Not exactly worh making a specific trip in its own right (unless you are particularly interested in the Ned Kelly legend), Glenrowan is the town where Kelly was captured and taken to Melbourne Goal and executed.
It survives on its association! The main street (little more than a dozen buildings) is the main focus for everything commercial about Kelly (two encounter museums - expensive entry fees) and cafes carrying various 'Gang Cafe'. 'Ned's Place' etc. But make sure you get a Kelly map - this highlights the fact that the main street is post-Kelly time! All the 'action' took place on the other side of the train tracks - and various memorial plaques show 'the place Kelly was captured', 'the first shots fired from here'. It's all a bit tacky and low-key, but worth stoppping off for an hour or so - if nothing else to break the journey.
And then there's 'The Big Kelly' !!
It's about 15kms south of Wangaratta on the Hume Highway (about 40kms south west of Beechworth). We stopped off on the way through to beechworth from Melbourne.
It's a small, historic gold-rush town in the shadow of its bigger and more galmorous neighbour, Beechworth, but 'Yack' does have a certain, rougher edged charm. It's essentially the main street that's the attraction along with the Yackandandah Scenic Forest Drive.
The main street has several historically listed 19th century buildings and with attractions such as 'Whisky Flat' and 'Rowdy Flat', as well as forest drives highlighting 19th century sluicing for gold among the Blue Gums and Candlebarks, provides a pleasant morning 's exploration.
Interestingly, Yack was the location for the recent Australian film 'Strange Bedfellows' starring Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee), playing one half of an aging gay couple living in rural Victoria. As a result, most of the shops and cafes in the main street have the rainbow sticker in the shop window. Not sure if this is left-over props from the film or whether the shopkeepers are genuinely 'gay-friendly' :)
Its after about 25kms that the road reaches an 'inner mountain plateau' (best way i can describe it) where there's a huge expanse of relatively flat landscape surrrounded on all sides by peaks. Central to the plateau is Lake Catani - campsite, picnic area and a place for boating (bring your own) or swimming. The road at this point diversifies - one way towards The Chalet and the ski runs and Ski lodge r to continue onwards toards the Horn. As the road starts its ascent again towards the Horn, spectacular rock formations are in evidence all around you and from the plateau upwards it becomes much easier to park the car 'on a whim' to take advantage of spectacular views, with the view from The Horn being the most rewarding.
The park notes provided on entry (AUD$9.80 per car entry payable) list 23 walks to be had in the park - ranging from 30 minutes through to several hours. They also vary in their degrees of difficulty as well as 'content' - ranging from walks with a view, lakeside walks, granite rock formations etc...
Accommodation is avaialble at The Chalet (from de-luxe through to backpacker) and camping is allowed in designated spots throughout the park.
Mount Buffalo, along with Morning Peninsula on the coast, is one of the oldest National parks in Australia, being registered in 1898. It was so named as explorers Hume and Hovell passed the 'sleeping buffalo like form' on their journey from Sydney to present day Melbourne in 1824.
Parks Victoria notes describe it thus:-
Approaching Mount Buffalo, few people could fail to be impressed byt he spectacular granite cliffs rising before them. This sub-alpine plateau..has been giving visitors a unique park experience for over 100 years. Crisp fresh air, giant tors, deep gorges, tumbling waterfalls, snow gum woodlands and masses of wildflowers all combine with views of nearby Alps valleys to enhance any visit, whether for summer camping, winter skiing or walking during spring and autumn.
It's a stunning park and is enormous. Note that the return drive from Porepunkah on the highway to the peak (The Horn) car park is 80kms. To do the park justice, a full day minimum should be allowed (so bring a picnic). There are so many options. The road itself (sealed all the way to The Horn except for the last 2kms or so) is a spectacular route into the park - hairpin bends, sheer cliff drops - with the occasional viewing platform. There are also parking spots which provide access to walks short, medium and long - mostly, although not exclusively, to waterfalls. Options for stopping as you wind up the mountain are limited.
(continued - I had too much to say!)