The city of Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is the second most populous city and one of the oldest cities in Australia. Downtown is creative, bustling and full of life, while the beaches are tranquil and the sea is calm, making it a great place for swimming. A packed agenda of food, arts, sports and wine is the introduction to Australia's most “European” city and the perfect gateway to natural wonders such as the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks which lies close to the Great Ocean Road, a spectacular drive. Even if there are only eight apostles left now, the name remains significant in the Australian tourism industry. Not far away lies Loch Ard Gorge, which is just as impressive.
The lack of waves in the gorge allows tourists to quickly dip into the freezing waters of the ocean. The name of the gorge comes from the clipper ship Loch Ard, which didn't manage to complete its long journey from England to Australia and ran aground in the proximity of the gorge in 1878. Lots of legends circle around this story and can be discovered at the small museum that was built in the area.
An other attraction in the state of Victoria is the Murray-Sunset National Park, famous for its “pink lakes”. In overcast weather this group of salt lakes has a startling colour range, from dusky mauve to shoking pink. This almost unnatural colour is due to a chemical compound that is exuded by a specific algal species that inhabits saline waters. Natural wonders like this can be seen in few other parts in the world, among which the famous Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.
Victoria is as entertaining as many other states in Australia, presenting a huge variety in attractions, fascinating natural wonders, excellent food, history and nightlife.