Return keys to a staff member at the service counter at Mitsubishi Motors.
Benalla is a small city in regional Victoria. Around a 2.5-hour drive north from Melbourne, Benalla has a population of fewer than 10,000 people. But what Benalla lacks in size, it makes up for in a range of activities and places to drive. With a heritage-listed botanical garden that sits on the banks of a man-made lake, you can also find vineyard tours, museums, art galleries, churches and wetlands all within driving distance of Benalla downtown.
Benalla is situated between Shepparton and Wangaratta, and makes for a great day or weekend trip from either of these locations. If you are thinking of experiencing the best of regional Victoria, then a stop-off or starting your journey in Benalla is well worth it. Hiring a rental car opens up the entire region.
Shepparton is just an hour's drive to the west of Benalla, and the drive is a scenic one, through regional Victorian plainlands and forests. Shepparton has a number of museums, including the Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton Motor Museum, its own botanic gardens, the Lower Goulburn National Park. The town also features a wide range of pubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping boutiques.
Benalla has everything you could need to travel the Victorian countryside. Large retailers, including Coles, Woolworths and Target, all have locations in Benalla, as well as camping and fishing stores.
A fun activity in your car can be to drive around to the many street murals in Benalla, from the Devenish Solo Art to the Winton Wetlands Art Trail. Street artists from around the world have come to Benalla to paint their murals. The initiative was started in 2015 by Juddy Roller Studios, and the art scene in Benalla has continued to grow. Benalla is now considered one of the street art capitals of Australia; there are currently dozens of large murals in Benalla painted by world-class street artists.
Benalla is surrounded by nature. Built on natural wetlands, the area around Benalla is home to many species of bird. The Winton Wetlands project is currently the largest wetland restoration site in the Southern Hemisphere. It is retaking back much of the land that was taken from the wetlands due to human development and returning it to nature. Explore this mammoth undertaking through a range of walking trails. The trail is scattered with walk guide highlights that give information about the woodlands, wetlands, ponds and the history of Benalla and the site. The wetlands are just a 20-minute drive outside Benalla.
The Benalla Botanical Gardens is a heritage-listed garden in the heart of Benalla. The gardens were developed in 1886 and connect to Lake Benalla. The gardens offer multiple walking trails and includes the Benalla Art Gallery within the grounds. There is a car park and picnic area, so why not make an afternoon of it and bring some snacks in your hire car.
We’ve covered a lot of great artistic and natural locations in Benalla, but it still has a few more gems to offer during your stay. St Joseph Catholic Church, Benalla Presbyterian Church and Holy Trinity Anglican Church are great examples of different types of religious architecture, all readily accessible by car.
Benalla was once a popular spot for the Infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly. Benalla has a Ned Kelly touring route that covers the locations the bushman travelled through when in the area. Benalla is considered the centrepiece location for Kelly during his outlaw days - he even staged an escape attempt at the local barbers. Start your Kelly tour at the visitor information centre. At the information centre, you can also find out more about the heritage sites in Benalla, including the heritage trail.