Victoria, Australia

An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983

Victoria, Australia

Located on Australia‘s south eastern corner, Victoria is Australia‘s second smallest, though second most populous state. Covering an area roughly the size of the U.K, or about half the size of California, Victoria is home to approximately 6.6 million people, three-quarters of whom live in its capital, Melbourne. Victoria features a variety of landscapes and climates, with a temperate, and verdant coast and central region, semi arid plains in the west and north-west, and the snow capped Victorian Alps at the base of the Great Dividing Range in the north-east. Victoria is also home to the Murray River beginning in its south-west, Australia‘s longest river and historically the lifeblood of agricultural and commercial life throughout Victoria. Travellers to Victoria can enjoy the rich cultural life of Melbourne, which vies with Sydney for the title of Australia‘s cultural capital, with a rich arts and culinary scene renown the world over. Victoria‘s natural beauty is also easy to find, with sights such as the iconic Great Ocean Road lying close to the state’s capital.

Odyssey Tours to Victoria

Tours in Victoria

Broken Hill Town Hall.
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Victoria for Senior travellers

This 16 day escorted small group tour of Victoria for the senior or mature traveller who enjoys learning whether as a couple or solo traveller explores an area of central Victoria that is rich in historic houses, gorgeous gardens and some amazing art.

16 days
Departing Feb, Mar, May, Aug, Oct, Jan, Nov

Small group tour of Melbourne

Explore and learn about  the Victorian history of Melbourne over a week. For the senior traveller, a small group tour holiday package to Melbourne city,  limited to 12 travellers.

7 days
Departing Sep, Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Aug

Guided small group motorcycle tour of World Heritage sites in Victoria and South Australia

Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour of like minded motorcyclists. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.

Departing Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Aug, Jul, Apr
Mungo National Park
Guaranteed

Escorted small group tour of World Heritage sites and more in the Southern States 

Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.

Departing Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Aug
Birdsville Track
Guaranteed

Long tour of Australia for a small group

 Small group tour touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Marree and far north Kakadu and the Kimberley.

Departing Mar, Jun, Aug

History

Victoria‘s earliest history traces back to its Indigenous peoples, with a history in the region that stretches back nearly 40,000 years prior to European colonisation, a period of habitation that dwarfs the colonial era by a staggering 172 times over. The first European presence in the region came around the year 1803, with a settlement around Sullivan Bay that would later grow into the state’s capital of Melbourne. In these early years, much of Australia and New Zealand were joined as part of the greater colony of New South Wales, though as the middle of the century came round many of these regions opted for independence, with the state separating in the year 1851, and naming itself ‘Victoria‘ in honour of Queen Victoria, who was the sitting British Monarch at the time. The next, and most transformative phase of Victorian history came over the subsequent few decades, with the discovery of gold near towns like Ballarat and Bendigo causing a flurry of excitement and growth unparalleled by anywhere else in Australia. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s was a period of explosive growth, with Victoria‘s population swelling by over 700% over this short time period. The excitement was spurred on by historic finds, including the famous ‘Welcome Stranger‘ nugget, which at 72kg remains the largest gold nugget ever found. However, this period was not without its troubles, with the extortionate mining taxes culminating in an armed insurrection known as the ‘Eureka Stockade‘ rebellion in 1854 near the town of Ballarat.

The rapid growth of Victoria also left it vulnerable to the animal spirits of financial speculation, which at the time saw Melbourne touted as the second most city in the British Empire after London itself. This overinvestment and development, despite shaping Melbourne‘s architecture till today, eventually collapsed under its own weight, and saw Melbourne settle into a more natural rate of growth from thereon in. By the time of federation in 1901, Melbourne was still Australia‘s largest city, and vied with Sydney for the title of Australia‘s new Capital City, a perennial rivalry that persists till today. The settlement was eventually reached to construct a new Capital for the nation somewhere between the two, with Melbourne acting as the temporary capital until it was completed. This ended with the town of Canberra hosting the newly completed Capital in 1927.

Map of the Australian Continent.

Travelling to Victoria

A tour of Victoria can offer a wide variety of experiences, landscapes, and climates, each steeped in the history and natural heritage abundant in the state, from the metropolitan laneways of Melbourne, to the lush wine country of the Yarra Valley, and the natural beauty of the iconic Great Ocean Road. A good place to start off on a tour of Victoria is its Capital city Melbourne. Melbourne is renown for its culture and arts scene, with its theatres, art galleries, and music being some of the highlights the city is well known for. Melbourne also has some of Australia‘s best food and coffee, with many identifiable epicurean trends all tracing their origins back to one or another café tucked away in a Melbourne laneway. The architecture of the city itself is also impressive, with many of its Victorian style buildings dating back to the boom era around the gold rush, creating a unique and distinctive flair that punctuates Melbourne‘s cityscape. A short day trip away from Melbourne and you can also find Phillip Island. Here you can bear witness to some unique Australian wildlife in their natural (and rather adorable) state. Each night Australia‘s largest colony of Little Penguins comes ashore at Phillip Island Nature Park, with a spectacular penguin parade of small black and white suits flooding the beaches, whether traveling solo or with company, this experience is not one to be missed.

A tram passes Flinders Street Station at dusk.

Following the Yarra River north east from Melbourne, eventually you’ll come upon the Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley is the perfect place for a wine tour, with wines from the Yarra being amongst the most famous and sought after in the country. What’s more is that the Yarra Valley is only a short distance away from the city, making it ideal for a day tour, or even just an afternoon at a winery or two. In the other direction, heading south west, you could instead opt for a Great Ocean Road tour. Situated just south of Geelong, past the Bellarine Peninsula and beginning in the town of Torquay, the Great Ocean Road is a spectacular heritage listed roadway running along Victoria‘s southern coast. The road was built after the end of the First World War by returning soldiers, both as a means of large scale employment for returning soldiers, as well as serving as a large open air war memorial. The road follows Victoria‘s spectacular coastline along its southern frontier, passing through areas like Apollo Bay, and the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, which features limestone stacks rising to immense heights straight out of the ocean. The spectacular coastline drive continues for 243 kilometres before eventually re-joining the highway around the town of Allansford.

Rows of vines in a Yarra Valley vineyard – Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia

Other must see towns in Victoria include Beechworth, a historic mining town in Victoria‘s north east, as well as Bendigo, and Ballarat, which have preserved much of their historic character since the time of the 19th century gold rushes. While in Ballarat it is worth visiting Sovereign Hill, which plays host to a fully thematic and costumed re-enactment on the gold rush era, with shops, cafes, and even gold prospecting serving as fun activities during the day. The battle of the Eureka Stockade is also paid tribute to with the museum following the accounts of the miners, and the towns history throughout the period. The Murray river is also dotted with historic towns and settlements, many of which once served as the commercial lifeblood of Victoria‘s economy. Today, towns like Mildura, Benalla, and Echuca an be found along the route of the river and its tributaries, with their historic character and small town charm being among the more memorable sights on a tour to Victoria. One of the best way to experience what Victoria has to offer is with a small group tour. Odyssey specialises in this kind of tour, offering an engaged and intimate tour of Victoria ideal for seniors, solo travellers, and couples heading to Australia and Victoria.

Ballarat, VIC, Australia Buildings and stage coach on Sovereign Hill, rebuilt gold digger village.

Until the respective state borders in Australia  are open for interstate or trans Tasman travel with New Zealand re-commences, your $500  deposit on an Australia or New Zealand tour, is fully refundable, even if the program is guaranteed.  No additional payment for a tour will be requested for a guaranteed tour or summer school program until interstate and trans Tasman travel is permitted. Once a payment request for a guaranteed program is made, then the terms are as per the terms and conditions shall apply in the event of a cancellation due to COVID-19.  

Odyssey’s collection of Australia tour packages with a tour manager enable you to explore each state with Odyssey’s escorted tours Australia 2021 portfolio as a city based tour or a Australia holidays package into the Western Australia outback of the Kimberley or South Australia‘s Flinders range or just spend a week on holiday in Hobart learning about a range of subjects on Odyssey’s Summer Schools tour package. This collection of some 70 scheduled small group holiday departures provides plenty of choice for an Australian holiday. You can make your booking direct for your Australia escorted tour with us or via your travel agent or travel consultant.

Small group tours throughout Australia

Tours in Australia

Coastline near Killiekrankie Flinders Island
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Flinders Island

Explore and learn about Flinders Island on an escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers who enjoy a walking holiday. For couples or solo travellers.

9 days
Departing Nov, Jan, Mar, Apr

Small group holidays to Adelaide and surrounds

Explore and learn about on a small group tour of   Adelaide city and its pastoral, cultural and historic settlement. Visit Fleurieu Peninsula, the Barossa valley, learn about William Morris and the arts and craft movement in the Art gallery and National trust houses.

Departing Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar, Apr, May

Small group tour of Melbourne

Explore and learn about  the Victorian history of Melbourne over a week. For the senior traveller, a small group tour holiday package to Melbourne city,  limited to 12 travellers.

7 days
Departing Sep, Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Aug
Arnhem Land
Guaranteed

Darwin and Kakadu small group tour

Explore and learn as part of a small group tour for seniors on this package tour to Darwin and Kakadu National park, a UNESCO world heritage site. This program also visits Arnhem land. Our focus is on ecology, landscapes and history on this 14 day program in the far north of the Northern Territory.

Departing Jul, Sep, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Aug
Mungo National Park
Guaranteed

Escorted small group tour of World Heritage sites and more in the Southern States 

Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.

Departing Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Aug
Dove Lake
Guaranteed

Tours of Tasmania; exploring colonial history

Escorted program for couples and single travellers visiting Hobart, Launceston through the Tamar Valley along the rugged coastline of the north coast and heading back south to the pristine wilderness around Cradle Mountain and then on through Strahan, Queenstown and past Lake St Clair, before arriving back in Hobart. This 18 day small group tours to Tasmania for mature and senior travellers interested in the colonial history of Tasmania. We follow the footsteps of the colonists, visiting the churches where they worshipped, the houses in which they lived, the taverns where they drank and some of the mills in which they worked.

 

19 days
Departing Sep, Oct, Jan, Feb, Mar, Aug
Dingo, Oodnadatta Track
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Australia's Flinders ranges

Escorted small group tour of the Flinders range in South Australia from Adelaide. Learn about Coober Pedy, Wilpena pound and water system of Lake Eyre as we explore and learn also about the history of the people who explored the Flinders.

Departing Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jul, Aug, Oct

Small group tour; Broken Hill and back

 Small group tour of New South Wales, Queensland & South Australia deserts, from Broken Hill. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Maree.

Departing Sep, Oct, Mar, Apr

Small group tour of outback Queensland

To Dubbo and back, this small group tour takes you to learn about the Brewarrina fish traps, we travel high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge and learn about opal mining and the history of Lightning ridge.

Departing Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun
Broken Hill Town Hall.
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Victoria for Senior travellers

This 16 day escorted small group tour of Victoria for the senior or mature traveller who enjoys learning whether as a couple or solo traveller explores an area of central Victoria that is rich in historic houses, gorgeous gardens and some amazing art.

16 days
Departing Feb, Mar, May, Aug, Oct, Jan, Nov

Small group tour of Queensland

On this Queensland Outback small group tour we travel west from Brisbane all the way to Birdsville then continue high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge.

19 days
Departing Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Jun
Tasmanian coastline
Guaranteed

Discovering Tasmania’s Wildlife

Small group tour of up to 15 mature and seniors travellers visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 16 days.

19 days
Departing Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Nov
Guaranteed

Autumnal small group tour of the Blue Mountains

Spend a week in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney exploring the historic homes and gardens of the region over a week. For mature and senior travellers. This small group tour visits 13 very different homes and gardens during the Autumn.

Departing Apr

Exploring Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park by Motorbike

Explore on a Motorbike tour in the Outback and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park. This escorted small group Motorbike tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art. 

Departing Apr, Jun, Aug, Nov, Mar, Jul

Small group tour exploring Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Explore and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art. 

Departing Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Nov, Mar, Jul
Guaranteed

The Darling River Run

Small group tour for the mature and senior traveller of the Darling river. Learn about the history, culture and landscapes of the Darling, a key part of the Australian river system  including Aboriginal trading routes  and aquaculture. Suitable for mature and senior couples or solo travellers.

Departing Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Small group tour of Queensland - 11 days

To short break in Queensland’s Outback is a small group tour taking for a glimpse of the landscape and history of the state. We you to learn about the Carnavorn Gorge, and also we travel high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge.

 

11 days
Departing Feb, Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Sunrise reflected on Eyre Peninsula SA
Guaranteed

Eyre & Yorke Peninsulas, and the Gawler Ranges

This small group tour to the Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, and the Gawler Ranges is designed for mature and senior traveller or solo traveller to discover the hidden gems of South Australia. Visiting the lesser-known western half of South Australia to explore the pristine coasts of the Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula – often strikingly underdeveloped compared to the East Coast of Australia – and the rugged landscapes of the Gawler Ranges. Delve deeper, and you’ll find a fascinating and often unexpected local history.

Departing Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jul, Aug
Bungle Bungles
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Australia's Kimberley

Escorted small group tour of the Kimberley. We explore and visit Cape Leveque, The Bungles, Bell Gorge, Mitchell plateau & Halls Creek in the dry season. Amazing landscapes intertwined with Aboriginal communities resident for some 45,000 years. We also view the Wolfe Creek meteorite crater.

Departing May, Aug, Sep
Mungo National Park
Guaranteed

Escorted small group tour of Western New South Wales

Discover the the Brewarrina fish traps, Aboriginal art at Mt Garrett and visit the opal fields of  White Cliffs. This small group also visits the World Heritage Site of Mungo man and lady stopping in Mungo National Park and other significant locations such as Broken Hill. 

Departing Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct, Aug

Motorcycle tour of Tasmania for mature riders

Escorted Small group tour of up to 8 mature and seniors Motorcycle riders visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 14 days.

17 days
Departing Apr, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar

Escorted small group tour North East New South Wales

Small group tour exploring the the North East region of New South Wales for mature and senior travellers. Travel, learn and explore about New England’s history, the coast, National parks and regional towns in a time capsule surrounding Mudgee.

Departing Mar, May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Jul, Apr
Birdsville Track
Guaranteed

Long tour of Australia for a small group

 Small group tour touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Marree and far north Kakadu and the Kimberley.

Departing Mar, Jun, Aug

Small group tour to Southern Highlands and Canberra

Explore and learn on an escorted small group tour of key places to visit in NSW including the Southern Highlands and Canberra. Program for mature and senior travellers limited to 12 people for couples and solo travellers. 

 

Departing Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct
Field of Rosy Everlasting wildflowers growing in Western Australia.
Guaranteed

Wildflowers tour of Western Australia

Escorted small group tour for senior and mature travellers as a couple of solo traveller. Upto 12 people of WA’s Wildflower regions including Esperance and the Fitzgerald river National park. Local guides and program leader share knowledge about this fascinating region whilst in bloom.

Departing Aug, Sep, Oct

Articles

Ochre Cliffs near Lyndhurst Outback South Australia

Ancient Aboriginal trade routes of Australia

15 mins read

Ancient Aboriginal trade routes of Australia Trade was a central part of life for Aboriginal people prior to the British settlement of Australia. Trading routes criss-crossed the nation, dispersing goods, information, technologies and culture thousands…

A small group tour of Australia is a journey between cities with up to 250 years of settlement history and an outback, which has some of the oldest known geologic material on earth. But importantly, it has one of the longest and truly fascinating known periods of human settlement. Indigenous Australians settled via a land bridge on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 85,000 years before the first Europeans from Portugal and Spain began exploration in the 17th century. For senior and mature travellers, a small group tour of Australia is a unique experience.

A country the size of America, with one of the longest coastlines in the World, where some 80% of the population lives on Australia ‘s east coast, separated from the outback by the low mountains of the great dividing range. Australia ‘s geographic diversity, in landforms, flora, and wildlife, is part of its charm, providing the back drop for a small group adventure in the winter period . Whilst the Great Barrier reef, Kangaroos and Koalas are well known, the biodiversity in the native Australian wildlife on any escorted tour complete witha local guide into the outback is amazing. Though the biodiversity present is often missed until a good tour guide or travel expert shares their knowledge with you as you travel often on a epic journey across one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating countries. Australia across the outback and in a national park such as Purnululu national park , the Blue Mountains , Kuku Yalanji, the Great Barrier reef and Kata tjuta accounts for some 10% of the Worlds biodiversity, on any tour of Australia travellers will often see wildlife ready to be photographed.

Reaching your Destinations

Travel is a challenge as once you leave the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane on a trip by car or an escorted tour by coach, the sheer scale of the Australian outback begins to reveal itself as the journey unfolds. It is a scale often unrecognised when flying to Cairns or Port Douglas from Sydney to explore a UNESCO world heritage site like the Daintree rainforest or the Great Barrier reef in far North Queensland. You may arrive in Cairns in less than 3 hours by plane, but on the road, through the outback, this journey for a tour group is an adventure , that will run for a few days. A road trip often described as an epic journey, that requires planning and destinations selected in advance. The same rules apply for the journey to Alice Springs and Uluru ( Ayers rock ) in the Kata tjuta national park, from Sydney. This trip passes through another UNESCO world heritage site of the Blue mountains. Farmland and rural towns disappear as the drive takes you towards the Northern Territory, three thousand kilometres away. Uluru Ayers rock, it is desert and it is the Australian outback! The journey to and from Uluru to Sydney is 6 days of driving, via Alice Spring , with very little in between, just the outback. The scale of the outback and the hidden history can often be missed on a journey in a car. When you travel as part of a small group tour of Australia with Odyssey, your tour guide, whether on Kangaroo Island, in the Northern territory or on a day tour within Western Australia deep in the Kimberley, will be sharing stories with you about the Australian wildlife and some of world’s most beautiful dreamtime stories from the indigenous Australian community as you journey through the outback at time immersed in Aboriginal culture. For you our client, our discovery Australia tours seek to create programs of learning as your travel.
The need to know

Touring Victoria

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics for your Victoria trip are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Bus services are widely available, with long-distance buses and shuttle buses providing services across the country. The train services are somewhat more limited in terms of transportation coverage, though remain a comfortable and very scenic way of getting around Australia and to Victoria.

Accommodation

Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels in the major cities, with easy access to public transport and local amenities so you in your down time you can enjoy the city like the locals.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment, & Weather

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Festivals & Events

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Reading list

A History of Victoria, by Geoffrey Blainey.

A Wild History: Life and Death on the Victoria River Frontier, by Darrell Lewis.

Black Gold: Aboriginal People on the Goldfields of Victoria 1850-1870, by Fred Cahir.

Australian Bushrangers 1788–1880, by Ian Knight.

Eating & Drinking

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Health & Safety

Generally speaking, Victoria is safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply in Australia runs at 230V and 50Hz. Australia uses the Type I electric plug, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

Responsible travel tips for Australia

  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AU dollars in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AUD in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.

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