Contrary to popular belief, Melbourne has one of the lowest rainfalls of an Australian capital city. It also enjoys a temperate climate that is not given to extremes. The city is situated on the banks of probably one of the cleanest capital-city rivers in the world, the Yarra River. The headwaters of the Yarra River flow from the pristine flanks of Mt Baw Baw in Victoria's West Gippsland region.

In under a day’s drive from Melbourne, visitors can experience natural attractions such as mountains, temperate rainforests, rugged coastal scenery, volcanic plains, vineyards, lakes, magnificent rivers, and wildflowers in spring and snow in winter. Across Victoria’s 13 regions are more than 30 national parks, regarded as some of the best in the world, protecting the state’s valuable natural assets. 

Victoria’s fascinating native wildlife includes kangaroos, koalas, wombats, platypus, echidnas and lovable little penguins, which parade nightly along an island beach. Its extensive coastline also provides plentiful opportunities to get up close to dolphins, seals and whales. What’s more, the state’s lush forests and parklands are havens for stunning varieties of native birds – the extraordinary mallee fowl, the elusive lyrebird, emus and reed warblers, to name a few.