Wangaratta and the surrounding rural communities offer a year full of festivals, celebrations and events that attract people from across the country and in some cases from around the world. Events such as the annual Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Swap Meet are all centrally located, and across the region there are wine and food events which are hugely popular. Wangaratta also offers an excellent selection of accommodations from which to explore and enjoy some of the many events that are held in nearby communities such as Beechworth, Myrtleford, Bright, Rutherglen and Yarrawonga. Wangaratta is also host to regular markets, youth events, senior citizen events and sporting competitions including Australian Rules Football, netball, squash and swimming.

There is a good selection of Wangaratta accommodation available to suit all budgets and needs. Offered within central Wangaratta as well as the surrounding communities travelers will find and excellent variety of motels, hotels, pubs, caravan parks, cottages and guest houses specifically catering for both short and longer stay temporary accommodation. There is plenty of accommodation in the heart of Wangaratta plus the nearby regions of the King Valley, Glenrowan, Milawa, Eldorado and many other also have some excellent accommodation choices. Furthermore, with the region hosting a large number of annual festivals, celebrations and events, accommodation can be scarce. For that reason if you require Wangaratta accommodation be sure to book early.

Paradise Falls is one of those places that is often overlooked by visitors to the King Valley but for those that make the effort they are well rewarded. The short walk from the car park leads you down a series of rocky steps into the ravine below that gets cooler and more welcoming as you approach the falls. Be sure to visit after recent rains as the water flow does dry up in the warmer months There are some very interesting conglomerate rock formations along the path and around the falls. If you are particularly lucky you may even see some of the resident Peregrine Falcons that nest in the cliff tops above the falls. Paradise Falls are a great destination for families but do pack a spare set of clothes as the temptation may be to get a bit wet.

The King Valley is a wonderful area which is easily reached from Wangaratta. The King Valley is famous for its excellent wineries and a variety of natural attractions. Whitfield is the hub of many of the King Valleys attractions with Paradise Falls, Lake William Hovell and Powers Lookout all within easy reach and each is certainly worth the drive.

One of the great things about Wangaratta is its central location to a number of regional attractions. Whether you are planning on visiting the natural wonders around the Warby Ranges or wineries of the King Valley and Rutherglen Wangaratta is a convenient location. If you are travelling to the snowfields then Bright is a comfortable drive and for a taste of history Glenrowan and Beechworth are close by. Wangaratta’s own Performing Arts Centre hosts regular shows. There are also a number of annual, seasonal and special attractions across the region that attract large numbers of visitors to the region each year. If you are planning on visiting during the holiday season be sure to book your accommodation early as rooms do fill up.

The Warby Ranges is only a 10km drive from central Wangaratta and is officially known as the Warby-Ovens National Park. It offers a variety of spots for family picnics and natural experiences such as Ryan’s Lookout, Briens Gorge Falls, The Forest Camp and Pine Gully. Fishing, Camping, Walking, Bike Riding and Gem Prospecting is also available in some areas.

If you are looking for something unique then one of the many regular Wangaratta and regional markets are a great place to begin your search. Each year residents and visitors alike can enjoy markets such as the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz Market, Oxley Bush Market, Wangaratta Swap Meet as well as those close to Wangaratta in Mansfield, Yarrawonga, Jamieson, Myrtleford, Beechworth, Peechelba, Rutherglen and Benalla. These markets include everything from clothes and popular foods through to unique handcrafts and gourmet local produce and wines. These markets are a great opportunity to stock up the pantry with all your favourites from one convenient location and in many cases by dealing with the producer direct.

Sir Edward 'Weary' DunlopAn icon in Australia’s history, Edward Ernest Dunlop was born on 12 July 1907 at Major's Plain,Victoria. He was the second of two children to parents James and Alice (nee Payne).

During 1910 the family relocated to a farm near Stewarton and then in 1922 onto Benalla. He attended Stewarton Public School and Benalla High School.

In 1924 Dunlop began a pharmacy apprenticeship in Benalla before moving to Melbourne in 1927 to attend the Pharmacy College where he won a scholarship in 1930 to Ormond College, Melbourne University to study medicine. It was here that he was given his nickname "Weary". He was an excellent academic as well as a competent sportsman and he represented Australia in 1932 playing rugby union.

Dunlop was a junior resident at the Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1935 and was appointed Senior Surgical Resident in 1936; in 1937 he joined the Children's Hospital as Resident. In 1937 he graduated as Master of Surgery from Melbourne University. Dunlop had been a school cadet, and he continued his part-time army service until 1929, when his service ceased under pressure from his pharmacy studies. He re-enlisted in 1935 and was commissioned into the Australian Army Medical Corps on 1 July with the rank of Captain.

In May 1938 Dunlop left Australia for London aboard the SS Ormonde as the ship's medical officer. In London he attended St Bartholomew's Medical School and in 1938 became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. The distinguished medical mentors Dunlop met in London (for example Professor Grey-Turner and Sir Thomas Dunhill) impressed him with their total dedication to their profession, and he resolved to emulate their example. While in Britain Dunlop also developed a wide network of socially elevated and influential people.

At the outbreak of war Dunlop was working as a surgeon at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. He enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps (6th Division) on 13 November 1939 with the rank of Captain. He was posted in December 1939 as Medical Of ricer, Headquarters, Australian Overseas Base, Jerusalem, and appointed Acting Assistant Director of Medical Services. He was promoted to Major on 1 May 1940 and appointed Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services on the staff of the Australian Corps Headquarters and AIF Headquarters in Gaza and Alexandria.

Appointed as AIF Medical Liaison Officer on the staff of the Deputy Director of Medical Services of Lusterforce, he served in both Greece and Crete. On 18 July 1941 he was appointed to command 2/2 Casualty Clearing Station (2/2 CCS), but he was dissatisfied with staff work and declined this promotion. He remained with this unit as senior surgeon (and second in charge) and subsequently served with them in Tobruk. With the withdrawal of the 6th and 7th Australian Divisions from theMiddle East, the 2/2 Casualty Clearing Station (and Dunlop) were transferred to Java. Here he was promoted to temporary Lt Colonel on 26 February 1942.

He was in command of No.1 Allied General Hospital at Bandoeng (Bandung) when Java fell to the Japanese, and he became a prisoner of war. Australian prisoners of war on Java under Dunlop's command were transferred later that year toSingapore. On 20 January 1943 he leftSingaporeforThailandin charge of "Dunlop Force" to work on the Burma-Thailand railway. He remained there until the war ended, labouring tirelessly to save wounded, sick and malnourished men. Many times he put his own life at risk as he stood up to the brutality of his Japanese captors.

On 27 September 1945 Dunlop was appointed Lt Colonel. Returning to Australiain October 1945 he was demobilised on 1 February 1946, transferring to the Reserve List of Officers with the rank of Honorary Colonel. When a student at Ormond College Dunlop had met Helen Ferguson, to whom he became engaged on 6 June l940. On 8 November 1945 they were married at Toorak Presbyterian Church, Melbourne. They subsequently had two sons, John and Alexander. In February 1946 Dunlop resumed his medical and established a thriving private practice. At the Royal Melbourne Hospital he was appointed Honorary Surgeon to Outpatients and in 1949 Honorary Surgeon to In-Patients.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in January 1948. He joined the staff of the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and in 1956 became Consultant Surgeon to the Peter MacCallum Clinic. In 1964 he was appointed the Senior Consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Obliged by age to retire from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1967, Dunlop continued to practise medicine and was appointed medical officer for the British Phosphate Commission from 1973 to 1981. During the course of his life Dunlop received numerous honours and awards in recognition of his civic, sporting, educational, military and medical achievements.

These included the Order of the British Empire (1947), Knight Batchelor (1969), Companion of the Order of Australia (1987), Knight Grand Cross, Order of St John of Jerusalem (1992), Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Royal Crown of Thailand (1993). He was an Honorary Fellow of the Imperial College of London, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Honorary Life Member of the RSL and Life Governor of the Royal Women's Hospital and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. In 1977 he was named Australian of the Year and in 1988 one of the 200 Great Australians.

On 21 April 1988 Helen Dunlop died. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years. After contacting pneumonia, Dunlop died at his home on 2 July 1993. He was accorded a state funeral on 12 July atSt Paul's Cathedral,Melbourne. Over 10,000 people witnessed his funeral, attesting to his great public esteem and popularity.