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Wangaratta is a cathedral city in the northeast of Victoria, Australia, approximately 250km from Melbourne along the Hume Highway. The city had an estimated urban population of 18,158 at June 2015.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.HistoryThe original inhabitants of the area were the Pangerang peoples (Pallanganmiddang, WayWurru, Waveroo), who spoke a Gunai language. Many of the Pangerang were killed in the Gippsland massacres.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 he 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 Sydney Hotel) 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.Use our Australia online trip itinerary planner to arrange the hows, wheres, and whens of your trip to Wangaratta.
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