The town of WANGARATTA, at the junction of the Ovens and King rivers, 16km from Glenrowan, is a convenient overnight stop between Sydney and Melbourne, but there are few reasons to linger unless you're here for the famous four-day Wangaratta Festival of Jazz (Web: www.wangaratta-jazz.org.au ). Beginning on the Friday prior to the Melbourne Cup (the last weekend in Oct or the first weekend in Nov), this is one of the premier jazz events in the country, attracting national stars and international legends. The highway on either side of "Wang" is lined with motels, and the staff at the new Wangaratta Tourist Information, 100 Murphy St (daily 9am–5pm; Tel:1800 801 065), can book tickets for the festival as well as local tours and accommodation, and give out stacks of leaflets about the area. They also have internet access ($2 per 30min).
There's a vast range of accommodation in town. Good choices include the Pinsent Hotel (Tel:03/5721 2183; B&BPrice: $61-75) at 20 Reid St, a renovated country pub-bistro with reasonable double rooms, and the modern Parkview Sundowner, 56 Ryley St (Tel:03/5721 5655, Web: www.parkviewmotorinn.com.au ; Price: $76-100), which has wireless broadband, cable TV and free DVDs to borrow. For food, Scribbler's Café (Mon– Sat 8am–4pm, Sun 9am–3pm), at 66 Reid St, serves good cakes and lunchtime fodder, as does the Yippee Bean Café & Juice Bar (Mon– Fri 8am–5pm, Sat 10am–3pm) at 76 Ovens St. For dinner, great-value food and drinks can be found at the Wangarrata RSL on Victoria Parade (open lunch and dinner daily), while the Indian Tandoori Restaurant (Tues– Sun 5.30–11pm) at 54 Ryley St packs them in most nights. For those seeking nightlife, the Grand Central at 80 Murphy St and the Riva Bar at 40 Faithful St fill up on weekends. Out of town, the Boorhaman Hotel, a small country pub with an award-winning microbrewery, is worth a detour: they serve hearty country tucker (lunch daily, dinner Fri & Sat), washed down with a lager, dark ale, or wheat beer produced by its Buffalo Brewery. It's on Boorhaman Road, 16km north of Wangaratta towards the Murray Valley Highway – call Tel:03/5726 9215 for further directions.