When the region’s most prolific explorers, Hamilton Hume and William Hovell, discovered what would come to be known as the Broken River, they’d clearly run out of names. ‘Swampy River’ was problematic for the first delineated road from Sydney to Melbourne, and was renamed ‘Broken River’ 16 years later when a temporary bridge was constructed (thus ‘breaking’ the river) to allow overland access.
Following the Faithfull Massacre in 1838, a police border post was established, and with that followed settlement. Pastoral overlanders took full advantage of the grazing and pastoral lands along the river, growing wheat, orchards and vines.
Poor penmanship lead to the naming of the town when Edward Grimes, completing the application for the pastoral run, neglected to cross the ‘t’ in ‘Benalta’ (derived from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘water hole’) and Benalla was born.
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North East Water
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