Wangaratta city is located in North-East Victoria, and is on the route connecting Melbourne and Sydney. The region is about 230 km from Melbourne. The name Wangaratta, attributed to the area in 1848, is believed to mean “meeting of waters” in the region’s indigenous language. The Wangaratta is also informally referred to as Wang. The area is most popular for its significance as a tourist destination due to its offerings of rich history, varied cultural heritage, wildlife, scenic beauty, recreational activities, and wineries.
Originally, Wangaratta was occupied by Aborigines, many of whom died during the Gippsland massacres. European explorers arrived in the region in 1824, and the first European settled in the area in 1838. A post office would be opened 5 years later in 1843. Land was later offered to settlers and the population began to grow and a school was established.
After discovery of gold in 1852, the area attracted more people and the area’s population ballooned. Within a few years, major infrastructure, fire department, and railway were established. By 1900, the area had a population of about 2,500, and hotels and religious centers had sprung up. In 1959, with a population of 12,000, the Wangaratta was declared a city.
Wangaratta city currently has a population of about 18,000 people. The population has changed a little from over half a century ago when the area was declared a city. Wangaratta is the most populous city in Wangaratta local government area.
About the Region
The inhabited area is surrounded by breathtaking scenic beauty that makes Wangaratta a popular destination for tourists. In addition to the wildlife and different recreational activities, the area also has a favorable climate that allows it to produce fine wines. The area also offers great cultural heritage through its festivals and events, with its Jazz festival getting recognized as a Victorian Hallmark Event in 2000. The broad range of delights available at Wangaratta makes this one of the most memorable area anyone in North East Victoria could possibly visit.
Things to Do in Wangaratta
The list of things you can do in Wangaratta is more than you can exhaust in a single visit. When you visit this tourist site, you will get to choose among several fun and historically significant leisure activities.
Cycling and Golf
One of the most popular fun activity you can engage in during your visit is cycling, which would also offer you the added benefit of exploring the site’s scenic wonders in great depth. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is popular among cyclists, and it starts from Wangaratta and crosses into Beechworth to reach Bright. This trail ranks quite highly among the people who have visited Wangaratta before. You can also play golf at Jubilee or Waldara Golf Courses, and at the same time get to see some of the wildlife that roams the area.
Events, Festivals, Gallery, Heritage, and Performance Arts
You can also explore the art and culture at Wangaratta Art Gallery, or even attend a performance at Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre. The site is also popular for various festivals and events, in which you can attend as part of your outdoors fun. One of the most popular events you can attend is November’s Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, which is held annually. In addition, the tourist site offers incredible history and heritage that you can explore to learn more about Wangaratta’s past.
Family Fun, Boating, Fishing, Picnics
Wangaratta is also a great destination if you are looking to have family fun. Kids can play on designated parks and engage in other fun activities. Additionally, this attraction site offers nice spots for picnics and relaxation. You can even do this near a river and enjoy the gentle, refreshing ambiance that comes with it.
You can also visit Lake William Hovell if great family outdoors fan is what you are going for. The Lake is great for family picnic and comes with fun activities such as fishing and boating. In general, Wangaratta has no shortage of great outdoors fun and activities, and you and your family is certain to stay entertained until the end of your trip.
For the wine enthusiasts, Wangaratta certainly has a lot to offer. Wangaratta has plenty of wineries and vineyards, and is essentially a world-size venue for wine lovers. North East Victoria is an ideal environment for cultivation of quality vines. You can visit King Valley, Glenrowan, and Milawa Gourmet Region to sample great wines while also leaning more about the region.
King Valley is a unique favorite among lovers of European varieties such as barbera, sangiovese, and nebbiolo. The area produces specially flavored wines that you will definitely never forget.
Additionally, the Glenrowan Wine Region is popular for its powerful full-bodied as well as fortified wines. Glenrowan is also famous for other historical facts. For instance, Glenrowan is known for the famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, and his notorious gang. You can also visit Vine Hotel, which was a popular hangout for Ned Kelly and his gang. Wangaratta has also attracted Rinaldo’s Casa Cucina, a brand of Italian wine that is also becoming a must see for most wine lovers visiting the venue.
Wangaratta has plenty of accommodations spread out throughout the entire region. The hotels are also varied in prices, which makes even those touring the area on a budget enjoy their stay at the popular tourist hotspot. There are hotels you can stay at in both Wangaratta and Glenrowan.
Advance Motel and Quality Hotel Wangaratta Geteway are popular among tourists, and offers great services and a pleasant stay experience. If you are looking for budget accommodation, Wangaratta North Family Motel is a good bet.
In Glenrowan, you could stay at Glenrowan Kelly Country Club or Lindenwarrah, which have proven popular comfortable choices for most of their guests. Many of these hotels and motels are quite affordable; with very few nearing the 200-dollar mark for an overnight stay in a standard room. In fact, a good number of them cost under $100 a night.
Visit Wangaratta Today!
Whether you are a fan of watching nature in the raw, exploring cultural heritage, studying ancient history, enjoying arts and entertainment, participating in fun outdoor activities, or tasting unique world-class wines, Wangaratta is the ideal getaway. The long list of fun activities you can engage in while at Wangaratta is simply inexhaustible. More importantly, the accommodation is plentiful and varied in pricing to accommodate limited budgets and last-minute stays comfortably. Wangaratta is one destination you will certainly long to visit again and again.