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Kelly Country - Travel Victoria
Ned Kelly, Gold and Wine in North East Victoria
Up in the north east of Victoria is Kelly Country, a favourite destination for lovers of food, wine and beautiful scenery
There are five wine regions up here - Rutherglen, Beechworth, Alpine Valleys, King Valley and Glenrowan - as well as artisan brews.
Take your pick of luscious muscat, vibrant Italian varieties,sparkling whites and rich ales from craft breweries.
The High Country
The common image of Australia is of the hot dry Red Centre or miles of golden beaches, but there's a significant region where another set of myths and traditions of identity were born. Up in the bracing air there is a land of clearwater streams, blue skies and rugged mountains, the High Country of South Eastern Australia.
Tall tales and legends of high drama start up here. Ned Kelly made his last stand, defiant to the end, and the wild peaks of the Snowy Mountains are home to the legendary Man From Snowy River, the loved poem by Banjo Paterson
Heritage of Bushrangers, Horsemen and Gold
The Great Alpine Road, one of Australia's great touring routes, winds through the region showcasing stunning alpine landscapes, heritage towns, and local food and wine between Wangaratta, Bairnsdale and the Gippsland Lakes.
First Stop : Beveridge
Just up the track from Melbourne
Ned Kelly was born in Beveridge, just up the track from Melbourne, and when his father died moved with his mother and the rest of the little Kellys to Greta near Wangaratta. Along the way, the widow and her family become known to the Victorian police.
The house where Ned was born still stands in Beveridge, and his father John Kelly is buried in the nearby cemetery at Avenal.
You can see the grave of Ned's mother, Ellen, in the cemeteries at Greta.
Benalla - On the lake
On the western bank of the river are the restful botanical gardens, home to an art gallery, the Sir Weary Dunlop memorial statue and Benalla's famous rose gardens with over 2,000 varieties of colourful roses.
Take a Stroll along Lake Benalla
Markers, Masks and Museums
Beechworth is another well preserved gold rush town. It's no surprise that many of the lovely buildings are registered with the National Trust.
The Beechworth Courthouse, built in 1858, is part of Beechworth's historic and cultural precinct and is a magnificent example of a gold-rush courthouse. It's well known as the place where Ned Kelly had his first court appearance in 1880.
Ned Kelly and his gang were often around Beechworth and the Burke Museum houses plenty of memorabilia of the Kellys.
There are bits and pieces of Kelly armour, but a more grotesque exhibit is waiting for you. Ned's Death Mask.
Throughout the nearby country are various markers at the sites of important events in the careers of Ned Kelly and his gang.
There are some particularly fine examples of historical homes and miners' cottages here, a Courthouse, a Powder Magazine, (where the gunpowder used in goldmining was stored), the Beechworth Telegraph Station, a Lock-up and Police Stables, Chinese Protectors Office and the Burke Museum.
Wonderful Wine and Fruits of Glenrowan
With Kelly connections
Glenrowan has a rich wine making history.
Folklore has it that Ned Kelly helped the Bailey family plant their first grapevines as a fencing contractor. The ensuing 130 years have established Glenrowan a reputation for full-bodied reds, particularly Shiraz and Durif, fragrant whites, and delicious fortified wines.
The Cellar Doors are intimate, historic and welcoming.
Glenrowan is also just fabulous for fruit lovers, with strawberries, cherries, nectarines and peaches.
A number of these orchard gates are open to visitors who can't resist freshly picked, tree-ripened, sun-kissed summer fruits, also available as jam, ice cream, preserves and chutney throughout the year.
Glenrowan and the Last Stand
Ned Kelly Heritage
The Ned Kelly Museum in Glenrowan
Glenrowan was a quiet little town used as a coach staging point between Benalla and Wangaratta until the events of June, 1880 made the tiny hamlet a widely reported and photographed dramatic crime scene.
Today, Glenrowan is still a quiet little town with just one hotel, one motel and a caravan park, but this is Kelly Country and you also find two museums, the Kelly Museum and Kellyland, a souvenir shop and a resident historian, Gary Dean.
More Cellars in Rutherglen
There are 21 cellar doors in Rutherglen!
A huge variety of wines are produced here in the combination of great sunshine, cool nights, warm days and long dry autumns. Muscat and Tokay grapes reach high levels of sweetness and flavour, and the Rutherglen reds such as Shiraz and Durif develop into great cellaring wines and vintage tawny ports.
Many of the great winemaking houses of Rutherglen sprang up in the gold rush days of the mid nineteenth century and are still owned and run by the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of the original family.
Kelly Country and the High Country
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