Wangaratta (or ‘Wang’ to the locals) is a busy but attractive commercial centre situated along the Hume Fwy. It's the turn-off for the ski fields along the Great Alpine Rd and for the Rutherglen wine region. The name means ‘resting place of the cormorants’.
The town sits neatly at the junction of the Ovens and King Rivers. The first buildings, in the 1840s, were based around a punt service that operated until 1855. What you see today is a modern provincial town with only faint echoes of that past. A recent river refurbishment has revived the waterfront with the town's best eateries and a pretty view of the river.