Ned Kelly Touring Route

Duration: Three days, two nights
Route: Melbourne round trip via Beechworth and Mansfield.
Total distance: Approximately 650 kilometres
Drive time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Tour Kelly country and visit the places where a great Australian folk tale was lived and fought. Along the way discover northeast Victoria, a favourite destination for lovers of food wine and beautiful scenery.

  • Route: Melbourne to Beechworth
    Distance: 300 kilometres, 3 hours, 35 minutes

    Head north out of Melbourne on the Hume Highway to the town of Beveridge, where Ned Kelly was born in 1854. The house that the Kelly family called home between 1850 and 1860 still stands on Kelly Street. Look for the Beveridge exit, then turn right under the freeway. Turn right into Stewart Street until you arrive at Kelly Street. The house is in disrepair and fenced off.

    Back onto the Hume Highway, continue on to Avenel. Ned Kelly registered his father's death in this town, and John 'Red' Kelly is buried in the local cemetery. Exit the highway, then turn right at the school and continue past the war memorial to the town cemetery. The headstone is not the original and it is thought that Red was buried a few metres away.

    Further along the Hume Highway in Euroa, Kelly and his gang held up the National Bank, getting away with £2000 and taking the bank staff hostage. The bank building no longer stands, but this pleasant town is a good place for a stop.

    Continue to Benalla. View the plaque on Arundel Street that describes how young Ned was charged with drunkenness and riding his horse on the footpath. He eventually gave himself up to the police and was marched across the road to the Benalla Courthouse, which is still in use.

    Call in to the Benalla Regional Art Gallery to see Glenrowan, the Sidney Nolan tapestry depicting the Kelly Gang's capture, and Albert Tucker's painting depicting fellow bushranger Joe Byrne's body.

    Walk across the Broken River Bridge to the Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum, where you can stand in the portable cell that once held Ned Kelly, and see the bloodstained sash, which he wore under his famous armour during his final capture.

    Glenrowan, a 25-minute drive further along the Hume Freeway, is a focal point for anyone interested in the Kelly legend. In 1880 Ned Kelly was captured at the Glenrowan Inn after a bloody battle, bringing his bushranging days to an end. Kate's Cottage museum and the multi-media Kellyland tell the story of Ned's life and battles.

    Spend the night in the historic town of Beechworth, a 40-minute drive to the north east of Glenrowan. Take the Great Alpine Road exit off the Hume Freeway, crossing back to the east on route B500, keeping left at Tarrawingee to follow route C315 on to Beechworth.

  • Route: Beechworth to Mansfield
    Distance: 160 kilometres, 2 hours, 15 minutes

    Wake in the charming 1852 gold rush town of Beechworth. Beechworth has a wide choice of accommodation and great local restaurants serving local produce.

    Visit the courthouse where Ned Kelly, his mother and many sympathisers were tried. View the exterior of the Beechworth Gaol where Ned and his mother were held and learn about the history of Beechworth's colourful past at the Historical and Cultural Precinct which includes the Courthouse, Telegraph Station, the Powder Magazine and Burke Museum, where a Ned Kelly death mask is on display.

    Check the Burke Museum & Historic Precinct page for information on tours and re-enactments of the Ned Kelly trial.

    From Beechworth, drive to nearby Greta (pronounced 'Greeta'), where Ned and his gang roamed. Call into the Greta Cemetery to see the graves of several of the Kelly family, including Ned's mother, Ellen.

    Head east via Moyhu to the King Valley. The picturesque King Valley, now famed for its wines, was once young Ned's stomping ground.

    Stop in at the Whitfield Mountain View Hotel for lunch, then drive on to Powers Lookout. The lookout was the mountain hideout of bushranger Harry Powers, who was Kelly's bushranger mentor. To get there, take the Mansfield-Whitfield Road and look for the turn off to the left, 16.5 kilometres along the road.

    Continue on the Mansfield-Whitfield Road to Tolmie, and turn right on the road to Tatong to visit Stringybark Creek Reserve. Here Ned Kelly went from petty horse thief to Australia's most wanted outlaw, when he shot three Mansfield police officers. A plaque in the trunk of the enormous 'Kelly Tree' marks what is believed to be the spot of his crime.

  • Route: Mansfield to Melbourne
    Distance: 190 kilometres, 2 hours, 30 mins

    Mansfield is the gateway to Victoria’s ski fields, and site of the graves of the policemen, Sergeant Michael Kennedy and Mounted Constables Scanlon and Lonigan, shot by Kelly and his Gang. It's a great place to spend the night, with a range of accommodation offered including guesthouses, caravan parks and cottages.

    From Mansfield, head west via Yea, and the Maroondah Highway back to Melbourne.

    Explore more Kelly history in Melbourne’s city centre. Visit the Old Melbourne Gaol on Russell Street, a chilling bluestone building and the scene of 135 hangings, including that of Ned Kelly on 11 November 1880. The Hangman's Box is on view to the public.