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Wangaratta

Wangaratta is a city in the northeast of Victoria, Australia, 236 km (147 mi) from Melbourne along the Hume Highway.

Details

  • Area:48.799 km2
  • Elevation:149 m
  • Population:18,102
  • Local Government Area:Wangaratta Rural City Council

Description

Wangaratta is a city in the northeast of Victoria, Australia,236 km (147 mi) from Melbourne along the Hume Highway. The city had an estimated urban population of 19,318 at June 2018. Wangaratta has recorded a population growth rate of almost 1% annually from 2016 to 2018 which is the second highest of all cities in North-Eastern Victoria.The city is located at the junction of the Ovens and King rivers, which drain the northwestern slopes of the Victorian Alps. Wangaratta is the administrative centre and the most populous city in the Rural City of Wangaratta local government area. # History The original inhabitants of the area were the Pangerang peoples (Pallanganmiddang, WayWurru, Waveroo). The first European explorers to pass through the Wangaratta area were Hume and Hovell (1824) who named the Oxley Plains immediately south of Wangaratta. Major Thomas Mitchell during his 1836 expedition made a favourable report of its potential as grazing pasture. The first squatter to arrive was Thomas Rattray in 1838 who built a hut (on the site of the Wangaratta RSL) founding a settlement known as "Ovens Crossing". The Post Office in the area opened on 1 February 1843 as Ovens. The Ovens office, and the Kilmore office which opened the same day, were the fifth and sixth to open in the Port Phillip District and the first two inland offices.The name Wangaratta was given by colonial surveyor Thomas Wedge in 1848 after the "Wangaratta" cattle station, the name of which is believed to have been derived from an indigenous language and meaning "nesting place of cormorants" or "meeting of the waters". The first land sales occurred shortly afterward and the population at the time was around 200. The first school was established by William Bindall on Chisholm Street with 17 students. Gold was found nearby at Beechworth in February 1852 and by the end of the year more than 8,000 prospectors rushed the fields of Ovens and Beechworth.Wangaratta became a major service centre to these goldfields. As a result, the first bridge over the Ovens was completed in early 1855. A seven-member council incorporated the Borough of Wangaratta on 19 June 1863. The 1870s saw the settlement establish a number of key infrastructure and services including the first water supply. Wangaratta hospital was opened in 1871 and the fire brigade was established in 1872.The railway to Melbourne was opened on 28 October 1873. On 28 June 1880 in the nearby small town of Glenrowan, located some 10 km away, the final shootout that led to the capture of Australia's most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly occurred. In 1883, the railway was connected through to Sydney. The population at the turn of the century reached 2,500 and the centre had developed an imposing streetscape of hotels, commercial public and religious buildings. The Duke of Gloucester visited Wangaratta during his tour of Australia in 1934. Bruck textile mills was established in 1946, employing over a thousand workers.Wangaratta was proclaimed a city on April 12, 1959 with a population of 12,000 people.New municipal offices were opened in 1980 which became the headquarters of the Rural City of Wangaratta after the amalgamation of municipalities in 1995. On January 14, 2016, 49-year old Karen Chetcuti-Verbunt was brutally murdered and sexually assaulted by 52-year old Michael Cardamone near the city of Wangaratta. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. # Weather Since the warmest month mean reaches 22 °C (72 °F), Wangaratta would have a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification). Despite its classification, it is located in a transitional region that also tends to receive dry searing winds from the northwest. April is the driest month; June is the wettest. Sleet falls most winters, but settled snowfalls are a rare occurrence. Rain falls as thunderstorms in the summer, and in winter with cold fronts. Occasional severe heat waves are caused by hot, dry air from the central deserts of Australia moving over the area. Temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) and slightly above occur 2–4 times a year on average; however, heatwaves are often succeeded by cold fronts, which cause a significant drop in the temperature. The city gets 105.1 days annually, which is akin to Sydney and Wollongong. Rainfall averages out to 630 millimetres (25 in) a year, most of which falls in winter with passing frontal systems; however these can occur at any time of year, and the main form of rainfall in spring and summer is from thunderstorms. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 45.8 °C (114.4 °F) on 3 January 1990 and again on 7 February 2009 to -7.2 °C (19.0 °F) on 14 June 2006. # Things to do

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