The Military History Trail provides the perfect opportunity for any type of getaway you need. You can easily do this drive in a day, or you can take your time and explore each town for all it has to offer.
War memorials offer special insights into local history and heroism. Each small town has their own stories of sacrifice, determination and devotion to duty. We invite you to experience these insights first hand and see how our communities have been shaped by these stories.
A rich military history is not the only drawcard of the area. Locals boast about gorgeous nature, fantastic food and wine and a thriving arts and crafts scene. The Military History Trail is a great way to explore all the region has to offer.
The Military History Trail is just 1/5 hours from Melbourne if you begin at Seymour. Here, you’ll find the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, where the names of more than 60,000 people who served in the Vietnam War are scripted across the 106 glass panels. Vivid photographs create a stirring visual timeline that guide you through one of Australia’s most poignant historical moments.
Nearby is the WWI memorial park, where Gallipoli, Peace and RSL roses line the paths, a lone pine tree stands, and the Australian and New Zealand flags proudly fly in honour of the ANZACS. From here, it’s just a short drive to the Australian Light Horse Memorial Park, the site of the former Seymour Camp, Victoria’s largest military training and staging facility before Puckapunyal opened in 1939.
You’ll need photo ID to visit the RAAC Memorial and Army Tank museum, which is within the Australian Army training facility at Puckapunyal. The Graytown Prisoner of War Camp, on Heathcote-Nagambie Road, dates from the Second World War, where it held internees from the German warship HSK Kormoran, which sank HMAS Sydney off Western Australia.
The Italian Ossario is in Murchison, a mausoleum commemorating the Italian civilian internees and military Prisoners of War who died during their incarceration in Camps throughout Australia during World War II.
Travel north to explore Tatura and Shepparton, with the Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, the German War Cemetery and the Shepparton & District War Memorial. Two evocative sculptures can be viewed at this memorial. The Helping Hand, by pre-eminent Australian artist Charles Web Gilbert (1867-1925), depicts Private John Raws reaching down to help his brother from a trench on the Western Front. Mateship by Belo Angyal is based on an image taken in New Guinea by renowned World War II photographer Damien Parer (killed in action in the Pacific in 1944).
Benalla, on the banks of the Broken River, is home to memorials commemorating local heroes Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop and Captain ‘Hec’ Waller. Benalla is home to the Benalla Aviation Museum, where you can view a unique collection of military training aircraft. Book ahead if you’d like to experience an adventure flight in a restored aircraft.
Greater Shepparton features include:
- Calder Woodburn Memorial Avenue - the grandest and largest of Victoria’s World War II commemorative plantings.
- Italian Ossario in Murchison, a mausoleum commemorating the Italian civilian internees and military Prisoners of War who died during their incarceration in Camps throughout Australia during World War II.
- Murchison Riverbank Gardens - Features memorials to Lt. Charles Roberts (Boer War), First and Second World Wars.
- Private Robert Mactier VC Memorial Garden - A statue honouring Private Robert Mactier stands in the gardens along with an obelisk commemorating those who served in WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War.
- Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum - offering the opportunity to explore the history of Tatura and District including the history of irrigation in the Goulburn Valley and the unique history of internment and POW camps in WWII.
- German War Cemetery - The official German War Cemetery in Australia - listed on the Victorian Heritage Register August 2015.
- Mooroopna War Memorial - featuring a WWI memorial rotunda and glass panels acknowledging the service of aboriginal soldiers and list of locals who served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesian conflicts.
- Furphy Museum Collection - featuring the Furphy Water Cart and it's important role during World War 1.
- Shepparton & District War Memorial - including two evocative sculptures can be viewed at this memorial. The Helping Hand, by pre-eminent Australian artist Charles Web Gilbert (1867-1925), depicts Private John Raws reaching down to help his brother from a trench on the Western Front. Mateship by Belo Angyal is based on an image taken in New Guinea by renowned World War II photographer Damien Parer (killed in action in the Pacific in 1944).
- Private Daniel Cooper Mural - this mural by Cam Scale depicts Private Daniel Cooper, a Yorta Yorta man who fought and died for Australia during WWI.
- Shepparton RSL Sub-Branch - View the impressive collection of local memorabilia donated by local families, including uniforms, weapons, photos and war time relics.