
art galleries and museums,
- boasts the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere: Museum Victoria,
- has the largest collection of Australian art on permanent display at the Ian Potter Centre “NGV Australia”,
- has a rich history of literary culture and creative talent and was recently appointed as a UNESCO City of
Literature; it is home to a third of all Australian writers and to Australia’s publishing sector.
Melbourne is Australia’s number one city for gigs and one of the best live music hubs in the world offering more
than 3000 live performances each week and more music venues that any other Australian city – approximately
370 at the last count.
The National Gallery of Victoria has the world’s largest stained glass ceiling – 51 metres (167.3 feet) long by 15
metres (49.2 feet) wide.
Melbourne’s famous tramway system is the largest outside the European continent and the fourth largest in the
world. It stretches along 244 kilometres (152 miles) of track and has 450 trams. It is the only surviving tram
network in Australia, and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Melbourne is the only city in the world that has five international standard sporting facilities (including three with
retractable roofs) on the fringe of its central business district.
Each year Melbourne plays host to tens of thousands of interstate and overseas visitors who come to see the
Australian Open Tennis Championships, the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian 500CC Motorcycle Grand Prix,
Spring Racing Carnival, the Australian Football League Grand Final and many more sporting events hosted by
Australia’s sporting capital.
Port Phillip Bay has 45 diverse and accessible wrecks just within a 30-minute radius in and around the Bay.
The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861. The winner, Archer, took a prize of 170 pounds and a gold watch.
Today, prize money for the Melbourne Cup, ‘the race that stops the nation’, which is run annually on the first
Tuesday of November, is this year worth $6.2 million dollars, which makes it the richest handicap race in the
world. In 2012, more than 350,000 people attended the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival held at Flemington
The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne contains an impressive 51,000 plants representing 12,000 species. These
are arranged as an extensive ornamental garden in which botanical collections and plants of historical interest are
aesthetically integrated.
Melbourne is a city that loves its coffee – the volume of coffee beans imported from around the globe through the
Port of Melbourne has increased by around 780 per cent over the last decade. Every day, on average, the Port of
Melbourne handles 30 tonnes of coffee beans. This makes the equivalent of three million cups of coffee each day.
Vegemite was invented in Victoria in 1922 by Melbourne food technologist Cyril P Callister. The spread was
created to use the yeast extract left over from the manufacture of beer and is a rich source of vitamin B.
Regional Victoria
Victoria boasts more than 850 wineries, of which 650 have cellar doors, in 21 distinct wine regions. Enjoy cellar
door tastings and dine on local produce at winery restaurants.
Victoria’s famous Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Parks, is one of the State’s top attractions. Thousands
of locals and visitors head to Phillip Island to view the Little Penguins as they emerge from the sea every night of
the year. There are 32,000 breeding pairs, the largest collection of penguins in Australia, with approximately 6,000
of them landing on Summerland Beach every evening during the famous penguin "parade".
Victoria boasts 36 National Parks and 13 Marine National Parks as well as a number of State Parks, regional
parks, Botanical Gardens, wilderness reserves, metropolitan parks, reservoir parks and Aboriginal Cultural
Heritage Reserves.
The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre (151 miles) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia
between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool, taking in the famous Twelve Apostles limestone
formations. The road, recommended by Conde Naste as one of the 10 must do drives in the world is also on the
bucket list of many motoring publications. The Road was built by hand by Australian soldiers who returned from
WWI and needed work during the Great Depression. The spectacularly scenic road took 14 years to build and it is
one of the world’s largest war memorials.
Located 20 minutes drive inland from Apollo Bay, The Otway Fly Treetop Walk is an hour-long treetop rainforest
walk along a 600 metre long and 30 metre high steel structured treetop canopy. It is the longest and tallest
walkway of its type in the world and now features an exciting Zip Line Tour – the only one in Victoria.
The treacherous stretch of coastline known as The Shipwreck Coast, around Warrnambool, is the location of the
largest number of shipwrecks in Victoria. 180 ships have come to grief along the Shipwreck Coast including the
Loch Ard, Victoria’s most famous shipwreck. The history of the Loch Ard is documented, recounted and recreated
at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
'Surfing mecca' Torquay is home to one of Australia's most famous surf beaches Bell's Beach, where the Rip Curl
Pro competition started. Global surf clothing brands Quicksilver and Rip Curl also started here.
Victoria’s spa centre towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, located 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, are
surrounded by more than 60 natural mineral springs. These spa towns are havens for holistic health and wellbeing
with more than 200 therapies.
The spectacular Grampians National Park, located 3.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, encompasses an area that is
more than 500 million years old and 100 kilometres long and 50 kilometres wide. A number of Aboriginal tribes live
in the region and regard the park as a sacred place. Aboriginal culture is celebrated at the Brambuk National Park
and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap.
The Welcome Stranger – the world’s largest alluvial gold nugget weighing approximately 70 kilograms (154.3
pounds) – was discovered in Ballarat, one hour’s drive from Melbourne in Victoria’s Goldfields, 1869.
For more information: