Victoria came into existence on 1st July 1851 when its independence was declared from New South Wales. It is the smallest 'proper' mainland state, if you set the Australian Capital Territory aside, and it is the most densely populated.
The State capital, Melbourne, has long been rivals with Sydney for national supremacy and it dominates the State (over 75% of the States population lives in the capital).
Whilst on a map Victoria can look small compared to some of the other States, its border with NSW runs for over 1,000 miles along the Murray River and its southern coastline also stretches for over 1,000 miles. A complex geology has led to different weather systems which, in turn, have created a rich variety of landscapes, ranging from snow-covered mountains and vast plains to semi-arid deserts. Situated on the South-eastern coast of Australia, Victoria typically has a cooler, more temperate climate.
Along with a wide variety of natural landscapes, Victoria has a rich historical, industrial and cultural heritage. Gold mining, wineries, nature parks and a strong sports culture all contribute to a lifestyle some say is more European and, perhaps, more civilised than any where else in Australia.