The first European settlement in the area was in 1803. In 1851 gold was discovered near Ballarat, launching one of the biggest gold rushes in the world driving the population of the state from around 75,000 to almost 600,000 in just ten years. In 1901 Victoria joined the Commonwealth of Australia. From 1901 to 1927, the city of Melbourne was the capital of Australia. Today the state of Victoria has the second largest economy in Australia and contributes almost 25% of the country's GNP. The economy is driven by finance, insurance and property services. Agriculture also contributes a large portion to the local economy.
Victoria is a comparatively smaller state, and it does not take too much time to travel in the region. It is possible to find everything from snowy mountains to beaches, contemporary casinos to historic spots in Victoria. It is a very diverse easy-to-enjoy region in this part of the globe. Melbourne, the capital of Victoria is the most cosmopolitan city in Australia. It is also considered to be an important fashion and food hub. Get out and go for a drive on the Great Ocean Road, or spend a few days in Beechworth. Take your family out to Mornington Peninsula to see the Philip Island penguins. Go canoeing in the Lower Glenelg National Park. Hire a mountain bike and test out the trails along the old abandoned railway lines. Get the best places to stay when you book Victoria hotels with HRS. You will find Victoria hotels for all budgets and requirements.
Victoria's main economy boosters are equipment and machinery manufacturing followed by food and beverage making. Petroleum, chemicals and coal are also important for the economy. Victorian economy is benefiting a lot from the service sector lately. You can find hotels in Victoria close to the bustling city centres or near the manufacturing areas. There are excellent Victoria hotels which offer all facilities for business travellers. Most of the service industries are situated in Melbourne, and this city is the main port of entry to the state. Melbourne International Airport provides most of the flight services to the state, and is very well connected internationally. If you are arriving by car from elsewhere in Australia, you can drive along the Hume Highway from Sydney or the coastal Princes Highway. Victoria has an excellent passenger train network that connects all the major centres across the state. If you want to go somewhere that is not on the rail lines, you can usually find a bus that will take you to your destinations.