Revel in the combination of city sophistication and country hospitality in Wangaratta, a bustling rural city and home to the annual Wangaratta Jazz Festival. Wander past historic buildings, picnic and play in riverside parklands, or hit the road to explore the bounty of the nearby Milawa and King Valley gourmet food region.
Time your visit to coincide with one of the city’s memorable festivals and events. The annual three-day Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues is one of the biggest jazz events in Australia, boasting performers from around the country and overseas. Creativity abounds in the gleaming performing arts centre, a state-of-the-art venue boasting comedy, theatre and opera performances, while fine art lovers can check out the changing exhibits held at the Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery.
Embrace the outdoor lifestyle on the banks of the Ovens River, which winds its way right through the town centre. Head further afield to the wetlands, red gum forest and granite hills of the nearby Warby Ovens National Park, the ideal spot for some wilderness adventures. Wangaratta is also the starting point for two distinct touring routes: the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail and the Great Alpine Road.
Indulge your senses on a culinary journey of discovery from Wangaratta to the farm gates, cellar doors and eateries peppered across the region. Celebrate King Valley produce with a meal at Rinaldo’s Casa Cucina and meet local vintners that continue the region’s history of entrepreneurial and exciting winemaking.
Delve into the town’s fascinating bushranger and gold rush history. Explore the Wangaratta Historical Museum, visit the grave of infamous bushranger Mad Dog Morgan, and see Power’s Lookout, the place where bushranger Harry Power kept watch for approaching troopers.
Wangaratta is approximately 250 kilometres north of Melbourne, or around two-and-a-half hours by car along the Hume Highway.