Take a tour through Victoria's Kelly country and visit the towns where one of Australia's most famous bushrangers spent his short life.
We start the Ned Kelly Trail by driving north from Melbourne to Beveridge (69 kilometres) along the Hume Freeway. Here you can see the house where Ned Kelly lived with his parents John and Ellen.
A 45 minute sprint north up the Hume Freeway brings us to Avenel, this is where the Kelly family moved after they sold their Beveridge home. Avenel is also the town where John 'Red' Kelly died, Ned, only a 12 year old boy, registered the death himself. You can visit the grave in Avenel cemetery.
From Avenel resume your journey north up the Hume Freeway and see the bank the Kelly Gang held up in Euroa. See the Euroa Inn, the oldest building in Euroa, where Ben Gould stayed whilst reconnoitering for the bank raid.
The Ned Kelly Trail Stop number 4 is Benalla. Here you can see the bootmaker's shop in Arundel Street where Ned hid after being charged with drunkenness and riding his horse on the footpath! When he gave himself up to Constable Fitzpatrick after a fracas he was taken in handcuffs across the road to the old court house. Ned's cell is situated behind the building and is open to the public.
A short drive/walk away is the Costume & Pioneer Museum, it's situated just over the bridge at Lake Benalla adjacent to the Benalla mural. The museum houses some fabulous artifacts associated with the Kelly era, one of the most interesting is the bloodstained silk cummerbund Ned was wearing when he was captured at Glenrowan. The portable cell which held Ned on his journey to Melbourne by train is also here.
At Benalla cemetery you'll find the graves of many people linked to the Kelly period, Joseph Byrne, Martin Cherry, Dr Nicholson who treated Ned and took his cummerbund are all here.
From Benalla it's only a 25km trip up the Hume Freeway to Glenrowan. Glenrowan is where the Kelly Gang made their last stand against the police and the town where Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and a local man Martin Cherry lost their lives.
From Glenrowan we make the journey to the old goldrush town of Beechworth. The historical buildings at Beechworth are in excellent condition owing to recent restoration projects. Wander around Beechworth Gaol which is still in use although it is due to be decommisioned sometime in 2004. The Beechworth Museum is excellent, it has some fantastic exhibits related to the Kelly Gang and gives the visitor a true opportunity to taste Beechworth's history.
View the exterior of the Beechworth Gaol where Ned, his mother Ellen and Kelly sympathisers served sentences.
The "Echoes of History - Historical and Cultural Precinct" includes The Gold Office and Treasury, Chinese Protector's Office, Warden's Office, Telegraph Station, Bourke Museum, the Powder Magazine, Courthouse and Harry Power's cell.
The next day head through the beautiful Victorian countryside to Greta & Eleven Mile Creek. Visit Greta Cemetery where the graves of several of the Kelly family, including Ned's mother Ellen can be found.
An idyllic 45 minute drive takes us to Power's Lookout. This is where Ned Kelly's mentor Harry Power hid himself away from the police. The views are magnificent across the mountains and one can see why Harry Power chose it as his vantage point.
Continue your journey along the Mansfield to Whitfield Road. Between Tolmie and Tatong on a dirt road one can find the Kelly Tree at Stringybark Creek. This is where the Kelly Gang rose from petty horse thieves to Australia's most wanted outlaws after three policemen, Thomas Lonigan, Michael Scanlon and Michael Kennedy were shot dead.
At Mansfield one can visit the graves of the three policemen, Sergeant Michael Kennedy and Mounted Constables Scanlon and Lonigan and inspect the memorial dedicated to their bravery and courage in the town centre.
The Old Melbourne Gaol and our final stop is on Russell Street. This is the place where 135 inmates were hanged including Ned Kelly on 11 November 1880. This is truly worth a visit, the cells house the heads of those hanged and detail the sometimes gory history associated with the cell's occupant. The gallows are in situ as well as a number of other gruesome artifacts like the whipping post complete with male and female versions of cat and nine tails.