[AUSTRALIA] - [ACT] - [NSW] - [NT] - [QLD] - [SA] - [TAS] - [WA]
227,629 sq km
Did you know?
Victoria is the smallest mainland State, yet it has the second largest population of all States.
Mt. Bogong (1986m) is Victoria's highest peak and lies in the Southern Plains. The plains are largely grass, with scrubby eucalyptuses known as mallee in the northwest. The coast is lined with broken ranges of hills and is irregular, with granitic headlands and landlocked bays, such as Port Phillip, the harbour of Melbourne. More than 80 extinct volcanic peaks are just west of Port Phillip, and basaltic flows mark some of the plains. Victoria is traversed from west to east by an irregular range of mountains, an extension of the Great Dividing Range. The mountains are low in the west, but rise toward the east into the rugged Australian Alps.
The coolest area is up in the mountains, followed by the coastal areas and then finally inland. From June to September, snow settles on the Australian Alps in north-east Victoria, making it great for skiing and other similar winter sports.
Rainfall is the heaviest in Gippsland located in the east and in the Otway Ranges in western Victoria. The Mallee region, with an annual average of 327 mm, has the lowest rainfall.
It was in 1803 that settlement was first established in Port Phillip Bay by Lieutenant David Collins, but after only one year this settlement was abandoned. Again in 1826, another attempt for a colony was made at Westernport but this also did not last much more than a year.
It was not until the 1830s when the Henty family set up the first permanent settlement in Victoria, that was then a part of the New South Wales colony. From here on in things started to progress more rapidly for Victoria. In 1835 John Batman negotiated a 'land treaty' with local Aboriginal people for approximately 250 000ha in the Yarra Valley, and John Pascoe Fawkner and other squatters quickly followed.
1842 brought about the proclamation of Melbourne as a town by Charles Joseph La Trobe who was Superintendent of the Port Phillip district.
It was not until 1851 that Victoria became a separate state from New South Wales, this was prompted by the protests of Port Phillip settlers with an ever-growing population that was now exceeding 80 000 people.
In the early 1850s gold was discovered in areas such as Clunes, Buninyong, Mount Alexander and Sandhurst and it did not take long for Victoria to attract world attention. Immigrant came by the thousands from Europe and China, and in under three years the population had more than tripled in size. In 1854, objections to the compulsory mining fee led to the uprising between British troops and multi-cultural diggers. It is now known as the Eureka Stockade, it took place in Ballarat and in which thirty men were killed.
The gold-rush was basically short-lived, with the influx of miners subsiding in the 1860s but it served well for the development of the colony. The small businesses flourished and urban manufacturing enterprises developed.
In 1901, Victoria became a state in the Commonwealth of Australia.