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Historic Sites to Visit in Victoria, Australia

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Historic Sites to Visit in Victoria, Australia

Australia is relatively young when compared to many other cultures. At least, the European influence is quite young. The indigenous culture is one of the oldest on earth although nowhere as graphic or advanced as the Inca, Greeks or Romans. Victoria is by no means the oldest region in Australia with New South Wales and Tasmania being a decade or two older. Historic sites that bear a European influence are therefore only several hundred years old.

These historic sites can be divided into several categories. There are the historic sites related to settlement; sites related to the gold rush days; sites related to bushrangers and famous felons; and sites related to politics and war. There are newer sites that some consider “historic”, however their ‘historic’ tag relates to their position in society and the fact they have been ravaged by severe bush fires over the last ten years. The non European influenced historic sites relate to those that respected by indigenous communities. Indigenous communities in Australia are fairly reserved, so their historic sites are respected and honored from within their own communities and not generally open to tourist or the tourism industry.

No discussion of Victoria’s historic sites is complete without mentioning several of their most visited venues. Great Ocean Road, Ballarat and Bendigo, Glenrowan and The Grampians are all popular and have had a significant impact on the history of the Victoria.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road runs along the south-west coast of Victoria and is the scene of scores of shipwrecks during the early days of settlement. The area is also famous for 12 monoliths that stand out of the ocean – known as the 12 Apostles. Unfortunately they are slowly crumbling back into the ocean and will soon be nothing more than stubs sticking out of the sea. The area is also famous for old style lighthouses, ocean food, dairy products and wine.

Ballarat and Bendigo

The townships (now cities) of Ballarat and Bendigo are home to Australia’s greatest gold rush days where tens of thousands of would be miners gathered hoping to make it rich. It is the scene of Australia’s only major ‘civil war’ where miners retaliated against the military in a major dispute over gold licenses. The 1854 Eureka Stockade battle changed and defined Australia and gave rise to the Southern Cross, a symbol that still appears on the Australian flag. There are many smaller towns around these two major centers that still occupy and use buildings from this era.

Glenrowan and Victoria’s High Country

Glenrowan is home to one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers – one Ned Kelly, famous for his metal helmet and armor that he wore when robbing banks. His metal helmet and armor were useless when it came to a siege however and like most bushrangers of his time, he ended his days and the end of a rope. Still, he has gone down in Australian folklore.

The Grampians

The Grampians region has been home to Australia’s indigenous peoples for over 10,000 years. You can see evidence of their existence in the rock art, some of which is dated at many thousands of years old. Australia’s indigenous peoples were nomadic by nature so they traveled from one end of Victoria to the other. There are many sites throughout Victoria that give evidence to this lifestyle.

There are many other historic sites within Victoria, Australia. From the mighty Murray River that divides News South Wales and Victoria, to the wine and fruit growing area and on to Australia’s only hot water mineral springs in Daylsford, there is something there for everyone. There is surf, sun, seafood, fine dining and designer outlet shops with clothing to suit all ages. If you have never visited Australia, add it to your list of 100 things to do before you die. While there, check out what Victoria has to offer.

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