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Wangaratta is a cathedral city which is located in the northeast of Victoria, Australia. It lies 233km north-east of Melbourne along the Hume Highway and is 150m above the sea level. Wangaratta is also the northern entrance point of the Great Alpine Road. There are many lagoons and puddles in the eastern part of the town as the Oven and King Rivers pass through this part of the town. The region around Wangaratta is one of the major producers of wine in the whole country.

Before the Europeans came, the Wangaratta region was originally inhabited by Panderang Aboriginal tribes. The first European people in the area were Hume and Hovell who reached the nearby river. They named this river as Ovens. In 1837 or 1838, George Faithfull set up the Wangaratta cattle station on the Ovens River. The name of the city was obtained from an Aboriginal word which means ‘nesting place of cormorants’. Thereafter development followed in the city with many European settlers making significant contributions. After gold was discovered in the nearby regions during the early 1850’s the city was almost deserted and it prospered only after gold was discovered in the Ovens River. Wangaratta has prospered hugely after the Second World War and gained the city status in 1959.

The city of Wangaratta enjoys a pleasant and comfortable climate all year round. During summers, the temperatures soar up to 30ºC and more and in winters it drops down to 4ºC on an average. Most of the rainfall occurs in the winter season and is about 55m on an average.

The Wangaratta city is served by the V/Line rail services between Albury and Melbourne as well as the Countrylink XPT which is available from Sydney and Melbourne. The latter service is available twice on a daily basis. The city is also served by a regional airport which is quite small. Wangaratta has also many private bus services which ply in the city after every half an hour on a daily basis.

The main cultural attraction of the Wangaratta city is the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues which draws thousands of national and international artists every year. This festival is held in the weekend after the Melbourne Cup in the month of November and the National Jazz Awards are given at the end of the ceremony. The other popular regional cultural events include Wine and Food Festival held in the month of March and Winery Walkabout on the Queen’s Birthday weekend which is organised in the month of June.

Wangaratta city has many exciting historical, cultural and adventurous tourist destination places which attract thousands of visitors every year. Some of the most popular ones are:
  • Wangaratta Museum
  • Tarrawingee
  • Exhibitions Gallery
  • Warby Range State Park
  • Wangaratta Cemetry
  • Killawarra State Forest
Wangaratta is a bustling and vibrating city which has many retail outlets and speciality stores where one could enjoy shopping. Major retail outlets in the region include Just Jeans, Coles, The Warehouse, Jay Jays, Kleins, Harvey Norman and many others. The city of Wangaratta also has an exciting dining culture as one can find all types of cuisines in the major restaurants and cafes. Some of the renowned ones are—Café Martini Restaurant, Hong Kong Palace Restaurant, Great Gourmet’s Inn, Jardine Restaurant, Lettuce Eat, Wangaratta Gateway, Pinset Hotel, Peter’s Cellar 47 Restaurant and Koon Wah Restaurant.

Wangaratta city also has a variety of accommodation options suiting the budget of the travellers. Some of the popular accommodation options in Wangaratta include:
  • Vine Hotel
  • Royal Victoria Hotel
  • Hermitage Motor Inn
  • Wangaratta Motor Inn
  • Wangaratta Caravan and Tourist Park
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