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Victoria

Victoria is the southernmost of the eastern mainland states of Australia.

Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and with a population of around 3.8 million the second largest city in Australia. Many tourists come to Victoria to see Melbourne , the Great Ocean Road, the Alpine regions of Beechworth and Bright, the Mornington Peninsula, and the Phillip Island penguins.

Melbourne is generally regarded as Australia's cultural capital. The city's features include Victorian era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries and theatres, as well as large parks and gardens. The City Centre probably has the most to attract the visitor, including cafes, boutiques, department stores and restaurants. Queen Victoria Market is worth a visit, it is huge and colorful, with an assortment of fresh and dry produce, many souvenirs and other interesting things. The Docklands and Southgate, a pretty promenade on the south bank of the Yarra, are filled with shops, lively restaurants and bars with waterside setting.

The
Great Ocean Road represents a coastal region of southwest Victoria, running from the Bellarine Peninsula to Warrnambool. One of the most scenic parts of the road is the stretch between Port Campbell and Peterborough. This is the section contained by the Port Campbell National Park and has major rock formations. It is possible to drive the length of the road, and see the main attractions in a day's driving, but you get a better experience if you allow a couple of days or more for the drive and visit some of the small towns. The road is well developed for tourism and has many options for food and accommodation.

Phillip Island is only about 140 km. (88 mi.) southeast of Melbourne. Phillip Island is home to the Penguin Parade. Every night around dusk hundreds or even thousands of penguins cross the beach after a days fishing in the sea to get back to their nests. The whole area is a reserve designed to protect and promote awareness of the penguins. On Phillip Island you also find the Koala Conservation Center and woodlands of the Oswin Roberts Reserve established to provide a safe home to the island's koala population. Koalas can be viewed at close up range at the visitor center or in the trees if you walk through the woodlands of the Oswin Roberts Reserve.

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