Meander through the valleys and hills of Victoria’s alpine region and catch some last autumn colours.
With less than a month left before winter sets in there’s still time to see the blazing colours of the High Country, in the valleys around Bright and Myrtleford. Once the colour fades, the beauty and the experiences shift and as you’ll find, there are plenty of reasons to visit this High Country playground in all seasons.
Feast on the High Country
The lush and fertile Alpine Valley near Bright is home to diverse farming culture from beef to nuts and fruit. At the Myrtleford Farmers market held on the fourth Saturday of each month, you can meet with the makers and sample local produce, whether it’s garlic, cheese, honey or nuts. For those who want to go direct to the source there are plenty of opportunities.
Nearby the Buffalo Berry Farm at Eurobin has sumptuous sauces, berry cups, pancakes and pies to enjoy amongst picturesque gardens or to take away. Berry picking season has finished but the cafe shop is open every day from 10am to 4pm.
Enjoy an ale at the Bright Brewery or drive into the hills at nearby Wandilagong and enjoy a relaxed lunch at the Wandi spun, either inside by their cosy wood fire or outside in the spectacular beer garden.
Scenic Drives and Lookouts
This whole area is a road tripper’s paradise with plenty of scenic stops along the way. Just out of Bright paragliders take to the skies above the valleys. Park near the Mystic Valley road and watch them land. Those with a 4WD can drive to the top of the Apex lookout for sprawling views of the towns below. Or head up Clear View Road to Huggins Lookout for a birds eye view of the town and surrounding ranges.
Tower Hill lookout is signed on the Great Alpine Road, about two kilometres from the Old Tobacco sheds, west of Bright. It’s a steep though easy gravel track to the Tower however beyond there the track climbs rapidly. At one point we climbed so high that we were above the power lines, hence perhaps why it’s called SEC track. You’ll pass Snake Ridge Road and Hocking Road before continuing a slow climb upwards, enjoying 360-degree views before winding back down to the Great Alpine Road again.
Not far away the Mount Porepunkah circuit provides another scenic and exhilarating drive. The circuit starts from Star Road and heads to Mount Porepunkah Road via Quinns Gap Track, providing some sharp descents and fun inclines. Up the top at Mount Porepunkah you’ll be treated to spectacular views across Mount Buffalo and the Victorian Alps. In winter the track is often snow covered but still accessible
For a longer drive head to one of the two spectacular national parks, Mount Buffalo and Alpine Park for a smorgasbords of walking trails, awesome views, rivers and get inspired. Visit the chalet up the top of Mount Buffalo and take that Instagram worthy shot at the Horn. At 1723m above sea level the Horn is the highest point on the Mount Buffalo plateau and offers spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding alps.
Experience the action of the alpine region from new heights. There are a number of operators in the area that can provide opportunities to experience an unforgettable tandem flight.
Or you might prefer to stretch your boundaries in other areas. Whether it’s rock climbing, abseiling or white water kayaking Bright Adventure Company can help.
For the ultimate dining with a view experience, how about dining on your private ledge suspended 300 metre above the valley floor. Bright Adventure Company offer sunrise, lunch or dinner cliff top picnic options available throughout the year and have two ledges available for groups of four. Now that’s living on the edge, but in a unique, safe and unforgettable way!
Ride the Rail Trail
For something a bit more sedate, there’s nothing better than the joy of experiencing the best of the region on two wheels. The Murray to the Mountains Rail trail, at least the mountain section, spans from Wangaratta to Bright and offers some breathtaking views of Mount Buffalo along the way, linking the towns of Myrtleford, Porepunkah and Bright. Cycle a section or more. If you don’t have your own bike you hire one from Cyclepath in Bright.
Take a detour off the main trail and visit one of the gorgeous little towns like Stanley, Milawa, Eldorado or the chestnut-lined streets of Wandilaging. Stop at Boyntons winery for some tasting or at any of the cafes along the way. It’s amazing how far you can go and how much you can discover on two wheels.
Whether you have a camper, van or swag you’re spoilt for choice in the picturesque Ovens Valley. Choose from a myriad of riverside caravan parks in the Alpine Valleys between Myrtleford, Porepunkah and Bright, and along the Ovens River to Harrietville. Fancy something a bit more remote? There’s free camping amongst snow gum woodlands at beautiful Lake Catani and camp spots within the beautiful Buckland Valley.