Besides a solid agriculture industry, Avenel plays an important role in the legend of Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, who spent his childhood living in the town and attended the local primary school.
It was during this time that Ned saved a young Richard Shelton from drowning in the local Hughes Creek. For his bravery, Shelton’s parents rewarded Ned with a green silk sash – Ned was wearing this as a cummerbund at the Siege of Glenrowan, when he was finally captured.
His father John (Red) Kelly died in Avenel and is buried at the Cemetery. Red also had his dalliance with the law, once charged, but later acquitted of cattle stealing although fined for illegal possession of a hide. His case was heard at the Avenel Court House, which remains standing today.
Avenel also boasts one of provincial Victoria’s most impressive bridges in the six-arch, stone crossing of Hughes Creek. Built by Hugh Dalrymple in 1850, the bridge remains but was superseded for traffic by a modern structure in 1969.
The Avenel of today is a welcoming small community with all of the appeal that goes with that.
Hovell Street, Avenel
0428 980 090
A spiral staircase gives access to two double bedrooms. Shared bathroom downstairs. Generous breakfast hamper provided. Pets by arrangement.
Accomodates 30 people in 14 ensuited rooms. Undercover enclosed central courtyard. Ideal venue for clubs and social groups.
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