Road trip to Benalla, Victoria

by possandruby

A  country town with a city edge, Benalla is leading the charge for regional street art in Victoria. An easy drive north on the Hume Freeway just 2 hours from Melbourne will land you in the heart of this creative town.  

Laneways and shop walls are adorned with renowned local and international public artists work.  The artworks were installed en-masse as part of the annual Wall to Wall festival. The event began in 2015 fuelled by the initiative and passion of the local community.  From small thought provoking pieces to large scale wall murals the styles and themes vary from corner to corner. Walking tours of the artworks are available and must be booked in advance through the Wall to Wall website.

As you wander the streets taking in the murals stop in for refreshments in the local cafes and bakeries or enjoy a picnic on Lake Benalla. 


Rustik Cafe & Foodstore

This locally owned, mother and daughter business focuses on healthy alternatives while not sacrificing flavour. The menu is loaded with vegan and vegetarian dishes alongside some traditional favourites with a super food twist, like the kombucha battered fish and chips.  It’s difficult to go past the all day breakfast menu featuring local produce and free range eggs.  Staff are super friendly and extremely helpful. Chilled background beats fill the spacious dining space and the beer garden is ideal for outdoor dining, grab yourself an afternoon tipple from the selection of local wines and beers and enjoy the sunshine.  Open daily for breakfast and lunch, dinner Friday and Saturday nights. Take away options available.

Incorporated into the cafe is the well-stocked foodstore with a huge range of giftware, kitchenware, condiments, tea, spices and more. Take home a taste of the region or gifts for family and friends.

Rustik Café & Foodstore 28 Bridge Street, Benalla


Benalla Botanical Gardens

Established in the early 1880s the manicured gardens are a great place to stop for a picnic and to enjoy the expansive rose gardens. In full bloom from late October to early November and feature the red ‘City of Benalla’ rose and some heritage perfumed varieties from the 1830s.  The gardens were listed on the Register of National Estate in 1995 and are home to many trees of national significance.

Benalla Botanic Gardens, Bridge Street, Benalla

Benalla Art Gallery

Situated on the edge of the Botanic Gardens overlooking Lake Benalla the gallery has been in operation since the 1960s. The collection here features mostly Australian art with a small collection of European works. Exhibitions are regularly scheduled and the cafe is a lovely place to reflect on your visit and enjoy refreshments on the outdoor deck. Temporarily closed due to COVID-19 the gallery looks forward to welcoming visitors as restrictions ease.

Benalla Art Gallery, 97 Bridge Street, Benalla

Benalla Lake Walk

Wander the 4.25 kilometre trail around the lake situated at the gateway to the town centre. The walk is an easy grade and fully accessible. Along the way you will see a diverse range of flora and fauna the trail borders the Botanical Gardens and winds through stands of River Red Gums. You will also see Moreton Bay Figs and exotic Bunya Bunya Pines on Jaycee Island. There are plenty of shady picnic spots dotted along the walk.  Birdlife is abundant here with cockatoos, kookaburra, galahs, ducks and pelicans regularly taking advantage of the waterfront. Platypus and the native water rat are occasionally seen at dawn and dusk. 

Benalla Lake Walk, Bridge Street, Benalla



Located 191km from the Melbourne CBD get to Benalla by car by simply following the Hume Freeway north for 2 hours. The town is also accessible by public transport with a V/Line train/coach service to Benalla departing daily daily on the north east line. The Benalla Station is just a short walk to the town centre.

Have you been to Benalla? Share you photos and tips in the comments below of on our social media @possandruby

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