Here are some fun facts about Victoria that you may not have known and trust us, we know because we go! Victoria is a southeastern state in Australia and is known for its dynamic capital city, Melbourne, as well as its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural history. It is one of our favourite places in the world!
Here are a few fun facts about Victoria to get you started:
- Victoria is one of the smaller states in Australia. In fact it is 9% of the size of the largest state, Western Australia!
- You can see wild penguins if you visit Phillip Island.
- In 1956 Melbourne hosted the first Olympic games outside the northern hemisphere.
Where is Victoria?
Victoria is located in the south of Australia with New South Wales to the north and South Australia to the West. To the south, across the Bass Strait, is Tasmania.
How big is Victoria?
Victoria is Australia’s third smallest state (after Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania) and is 228,000 km2.
How many people live in Victoria?
There are more than 6,500,000 people living in Victoria, with around 75% of them living in the state’s capital of Melbourne. Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia after Sydney, however it is the most densely populated.
In 1901 Victoria joined 5 other states to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
Victoria is a federated state of Australia, meaning it is part of a group of other states that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Victoria is run by the Premier who is the leader of the political party currently in power. Parliament House is located in Melbourne.
Victoria also has a Governor, a representative of the Monarch of Australia, who resides at Government House in Melbourne and performs constitutional and ceremonial duties in Victoria.
The state has an interesting history, with significant events such as the Gold Rush of the 1850s and the Eureka Rebellion shaping the state’s identity.
The Gold Rush and the Eureka Rebellion
The Victorian Gold Rush was a significant period in Victorian history that began in the 1850s and lasted for several years. People from all over the world flocked to Victoria in search of gold, which had been discovered to the north west of Melbourne.
This brought people and prosperity to the state in search of gold and a better life. The government however imposed strict regulations and taxes on the miners which led to a large protest called the Eureka Rebellion in 1854. The miners built a barrier (a stockade) on a hill however the government troops came in and fought with the miners and some died. This struggle is an important piece of history for the state.
What language is spoken in Victoria?
The official language of Victoria is English, however around 27% of the population speak a language other than English at home. Other major languages include Mandarin, Vietnamese, Greek and Punjabi.
Fun fact – Melbourne is home to the largest Greek population in the world outside of Greece!
What are the emblems of Victoria?
Victoria’s flag is a dark blue flag with a Union Jack in the top left corner. To the right are five stars representing the constellation of the Southern Cross, sitting under a St Edward’s Crown.
The state’s animal emblem in the Leadbeater Possum and the flower is common heath.
Geography of Victoria
The state is known for its beautiful coastline and stunning landscapes. The state’s coastline stretches for over 2000 km and is home to many beautiful beaches and bays. The Great Ocean Road is a 243 km scenic coastal drive that offers breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean and famous landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles.
The eastern part of the state is also home to many national parks and forests, including the Great Dividing Range. This range extends from Queensland in the north down to Victoria and runs through the state’s eastern border and includes the Alpine National Park with snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, and rivers.
The Dandenong Ranges is a beautiful mountain range located just outside of Melbourne, known for its lush forests, stunning gardens, and scenic drives.
Inland, the state is dominated by the flat plains of the Murray-Darling Basin, is a major agricultural area, known for its vineyards, orchards, and farms.
Famous Landmarks of Victoria
Victoria is home to many renowned cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. The Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens, located in Melbourne is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The stunning State Library of Victoria was the first public library in Australia and was one of the first free public libraries in the world.
The famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is Australia’s largest stadium and a world-renowned sports venue that hosts cricket, Australian Rules Football and other major events. The MCG can hold more than 100,000 people!
Melbourne is known for street art. If you visit many suburbs across the city you can see incredible art on the sides of buildings which the city embraces.
What animals are found in Victoria?
The Leadbeater Possum is the state emblem of Victoria, however this little creature is only around 40 cm long. Possums are nocturnal so look for them at night or when it is getting dark.
Fun Fact – The possum’s tail accounts for around half its length!
If you are spending time around waterways, keep an eye out for platypuses, unique, egg-laying mammals that have webbed feet and a bill like a duck.
Fun Fact – The male platypus has a venomous spike on each back leg!
Phillip Island, just south of Melbourne is home to Little Penguins. Each evening just before sunset they arrive on the beach for a ‘penguin parade’ which we highly recommend.
Other animals including echidnas, spiky ant eating animals, can be found in bushland and national parks.
Which sports are played in Victoria?
Victoria could affectionately be known as the sporting capital of Australia. Australian Rules Football (AFL) is the most popular sport in Victoria, with many people supporting one of the 10 teams based in the state.
Cricket is played in summer, with the MCG hosting international matches and local competitions.
The Australian Open tennis championship is one of only 4 Grand Slam competitions held across the world and it is held every year in Melbourne during January.
The Melbourne Cup is a horse race that is said to ‘stop the nation’. It is held as part of the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne.
Last minute fun facts:
- Bushranger Ned Kelly was born in Victoria.
- In Melbourne you can do a ‘hook turn’ which means cars turn right from the far left lane of the road!
- Melbourne has more than 250 km of tram tracks!
It’s hard to include all the fun facts about this busy and exciting state so make sure to let us know if we have missed any.