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Alpine High Country Highlights

Bright

Four Seasons in one Town. Every Season. Every Reason. The High Country is renowned for its ever contrasting seasons. And there is no better place to experience it all than in Bright. Majestic, tree lined avenues that change with the season. Bright is the family holiday destination with the lot!

Bright is a bustling village full of wonderful things to do and myriad places to stay. Youll find markets, boutique shopping, a funky brewery, liquor distillery; fine dining, wineries, an art gallery and a host of festivals such as the Bright Autumn Festival, Bright Rod Run and Bright Spring Festival. There are plenty of popular outdoor activities too. You may like to try your hand at fishing, canoeing, rafting, cycling, bushwalking, 4WD adventure, tandem micro lighting, hang gliding or para gliding. There are many walking tracks in and around Bright too, and you can have a dip in the Ovens River along the way to cool down and reinvigorate. If golfs your game, a great setting is guaranteed at the Bright Country Golf Club, which hosts significant annual tournaments all year round.

With its close proximity to the Alpine National Park, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo, Bright is the perfect base for anyone looking for an Alpine Adventure. You can enjoy downhill and cross country skiing and snowboarding in winter, and bushwalking, trail riding, fishing, cycling, windsurfing and canoeing in the summer.

Bright is a beautiful place all year round. In the Autumn it is a canvas of color when the many deciduous trees in town put on a spectacular display. Cold means snow and Bright is the ideal home base for the winter sport enthusiast with three major snow resorts easily accessed within a 45 to 75 minute drive. Bright itself is a lovely destination to escape to in the winter, lots of open fires, fantastic gourmet foods and wines and plenty of businesses open to pamper you. Spring is just as impressive as Autumn. Spring in Bright is a veritable bouquet of color. Locals proudly open their garden gates to boast their colorful bounty. Summer brings a gourmet picnic of lazy days and shady rivers, catching fresh trout in an alpine stream and sipping the great wines of the Alpine High Country at a street side caf.

Bright's magnificent sub-alpine setting and combination of good shopping, cafe life, dining and four very distinct seasons has made it one of Victoria's favourite holiday destinations since the 1870's. Its time you escaped and took a Tree change journey you wont be disappointed.

Famous Five
Autumn leaves
Legends of the Fall. Deep ruby reds, browns of every hue, rich yellows and vivid pinks will dazzle everywhere you look.
Mountain Crafted Beers
Go behind the scenes to find out how local
ingredients brew craft beer right in the heart of Bright
Award Winning Restaurants
Four distinct seasons bring different crops to ripeness and deliver to our chefs a fine
selection of regional and in-season products for their inspired menus
Spectacular Festivals and Events
Awaken your senses with an Alpine High Country festival. Musicians, artists,
winemakers and chefs will help to host to a myriad of events throughout the year.
Bright Historical Museum
Featuring artifacts and photographs of the towns past, step back in time and view extensive records of the region's past.

EVENTS NOT TO MISS
Autumn Festival
Alpine Valleys Gourmet weekend
Audax Alpine Classic
Spring Festival
Annual Bright Rod Run

DISTANCES FROM BRIGHT
Harrietville- 27 km
Myrtleford- 32 km
Porepunkah - 8 km
Wandiligong 6.3km
Wangaratta - 79 km
Wodonga - 140 km
Dinner Plain- 70km
Falls Creek- 61 km
Mount Beauty- 32 km
Mount Hotham- 55 km

Wandiligong

The National Trust (Victoria) classification for the Wandiligong Valley describes it as a "small valley of great charm" where the "buildings achieve an excellent affinity with the landscape", "a pleasant mosaic of patterns, forms and colours woven carefully together to achieve a satisfying blend."

This preserved village once buoyed by agriculture and the gold rush, is full of quaint little buildings, including miners cottages, the Manchester Unity Hall of 1874 and the towns century old general store. On the road behind the hall is the Alpine Park established more than a century ago, which in its day had a majestic two storey pavilion, gardens and an ornamental lake and band rotunda.

A drink at the local pub is recommended, and so is a walk through the historic Diggings where you can discover the Chinese swing bridge. And if travelling with the kids, make sure you visit the Wandi Maze, Australias largest living hedge maze, for hours of fun and the tallest slice of cake youll ever see.

Wandiligong also boasts the largest apple orchard in the southern hemisphere, the Nightingale Apple farm where you are able to purchase apples, juice, jellies, chestnuts and walnuts in season.

Artistic talent abounds in this quiet community with the local historic library recently becoming the studio for a handful of extremely talented local artists.

Those visiting in early May will be delighted by the Wandiligong Nut Festival, a celebration of the nut harvest season with cooking, comedy and culture. Wandiligong set in a picturesque valley preserving the past and maintaining the beauty is a treasure to be explored.

Famous Five
Nightingale apples
The Nightingale family has been selling apples since 1948. Red and Golden Delicious, Royal Gala, Bonza, Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady and more
National Trust Landscape
Enjoy the magic scenery of the National Trust Classified Wandiligong township and valley
Living Hedge Maze & Mini Golf
Explore Australia's largest living hedge maze with 2km of pathways, surrounded by gardens - quite AMAZEing!
Historical Buildings
Discover historical buildings such as the Manchester Unity public hall (built in 1874), the general store, several churches and a number of quaint cottages
Chinese Swing Bridge
The bridge spans Morses Creek in the locality known as The Diggings, and it has been crafted to reflect a traditional Chinese design. Look out for it!

EVENTS
Wandiligong Nut Festival

DISTANCES FROM WANDILIGONG
Bright 6.3km
Harrietville- 29 km
Myrtleford- 36.4 km
Porepunkah- 13.4 km
Mount Beauty- 36.5 km
Melbourne 330 km
Albury 150 km


 

Porepunkah, Buckland Valley & Eurobin

The word Porepunkah is Hindu for "gentle breeze", and Porepunkah really does have all that is needed to blow away the built up effects of the "Big Smoke".

Porepunkah is the original gateway to Bright, Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo. During the late 1800's people poured through Porepunkah to make the Alpine High Country their home, drawn by the rich mountain valleys and the discovery of gold. You can still pan for gold today in the Buckland Valley.

The Ovens River, classed as the best trout fishing river in Victoria, passes through the town, providing opportunities for all sorts of water sports, both leisurely and active. Porepunkah is the nearest town to Mount Buffalo and it is recognised as one of the top destinations in Australia for microlighting, paragliding and hang gliding, the alpine views are magnificent.

Being at the junction of the Buckland and Ovens Rivers, the town has a very attractive reserve with shady riverbanks and playground, picnic tables and riverside walks. Canoeing and rafting on the river is also popular as is swimming in the refreshing waterholes. Porepunkah is also right on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, cycle to the local cellar doors belonging to Mayford Wines, Ringer Reef and Boyntons Feathertop Winery.

Just minutes from Porepunkah and Bright, The Buckland Valley is establishing itself as an important part of any Alpine High Country itinerary. Visit and get up close to an alpaca at the alpaca farm, pick delicious apples from one of the many apple orchards, check out the Chinese diggings from the gold rush days gone by and go nutty at one of the chestnut orchards.

Only a 10 minute drive from Porepunkah is Eurobin, a tiny hamlet thats in the heart of horticulture land, featuring roses, berries, walnuts and chestnuts. With an old railway station site, its also one of the scenic tops for cyclists on the historic Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, and home to the Red Stag Deer and Emu complex, featuring majestic deer, ostrich, emus and goats.

These picturesque towns, nestled at the base of Mount Buffalo are treasures waiting to be discovered.

FAMOUS FIVE
Trout Fishing
classed as the best trout fishing river in Victoria,visit one of our Outdoor stores to find out where the locals go
Alpacas
Get up close and personal with these gorgeous, inquisitive and friendly animals - even newborn babies
Deer and Emu Farm
The kids will love hand feeding European Red Deer and Emus or a farm Tour in a US Army WWII Scout Car
Fossicking & Gold Panning
Gold has been part of this regions history since the 1800's, and there is still gold to be found!
Adventure Sports
An unrivalled destination for microlighting, paragliding and hang gliding; get a birds eye view of our Alpine High Country

EVENTS
Mt Porepunkah Rally Sprint

DISTANCES FROM POREPUNKAH
Bright 8 km
Harrietville- 30.7 km
Myrtleford- 23.9 km
Wandiligong- 13.4 km
Mt Beauty 38.4 km
Falls Creek 67.9 km
Bairnsdale - 239.1 km


 

Harrietville, Freeburgh and Smoko

Harrietville is a picturesque village just 26 kms from Bright, situated on the banks of the Ovens River. Tucked in at the foot of the surrounding slopes of the Ovens Valley, Harrietville is protected from the extremes of summer and winter weather.

The last town before Mt Hotham on the Great Alpine Road, Harrietville is a former gold mining town that was settled in 1852. Its history is captured in a riverside park that celebrates the local pioneers and is a pleasant spot to have a picnic and let the kids have a play. Explore the old gold mine trails of the past, walk the high country cattle trails or visit the Harrietville Historical museum to experience days gone by.

With all this mountain air you will certainly need some nourishment so there are lots of great places for lunch or a leisurely afternoon tea. Take the time to visit the lavender and trout farms, blueberry and tree farms, ice creamery, pubs and jam maker while youre here.

Harrietville is also an ideal all seasons base for adventure activities and outdoor pursuits including mountain bike riding, high country hiking, 4WD driving, cross country or downhill skiing and stream fishing.

Surrounded by Alpine National Park, the world-renowned Mt Feathertop and Bon Accord walking tracks depart from Harrietville, and if you are properly equipped and fit you can take the walking tracks to Mount Hotham, or Mt Feathertop which are challenging but spectacular.

And if music is what makes you tick, in November Harrietville plays host to the Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention, Australias premier Bluegrass & Old timey music event.

Situated between Bright and Harrietville on the Great Alpine Road, the two little towns, Freeburgh and Smoko are home to some of the regions most diverse horticultural products. Here youll find a berry and nut farm, plus orchards of chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts.

Harrietville has much to be told and the rivers and the mountains continue to hold a fascination for those who care to enjoy them.

FAMOUS FIVE
Trout Farm
Sample the serenity of trout fishing in Victoria's alpine rivers or have a bit of fun and be guaranteed a catch at the Harrietville Trout farm.
Lavender Farm
fields of fragrant lavender, oven fresh scones, gourmet lavender icecream all on the patio overlooking the river and gardens.
Mt Feathertop
challenge yourself with the hike up Mount Feathertop; one of Australia's most spectacular peaks.
Country Music Festival
The Harrietville Bluegrass & Traditional Country Music Convention is in its 21st year and features the best bluegrass and old-time country musicians from around the world.
Historic huts
Visit many historic huts including Wallaces Hut, the oldest of the huts still standing in the Alpine National Park and classified under the National Trust

EVENTS
Opening weekend - Falls Creek & Mt Hotham Advanced sled dog challenge, Dinner Plain
Harrietville Bluegrass & traditional country music convention
Regular Markets

DISTANCES FROM HARRIETVILLE
Bright 27 km
Porepunkah - 30.7 km
Myrtleford- 53.9 km
Wandiligong- 29 km
Hotham Heights 32.5
Dinner Plain - 42.9

Myrtleford, Nug Nug, Lake Buffalo and Gapsted

Positioned at the base of the Victorian High Country, Myrtleford is steeped in history. First known as Myrtle Creek Run in the early 1800s Myrtleford later became established on the Buckland Track by the District Surveyor in 1858. Reform Mine was the lifeblood of Myrtleford for 30 years from the early 1850s to 1888, yielding 21,500 ounces of gold.

Hops and tobacco were grown on the rich alluvial flats of the Ovens and Buffalo Rivers around Myrtleford since the mid-1880s and you can still see tobacco kilns as you drive the Great Alpine Road. Today Myrtlefords fields grow timber, walnuts, beef, grapes and other produce. Myrtleford boasts many wonderful restaurants and cafes showcasing the very best regional produce.

Positioned with a dramatic backdrop of Mount Buffalo, and situated by the Ovens River, youll also find the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail running through this pretty town. Myrtleford is roughly the half way point on the Rail Trail between Wangaratta and Bright so presents an excellent stop over point for any cyclist.

From Myrtleford turn off to the Buffalo River and travel through the pretty valley which was once home to a great deal of the regions tobacco. The road follows the route of the Buffalo River through Nug Nug and then to Lake Buffalo, a comfortable 20 minute drive. Fishing, swimming, boating and canoeing are favourite pastimes on the lake, as are hovercraft rides during summer. This area is a 4WD gateway to the wilderness beyond.

Five kilometres on the Great Alpine Road before Myrtleford, Gapsted is another agricultural hamlet, home to the award winning Gapsted Winery and Cellar Door, a must see destination, relax on the deck and take in the spectacular view of the Ovens Valley. Wander and explore the many farm gate stalls from walnuts to asparagus depending on the season.

Famous Five
Italian Heritage
Join the celebration of an Italian settlement with a game of Bocce or
Soccer. Visitors will be reminded of an Italian rural life with its pure air, fresh water and unhurried lifestyle
Historic Tobacco Kilns
Keen photographers should enjoy kilns built from logs hewn from the local forest, a landmark to the area.
Premier Food & Wine
Discover roadside stalls, markets, pubs,
cafes and white table-clothed restaurants.
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
The breathtaking scenic beauty of the Ovens and Safely enjoy cycling and walking among the breathtaking scenic beauty of the Ovens and King Valleys
Lake Buffalo
A sensational four wheel drive (4WD) gateway to the Australian bushlands in Alpine Victoria. Fishing, swimming, boating & canoeing are all on offer here.

EVENTS
Myrtleford Heritage Festival
Myrtlefords La Fiera
Myrtleford Agricultural and Pastoral Show

DISTANCES FROM MYRTLEFORD
Bright 32 km
Porepunkah 23.9 km
Harrietville 53.9 km
Wandiligong- 36.4 km
Beechworth 27.3 km
Milawa 34.7 km
Wangaratta 48.3 km