the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Victoria
Tourism Victoria in the UKAddress: Australia House, Melbourne Place, Strand,
Telephone: (020) 7438 4645.
Attractions in Victoria
Learn to kick the leather off an Australian Rules or 'Aussie Rules' football. The game originated in Victoria and the climax of the season is the Australian Football League Grand Final, played in September at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Trek through destinations such as Wilson's Promontory - a three-day circuit that cuts through beautiful stretches of coastline - or the Grampians, which is a spectacular region of sandstone mountain ranges, forests and valleys. For further details, contact Parks Victoria (www.parkweb.vic.gov.au).
Absorb the excellent views over Melbourne from the Dandenong Ranges. At Mount Dandenong check out the haunting carvings of Aboriginal faces - part of the Galeena Beek Aboriginal Culture Centre.
Great Ocean drive
Drive the stunning Great Ocean Road, one of the country's most scenic routes with seemingly impossible twists and turns on a road hewn from sheer cliffs.
Tour the Lakes District, the largest inland waterway system in the country. The lagoons connect with the ocean at Lakes Entrance, a holiday town with good facilities that has access to Ninety Mile Beach.
Frequently voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Melbourne's attractions include the ultramodern Melbourne Museum (http://museumvictoria.com.au/MelbourneMuseum) and fantastical Federation Square (www.federationsquare.com.au) - a city block devoted to culture.
Indulge in a river cruise (on a paddle steamer or hire a houseboat and have a go yourself) down the beautiful, meandering Murray River at Mildura in the far northwest of the state.
Watch the famed music festival (www.qmf.net.au) in Queenscliff, a town which also has Victorian architecture and a historic railway, as well as horse and cart rides. There are some great handicraft and antique shops.
Phillip Island Nature Park
Spot a huge variety of wildlife at Phillip Island Nature Park (www.penguins.org.au), with birds, koalas, fairy penguins (marching up the beach in the evenings) and fur seals. Another famous wildlife area crawling with emus and wombats is Wilson's Promontory National Park.
Ski and snowboard
Whizz down the country's best snowfields on downhill skis or a snowboard through some of Victoria's high country: Mount Buller, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo and Mount Baw Baw all have excellent facilities.
Relive the excitement of the gold-rush at Sovereign Hill (www.sovereignhill.com.au), 120km (75 miles) northwest of Melbourne in Ballarat, an old gold mining town, restored to its original condition. For a similar era, try Bendigo with its huge granite, Victorian buildings.
Ride world-class waves at Bells Beach on the Great Ocean Road near Torquay, where the Rip Curl Pro, a world championship surfing contest, is held annually over Easter. Woolamai in Phillip Island offers excellent surfing for the more experienced.
Whale watch along the south coast, especially at Warrnambool, where migrating whales can be observed between July and September.
Visit some of Australia's best wineries. Outstanding wine-growing regions include the Yarra Valley; the Mornington Peninsula; and the Rutherglen Region in the Grampians. The Victorian Wineries Tourism Council (www.visitvictoria.com/wineries) can provide further details.