Set on the picturesque banks of Lake Benalla along the Broken River, Benalla is known as “The Rose City on the Lake”. The city is renowned for links to infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and its historic botanic and rose gardens are 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. Considered one of Victoria’s most important regional galleries, it has many fine artworks including a tapestry of Sidney Nolan’s Glenrowan, depicting the capture of Ned Kelly. Enjoy a picnic or leisurely stroll through the gardens, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, the Gliding Club of Victoria offers joy flights.
Across the lake are 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.
Linking Benalla’s lakeside attractions and many historic sites is a delightful walking trail around the lake, leading through stands of native flora including magnificent river red gums.
Popular local events include the Benalla Festival in March and the Benalla Agricultural and Pastoral Show in October.
Benalla is 195 kilometres north-east of Melbourne along the Hume Freeway or the Midland Highway.