Australia's smallest mainland state, Victoria, is a winner in more ways than one. But dont tell this to their northern neighbors in New South Wales.
Keen rivalry has always existed between Victoria and New South Wales -- and between their cities of Melbourne and Sydney -- and one wouldnt know for certain whod win in a dust-up.
Lets just say that Victoria is a victor in itself.
Size doesn't matter
Sure, Victoria is Australias smallest mainland state (228,000 square kilometres as against the 802,000 square kilometres of New South Wales), but this is actually an advantage.
Most Victoria attractions are within a short days ride from Melbourne, many within an hour or so.
Daylesford with its natural mineral springs are an hour away to the northwest; the Yarra wine valley is an hour to the northeast; and Ocean Beach on the Mornington Peninsula is an hour to the south.
Sydney and Melbourne
As far as the capital cities of New South Wales and Victoria go, Sydney is blest with its harbour and its iconic Opera House.
My moneys on Sydney. (But being a Sydneysider, Im biased, of course.)
Fashion, food, culture
Consider: Melbourne is still often regarded as the fashion, food and cultural capital of Australia. Once it was also the countrys financial centre, but this distinction is now shared with Sydney.
The Australian national government had its roots in Melbourne -- seat of the national government from federation in 1901 until 1927.
The Australian capital, Canberra, was carved out of New South Wales somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney to stem the two cities rivalry. The first Australian Parliament House opened in Canberra in 1927 and this has now been replaced with the newer house on the hill.
There's great variety in Victoria attractions -- and they're closer to one another.
Go southeast from Melbourne for the fairy penguin parade at Phillip Island at dusk.
The Great Ocean Road
Museums, historic colonial buildings -- youll find them in Victoria, too.
And the winner is...
Well, perhaps theres no real winner as to which state is better: Victoria or New South Wales.
Many New South Welshmen like to travel south to Victoria, and many Victorians holiday in New South Wales.
Sometimes, its pretty much six of this and half a dozen of the other.
Victoria victorious? Or is it New South Wales?
(And if you feel like expressing an opinion, there's our forum, of course.)