A big part of Benalla’s history comes from Australia’s most famous bushranger: Ned Kelly. It’s the closest town to the Kelly family home, and there are plenty of Kelly-related spots to check out, like the bootmaker’s shop where Ned had a fight with Constable Fitzpatrick, the old courthouse where Kelly gang members often appeared, and Benalla Cemetery, where many Kelly associates are buried. Kelly buffs can drive the Ned Kelly Trail, which starts at Old Melbourne Gaol where the bushranger was hanged and winds through towns like Euroa, Glenrowan and Kyneton. At about 458km it’s a long round trip, so make sure you pack supplies.
The Kelly heritage shows up in some of the works at Benalla Art Gallery, a large modernist building right next to the lake, surrounded by redgum trees. Check out the permanent and current exhibits and then have lunch at the lakeside cafe! If you want more of the scenery, the lake is surrounded by parklands and both cycling and walking tracks. Take a bike ride along boardwalks over streams and creeks and watch pelicans on the water. The lake’s shores also boast the Benalla Botanic Gardens and its impressive rose garden. Wot could be more romantic than strolling through rows of colourful roses? They say you’ve gotta take time to smell them, after all.
Benalla’s town centre is packed with heritage buildings like the Benalla Town Hall in Nunn Street. In the same area you’ll find shops, cafes and restaurants. With trees lining the roads, this scenic green area is easy to walk around. Dine at a local bar, bistro or fine restaurant, or head to the Benalla Golf Club for a game.
Journey a little beyond Benalla for attractions like the Winton Motor Raceway, just 10km away, which has car and motorbike racing, including events like the V8 Supercars and the Historic Festival of Speed. Nearby Lake Mokoan is also worth a look, an artificial lake currently being restored to a natural wetland.
Take some time out to smell the roses with our Benalla accommodation. Unlike a bushranger, it won’t take all your money.
Hotels in Benalla start at AU$25 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.