getout – upstart puts the spotlight on Melbourne

7 March 2011

Written by: Natalie Savino

Victoria is the smallest state on the mainland of Australia, but that hasn’t stopped people from flocking here and experiencing first-hand its temperamental weather and open beauty.

According to latest figures released by Tourism Victoria for the year ending December 2009, international overnight visitors to Victoria have increased by an average annual growth rate of 3.6 per cent, with 48 per cent of these travellers visiting purely for holiday or leisure.

Although the number of domestic visitors to Victoria has declined over the decade, the number of daytrip visitors increased from 2008 to 2009.

And Victoria is the perfect place for daytrips. It has some of the most tranquil places to visit—from the Mornington Peninsula and its great stretch of coastline, to the Great Ocean Road with its panoramic shores. Further inland you can enjoy day spas in petite country towns, such as Daylesford, or try your luck striking gold in Ballarat.

Of course, Melbourne is also revered to be the sporting capital of the world, another reason why it presents so much appeal—AFL throughout the year, the renowned Boxing Day test match, the Australian Open, the Melbourne Cup Carnival and of course, the Grand Prix. In a comparison with general visitors to Australia, Tourism Victoria also shows a higher number of people choose to attend a sporting event while in Melbourne.

For international visitors, their preferred activities in Victoria include going shopping and going to markets, as well as visiting historical sites, botanical/public gardens and national parks.

Victoria has also lived up to its reputation as ‘the place to be’ for interstate residents.

Fellow upstart editor Khairun Hamid has been in Melbourne for a few short weeks after leaving Perth’s northern suburbs where she had lived all her life.

‘Melbourne has always been really attractive to me because of its general lifestyle and vibe,’ she says.

‘I thought it would be the best place for a young creative to try her hand at study and work.’

Khairun is hoping to be presented with a lot of opportunities that are likely to keep her here for a long time.

‘I’m just really keen to explore anything that can contribute to an exciting life – fashion, music, events – anything exciting really.’

While Victoria is seen as a tourist spot for interstate and international residents, it can often be overlooked by Victorians themselves. So as a treat, upstart is going to provide you with a weekly ‘getout’ column featuring reviews of things to do and places to see around Melbourne, whether it be a visit to a historical site or a wacky activity that you’ve always wondered about doing. So stay tuned as each Wednesday we find out where we’re getting away to next week…

Do you have a favourite place to visit in Victoria? Is there somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going to, but never had the chance? Why not let us know what places or activities you’d like to see reviewed and we’ll try our best to get there and share our views.

Nomadic Natalie Savino is an Honours student enrolled in the Bachelor of Journalism at La Trobe University. She is part of upstart’s editorial team and really wants a gig on Getaway. You can read more about her travels on her blog NuttyNat: Travels Within and Abroad.