Adventures will find Victoria's High Country has everything they want and more. Not only will you get your fix of adrenalin, but you'll also get a massive dose of fresh mountain air and a look at some spectacular alpine vistas.
High in the mountains, up in the sky, on the ground or in the water, the Alpine region boasts a huge range of adventure experiences from heavy duty adrenaline charges to the tranquility of fly fishing. Whatever you want you'll find it, right here in the Alpine High Country.
In the air the region can offer paragliding, hang gliding, microlighting as well as scenic flights in various types of aircraft. In the water enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fly fishing, underground river caving and river rafting. Whilst on land the pace continues with overnight bushwalking and snow camping, abseiling and caving, mountain biking and horse riding, rock climbing and 4WD tracks. And during the winter months, we can offer the freedom and exhilaration of snowboarding, as well as cross country and downhill skiing.
On the Ground
Mt Buffalo is one of Australia's most famous adventure destinations with mountain biking, abseiling and rock climbing. Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Falls Creek, Bright, Porepunkah and Mt Beauty are surrounded by great tracks for 4WD's, trail bikes and mountain bikes. Horse rides can be taken from Mt Beauty and Bogong.
In the Water
Anglers head for the rivers and streams around Mt Hotham and the waters at Falls Creek, Mt Beauty and Bogong Village. The Buffalo and Kiewa rivers are hot fishing spots for locals, while the Ovens and Buckland rivers near Bright attract anglers, canoiests and kayakers. Mt Buffalo becons with underground river caving and canoeing on Lake Catani.
In the Air
It's pretty hard to beat our flying conditions for paragliding and hang gliding as our consistent sunshine warms the air and produces the dependable thermals that pilots need to stay aloft. Bright has become an international centre for paragliders, Mt Buffalo is a launching pad for hang gliders, while the microlighters take off from Porepunkah airfield. Flying schools will give you lessons in all three disciplines, with the hang gliding and paragliding season from September to the end of June, whilst microlighting is on offer all year round. Or if you would prefer to take it easy, treat yourself to a scenice flight in a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter to view our spectacular scenery in comfort.
Check out our list of operators in the region and start planning your adventure holiday now....
Seeking the adventure of a lifetime? The High Country provides some of the best aerial options from microlighting to paragliding - what's the difference? Find out in the High Country.
Scenic Flights, Gliding, Pargliding, Microlighting, Hang Gliding
With numerous launching pads and dependable thermals the High Country is an aerial adventurer's paradise. Take offs from Mt Buffalo provide views over the national park and surrounding towns and villages. Courses, clincs and tandem flights are offered for hanggliding, helicopter, microlighting (powered hang gliding) and paragliding (think gliding with a parachute). Scenic flights are available over valleys of vineyards, Ovens and King Valley and the rugged Alps. Or why not consider soaring in a glider above Victoria's highest peak Mt Bogong or over the Kiewa Valley.
*Bright Microlight Flights
Micolight Tandem Flights. For bookings phone 03 5750 1555 anytime. Email:email@example.com
*Eagle School of Microlighting
Exploration, freedom, discovery and adrenaline rushes, North East Victoria offers a world of possibilites and opportunities for adventure lovers and the outdoor enthusiast.
Horse riding is available for all levels of experience to all walks of life. Ride through landscapes of mountain streams, alpine scenery and retrace legendary cattlemen's trails. Join hour long, half and full day or weekend rides.
*Bogong Horseback Adventures
Horse rides from two hours to five day pack horse tours. Mountain Creek Road, Tawonga 3698. Tel: 03 5754 4849 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rock Climbing, Caving and Abseiling
North East Victoria offers some of Australia's most challenging locations for rock climbing, abseiling and caving. Not for the faint hearted, so join a tour group and learn the ropes from a professional guide to conquer the rugged cliff tops. Caving both vertically and horizontally provides a new perspective to the world from down-under!
*Adventure Guides Australia
High country adventures for all ages. Join us at Mt Buffalo or in Victoria's High Country for your abseiling, caving, rockclimbing and cross country ski adventures. Multi-activity adventures to include mountain bikes and canoes also available. David Chitty, Tel: 0419 280 614
Ski and Snow
When winter arrives and the snow starts to fall, Victoria's High Country comes alive with even more opportunities for adventurers to scratch their itch for action. The region offers a superbe variety of mountain resorts to choose from all with excellent facilities in terms of alpine activities and entertainment.
Mount Hotham and Falls Creek offer unrivalled slopes for skiers and snowboarders to explore. Beautifully groomed runs of varying standards keep thrill seekers coming back year after year. Snow making facilities are also on hand to top up what nature provides if the need arises.
For those looking for more sedate slopes for beginners and a lot of snow play, Dinner Plain and Mt Buffalo are perfect destinations. Tobogganing is also highly popular amongst younger visitors and is a great way to introduce children to the thrills and spills of the snow.
Mt Buffalo offers a vast selection of picturesque cross country tracks through some of the state's most spectacular country.
The High Country offers it all - downhill and cross country skiing, snow tubing, snow shoeing, snow boarding, tobogganing, snow balling, snow play, or ski school. From gentle runs for beginners to the double black diamond challenges for the experts.
The close proximity of these resorts to Bright makes them ideal destinations for a day trip for a fun filled cool adventure.
*Adventure Guides Australia
Cross Country Skiing
*Five Star Adventure
*North East Off Road Tours
Tel: 0418 579 218. Visit: www.neoffroadtours.com.au
Snow Tips - Enjoying the Snow
Follow these tips for a safe and fun first time trip!
Snow play is most enjoyable but not if you get soaking wet and are not prepared. Always bring a change of clothes including socks and gloves for all involved. Our ski hire and retail shops can hire you with waterproof clothing and footwear. Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential.
Only toboggan in designated areas. Each Resort will have one. Sheets of plastic, tubes etc are illegal. Toboggans can be hired from many ski shops in the area. When tobogganing walk on the sides of the toboggan runs.
Skiing and Boarding
If you are attempting this sport fo rht efirst time it is wise to get professional lessons from one of the fully qualified ski instructors available on all mountains as a starting base. Lift and lesson packages for beginners are really great value.
Choose the Day
It can be perfect down in the valley and totally different on the peaks. It really is essential to check out the weather and snow report before going.
If driving your own car be aware that you must carry chains at all times during the season even if the roads are reportedly clear. Resort entry fees are applicable on every mountain. If you choose to not drive your own vehicle buses run most days to Hotham from Bright, Harrietville and Porepunkah. Buses also run from Mt Beauty to Falls Creek. Bookings can be made and tickets bought in the valley town from the information centres or ski shops.
Ski clothing and footwear can be purchased or hired from numerous outlets in the valley townships. Toboggans, skis and boards, ski racks can be hired and lift tickets, bus tickets, ski lessons and comination packages can be purchased also.
You can take your own snacks and lunch with you as most resorts have comfortable day shelters to accommodate day trippers. However, with lots of restaurants and cafes being at the resorts there is certainly lots of hot food and beverages available to purchase.
Snow Driving and Chains
All roads to the three resorts are sealed all the way. There are safe areas to fit your chains if required. You must carry chains during the snow season (Queen's Birthday June weekend to October unless othersie extended). Hefty fines apply to those who don't have them. The ski shops hire chains as do the service stations. All will assist you in demonstrating how to fit your chains to you vehicle.
Check that your vehicle has antifreeze in the radiator.
Check for possible winter road closures with VIC Roads on 13 11 70, Victorian Snow Line on 1800 067 600 or a North East Victoria Visitor Information Centre. For more information go to the Ski Victoria website www.skivic.com
Cruise it. Conquer it. Catch it. The High Country offers an array of water sports to suit the avid adventure to the lazy weekender, immerse into a landscape untouched by urban chaos, parking congestion and noise pollution and enjoy a spot of fly fishing, boating, rafting or stream swimming.
Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting
If it can be done on water it can be done in the High Country. Excellent access to areas for all types of water activities, including canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, as well as protected areas for swimming.
*Five Star Adventure Tours
Tel: 03 5759 2555
Mobile: 0428 524 605 or 0427 592 556
*Rio's Ripple Rafting
Rio's Alpine Centre, Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah, Tel: 5756 2208
An angler's paradise, the North East of Victoria plays host to some of the best lakes and rivers providing a surefire 'catch of the day' everyday. Brown and rainbow trout are the favourites.
The local Ovens and Buckland Rivers and their tributaries provide good fly fishing with the best times being from October to December. The Ovens River and its tributaries are closed for all fishing from the Queen's Birthday weekend at the start of June to the first weekend in September. During this time if you get the urge to eat local trout try the fish farms at Harrietville (you still catch your own and in a lot less time!) or the local restaurants. Exactly when the great spring fly fishing starts will vary according to river levels, the temperature of the water and the spring snow thaws.
Key spots include:The pondage at Mt Beauty, Lake Buffalo, Kiewa River, Ovens River and Buckland River. Get the experts to show you how.
Bait and Lures can be purchased from any of the valley towns. A recreational fishing license is required for persons aged 18-70. Bright Outdoor Centre can provide you with this and all other fishing needs.
Of course if you want the trout with less work, but heaps of fun you can catch your own at the trout farm in the upper Ovens Valley near Harrietville.
*Mountain Fresh Trout and Salmon.
Fly fishing for beginners - in NE Victoria, Alpine High Country. To make a booking call 03 5754 1466 or 0409 241 762. Email: email@example.com or visit www.anglingvic.com.au
*Sport Centre Bright (indoor heated pool)
Telephone: 5755 5159
*River Swimming with Lifeguard on duty during Summer - Centenary Park Bright and River Reserve Porepunkah
More Serene ....
*Bright Bowling Club
Churchill Avenue, Bright. Visitors welcome. Sat, Sun and Tues.
Telephone: 03 5755 1236
6 days bowls carnival end of December - enquiries welcome
*Bright Croquet Club
All visitors most welcome and all equipment supplied. Croquet Court, Burke Street, Bright. Green Fee $2.00 (association and golf croquet) Mondays Association.Wednesdays Aussie Croquet. Thursdays - Golf Croquet
All 9.30am. Enquiries phone: 5755 2016
*Bright Country Golf Club
Situated at the foothills of the Victorian Alps, the Bright Country Golf Club is a unique 18 hole par 72,0697 metre course designed by Tony Cashmore, with manicured grass greens and beautifully developed tree lined fairways is a must play for all golfers. Clubs, motorised carts and push buggies available for hire. Regular tournaments throughout the year. Competition golf most days of the week. All visitors welcome. Back Porepunkah Road, Bright. Telephone: 5755 1773
Bright Tennis Courts. Visitors welcome to all events. Court hire available.
Telephone: 5755 2275
For National Parks Information: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
For all things ski and snow play:
Take a day's hike, or turn a weekend away into something special and camp under the stars or stay overnight in a cattlemen's hut. Try some of the High Country's best walking options including, Mt Buffalo, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek, Mt Bogong and Dinner Plain.
Explore the area's gold mining past and present day landscapes by wandering along the short walking trails of Bright, Wandiligong, Harrietville and Porepunkah.
Recommended Walks In and around Bright
Canyon Walk - (Easy 3km: 1.5 hours return)
Bright's most popular walk takes you pass a small canyon carved by the Ovens River and amazing water races carved by the hands of early miners.
Enjoy the ever changing river in all seasons and watch for birdlife and wildflowers especially in spring.
Where to Start from and what to watch for:
Start at Star Bridge or the end of Riverside Ave. Note: The northern track has steep steps and may be difficult for people with limited mobility.
For an easy loop, continue past the suspension bridge to the railway bridge and return along the Alpine Rail Trail.
Along the southern bank are many deep and narrow water races, cut by hand through solid rock. The deeper the race, the further the mining site was from the river.
Caution: cliffs and steep banks.
Alpine Rail Trail (Easy)
This popular bike and walking track is ideal for families with pushers.
Where to start from and what to watch for:
It officially starts at the 'old' Bright Railway Station (now the museum) but you can join or leave this converted railway line at many different places along its length to create your own walk route.
Valley View Walk (Medium-2.5km: 2 hours return)
Where to start from and what to watch for:
The best place to park is near the school on Hargreaves Street. Look for the signpost start of the walking track where the eucalypt forest meets Hargreaves Road. In spring, look for native orchids.
Bakers Gully Reservoirs (Easy-0.5 or 1km: or 0.5 or 0.75 hour return)
Stroll around one or both of these reservoirs. The first dam was built in 1892 and the second in 1916 to provide a permanent supply of water to the town, railway station and trains. The reservoirs no longer provide water to Bright but they do offer a peaceful place for walking. Enjoy watching and listening for wildlife in the former reservoirs, now home to platypus, tortoise, fish, frogs and yabbies. Try your luck at catching a trout. Look at fungi grow among the leaf litter in autumn. Try a spotlight walk here at night. Bring a strong torch and warm clothing.
Where to start from and what to watch for:
Follow the walking track that leads from the Information Shelter then follow the signs to circle one or both reservoirs.
Bennetts Walk (Easy-2.5km: 1.5 hours return)
Explore the quiet reaches of Morses Creek between the caravan park and Dougherty Bridge. Mines Department Battery near Dougherty Bridge was erected as recently in 1956. This five head stamp battery provided quartz crushing facilities for gold prospectors until is closed in 1994. The battery and forge is opened for viewing during festivals and school holidays.
Where to start and what to watch for:
Start at either Hawthorn Lane or Dougherty Bridge, follow the track along one side of the creek to a bridge then complete the loop via the other side of the creek.
Apex Lookout Walk - (Medium - 3km: 2hours return)
Where to start and what to watch for:
Drive to Quinn's Gap up Mt Porepunkah Raod. Park a short way up gravel track where the walking track turns right, off the gravel track.
The steady climb rewards you with views of Mt Feathertop, Mt Fainter, and Mt Bogong, the highest peak in Victoria. Eucalypt forests of Peppermints and Box cover these lower slopes of the Victorian Alps. Crush a leaf and smell it to discover which is the peppermint. Look for evidence of wombats or wallabies.
Huggins Lookout Walk (Medium - 1.5km: 1 hours return)
Where to start and what to watch for:
Park along Deacon Ave for Huggins Lookout Walk. Walk along Deacon Ave and Zivan Court to the start of the walking track. Return the same way.
Cherry Walk (Easy - 3km: 1.5 hours return)
Stroll along the banks of the now picturesque Ovens River and reflect in its past. Once a hectic noisy scene of gold digging and dredging, it is now a place for relaxation and quiet strolls. Stripped of its gold and plant cover, the land on both sides of the river had been left in a severly degraded state, even though the companies had promised to replace the topsoil. In 1916 this was the site of the first experimental pine plantings to reclaim in a dredged area. This test planting showed that Radiata Pine survived well and other dredge tailing began being restored by planting them with Pines. Their success led to the establishment of commerical Pine Plantations on non-mined areas. The Cherry family name is still a common one in the area.
Where to start and what to watch for:
Start near the Water Slide on Mountbatten Ave. Follow the southern bank of the river to the suspension bridge and return along the northern bank. This walk can also be started at the parking area where Hawthorn Lane meets the river.
Wandiligong Walk (Easy - 5km: 2 hours return)
Walk from Bright to Wandiligong along picturesque Morses Creek. As you saunter up and down the old dredgings and past its little rocky gorges, rapids and quiet secluded holes, contemplate how important the local creeks and rivers have been and continue to be to the region. Native eucalyptus shade much of the track.
Where to start:
Start at Dougherty Bridge, Bright.
Wandi Wander (Easy - 2km: 1 hour return)
Where to start and what to watch for:
Park at either Alpine Park or Royal Bridge and complete this circuit of Wandiligong's historic sites and buildings, imagining it filled with the 3000 people that once lived here.
Alpine Park has been a recreation reserve since 1877. The original 1884 pavilion was recently rebuilt. The first section of the impressive Wandiligong School was completed in 1877. It had to be extended to cope with 300 students during the gold era. First official Post Office built in 1885 replacing General Store and Post Office on adjoining site.
The Diggings Walk (Easy - 2km: 1 hour return)
Where to start and what to watch for:
Starting at either Alpine Park or Royal Bridge, this loop takes you through the goldfields of Wandiligong.
The Diggings area has been subjected to almost every type of mining. The first diggers in 1860's slucied for alluvial gold with gold pan, sluice box and cradle. Deep mine shafts were then sunk to located deep leads of gold bearing rock. Heavy machinery in the form of the Wandiligong Number 1 Dredge worked the area between 1905 to 1914. This area was worked by Chinese and conainted a small settlement of houses, shops, flower and vegetable gardens and a Joss House. The Wandiligong Number 1 Dredge worked over the old alluvial diggings between the Hall, Post Office and Hotel, leaving the whole area severly degraded. Adit (Mine entance) collapsed and filled with water. Stephens Water Race. This channel carried water to the water wheel in Stephens Mill.
Royal Bridge Walk (Easy-2km: 1hour return)
Explore the quiet back lanes of Wandiligong to Williams United Mine and return past the Hotel. Still a great pub for a drink and chat if only the walls could talk!
Riverside Walk (Easy-1.6km:45 mins (long), 0.5km: 15 mins (short) )
Muse over the lifestyle and hard work of the town's pioneers and gold miners as you peruse the waterwheel and log wagon in Pioneer Park before sauntering along the burbling East Branch of the Ovens River. The dredging operations altered the natural course of the river.
Where to start and what to watch for:
Start at the Museum in Pioneer Park. For a short loop, cross the small footbridge to Featherop Lane and return along Great Alpine Road. For a longer loop continue along the river to Bon Accord Track then follow this road to the Great Alpine Road and back to Pioneer Park.
Tronoh Dredge Walking Track (Easy-1.4km: 30 mins return)
Marvel at the Tronoh Dredge Hole and enjoy the waterfall and pine forest. The Tronoh was one of the world's largest electric powered mechanical dredges, larger than the MCG. This dredge hole was created as a turning area due to a rock bank for the 170 metres long Tronoh. The dredge worked 24 hours a day, 6 days a week between 1946 and 1954. It dredged 156ha of land on the river flats up to depth of 40 metres. As you can see, gold dredging operations in the past were not required to repair the damage they caused. Pines were plated to reclaim one of the dredge tailings.
Charlie Miley Walking Track (Easy-3km return: 1 hour return)
Experience the sights, sounds and aromas of the eucalypt forest. The walking track heads off from Charlies Miley Road (named after a world champion axeman from Harrietville) in Clarrie Keating Memorial Park. Note the scenically located football oval.
Where to start from and what to watch for:
The walking track starts at the end of Charlie Miley Road, and is flanked by rubble from Chinese gold diggings. When you reach the small bridge, complete a loop by turning left into Lyrebird Gully and then into Mill Road (once the town centre), or return the way you came. Do not cross the bridge that is noted Private Property.
Telford Historic Walk (Easy-20 mins)
Information signs at the historic locations along this walk bring this tiny town's past to life. In the mid 1800s it was thought Porepunkah would become the district centre.
Highlights: Site of Hendersons's Mill Port House, a popular tourist guest house in the early to mid 1900s. Porepunkah Hotel, built from locally made sundried brics. Site of the Blacksmiths Shop. Porepunkah Primary School, officially opened in 1873. Hall and Recreation Reserve. The hall was erected in the early 1900s.
Tewsbury's Dredge began work on this site in 1901
Site of the Police Camp
Site of Hoopers Ovens Crossing Inn
Site of Duncan's Porepunkah Hotel, the town's first hotel
Site of the tiny Onley's Bakery which dispatched bread throughout the district
Site of Russell's Temperance Hotel, noted for its fine terraced gardnes.
Porepunkah River Circuit (Easy- 1.9km: 45 mins)
Take in the sights and sounds of the Ovens River, corss the swing bridge and return via the Alpine Rail Trail.
Check the Visitor Information centre for information and maps.
Purchase the Short Walks around Bright and District
Purchase A guide to the Beautiful Trees of Bright
Check out the Mount Bauffalo and Alpine National Park short and longer walks available from the Visitor Centre
Purchase the Bright and Alpine High Country Visitors Map
North East Off Road Tours and Tagalongs
Five Star Adventure Tours
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
When bushwalking ensure you are always prepared.
Contact Packs Victoria for maps and walking information on 131 963 or visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Cycling & Mountain Bike Riding
Explore the High Country by bicycle - off road or on-road. The Alpine Resorts all offer great mountain biking, catch a lift to the top for a downhill rush. Rail Trails are ideal for a leisurely cycle or take an andrenaline-fueled downhill track through some of the many State and National Parks. Try Mt Buffalo to Bright - a cyclist's delight with scenery for miles.
Bike and equipment sales, bike rental sales and repairs. Ride maps and information. Tel: 03 5750 1442 www.cyclepath.net.au
Recommended rides in and around Bright -
For more information a copy of the Mountain Biking Guide - Bright and District is well worth purchasing from Cyclepath located in Gavan Street, Bright.
Bright and District Summer Road Series - Mondays time trials and racing. Meet at Cyclepath at 6pm or Buckland Valley Road just before the airfield at 6.30pm.
Mountain Bike Rides - Wednesdays starting 6pm at Cyclepath for further information contact one of the team on 5750 1442
Short Rides - suitable for families and novices
Bright to Porepunkah (10Km return). Via the shared pedestrian/bicycle path, the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail (visit www.railtrail.com.au). Starts behind Bright Museum in Railway Ave, Bright. This track is ealed and flat. A brochure on the rail trail is available from the Visitors Centre.
Bright to Wandiligong
(10km return) on sealed main road
(15km return) Churchill Ave - Back Wandiligong Road (gravel surface) Wandiligong - Mills Bridge - Centenary Ave - White Star Road (dirt road)
Bright to Porepunkah loop (15km round trip) turning at Rio's Alpine Centre corner where Back Porepunkah Road joins Great Alpine Road.
Medium Distance Rides
Using main roads, cyclists must be aware of traffic particularly in peak holiday times.
Bright - Harrietville (50km return)
Bright - Buckland Valley (32km return) turning back at end of sealed road at Buckland Bridge
Bright - Myrtleford (60km return) via Great Alpine Road, sealed shoulder most of the way. Bike station at Eurobin with toilets/shelter
Bright - Myrtleford - Lake Buffalo (100km return)
Routes for Touring and Training
Beware of ice on road in winter
Bright - Tawonga Gap Lookout (40km return). Great views, climb and descend
Bright - Mt Beauty (60km return) Climb and descend x 2
Bright - Great Alpine Road (110km circuit) - Ovens - Happy Valley Rd. (Kancoona Gap) - Kiewa Valley Highway - Tawonga Gap Rd. - Bright. Climb and descend.
Want to give it a go in the next Audax Alpine Classic, Audax Bike Event, or the Tour of Bright Road Bike Race - then check out these websites for more information
Audax Alpine Classic - end January
Audax Road Bike Event - December 50, 100, 200km
Tour of Bright Road Bike Race - November
Telephone 5756 2403
Gravel and Dirt Rds - Tracks Suitable for Mountain Bike Riding
You can obtain copies of Bright and Wandiligong 1:25000 Vicmaps from Bright Outdoor Centre, Newsagents or the Visitor Centre and do some exploring.
NB: Our suggested routes list times which are approximate only and will depend on ability of the rider.
Back Germantown Rd to Tawonga and return (30mins) flat, river crossings.
Back Porepunkah Rd. Roberts Creek Rd, Quinns Gap Loop (45 mins).
Huggins Lookout (30 mins) Go up Bakers Gully Rd, wind round to the left to Huggins Lookout and continue on to Mystic Lane and back to Bright
Tom Briggs Rd - Quinn's Gap Loop (45 mins) Tom Briggs Rd is a gravel track and starts from the Back Porepunkah Rd (about 2km from Bright) Tom Brigg's Rd climbs from the BAck Porepunkah Rd to the top of the ridge then doubles back along the ridge to Quinn's Gap. Continue down the Mt Porepunkah Rd into Bright.
Templar Rd - Oregon Rd - Quinn's Gap Loop (30mins) Tempolar Rd starts off Tom Brigg's Rd about half way up the side of the hill before the ridge. Templar Rd continues back towards Bright and joins Oregon Rd which continue to Quinn's Gap. Continue down Mt Porepunkah Rd to Bright.
Mt Porepunkah (4 hours) - Mt Porepunkah Rd to Quinn's Gap, on to Mt Porepunkah itself and continue on. Return via One Mile Creek Rd to Porepunkah town and back to Bright.
Bright - Wandiligong - Freeburh (2 hours) up Hillsborough Track which starts from Growlers Gully Rd in Wandiligong, up to ridge and then down Reliance Track to Great Alpine Rd at Freeburgh and return to Bright.
Bright - Wandiligong (30 mins) To Wandiligong and back via White Star Rd which starts at Dougherty's Bridge just past the Bright Football Oval on Coronation Ave.
Clear Spot and Return (2 hours) Up Bakers Gully Rd then wind round to the right to Clearspot Lookout and return
Bike hire is available at Cyclepath at Bright.
Lots more competitions and events throughout the year.
Telephone: 5756 2403
Contact Parks Victoria for maps and recommended trails and tracks on 131 963 or visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au. Try the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail www.railtrail.com.au or Bicycle Victoria www.bv.com.au
For Cycle Maps visit www.murraytomountains.com.au
Experience some of the great touring routes of Australia, right here starting from Bright. You will discover the splendour of valleys, mountains, forests, and rivers, one of the finest and most diverse combinations of scenery imaginable in the country.
You will pass through Victoria's largest national park, the Alpine National Park which contains 10 of the 11 highest mountains in the State.
During winter it forms one of Australia's most beautiul and challenging ski fields. From spring to autumn, its a carpet of wildflowers, swiftly flowing rivers and lush valleys. Small farms line the road and sell a variety of produce from the farmgate.
Throughout the journey you will be aware of the special heritage of the region, forged through aboriginal culture, European settlement, gold fever, the ski industry and the legends of the mountain cattlemen.
It's an adventure, its stylish, its fascinating above all, its one of the great touring experiences.
Safe driving in the Alps
The Great Alpine Road is fully sealed and well matained with year-round access. While snow clearing equipment is used in the mountain areas in winter, you should be prepared for potential fog, ice, snow and strong winds during these months.
Check Road Conditions
Check for possible winter closures with VIC Roads on 13 11 70 or a local Visitor Information Centre in the Great Alpine Region.
Prepare your Car
Check fuel, oil, tyres and anti freeze before you go as there are limited services at the ski resorts. Alpine diesel is recommended for driving in the High Country and is available throughout the Alpine Region. Note: Snow chains must be carried to these resorts from June to early October and fitted as directed.
We recommend use of the Alpine High Country Touring Map or the Great Alpine Touring Map to make the most of your scenic drive.
Following are some suggested scenic drive itineraries that can be commenced from our valley.
Mt Buffalo Drive
54km on sealed road. Minimum 1.5 hor drive, plus stops.
From Porepunkah take the C535 to Mt Buffalo. Return by the same route.
This park is known for its huge range of bushwalking tracks and varied activities all year round. Swimming, canoeing, fishing and 27 tracks to choose from for all abilities. There is an entry fee to the National Park.
Bright - Lake Buffalo via Myrtleford - 96kms round trip
Perfect place for a picnic! Travel along the Great Alpine Road and stop off for supplies on the way! Bright Berry Farm, Boyntons Winery and Cafe, Ringer Reef Winery in Porepunkah, or a bakery at myrtleford. Call in for afternoon tea at the Red Stag Restaurant - Deer and Emu Farm at Eurobin on the way home.
Bright - Mt Beauty - Ovens - 105kms Round Trip Half Day
Travel south from Bright along the Great Alpine Road and turn left at Germantown Bridge climbing the Tawonga Gap. At the top there are stunning views of Mt Bogong, Victoria's highest mountaion. From here the road winds down joining the Kiewa Valley Highway. Turn right to Mt Beauty for a lunch or a snack, or just look around. Back up the Kiewa Valley Highway to Tawonga to the Happy Valley turnoff, heading back to Rosewhite to the Great Alpine Road. Turn left to Bright. An option is to continue down the Kiewa Valley Highway through Dedergang and turn left at Tunnel Gap Road, which leads back to Myrtleford and then the Great Alpine Road to Bright. Another extra option is to continue from Mt Beauty up the road to Falls Creek but only going to the Clover Arboretum (13kms from Mt Beauty) and then Bogong Village before turning back to Mt Beauty.
Bright - Mt Beauty - Omeo -200kms round trip Full Day (Bogong High Plains Road closed and chains required from Mt Beauty onwards in snow season)
This trip takes you across in to the Kiewa Valley via Mt Beauty, then up the Bogong High Plains Rd to Bogong Village and Falls Creek. This route takes you through Alpine National Park to Omeo. The road is good, but unsealed surface at most times from Falls Creek to the Omeo Highway. Take time to look around Oemoe. Lots of Gold Hisotry and a fantastic bookshop. The trip from Omeo to Bright travels through the Alpine High Country via Dinner Plain and Mt Hothan, returning via Harrietville and the Ovens Valley.
Bright - Harrietville - Dinner Plain - 100kms round trip - Full Day (Chains required from Harrietville in snow season)
Travel south along the Great Alpine Road via Smoko (fresh farm produce incl. berries, eggs, veggies etc) and then through Harrietville (trout farm, lavender farm, Devonshire Teas). From here the road climbs to Mt Hotham where you can take in the 360 degree views. Dinner Plain with its cafes and pub is also open all year round and the unique village is something to see!
Four Wheel Driving
With vast areas of National and State Park, the largest collective in Australia, there's a lot of space to discover off road adventures. For an AWD scenic and sealed option drive the Great Alpine Road or go off road through the wild country of Buckland Valley and the Mt Porepunkah circuit.
Many popular 4WD routes in the high country are closed during winter and early spring to protect against track damage. Tracks can also be closed due to storm or bushire damage or fallen trees. Log trucks can be encountered without warning. Dispite this, there are still some routes that remain open close to Bright and are suitable for using during drier weather. The Alpine High Country Touring Map available for purchase at the Bright Visitor Centre is ideal for initial planning and getting a feel for the area. Detailed contour maps available from Bright Outdoor Centre and Bright Newsagency are needed before going 4W driving and you should be prepared for all eventualities. Do not rely solely on mobile phones as they do not work in all Alpine areas. High country weather can change very quickly with below zero temperatures, wind, fog and snow.
Mt Porepunkah Circuit
Distance 40km. Travel Time 2 hours. Rating Rough 2WD Easy 4WD. Season All year. May be closed by snow in winter and early Spring. Strictly dry weather only. Maps Bright 1:25,000 Buffalo 1:100,000. Start Bright - Star Rd, Toorak Rd, Mt Porepunkah Rd, via Quinns Gaps, Mt Porepunkah
Return: Mt Porepunkah Rd, (North), One Mile Ck Rd, Great Alpine Rd, via Porepunkah
Features of trip - Excellent views from the summit across Mt Buffalo and the Victorian Alps
Clear Spot - Buckland Valley Circuit
Distance 33km. Travel Time 1.5hrs. Rating Rough 2WD, Easy 4WD. Season All Year. Maps Bright, Wandiligong 1:25,000 Buffalo 1:100,000. Start Bright - Bakers Gully Rd, Clear Spot Rd, Clear Spot. Return Dingo Ridge Tk, Prosser Rd, Egglestons Lne, Buckland Valley Rd, return to Bright via Porepunkah.
Features of trip - Pine Plantations, excellent views of Mt Buffalo and Feathertop from Clear Spot where there is a directional cairn to help you identify surrounding mountains. Beware of logging trucks on plantation roads.
Demon Ridge - Wandiligong Circuit
Distance 36km. Travel Time 1.5 to 2 hrs. Rating Easy 4WD (rough 2WD to Clear Spot)
Season Summer, strictly dry weather only. Maps Bright Wandiligong 1:25,000. Buffalo 1:100,000. Start Bright - Bakers Gully Rd, Clear Spot Rd, Demon Ridge Rd, (0dist. meter), Stans Rd (Mudhole Rd on 1:25,000 map). Take left hand Rd 5.3kms from Clear Spot Rd and start of the Demon Ridge Rd, Branch Ck Rd. Return Bright via Wandiligong Rd.
Features of trip - Views east into Morses Valley and east to Mt Buffalo. Picturesque crossing at Mudhole Ck on Stans Rd.
Wet Gully - Wandiligong Circuit
Distance 48kms. Travel Time 2.5 hrs. Rating Easy - Medium 4WD. Season Strictly Summer. Maps Bright, Wandiligong, Freeburgh, Harrietville 1:25,000 and Buffalo Bogong 1:100,000. Start Wandiligong Rd, Morses Ck Tk, Mongel Tk, Four Ways Intersection. Return Wet Gully Tk, Back Wandiligong Rd, Bright - Churchill Ave.
Features of Trip - Excellent views east towards the higher peaks of Feathertop and Fainters (Alpine National Park) and far below into Morses Creek and Ovens Valleys. Track at times winds through Alpine Ash and Snow Gum woodland above 1100m.
More detailed notes on suggested 4WD routes and information on 4WD tours are available at the Visitor Centre.
Five Star Adventure Tours
- Explore the Alpine National Park on our 4WD scenic day tours. Travel in comfort and safety in a 4WD Oka 14 seat bus or our Toyota Landcruiser to see the many aspects of the Alpine High Country. Go where no one else does, gourmet food and local cool climate wines, spectacular scenery - a photographers dream. Tel: 5759 2555. Mobile: 0428 524 605 or 0427 592 556. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
North East Off Road Tours and Tagalongs
Your ultimate 4WD adventure begins with us. Experience the great outdoors in our vehicle as a passenger or tagalong in your own 4WD. We explore the magnificent Alpine High Country in Victoria. Tel: 03 5727 3382
Contact Parks Victoria for maps and road access info on 131 963 or visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au.
For information on activities in State Forests contact DSE at www.dse.vic.gov.au
For Scenic Drives www.greatalpineroad.info
Bring your appetite. Treat your palate. Our region is home to the finest gourmet producers, award winning restaurants, hand crafted beers and acclaimed winemakers.
The Alpine High Country's rich soils, well established boutique vineyards and focus on innovative foods, creates a year round celectration of all things gourmet.
Bright your appetitie and take the time to taste the flavors of the Alpine High Country. The Alpine High Country's four distinct seasons brings year round different crops to ripeness with produce appearing on local menus as well as the most lauded restaurants, or from roadside stalls, regular farmer markets, and at the many pubs, bars, cafes scattered in the region.
Your palate will be refreshed as you savor wonderful wines, crisp ales and beers and fresh local seasonal fruit and vegetables from farms, gardens and orchards.
You'll pick your own luscious summer berries and ripe juicy stone fruit. Quaff homemade brew and sip cool-climate wines. Sample full flavored cheeses, direct from the maker. Savor delivious olive oils, walnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts, mustards, specialty bread, lamb, farmed trout, salmon, jams, pickles and preserves, our home grown apples and locally-grown asparagus.
Check out the cellar doors, farms and cheese factories for beautiful produce and wine and take up the offer of sampling the freshest and tastiest local goods. With the availability of quality fresh seasonal produce, local restaurants have no trouble keeping in step with the larger cities, where you can sample the special flavors of the Alpine lovingly and artistically prepared by our talented chefs. Many of our restaurants have garnered national awards and highly converted chefs hats that have in turn lured chefs from our larger cities to cook at the source.
Of course, you dont have to look too far for complementary wines to match your food. Follow the North East Wine Trail, boasting awe-inspiring view and backdrops, our cellar doors are as friendly as they are plentiful, allowing visitors to experience rich velvety reds, crisp whites and sparkling wines for which the region is renowned. Many of the regions vineyards are receiving well deserved attention for their cellar doors and wineries, so a trip to explore these cellar doors must not be missed.
A unique way to explore the delicious treats of the Alpine High Country is a journey along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Pedal to Produce is the perfect foodies holiday, cycling down country roads to taste award winning wines and onto farm gates to pick up some fresh produce and meet the farmer who grew it. Or if you dont want to be too physical take a guided food and wine tour from one of our local tour companies.
The Alpine High Countrys wine and food events celebrate the enticing variety of the regions produce, so why not take the opportunity to arrange your trip around the many events and be part of the fun, flavor and festivity.
Its all here, waiting for you to absorb the special flavors of the Alpine High Country. Whether your taste runs from seasonal fruit, vegetables and nuts to cheeses and the great common denominator wine, The Alpine High Country is ripe for harvest year round.
Almond, walnut, chestnut and hazelnuts. The regions wine harvest begins as early as February, but the cool climate varieties the Alpine is famous for, will not come off the vine until April.
Apples, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lemon, lime, potatoes, quince and rhubarb. Pruning time in the vineyards and orchards, while the white wine vintage will already be bottled in the wineries.
Not a time of harvest yet the wonderful climate and green scenery make it perfect to explore and sample the year round gourmet produce such as olive oils, mustards, specialty bread, lamb, farmed trout and salmon, jams, pickles and preserves. The valley is bursting to life, buds bursting on the vines in the vineyards from the first week of October, with leaves, vines and fruit emerging over the following weeks.
Berries and stone fruit, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, peaches, plums, raspberries and strawberries.
Wine and food events
Alpine Valleys Gourmet Weekend, A Taste of Falls Creek
Cool Summer Festival, Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain
Brown Brothers Easter Festival, Milawa
King Valley End of Harvest Fiesta
Beechworth Harvest Celebration
Weekend Fit for a King, King Valley
Mountain Fresh Festival, Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain
King Valley Vignerons Shed Show and Wine Exhibition
TAC Wangaratta Festival of Jazz
La Dolce Vita King Valley
Brown Brothers Wine and Food Weekend, Milawa
For More Information on other wine and food events on offer visit
North East Valleys Victoria www.northeastvalleys.com.au
Cafe and Bakery Operators
Food Wine Friends}, Bright www.foodwinefriends.com.au.
Plump Harvest Produce, Myrtleford www.plumpharvestproduce.com.au
The Bakery, Mount Beauty, Mount Beauty
The Butter Factory, Myrtleford, Myrtleford www.thebutterfactory.com.au.
The Sweet Retreat,Bright
Alpine Olives, Upper Gundowring. 6028 www.alpineolives.com.au.
Bright Berry Farms/Mt Buffalo Vineyard , Eurobin.
Gunadoo Berries Smoko via Bright.
Gundowring Fine Foods Waddingtons at Kergunyah. www.gundowringfinefoods.com.au
High Country Smokehouse
22 Holland Street, Mt Beauty.
Mt Buffalo Olives Porepunkah. www.mtbuffaloolives.com.au.
Mountain Fresh Trout Farm. Great Alpine Road, Harrietville.
Mountain View Chestnuts Great Alpine Road, Eurobin. www.cheznuts.com.au.
Nightingale Bros Alpine Apples
708 Morses Road, Wandiligong
Selzer Hydorponic Tomatoes Myrtlebrae, 176 Selzers Lane, Ovens.
The Traditional Plum Pudding co.. 133 Harris Lane, Buckland Valley. www.traditionalplumpudding.com.au.
Valley Nut Groves
235 Schlapps Road, Gapsted.
Poplars Restaurant Shop 8 Star Road, Bright. www.poplars.com.au.
Range258 Great Alpine Road, Myrtleford. www.range.net.au.
Recline 36 Hollonds St, Mt Beauty. 03 www.recline.com.au.
Red Stag Restaurant Deer and Emu Farm Complex. Hughes Lane, Eurobin. www.alpinelink.com.au/redstag.
Simone's of Bright 98 Gavan St, Bright. Villa Gusto 630 Buckland Valley Rd, Bright.
Waddingtons at Kergunyah
2688 Kiewa Valley Highway, Kergunyah. Tel: 02 6027 5393. www.waddingtons.com.au.
Beer & Wine
Annapurna Estate & Cafe
Simmonds Creek Rd, Mt Beauty. www.annapurnaestate.com.au
Bogong Estate Cnr Mountain Creek and Damms Road, Mt Beauty. www.pinotnoir.com.au
6619 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah. www.boynton.com.au.
Bright Brewery - 121 Great Alpine Road, Bright. www.brightbrewery.com.au.
Ceccanti- Kiewa Valley Wines 285 Bay Creek Lane, Mongan's Bridge. www.ceccanti.com.au
Eaglerange Estate Wines. 228 Happy Valley Road, Ovens. www.visithappyvalley.com.au Gapsted
Great Alpine Road and Snow Road, Gapsted. www.gapstedwines.com.au.
Great Alpine Inn. 844 Great Alpine Road, Freeburgh. www.greatalpinefood.com.
Kancoona Valley Wines and Cafe
123 Morgans Creek Road, Kancoona South
Mayford Wines. 6815 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah. www.mayfordwines.com.
Michelini Wines Great Alpine Road, Myrtleford. www.micheliniwines.com.au.
Ovens Hotel 4994 Great Alpine Road, Ovens.
6835 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah. 5756 www.ringerreef.com.au
Souter's Vineyard 390 Happy Valley Rd, Rosewhite. www.happyvalley75.com.au/soutervineyard.
Tawonga Vineyard and Winery 2 Drummond Street, Tawonga. www.tawongawineryard.com
91 Great Alpine Road, Bright
Wine Tour Operators
North East Off Road Tours - Winery . www.shaunswinerytours.com
For More Information visit:
North East Valleys Victoria
Pedal to Produce
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
The communities of the Alpine High Country celebrate a rich history and pioneering roots in monuments and museums touting bygone days.
The Alpine High Country is full of history and every day in the Alpine High Country is a discovery of the past.
The Alpine High Country original aboriginal inhabitants of the Northeast Victoria journeyed on foot to their summer vacation on the high plains and enjoyed a feast of Bogong Moths, a traditional edible delicacy but our colonial history began only a couple of centuries ago, so youll feel the presence of the past everywhere.
Discover memories of Alpine High Country gold fever days. Gold fever in the 1850s and 60s brought a wave of visitors from other Australian goldfields, China, America and Europe to the Alpine High Country. Wandiligong, Bright, Harrietville and the Buckland Valley offer several walks highlighting the gold rush years and its history. Highlights being the Diggings Walk with its new Chinese Swing Bridge at Wandiligong and the Buckland Valley Cemetery and the Chinese Monument.
In 1890 the railway line to Bright was completed and opened the area further for movement of produce and people. Mt Buffalo, Bright and the Alpine High Country were even more accessible for tourists, botanists, artists, mountaineers and field naturalists to explore the region. Over the years many of the railway stations have been discontinued, however the railway line journey is documented and enjoyed in the present by cycle or foot on The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
The turn of the century saw the coming of huge dredges with their numerous buckets descending into the holes created in and along the river courses. At Harrietville the dredge hole is now a popular swimming hole and picnic spot for all to enjoy.
The first pine plantation came to the area during the First World War to utilise these dredge tailing and to combat the spread of the weed St Johns Wort. After both world wars immigrants, particularly the Italians, came to the Ovens Valley and brought with them their skills in many areas particularly tobacco growing.
For many years tobacco growing was the main agricultural industry, however in recent times the tobacco industry has dwindled and many farms have now been converted to growing a variety of horticultural produce including nuts, apples, wine grapes, berries, asparagus, peppermint and lavender. The region now has a reputation for fine produce that takes advantage of the fantastic soil and ideal climate. However, keen photographers and lovers of architecture can still appreciate evidence of historical tobacco kiln's dotting the stunning landscape or lovers of history can visit the tobacco museum located in the Tobacco Sheds, Great Alpine Road in Bright or the memorial celebrating the tobacco industry in Myrtleford.
To gain some further insight in to the history of the Alpine Country, you can step back in time and discover the rich history of the area and the first pioneers to the region by visiting one of the museums in the region, located in Bright, Harrietville and Myrtleford.
The Alpine High Country seems to foster creativity theres an unusually large number of talented people working in a variety of arts and crafts, woodworkers, artist-jewellers, painters and photographers all capturing the uniqueness of the Alpine High Country.
Important creative focal points are the galleries and studios scattered in the Alpine, and youll find the best of Alpine High Country art and craftwork at The Bright Art Gallery. Throughout the year they have a variety of exhibitions showcasing the talent of the Alpine High Country.
For those with a penchant for history and cultural experience, head to the hills and discover the rich cultural diversity of the Alpine, combined with the warmth of a welcoming, creative community.
Bright State Gold Battery
Telephone: 5750 1530
Tobacco and Gold Museum at The Old Tobacco Sheds Telephone: 5755 2344
Bright Museum - Railway Avenue, Bright.
Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre - 28 Mountbatten Ave, Bright.
For More Information
Bright and District Historical Society