The Alpine High Country is blessed with an abundance of stunning National Parks and wilderness. A dramatic landscape of Mountains, Valleys, clean air and clean rivers await your exploration.
Whether youre looking for adventure or seeking quieter pleasures, spending some time in the Alpine High Countrys natural places is a wonderful way to engage all your senses.
Pack your walking shoes and discover the ever changing Alpine High Country in all seasons.
Many days can be spent in the Bright area exploring the diverse countryside and discovering the heritage whilst on the many walks scattered throughout the area. The most popular walk in Bright, the Canyon Walk, takes you past a small canyon carved by the Ovens River and amazing water races carved by the hands of early miners.
The Alpine High Country has two major parks within easy access, so there are plenty of dramatic and spectacular locations to enjoy.
You can take in the fantastic views of the Australian Alps from a number of spectacular lookouts throughout the Mt Buffalo National Park. Mt Buffalo National Park was declared as a National Park in 1898 and is loved by bushwalkers, adventurers and birdwatchers alike. The park has a rugged beauty with spectacular views over valleys and vineyards, amazing opportunities for bird watching and wildlife spotting including Lyrebirds, Eastern Rosellas, Wombats and Swamp Wallabies. Explore the network of 27 walking tracks that lead to delightful waterfalls, great lookouts, and amazing granite formations. Sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning wildflowers makes this Park a must in the spring, summer and autumn. Mount Buffalo is also famous for rock climbing, hang gliding and caving with local operators available to provide training and advice. During winter, snow blankets the plateau and Mount Buffalo National Park becomes a stunning winter wonderland. The park offers cross-country skiing, tobogganing and snow play areas.
At 646,000 hectares, the Alpine National Park is Victorias largest and protects our highest mountains and varied environments. 10 of the states 11 highest mountains are within easy driving distance. Mount Bogong (Victorias highest mountain 1986m), Mount Feathertop, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain and the Bogong High Plains are amongst the parks best known features and offer all-year round adventure. Mt Hotham and Falls Creek offer a Mecca for skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities in the winter, and play host to an extensive all year round events program. The park is home to rare fauna, including the mountain pygmy-possum, the worlds only exclusively alpine marsupial and many historic huts including Wallaces Hut, the oldest still standing. There is also a rich botanical community ranging from alpine herb fields to snow gum woodlands with more than 1,110 native plant species, 12 of which (including the Bogong daisy bush and silky daisy) are only found in the area.
For a unique perspective, enjoy a birds eye view of our stunning Alpine Country with something a little more adventurous. Try abseiling, paragliding, hang-gliding, mirco-lighting, and rock-climbing or a scenic helicopter or Cessna flight. Or for those more land bound, why not go off the road and explore the terrain by 4WD, or on horseback through the Bogong High Plains, or perhaps hike through the many bush walks on offer.
Enjoying Nature Safety Tips
Be prepared if you plan to spend some time in the outdoors walking or hiking:
Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return
Check the weather forecast
Check the length and degree of difficulty of your planned walk
Drink plenty of water
Wear sturdy shoes and socks, a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothing and insect repellent
Read maps and signs, stay on the track, stay behind safety barriers and stay away from cliff edges
Do not feed or play with native animals
Obtain park information from the ranger station or information centre
Limit use of fire
National Parks Pass and Snow Chains
A fee is charged for entry to the national parks. Passes are available at the entry gates.
During the official winter season all vehicles must carry snow chains by law, due to ice and snow on the roads.
For More Information
Australian National Parks
Check the Visitor Information Centre for information and maps for short walks around Bright and District and the National Parks.
The breathtaking scenic beauty of the Ovens and King Valleys, Everton Hills and the Alpine High Country can now be safely enjoyed by all.
Ride, walk, or stroll along Australia's premier rail trail. Experience some of Australia's most rural scenery, from river gums to mountain ash on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Following historical railway lines the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail provides 98km of sealed trail linking Wangaratta, Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright. The trail has a gentle gradient that makes it suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, and is a must do for all visitors to the region.
The trail is an ideal introduction into the diverse countryside of the North East Victorian Alps and Valleys. North East Victoria's 4 distinct seasons gives the trail a different feel every time you use it. Autumn colours blaze through the valley's giving way to winter snow on the ranges and spring blossoms beckon the way for warm summer days. The trail leads you deep into pine forests and natural bushland then out in the open through valleys nestled amongst some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Australia.
Sample the region's superb food and wine along the way as the MTMRT passes wineries and farm gates. Absorb living history as you pass by old tobacco kilns and witness the prosperity of the gold rush era or the haunting legend of Ned Kelly.
Within a few hours of Melbourne and Canberra, the trail is a healthy, lesiurely way to encounter the 'Real Australia'. Organise your family and friends, bring your bikes (or hire one here) and explore the history, taste the food, or simply just smell the alpine air in this unique region of Australia.
For more information visit www.railtrail.com.au or Phone 1800 500 117.
*An approved bicycle helmet must be worn at all times when riding the Rail Trail.
*Consider your level of fitness, break the journey up into manageable stages.
*Consider your equipment, make sure your bike is in good condition
*Consider your clothing, dress to suite the conditions and remember cool changes can occur quickly without great warning.
*Consider sufficient water for your journey, at least 2 litres of water a day per person to stay sufficiently hydrated. There are water stations along the Trail, but users are urged to take adequate supplies.
*Don't forget to carry a bicycle repair kit, mobile phone, energy food and suncreen.
For Cycle Maps - www.murraytomountains.com.au
Your adventure starts here, vast fascinating mountain scape, a natural playgournd with different personality and choice of activities for every season. Enjoy!
Summer - December-February
Summer is the best season to try your hand at fishing or cooling off in the rivers and mountain stream. All water sports are available this time of year with flora and fauna enjoying the long days of sunshine in the shade of river and snow gums. During the twilight hours seek out sunsets over the Alps or bush walk early to watch the sunrise. If your interest is more aerial, why not consider a glider flight over the picturesque Kiewa Valley.
Victoria's alpine areas are the height of adventure in summer, with activities ranging from downhill thrills on mountain bikes to mastering the art of fly fishing in alpine streams.
Seasonal Produce in the Summer -
Summer in Victoria's North East is synomous with two things, berries and stone fruit. Laxy summer days can be spent sampling some of Australia's finest selections of apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries and strawberries.
Autumn - March-May
A season that offers brilliant colour and days crisp with clear mountain air, Victoria's High Country in Autumn is a great time of year to explore the wilderness and valleys by bicyle or horse, on foot, go 4WD or AWD or fly. Walnuts, chestnuts, cherries, apples, wines and cheese are popular throughout the region's rich produce in full bloom with taste.
Seasonal Produce in the Autumn -
Autumn in Victoria's North East is most often associated with a celebration of its kaleioscopic colours, yet it is also a time of great food and wine activity. The region's wine harvest begins as early as February in the warmer climates of Rutherglen, while the cool climate varieties for which the Alpine Valleys are famous will not come off the vine until April, Autumn in Victoria's North East is also harvest season for the region's almond, walnut, chestnut and hazelnut producers.
Winter - June-August
When snow falls on the Victorian Alps, where else would you want to be in winter? World standard snow facilities and a range of activities unbeatable anywhere else. Downhill ski and snowboard locations can be found at Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mt Hotham with smaller runs at Mt Buffalo. Attempt cross country trails at Falls Creek (home of Kangaroo Hoppet International Ski race), Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and Mt Buffalo. Find out more by visiting www.skivic.com. Please note: chains must be carried at all times during the snow season from June - October. They are available for hire from various outlets in the area. Just ask a local! Save diesel hassles by using Alpine diesel available at most service centres.
Seasonal Produce in the Winter -
Snow-capped mountains form the perfect backdrop to North East Victoria's fields of winter fruit and vegetables.
Apples, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lemon, lime, potatoes, quince and rhubarb are just some of the local winter fare you will find on the menu. It's pruning time in the vineyards and orchards, while the white wine vintage will already be being bottled in the wineries.
Spring - September-November
Spring in Victoria's High Country welcomes the visitor with rivers bursting with wild rapids, streams teasing the piscatorial passion,, wildflowers rich in colour and abundance through the valleys and mountain sides, spring skiing and the vineyards ripe for the tastings. Visit the towns and villages of the North East offering the warmth of country hospitality and explore the hidden pleasures of cafes, general stroes and farm-gate produce for sale. Dust off your bicycle from winter hibernation and travel a Rail Trail or saddle-up and take in the sights of High Country beauty.
Seasonal Produce in the Spring -
A time of birth and growth.. young lambs, calves and deer will become increasingly prominet through the lush, green valleys, while the buds will burst on the vines in the vineyards from the first week of October, with leaves, vines and fruit emerging over the following weeks.
Spring is not a time of harvest yet the wonderful climate and green scenery make it the perfect time 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 for which the North East is so well known.
For National Parks Information:
For all things ski and snow play: