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 timber and bluestone house was purchased by the Victorian Government in 2019 and is fenced off while restoration works and repairs take place.
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 Avenel 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, taking the bank staff hostage and getting away with £2000. The bank building no longer stands, but this pleasant town is a good place for a stop.
Continue to Benalla and visit the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a map of the self-guided Benalla Heritage Trail, which brings to life Kelly's dramatic time here. 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 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 he wore under his famous armour before his final capture.
Glenrowan, a 25-minute drive further along the Hume Highway, is a focal point for anyone interested in the Kelly legend. In 1880 Ned Kelly was captured at Glenrowan Inn after a bloody battle that brought his bushranging days to an end. Kate's Cottage museum and the multi-media Kellyland tell the story of Ned's life and battles.
About 15 kilometres from Glenrowan is the rural area of Greta, where Ned lived with his family on Fifteen Mile Creek from the age of 12 after his father died.
Spend the night in the historic town of Beechworth, a 45-minute drive north east from here. Take the Great Alpine Road exit off the Hume Highway, and from Tarrawingee, the C315 on to Beechworth.