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Experiences in Victoria

Australia’s most southerly state is also among its most cosmopolitan, courtesy of the effortless sophistication of Melbourne and its surrounding wineries.

If there is one place to get to grips with Aussie Rules Football, it’s here, the state which 10 of the 16 top-flight teams call home. Head to Geelong or Melbourne for one of the big games and see the Demons doing battle at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or the Cats competing at their home stadium at Kardinia Park. Most locals would agree that catching an Aussie rules game is the quintessential Victoria experience, so make sure you don’t miss your chance.

Melbourne and its environs are famous for live music at notorious venues like the East Brunswick Club and The Espy, while just south of the city, the Mornington Peninsula is a wine buff’s delight. Red Hill in particular, with its green, rolling hills, markets, excellent local produce and laidback atmosphere, is a great spot to try the local whites.

A tour of this area would not be complete without taking in beautiful Sorrento with its stunning beaches and off-the-beaten-track feel. This was also the location of the first settlement in Victoria back in 1803.

For a livelier coastal town, upmarket Portsea features a selection of excellent pubs on the waterfront and equally good surf. Ballarat ranks among the most historical experiences in Victoria, and is the centre of the state’s original gold mining industry. Visitors can pan for their own gold, explore the Gold Museum and see a sound and light show that depicts the town’s bloody miners’ revolt of the 1850s.