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Benalla, Victoria

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Aerial view from the east
Population: 10,035 (2006 census) [1]
Established: 1840s
Postcode: 3672
Elevation: 169.5 m (556 ft)
LGA: Rural City of Benalla
State District: Benalla
Federal Division: Indi
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
22.0 °C
72 °F
8.7 °C
48 °F
670.5 mm
26.4 in

Benalla is a city in Victoria, Australia. It is a city even though only 10,000 people live there. Benalla is on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne. The town is on the Broken River, which often floods. Benalla has a station on the main railway line between Sydney and Melbourne.

Red dot shows location of Benalla, Victoria


Major Thomas Mitchell went through this area on his way back to Sydney in 1836. One of the men with him, a convict named James Taylor, was drowned while trying to cross the Broken River.[2] After Mitchell many farmers arrived with sheep to make new farms. The Reverend Joseph Docker (1793 - 1865) started a farm called "Benalta" in 1838 but later settled on the run Bontherambo, near Wangaratta. The name came from the Taungurung Australian aboriginal word meaning "musk duck".[2] The name later changed to Benalla.

Seven men, working for farmers George and William Faithfull, were killed by the aborigines at Winding Swamp on April 11 1838. The police under Captain Lonsdale killed many Taungurung people as punishment. Their ears were cut off and taken back to Melbourne as a trophy (prize).[3]

The town of Benalla was surveyed in 1846.

Botanical gardens

The Benalla Botanical Gardens were started in 1886. They cover an area of 5.1 ha (13 acres). The gardens are well known for their collection of roses. The gardens also have three Ulmus x viminalis, an elm tree hybrid. These trees are listed on the Significant Tree Register of the National Trust. They are the only known examples of the hybrid elm in Australia.[4]


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