Wangaratta Rural City
Wangaratta is a cathedral city of almost 17,000 people in the northeast
of Victoria, Australia, about 230 km (140 mi) from Melbourne along the
Hume Highway, with Benalla 45 km (28 mi) to the southwest, and
Albury-Wodonga 72 km (45 mi) to the northeast. It is located at the
junction of the Ovens and King rivers which flow from the Victorian
Alps. It the administrative centre and most populous city in the Rural
City of Wangaratta local government area
was found in the surrounding area during the 1850s and this is
reflected in the name of a nearby town of Eldorado where the remains of
an old dredge can still be seen today. The Post Office in the area
opened on 1 February 1843 as Ovens, and moved to the township and was
renamed Wangaratta in 1854. The Ovens office, and the Kilmore office
which opened the same day, were the fifth and sixth to open in the Port
Phillip District and the first two inland offices.
small town of Glenrowan located some 10 km away is known as the site of
the final shootout that led to the capture of Australia's most famous
bushranger, Ned Kelly.
Geography and Landmarks
geographical layout of the city is unusual in that the business
district is located at the north-eastern extremity of the urban area,
with outlying suburbs extending only to the south and west. The reason
for this arrangement is that the area beyond the rivers, to the north
and east of the business district, was until the 1990s prone to flooding
and so unsuitable for building. Levees were constructed in the 1990s to
alleviate the flooding, however development in this area has been slow.
Wangaratta is the closest city or town of any size to Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, two of Victoria's three major snowfields.
buildings include the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and its Cathedral
Close, St. Patrick's Catholic Church and the eccentric art déco
government, the Wangaratta region is covered by the Rural City of
Wangaratta. The council was created in 1994 as an amalgamation of a
number of other municipalities in the region with the council chambers
located at the Government Centre in central Wangaratta. The City is
represented by seven councillors elected once every four years by postal
voting. The mayor is elected from these councillors by their colleagues
for a one year term.
In state politics, Wangaratta is located in
the Legislative Assembly districts of Murray Valley currently held by
the National Party of Australia.
In federal politics,
Wangaratta is located in a single House of Representatives division –
the Division of Indi. The Division of Indi has been a safe Liberal Party
of Australia seat since 1977.
There is a considerable wine and
gourmet food industry in the nearby Milawa and King Valley region. The
area also has two cosiderable industry's Notably Bruck Textiles and
Australian Country Spinners
Culture and Sport
Australian rules football and cricket are the most popular sports.
are three Australian rules football clubs in Wangaratta, the Wangaratta
Football Club, the Wangaratta Rovers Football Club (both competing in
the Ovens and Murray Football League), and the North Wangaratta Football
Club, which competes in the Ovens and King Football League. The close
proximity of the Rovers and Wangaratta grounds reflects the historical
sectarian split in membership of the clubs; Rovers membership being
predominantly Catholic and Wangaratta being predominantly
The city hosted several games for the
2005 Australian Football International Cup event, with several countries
competing in the sport of Australian rules football. The event was
played at the City Oval and Showgrounds and set the attendance records
for the tournament to date.
Cricket in Wangaratta is organised by
the Wangaratta and District Cricket Association. Clubs include
Wangaratta Magpies, Rovers United, City Colts and Bruck Cricket
There is one soccer team in Wangaratta, the Wangaratta
City Football Club. Founded in 1951, they compete in the Albury Wodonga
Wangaratta has a horse racing club, the
Wangaratta Turf Club, which schedules around eleven race meetings a year
including the Wangaratta Cup meeting in April.
Greyhound Racing Club which held regular meetings at the same venue,has
been discontinued. Avian Park is no longer used.
Golfers play at
the course of the Wangaratta Golf Club on Yarrawonga Road, or at the
course of the Jubilee Golf Club at Wangandary nearby. A nine hole course
is at Boorhaman to the north of Wangaratta.
The main annual event is the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, which has been attended by thousands each year since 1990.
has three secondary schools: Galen Catholic College (private),
Cathedral College (private) which has two campuses and Wangaratta High
School which has three campuses.
The Goulburn Ovens Institute of
TAFE has two Wangaratta campuses. The Docker street campus offers a
broad range of courses from business studies to music with a central
area containing a cafeteria, library and student services. The
Christensen Lane campus on the outskirts of Wangaratta is the home for
the National Centre for Equine Education as well as providing courses in
train station is on the main railway line between Sydney and Melbourne
and is usually served by V/Line services between Melbourne and Albury
thrice-daily as well as a twice daily Countrylink XPT service in both
directions between Melbourne and Sydney. Two railway gauges ran in
parallel to Melbourne and Albury; the Victorian broad gauge of 1600 mm
(5' 3") and the standard gauge of 1435 mm (4' 8½"). The broad gauge line
closed in 2008 and will be converted to standard gauge as part of a the
North East Rail Revitalisation project. Buses are replacing V/Line
services for the duration of the project, while XPT services continue to
There was a branch line commenced in 1873, running east
to Beechworth, reaching the town in September 1876, but this was closed
in January 1977. (Larsen, MayDay Hills Railway). Another branch line
ran to Bright until its closure. This has since been converted into a
cycling and walking track, known as the Murray to the Mountains Rail
Trail. Another short branch line ran west to a wheat silo located on the
north side of the Ovens River at Boorhaman.
A second rail branch
was a narrow gauge (762 mm, 2' 6") line from Wangaratta to Whitfield
constructed during the late 1890s and opened in 1899. The line operated
until 1953 and was famous for its special engines imported from Baldwin
Locomotive Works in the USA. Some of these 2-6-2T locomotives now
operate on the Puffing Billy Railway outside Melbourne. A book,
Focus on Victoria's Narrow Gauge, with photos, maps along the line and
of Wangaratta station with its dual track gauges was published in 2002
Wangaratta is also serviced by a small regional airport, Wangaratta Airport.
A city bus service runs every half an hour during the day on weekdays
and on Saturday mornings on a route covering Wangaratta's West End, the
business district, Yarrunga and more recently, Yarrawonga Road.
This information has been sourced from Wikipedia