Benalla is a small city located on the Broken River in the High Country north-eastern region of Victoria, Australia, about 188 kilometres north east of Melbourne. The Census population of Benalla Rural City in 2011 was 13,643, living in 6,632 dwellings with an average household size of 2.27. It is the administrative centre for the Rural City of Benalla local government area.
Benalla is situated on a mostly flat floodplain of the Broken River catchment situated directly to the north and west of the Great Dividing Range. Lake Benalla is an artificial lake created in 1973 from the Broken River as an ornamental feature for the centre of the city. Broken river forms a green belt along the north-south spine of the city. There are three major crossings of the river at Benalla. The main street in the Central Business District is Bridge Street East.
Another large artificial lake, Lake Mokoan is 7 kilometres to the north east. To the south of the freeway is the heavily forested Reef Hills State Park.
Benalla is an area which relies strongly on its rural community and is a fantastic place to live.
Benalla has two major secondary schools, Benalla College (which has two campuses), FCJ College and a primary school Australian Christian College - Hume. McCristal's College was a private grammar school that also existed in Benalla.
The Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE has a campus in Benalla which includes the Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre opened in 2004 by Lynne Kosky MP, the then Minister of Education and Training. The campus includes GRADA, a regional academy of dramatic art offering courses in Acting, Dance and Production.
Benalla has a local newspaper, the Benalla Ensign, which is published weekly.
Health services are provided by Benalla Health, which operates the Benalla & District Memorial Hospital.
Road transport and the motor vehicle is the main form of transport. The Hume Freeway (National Highway M31) bypasses Benalla to the south, while the Midland Highway (A300) runs through the city centre. The road system is also the main form of public transport. A bus Benalla Bus Lines, runs a service every hour on each of two routes, servicing the west and east sides of the city. Its main terminal is at the ANZ Bank in Nunn St.
Rail transport includes both passenger rail and freight rail. The city's only station is Benalla railway station which is on the North East railway line. The Albury-Wodonga V/Line rail service stops at Benalla as does the twice daily CountryLink XPT service to and from Sydney. Benalla Airport YBLA (BLN) began life as a major RAAF training base during World War II and now also serves as the home of the Gliding Club of Victoria as well as a ballooning & ultralight centre and the Benalla Aviation Museum.
Water is supplied by North East Water. The main water supply is Loombah Weir and McCall Say Reservoir in the Ryan's Creek Catchment approximately 13 kilometres south of the city with a total 1800 megalitre capacity.
For more information about Benalla, please visit the Benalla Rural City Website