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Map of Australia highlighting Victoria

Topography

Victoria occupies the south east corner of the continent between latitudes 34 and 39 south and longitudes 141 and 150 east. It covers 227 600 km2 - which is about the same area as England, Wales and Scotland; three-fifths of Japan and slightly larger than the US State of Utah.

About 36 per cent of Victoria is covered by forest with the major forest belt in the east. The highest peaks are Mt Bogong (1986 m) and Mt Feathertop (1922 m).

Victoria's 1800 km coastline borders on Bass Strait, which separates the mainland from Tasmania, and in the west on the Southern Ocean. It's a generally rugged coastline but includes many wide sandy beaches and three large, almost fully enclosed harbours. Melbourne and Geelong are on the shores of the most important of these harbours, Port Phillip Bay.

Population

Victoria lies in the south-east corner of Australia. It has a population of 4.5 million of which 3.2 million live in Melbourne, the nation's largest city after Sydney. Other important urban centres include Geelong; the inland cities of Ballarat and Bendigo; the industrial towns of the Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne; Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton-Kyabram-Rodney.

Largest Cities

Melbourne 3, 200, 000
Geelong 152, 000
Ballarat 82, 000
Bendigo 71, 500
Shepparton 40, 600

 

Climate

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 45 C in the coastal areas, 11 to 37 C in the mountains and 16 to 46 C inland. In winter, temperatures range from 7 C to 14 C in coastal areas, -2 C to 5 C in the mountains and 5 C to 20 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, or one half of Sydney's.