35 kilometres (22 miles) from the State capital are the Dandenong
Ranges, which provide stunning views of the city
over the peaks from the Summit Lookout.
At Mount Dandenong itself lies
the sanctuary named after William Ricketts, one of the early champions
of Aboriginal rights. His haunting carvings of Aboriginal faces
still look out over the forested landscape and are part of the
Galeena Beek Aboriginal Culture Centre.
Victoria was also the home of the outlaw Ned
Kelly, often thought as a national hero in Australia,
and was the scene of the eventful days of bush ranging during
the gold rush of the 1850's and 1860's.
Sovereign Hill, 120 kilometres
(75 miles) north west of Melbourne, is an old gold rush town from
this period, now restored to its original condition. Other towns
of this era are Ballarat and Bendigo, respectively 115 kilometres
(71 miles) and 150 kilometres (93 miles) from Melbourne.
Nostalgia is also existing in the shape of ‘Puffing
Billy’, a train of bright red carriages which runs along
from Belgrave to Gembrook through the Dandenong Ranges. In the
east of the State is Gippsland Lakes, a flourishing fertile region
dotted with lakes and parkland. The west is drier, with huge sheep
Towards the centre are the Grampian Mountains,
well known for wild flowers, birdlife and offering some of the
world’s finest rock climbing. Victoria is also home to Brambuk,
a cultural centre exhibiting the arts, crafts and historical records
of the Western Aboriginal people (open daily from 10.00 am to