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Benalla, VIC – Accommodation, To Do & More

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Benalla, located in northeastern Victoria, offers a delightful mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or art enthusiast, Benalla has something for everyone.


Benalla, a charming town in Victoria, offers a unique blend of history, art, and natural beauty.

  • Origin of Name: The name “Benalla” is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “crossing place” or “big water holes.”
  • Known For: Benalla is renowned for its rich history, including connections to the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly. read more
  • Tourist Friendly: Absolutely! Benalla is perfect for tourists interested in art galleries, historic sites, and outdoor activities. read more
  • Where: Located along the Broken River, approximately 200 km north of Melbourne. Nearby towns include Glenrowan, Wangaratta, Shepparton, and Mansfield. read more


Things To Do

Benalla Art Gallery

Looking for a dose of culture with your caffeine fix? The Benalla Art Gallery has got you covered. Nestled by the serene Lake Benalla, this gallery houses an impressive collection of Australian art, from historic pieces to contemporary works. And the best part? You can enjoy it all with a coffee from the on-site café that overlooks the lake.

The gallery’s standout exhibits include works by famous artists like Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker. It’s the perfect spot to spend a few hours soaking up some culture and unwinding by the water. And trust us, the photo ops here are endless.

Gliding at Benalla Gliding Club

Ready for an adrenaline rush that’ll make your Instagram followers jealous? Head to the Benalla Gliding Club, where you can soar like a bird and take in the breathtaking views from above. Whether you’re a pro glider or a newbie, the club offers experiences that range from heart-pumping intensive training courses to chilled-out half-hour joy flights. So, strap in and prepare to defy gravity while feeling the wind rush past your face.

Here’s a secret: the views from up there? Absolutely worth it. You’ll see the stunning landscapes of Benalla in a way few ever get to. Plus, the gliding club is the largest in Australia, so you know you’re in good hands with seasoned professionals ready to guide you through the skies. Get ready to tick this off your bucket list!

Winton Motor Raceway

Feeling the need for speed? Winton Motor Raceway is where you can let loose and embrace your inner petrolhead. This iconic track hosts major events like the Supercars Championship, but you don’t have to be a pro to get on the track. With go-karting experiences and driving lessons available, it’s the perfect spot to satisfy your high-speed cravings.

The best part? The track’s challenging turns and fast straights make every lap an adventure. Whether you’re spectating a thrilling race or taking the wheel yourself, Winton Motor Raceway guarantees an adrenaline-fueled day out. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture those high-octane moments!

  • Main Attractions: Supercars Championship, go-karting, driving lessons
  • Location: Huntley St, Winton VIC 3673
  • Website: Winton Motor Raceway
  • Pro Tip: Check their calendar for upcoming events and book a driving experience for the full throttle effect.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/PUnv7DezAWtncR6s5

Benalla Street Art

Who needs a gallery when the streets of Benalla are bursting with colour and creativity? The Wall to Wall Street Art Festival has transformed this town into an open-air gallery, where murals by some of the country’s top artists adorn buildings around every corner. It’s like a treasure hunt with a splash of urban coolness.

Take a stroll and let your eyes feast on the giant murals that tell stories of the town’s culture and history. It’s the perfect blend of art and adventure, making every step an exciting discovery. Bring your camera, because these vibrant pieces are Instagram gold.

Benalla Historical Museum

Step back in time at the Benalla Historical Museum, where the past comes alive through a rich collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits. Located in the heart of Benalla, this museum showcases the town’s journey from its Indigenous roots to its development into a bustling community. It’s a perfect spot for history buffs and curious minds alike.

The museum features interactive exhibits that engage visitors of all ages. From old farming equipment to vintage clothing and photographs, each display tells a unique story about Benalla’s heritage. The museum also hosts regular events and talks, making it a dynamic and educational destination.

  • Main Attractions: Historical artifacts, interactive exhibits, regular events
  • Location: 14 Mair Street, Benalla, VIC 3672
  • Website: Benalla Historical Museum
  • Pro Tip: Check their event calendar for special talks and exhibitions that offer a deeper dive into specific aspects of Benalla’s history.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/tXVMiSkFGzB3oYiv5

Winton Wetlands

If you fancy a blend of nature and creativity, Winton Wetlands is your go-to. This sprawling ecological site offers a smorgasbord of activities from birdwatching to cycling along scenic trails adorned with art installations. It’s an outdoor playground where you can reconnect with nature and soak up some local artistry.

Picture this: paddling through serene waterways, spotting rare birds, and stumbling upon incredible sculptures that make you stop and think. The wetlands are a haven for those who love the great outdoors with a twist of creativity. Plus, it’s a top spot for stargazing – the clear night skies here are absolutely stellar.

  • Main Attractions: Birdwatching, cycling, hiking, art trail, stargazing
  • Location: Lake Mokoan Road, Chesney Vale, VIC 3673
  • Website: Winton Wetlands
  • Pro Tip: Bring binoculars for birdwatching and a flashlight for some night-time exploration.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/7gFTJWPXKkKbCeyw9

Benalla Aviation Museum

Calling all aviation enthusiasts! The Benalla Aviation Museum is a treasure trove of historic aircraft and aviation artifacts. Situated at the Benalla Airport, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of flight, from vintage planes to modern-day marvels. You’ll find interactive exhibits and detailed displays that bring the history of aviation to life.

Whether you’re a die-hard plane spotter or just curious about aviation, this museum is a fantastic place to spend a few hours. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to answer questions and share stories about the exhibits. And don’t forget to check out the observation deck – it’s a great spot to watch planes take off and land.

Benalla Ceramic Mural

Art meets history at the Benalla Ceramic Mural, a stunning piece located on Bridge Street. Created by local artist Eileen Harrison, this mural features over 300 hand-painted ceramic tiles that depict various scenes from Benalla’s past, including its rich Indigenous culture, farming heritage, and everyday life.

It’s not just a visual treat; it’s an educational journey through the town’s history. The mural is spread across five panels, each telling a different story. Take your time to absorb the details and appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this masterpiece.

Lake Benalla and Botanical Gardens

When you need a break from the hustle and bustle, Lake Benalla and the adjacent Botanical Gardens are your go-to sanctuary. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with picturesque views and plenty of spots to sit and soak it all in. The gardens are particularly stunning in spring, with a riot of colour from the blooming flowers.

Source: mix1974

The botanical gardens boast a magnificent rose garden that’s one of the finest in Victoria. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic, a gentle walk, or even a bit of quiet reading. Plus, if you’re into birdwatching, this area is a haven for local bird species. Just bring a camera – you’ll want to capture the serene beauty of this place.

Source: seb_sv

North East Victoria Silo Art Trail

For an epic road trip with a twist of creativity, the North East Victoria Silo Art Trail is a must. Starting from Benalla, this trail takes you through several small towns, each featuring towering silos adorned with incredible murals. The artworks depict local history and culture, turning these rural structures into colossal canvases.

Expect to see everything from portraits of local heroes to whimsical scenes that celebrate the area’s natural beauty. It’s a perfect blend of art and adventure, with each stop offering something unique. Fill up the tank, pack some snacks, and get ready for a day of discovery.

  • Main Attractions: Silo art in Goorambat, Devenish, St James, and Tungamah
  • Location: Starts in Benalla, VIC 3672
  • Website: Silo Art Trail
  • Pro Tip: Allocate a full day to explore all the sites and enjoy a leisurely drive through Victoria’s beautiful countryside.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/tKNH6PPSjxWXs5yo6

Nearby Towns

Glenrowan, VIC:

  • Distance from Benalla: 14 km south-west
  • Highlights: Known for its connection to the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly, Glenrowan offers a fascinating glimpse into Australia’s outlaw history with reenactments and historical sites.
  • Notable Sites: Ned Kelly Museum, Kellyland, and Glenrowan Heritage Precinct.

Wangaratta, VIC:

  • Distance from Benalla: 37 km north-east
  • Highlights: A larger town with vibrant arts and cultural scene, Wangaratta is home to the famous Wangaratta Jazz Festival and offers excellent dining and shopping experiences.
  • Notable Sites: Wangaratta Art Gallery, Merriwa Park, and the King George Gardens.

Shepparton, VIC:

  • Distance from Benalla: 64 km west
  • Highlights: A bustling regional city known for its diverse food culture and significant agricultural industry. Shepparton also features various art installations and family-friendly activities.
  • Notable Sites: Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria Park Lake, and the SPC Factory Sales.

Mansfield, VIC:

  • Distance from Benalla: 68 km south
  • Highlights: Renowned as a gateway to the Victorian High Country, Mansfield offers outdoor adventures including skiing in winter and hiking, fishing, and boating in the warmer months.
  • Notable Sites: Mount Buller, Mansfield Zoo, and the Great Victorian Rail Trail.

Euroa, VIC:

  • Distance from Benalla: 34 km south-west
  • Highlights: A picturesque town with historic charm, Euroa is known for its heritage buildings and beautiful parks. It’s a great spot for exploring local history and enjoying a quiet retreat.
  • Notable Sites: Euroa Butter Factory, Seven Creeks Park, and the Euroa Arboretum.


  • Pre-1830s: The area now known as Benalla was originally inhabited by the Taungurung and Yorta Yorta Aboriginal people. The name “Benalla” is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “crossing place” or “big water holes”.
  • 1824: Explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell passed south-east of the present townsite, noting the area’s fertile pasture lands and naming the Broken River “Swampy”.
  • 1836: Explorer Major Thomas Mitchell and his party camped on the eastern bank of the Broken River, near where the Visitor Information Centre now stands.
  • 1838: Grantville Stapylton renamed the river “Broken”. Later that year, the Faithfull Massacre occurred when eighteen men, working for George and William Faithfull, were attacked by a large number of Yorta Yorta people. This resulted in the deaths of at least one Aboriginal person and between eight and thirteen of Faithfull’s men.
  • 1839: A border police post was established where the Visitor Information Centre now stands, marking the beginning of European settlement in the area.
  • 1848: The town of Benalla was officially founded on an overland stock route following Sir Thomas Mitchell’s exploration. The town’s name reflects its Aboriginal origins.
  • 1869: Benalla was proclaimed a shire, recognizing its growing importance as a regional centre.
  • 1882-83: The Municipal Chambers and Shire Hall (now known as Benalla Town Hall) were constructed, reflecting the town’s development and prosperity.
  • 1948: Benalla was proclaimed a borough, highlighting its continued growth.
  • 1965: Benalla achieved city status, marking a significant milestone in its development.
  • 1973: Lake Benalla, an artificial lake, was created from the Broken River, adding an ornamental feature to the centre of the city.
  • 2010: The state government decommissioned Lake Mokoan, which was transformed into the Winton Wetlands Reserve, a significant ecological restoration project.

Information Centre

Benalla has a dedicated Visitor Information Centre located at 14 Mair St, Benalla. For assistance and local information, you can contact them at (03) 5762 1749. The centre offers maps, brochures, and advice on attractions, accommodations, and events in the region.

Getting There

By Car:

Benalla is located approximately 200 km north-east of Melbourne, along the Hume Freeway. The drive takes around 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

By Train:

You can take the V/Line train from Southern Cross Railway Station in Melbourne to Benalla. The journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, with trains running every 4 hours. NSW TrainLink XPT also services this route twice daily.

By Bus:

Alternatively, you can take a V/Line bus from various locations, including North Melbourne, which travels to Benalla via Seymour. The bus journey takes approximately 3 hours and 33 minutes.

For more detailed schedules and to plan your journey, you can visit the Public Transport Victoria website or use the V/Line journey planner.

By Air:

The closest major airport is Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine), from which you can take a train or bus to Benalla. There are also regional flights to Albury Airport, about 100 km north of Benalla, with bus or car rental options available from there.

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