Benalla is a great place to make your base as you explore North East Victoria and go on a journey of artistic discovery that is the beautiful Silo Art Trail. Benalla is located in regional Victoria on the Hume Highway, 2 hours North of Melbourne, and 1 hour south of Albury. It is one spot that simply must be on your Australian travel Bucket List.
We chose Benalla as base for a number of reasons. As regular stallholders at the Violet Town market, we have often stayed in nearby Benalla. We had heard so many good things about the town, and now that we have experienced Benalla for ourselves, we would have to agree, it’s great! There is stacks to discover in the township and surrounding areas.
Benalla is renowned for its Botanical and Rose Gardens, Art Gallery and Street Art, Wineries and nearby Winton Raceway. And with just being over an hour from Mount Buller, it’s even the perfect location for a winter ski trip holiday.
We have been to Benalla a few times now for work and play and it has such a great vibe! Let us share with you some of our favourite things to do in Benalla.
.Benalla Botanic Gardens & Lake Benalla
The Botanic and Rose gardens feature many beautiful walking paths to meander along as you take in the tranquil beauty of the gardens. Extensive lawns sweep down to Lake Benalla, creating an open parkland beneath mature trees, which were part of the original tree plantings in the late 1800s. The wide curving pathways weave through beds of shrubs and perennial plantings.
The Garden’s paths connect to the Lake Benalla Walk, which traverses 4.2 kilometres of diverse and picturesque landscapes, including remnant river red gum forest and the Indigenous Community Gardens.
Benalla Art Gallery
This funky building is nestled on the edge of Lake Benalla, in the Botanic Garden precinct. The gallery houses wonderful examples from Ingenious and Contemporary artists, as well as pieces by famous Australian artists such as Sidney Nolan, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions and programs to get you involved in art, and has a café as well. Entry is free, and the gallery is open 10am-4.30pm Wednesdays-Mondays (March-August hours). It’s a great place to explore a variety of art, and get your creative juices flowing.
Benalla Street Art
This is an absolute must! Grab a detailed brochure from the Visitors Information Centre (14 Mair Street) that outlines all the allocated street art paintings in and around Benalla. You can choose to either walk or drive around town to find over 60 amazing artworks. Each year as part of the Wall to Wall Festival (held in April) some of the wall art is changed and new locations are allocated, so its always changing with new artworks to see.
Read our full review on the Benalla Street Art – HERE
Winton Motor Raceway
Located just 10km out of Benalla, the Winton Motor Raceway has been in action since 1961, and to this day hosts many major events. Rev heads will love the Superbike, Supercar and Supertruck races that are held at various times throughout the year. One of the major drawcards being the Repco Supercar Championships.
If you fancy getting behind the wheel yourself, the Raceway runs ‘Test and Tune’ days, and also Fun Days where you can take to the track yourself to test out your car. Booking is essential! And if you still can’t get enough of the action, you can even book to camp at the track! For all the details on Winton Motor Raceway – Click HERE
Winton Wetlands is a nationally significant area, and the biggest wetland restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere. Located 15 minutes from Benalla, and 25 minutes from Wangaratta, the 8,750Ha site features 32 wetlands, nearly 5,000Ha of redgum and box grassy woodland and is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, including over 180 species of birds.
Visitors to Winton Wetlands can connect with the site in any number of ways, whether it be a memorable walk, an adventurous bike ride or a relaxing visit to the Mokoan Hub and Café (open 7 days, 9am-4pm). The café is a great place to start your exploration, as they have all the information you need to explore this interesting and beautiful location.
Winton Wetlands has an incredibly intricate history and a powerful presence. The traditional owners of the Winton Wetlands are the Yorta Yorta peoples. It is place of Indigenous cultural significance, as demonstrated by the thousands of artifacts throughout the landscape. The scar trees and mounds indicate a long and continuous Indigenous presence.
The Wetlands are in a constant state of change, so every visit will reveal something new and interesting.
North East Victoria Silo Art Trail
We are massive fans of the Silo Art projects around Australia. We are lucky to have one of the first Silo Art Trails near our home town of Donald, Victoria. We even had some of our wedding photos taken at the Sheep Hills Silos.
There were many things we loved about the North East Silo Art Trail, but one of the key things was the time it took to complete the drive. This trail can be completed in approximately 2 hours. If you have more time though, the trail is a great excuse to see the countryside and explore the townships in the area. We suggest grabbing a MAP and taking a drive to discover the six Silo/Tank artworks.
Looking at other Silo Art Trails in Victoria check out our popular post on the Original Silo Art Gallery HERE.
Accommodation in Benalla
Benalla has many options available when it comes to where to rest your head after a day exploring. Motels, Hotels, Air BNBs, Bed and Breakfasts and of course camp ground options. Here are a few of our suggestions for those camping and caravanning.
Benalla Tourist Park
This is where we choose to stay. The park has a range of accommodation options including motel rooms, cabins, villas, powered and non-powered camping sites, en suite camping sites and drive through sites. It was great to see that the camping sites are spread out over flat lush green grass.
The park is located on the outskirts of town, you can walk into town if you like but it is a bit of a hike, so we chose to drive.
We have stayed at this park twice now and both times have stayed in a basic cabin. All the cabins and villas are fully self-contained with kitchenettes and provided accessories. Some of the inclusions are a Flat Screen TV, Private Bathrooms and heating and cooling facilities.
The Park facilities include a swimming pool, outdoor BBQ and spacious indoor enclosed camp kitchen that includes a TV Room. This place is even pet friendly (caravan and camping sites only). The toilet and shower amenities are a bit dated, but functional. A laundry is attached to the amenities block, with clotheslines provided.
Powered sites start at $35 per night
Basic double cabin starts at $109 per night.
These rates are subject to change, for more information and bookings visit the Benalla Tourist Park website HERE.
Located within walking distance to many of the town’s attractions, the Benalla Showgrounds Caravan Park is available for camping for a small fee. Visitors must be fully self contained as there are no facilities on site. For details on the Benalla Showgrounds click HERE we also recommend checking the reviews on Wikicamps for feedback from fellow campers.
Winton Motor Raceway
For a small fee you can camp at unpowered sites just meters from the raceway itself. For the details on camping at Winton Motor Raceway click HERE.
If you are looking for a bit more of a bush setting to relax in, there are plenty of camp sites to choose from further out from town. Click HERE to check out the Benalla Rural City Council website for details on available options. We also recommend browsing Wikicamps for Bush/Free Camping reviews from fellow campers.
What’s not to love about Benalla! Whether you are into art, or bush walks and nature, there is plenty of beauty to be enjoyed in this lovely town. So many beautiful shops and cafes to be discovered too. There are still many attractions we haven’t yet visited ourselves – winery tours, the Benalla (Ned) Kelly Museum and the historical cemetery walk just to name a few. We can’t wait to go back and explore beautiful Benalla some more!
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