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Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is in the south of the state on Port Phillip Bay. With a population of almost 4 million people, it is the fastest-growing major city in Australia. The Yarra River cuts through the city center; the main business district is on the northern side, the southern side has arts, entertainment, and restaurant precincts. Several exclusive suburbs hug the southeastern shore of the bay. The Yarra Valley wineries and the Dandenongs Ranges are an hour's drive to the east, while the beaches and vineyards of the Mornington Peninsula are a 90-minute drive south of Melbourne.
The Great Ocean Road begins at Torquay, southwest of Melbourne, and continues along the Southern Ocean coast to Portland, a distance of about 350 km (217 mi). The goldfields, spa country, and Grampians are between one and two hours northwest of Melbourne; the Murray River Region and its wineries are about a three-hour drive north to northeast of Melbourne.
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