Set on the picturesque banks of the eponymous lake, Benalla is renowned for links to infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and its historic botanic and rose gardens, considered to be some of the finest displays of roses in Victoria.
The Benalla Regional Art Gallery in the Botanic Gardens is recognised for its excellent historic and contemporary Australian art collection, including a tapestry of Sidney Nolan’s Glenrowan, depicting the capture of Ned Kelly.
Enjoy a picnic and leisurely stroll through the gardens, or meander along the lakeside walking trail through stands of native flora and magnificent river red gums. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Gliding Club of Victoria offers joy flights.
Across Lake Benalla you’ll find the Costume and Pioneer Museum and visitor information centre. The museum displays a collection of exhibits from the region’s past, including costumes dating back to 1770. It also houses an extensive collection of Ned Kelly memorabilia. Stand inside the portable cell that once held Ned Kelly and view the blood-stained sash he wore under his famous armour at his final capture. Pick up a brochure on Benalla’s Ned Kelly Trail from the visitor information centre and visit the legendary sites around Benalla.
Popular local events include the Benalla Festival in March and the Benalla Spring Show in October.
Benalla is 195 kilometres north-east of Melbourne along the Hume Freeway or the Midland Highway.