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Victoria may be Australia’s smallest continental state, but Melbourne, its capital, is big on everything. With a population of 2.7 million people living in 59 separately named communities within 715 square miles, Melbourne is a sprawling city offering culture, art, fashion and friendly, sports-minded Australians. It is also an easy city to explore. At the heart of the city is the Golden Mile, the city’s governmental and commercial center, home to hotels, shops, restaurants and theaters.
Originally part of New South Wales, Victoria became a colony in its own right in 1851. The discovery of gold propelled Melbourne’s growth to prominence and prosperity.
This small island off the coast of Victoria is Australia’s most popular destination after Ayers Rock. The reason? The island is home to the Fairy Penguin, the smallest of the 17 species of penguin. Your ship makes a special call at Phillip Island to afford passengers the opportunity to view these charming creatures in their native habitat.
Founded in 1836, this graceful city lies nestled on the coastal plain between Gulf St. Vincent and the Adelaide Hills. Adelaide was the vision of Colonel William Light, Australia’s Surveyor General, who created a one-mile-square grid for the city’s center and surrounded it with a belt of stunning parkland. Today, Adelaide is a metropolis of over one million people, boasting wide, tree-lined boulevards, superb Victorian and Edwardian architecture, tranquil parks, world-class shopping, and the highest number of restaurants per capita of any city in Australia.
Beyond the city and the rugged Adelaide Hills lie the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Here Australian vintners are winning international acclaim for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.
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