This challenge is brought to you by: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
and the letter “V”
So we are coming up fast to the finish line, my first attempt at A-Z, and I was always worried about these last few words to be honest, because how would I relate those to “family” which like my blog has been my theme. I could talk to you today about my Cousin Vicky, who is a Wiccan and leads a very exciting life, but I haven’t seen her for quite a while so it would be old news. So instead I thought I’d share with you about “Victoria” the state where we live.
Since my Blog is about “family” and most of the family live in Victoria, it I thought I’d share with you about that. Maybe I can convince you all to come for a visit.. so settle back with your drink of choice and come visit my place!
Sunbury, where we live in in the little pink area which is labelled “Kyneton” which is about about 20 minutes further away.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_%28Australia%29 Wiki tells us…
Victoria (abbreviated as Vic) is a state in the south-east of Australia. Victoria is Australia’s most densely populated state and its second-most populous state overall. Most of its population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Melbourne, which is Australia’s second-largest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south,New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.
After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney. The first European settlement in the area later known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people (5 Government officials, 9 officers of marines, 2 drummers, and 39 privates, 5 soldiers’ wives, and a child, 307 convicts, 17 convicts’ wives, and 7 children). They had been sent from England in HMSCalcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, who had been exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.
In the year 1826 Colonel Stewart, Captain S. Wright, and Lieutenant Burchell were sent in H.M.S. Fly (Captain Wetherall) and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point (now Corinella), on the eastern side of the bay, which was the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the instance of Governor Darling about twelve months afterwards.[
Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales.
On 1 July 1851, writs were issued for the election of the first Victorian Legislative Council, and the absolute independence of Victoria from New South Wales was established proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria. Days later, still in 1851 gold was discovered near Ballarat, and subsequently at Bendigo. Later discoveries occurred at many sites across Victoria. This triggered one of the largest gold rushes the world has ever seen. The colony grew rapidly in both population and economic power. In ten years the population of Victoria increased sevenfold from 76,000 to 540,000. All sorts of gold records were produced including the “richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world” and the largest gold nugget. Victoria produced in the decade 1851–1860 20 million ounces of gold, one third of the world’s output
Now for some fun facts..
(plant family: Epacridaceae)
Floral Emblem of Victoria
Representatives of interested Victorian government departments, societies and individuals met on 18 September 1951 and unanimously agreed on Common Heath as the State floral emblem. The pink form of Common Heath, Epacris impressa, was proclaimed the floral emblem of Victoria on 11 November 1958. Victoria was the first Australian State to give official recognition to such an emblem
Temperatures vary widely but most of the State falls within the warm, temperate belt of the south-east corner of Australia, characterised by warm and dry summers and cool to mild, wet, winters.
Daily summer temperatures range from 14 to 23 C in the coastal areas, 11 to 20 C in the mountains and 16 to 31 C inland. In winter, temperatures range from 7 C to 14 C in coastal areas, 0 C to 5 C in the mountains and 5 C to 16 C inland. Snow settles on the Australian Alps in the north-east of Victoria from June to September.
Rainfall is heaviest in the eastern highlands, in Gippsland in the east of the State and in the Otway Ranges in western Victoria. Some areas receive annual rainfalls of more than 1000 mm. Lowest falls are in the Mallee region, where the average is 327 mm. Melbourne’s average rainfall is about 660 mm a year.
Victoria Bird Emblem
The Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops cassidix (Gould, 1867) is the larger and more brilliantly coloured race of the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. Previously regarded as a separate species , recent studies indicate an area of interbreeding between it and the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater.
Pure populations of this attractive honeyeater are now restricted to a small area on Woori Yallock Creek near Yellingbo on the outskirts of Melbourne. The Yellingbo State Wildlife Reserve was established to protect the few remaining colonies numbering some 100-150 birds. The Helmeted Honeyeater is particularly vulnerable to habitat disturbances as it requires a combination of manna and swamp gums, with tea-trees and shrubby bushes alongside grass-lined watercourses.
The birds are about 20cm in total length and the sexes are similar. The upperparts of the body are olive-grey with the outer wing and tail feathers greenish-yellow. Underparts are yellowish-green with dark streaks. The sides of the head are glossy black with golden ear-tufts and a yellow throat. Both crown and fore-head are golden yellow with the latter displaying plushlike feathers projecting slightly over the base of the bill and forming a distinctive helmet
Victoria Animal Emblem
As far as is known, Leadbeater’s possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri McCoy lives only in Victoria. It is confined to the mountain ash forests of the central highlands, from Healesville and Marysville to Mt Baw Baw.
Even in the days of the early naturalists in Victoria, this possum was regarded as one of the rarer members of our fauna. McCoy’s original specimens were collected in 1867 north of the Wonthaggi area of West Gippsland, and a few more were found up to 1909, when the possum was thought to be extinct. It was a great surprise to science when the species was rediscovered near Marysville in 1961.
Whilst it is scattered over a large area, individual possums are usually found in pockets of relatively high density, particularly in old trees with hollows which provide sites for nesting.
The well being of this species seems to be closely associated with the botanical succession within the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests. It is important that adequate provision be made for it amongst the diverse demands on our hardwood forests.
The length of Leadbeater’s Possum is about 40cm from nose to tail tip. About half of the animal is taken up by the tail. Soft, dense fur covers the body, becoming progressively longer on the distinctively club-shaped tail. The colour of the animal is a dark greyish-brown with whitish under-parts. The face is quite beautifully marked.
Unlike some of the possums close to its size, it does not have any gliding membrane.. It is a nimble species, which jumps around from branch to branch. It feeds on insects living on the foliage and under the bark of eucalypts, plant exudates, honey-dew from insects and some sap and gum. The Leadbeater’s Possum breeds from February to November producing 1-2 young in a litter. The future of this species lies heavily in the hands of those governing management processes in it’s native habitat.
Proclaimed 2nd March, 1971.
So that’s the technical stuff.. because maybe some one cares about that.
Now for some fun facts..
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria..
This is Flinder’s Station one of the most famous landmarks in Mebourne, and people have been meeting “Under the clocks at Flinders Street” forever.
The Yarra river, another famous spot in Melbourne, popular for bike riding and picnics and each year various festivals are held on the banks of the Yarra,
Shrine of Remembrance, today being ANZAC day this is of huge importance
The Yarra at night, always romantic
** All photos were from the website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Melbourne
If however you are not big on BIG cities and night life and shopping and fancy food.. then you might want to visit elsewhere in Victoria.. so let’s see some of my favourites..
One of my favorite escape places but it’s so trendy now and popular we don’t go as often as we used to.. mainly due to the mineral springs.
For the art lovers among us there is the “Convent gallery” beautiful, historic and peaceful and they have different artists displays.
For the Nature lovers, a walk around Lake Daylesford is always fun.
For the “foodies” out there.. you are spoilt for choices..
Daylesford has something for everyone. I love the Chocolate shop which has hand made goodies.
So now let’s hop back in the car and go to the next favourite of mine..
Ballarat.. the gold Fields.
Victoria’s largest inland city, Ballarat is a thriving hub of contemporary arts, events and food and wine, with a fascinating heritage backdrop.
Explore the legacy of the gold rush, still evident in the magnificent architecture and tree-lined streets of the town today. Admire the city’s Victorian and Edwardian buildings, parks, gardens and statues by following one of the visitor information centre’s self-guided heritage walks.
Blood on the tracks
Pan for gold and watch the hustle and bustle of an 1850s gold mining settlement at Sovereign Hill. Don’t miss the dramatic Blood on the Southern Cross sound and light show, recreating the story of the Eureka Rebellion.
Out and about
Spend a day enjoying the fantastic collection of Australian art at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery. Catch a show at Her Majesty’s Theatre, originally opened in 1875, and wander through specialty shops stocking everything from boutique clothing and books to homewares, crafts and homemade supplies.
I am a bit of a history freak so I love anything old.. first stop if you were travelling with me would be “Sovereign Hill”
Sovereign Hill, you can do gold mining and learn the history of the Gold Rush…
Another favourite of mine is called Kryal Castle.. much less well known, it’s all about Medieval history and how I planned my wedding.
If that’s enough history for you let’s go do lunch…
Lake Wendouree is a favourite of ours,
Make a splash at Lake Wendouree. A popular local recreational area for more than 150 years, the lake draws a constant stream of visitors for lakeside activities and water sports.
Picnics and cafes
Pack a picnic and make the most of the great picnic and barbecue facilities. (Arrive early in summer to get a good spot!) Or, let someone else take care of catering while you take in the views from lakeside cafes and restaurants.
Make tracks to the Ballarat Tramway Museum on the west side of the lake and take a scenic ride on a historic tram through the Botanic Gardens and part way around the lake.
Walking, running and cycling
Feel the local athletic history and hit the six-kilometre trail circling the lake, named after local Olympic marathon runner Steve Moneghetti. Join countless locals running, strolling and cycling the track year-round. (Bicycles are available for hire at the lake.)
Make a splash canoeing, kayaking and sailing the lake. The site of the canoeing, kayaking and rowing events of the 1956 Olympics, the lake continues to host major rowing regattas and is favourite spot for water sports enthusiasts.
Join keen anglers casting a line from purpose-built fishing platforms around the lake. Local catch includes rainbow trout and redfin.
Bring your binoculars and twitch away. The lake’s reed beds are home to an abundant range of water birds including swans, ducks, gulls and cormorants.
Take the smallest family members to explore the two lakeside playgrounds, suitable for toddlers and up.
Time your visit with weekend markets to stock up on local produce and products. Try the Lakeside Farmers Market on the second and fourth Saturday morning of each month.
Another place in the “Gold Field” region that we like to visit is called “Castlemaine” Kit spent alot of time living in Castlemaine and so we would drive up and visit him. Castlemaine is about an hour drive from home, nice easy run and again historic.
Visit historic Castlemaine, a bustling town renowned for its eclectic arts scene, rich gold rush history, and growing reputation as a fine food destination.
Stop by a local artist’s studio to find sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, paintings and textiles, or experience the village’s artistic heritage by taking in a concert at the Theatre Royal, Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre. For a day viewing major Australian and international works, head to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum.
Wines and fresh produce
Foodies and wine lovers won’t be disappointed. A number of talented chefs have made the move to the area, so book a table and try some of the region’s finest food coupled with exceptional local wines. Stock up on olive oil, cheeses, preserves and fresh regional produce at farm gates and specialty provedores across the region.
Antiques and collectables
Collectors, brace yourselves: Castlemaine is a veritable treasure trove. Allow plenty of time to browse the stores lining Mostyn and Barker streets and the intriguing wall-to-wall relics at the Restorers Barn.
Paved with gold
Explore Castlemaine’s rich history and heritage with a self-guided tour of its grand public buildings, wide streets, ornate hotels and century-old shops. You’ll find a range of self-guided walks that take in the village and beyond. Hire an MP3 player from the Visitor Information Centre in the historic Market Building on Mostyn Street and start exploring.
The open air
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the lake in the Botanical Gardens. Established in 1856 the gardens have recently undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment. Visit Buda Historic Home and Garden with its magnificent 19th Century gardens and house, or head out along the Goldfields Track by foot or on two wheels.
Another one further away is beautiful called “The Grampians” a great camping place.. very surreal and mystical.
EXPLORE THE GRAMPIANS
Spring is the perfect season to visit the Grampians. Nature-lovers will savour the walking tracks, wildlife, lookouts and waterfalls in the breathtaking rugged landscape. The Grampians Wine Region is celebrating 150 years of grape growing, so there’s even more reason to visit regional cellar doors and chat with winemakers. This season the Grampians celebrates its food and wine, famous sporting spectacles, music, and more.
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Victoria, the trouble is even I haven’t seen them all and we continue to explore whenever we can, I could go on and on, but I won’t one more region to visit is “The Murray River”
THE MURRAY RIVER
Replenish the soul, reconnect with nature and share the best of the outdoor life amid the sunny climes of the vibrant Murray River region. Splash around on sandy river beaches, wander through towering red gum forests, or take a cruise downriver on a paddle steamer or canoe. Enjoy a party? Kick up your heels at music, food and wine festivals all year-round, delve into the rich pioneer history, and then stroll the fairways of some the country’s finest golf courses.
All the Information in this post has been taken from the http://www.visitvictoria.com/ website.
So Monday is the bog one “W” and you’ll finally get to meet my “Star Son” William….officially the last of my Flock.