Victoria's High Country is a perfect place to escape the city for a short, rejuvenating break. Blessed with sublime valley and mountain scenery, the region offers an amazing diversity of fresh, local produce, a sophisticated dining scene and award-winning cool-climate wines.
Rich in history, the High Country is also one of Australia's best recreational cycling destinations. More than 250 kilometres of safe, sealed off-road rail trails wind through vineyards, farmland and picture-perfect villages.
Bring the bikes, pack your appetite and get set to explore this beautiful world away.
Set off on a drive to remember as you immerse yourself in the scenery of the Great Alpine Road. Follow the beautiful Ovens River valley, taking in Myrtleford on the way to Bright near the foot of Mount Hotham.
Famous for its stunning display of autumn colour, Bright is one of the region's most popular villages. There's a great range of accommodation to suit all pockets, so base yourself here for the night and waste no time fuelling up at one of the many excellent cafes, bars, or cellar doors. Settle in at Bright Brewery for a relaxing afternoon or pop down to Reed & Co. where you can sample distinctly Australian gin inspired by the local landscape.
The good news is that the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is right there to work off your lunchtime excesses. The High Country's iconic, sealed cycle trail hugs the valley all the way to Wangaratta, nearly 100 kilometres away. Don't panic if you didn't bring your own treadlie - you can hire a standard, a tandem or an electric bike at any one of three cycle shops in Bright. Porepunkah is a perfect distance (six kilometres) away for an easy, mostly flat ride that combines stunning views of Mount Buffalo with a great late afternoon tipple and cheese platter at Ringer Reef Winery.BreweriesBright BreweryBright Brewery is a proudly independent craft brewery, bar, restaurant and bike hub located in the heart of beautiful Bright. With the backdrop of Victoria’s...DistilleriesReed & Co. DistilleryLocated in the alpine town of Bright, Reed & Co Distillery is a family owned and operated urban distillery offering a neighbourhood bar feel.Reed & Co...Great TrailsMurray to Mountains Rail TrailWhisk yourself away to Victoria's best developed rail trail and dive into the heart of the Victorian alpine region, with its farmgates and wineries.WineriesRinger Reef WinerySit out on the landing with premium wine and a seasonal platter and take in the stunning views of the Buckland Valley and the imposing Mount Buffalo.DestinationsBrightSee Bright in its autumnal splendour, and make the most of nearby snowfields, national parks and exceptional home-grown food and wine.
Kick off your second day in the High Country by making your way from Bright to Beechworth, about 45 minutes away. This excellently preserved gold rush town punches above its weight when it comes to gourmet offerings. You'll find several excellent cafes as well as Provenance, one of regional Australia's best restaurants that consistently earns owner-chef Michael Ryan multiple "chefs hats" and best regional wine list gongs.
Wander around the town to admire the stunning gold rush architecture and get to grips with the fascinating local history in the Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct. Join a Ned Kelly Walking Tour to discover the infamous bushranger's close links to Beechworth locations, including the historic courthouse where he and members of his gang stood trial.
As always in Beechworth, it comes back to the food and drink. Wind down at Bridge Road Brewers, Ben Kraus' brewery that serves up a fantastic range of craft ales made with locally grown hops and a menu starring some of the best pizza funghi you'll ever eat.History & heritageBeechworth Historic and Cultural PrecinctThe Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct is a collection of nationally significant buildings telling the story of how Australia grew and prospered.Beechworth...Walking toursNed Kelly Walking TourThe Ned Kelly Walking Tour highlights include the house where Magistrate William Henry Foster, who presided over Ned Kelly's committal hearing in the Beechworth...BreweriesBridge Road BrewersEstablished in 2005 in the iconic Australian town of Beechworth comes this equally iconic brewery. Born (in the family shed) from a passion for beer, Bridge...RestaurantsProvenance Restaurant and AccommodationThey say you can't eat awards, but every bite of the east-meets-west cuisine at the increasingly acclaimed Beechworth restaurant is a prize in itself.DestinationsBeechworthExperience Beechworth's burgeoning food and wine scene, and take the time to discover the town's rich gold rush history and Ned Kelly connections.
By now you're probably keen to start hitting the region's acclaimed cellar doors and loading up on farm-fresh produce. Make your way from Beechworth to Milawa (about half an hour's drive) and discover a village brimming with food and wine, including the Milawa Cheese Company and the famous Brown Brothers cellar door. Brown Brothers is also home to award-winning Patricia's Table, where head chef Douglas Elder makes magic with superb, seasonal locally grown produce.
Milawa is the jumping off point for the divine King Valley, home to several Italian families whose wines, especially prosecco and sangiovese, have become synonymous with the region. Five of these family wineries teamed up some years ago to create the popular Prosecco Road food and wine trail.
Spend a leisurely afternoon tasting the drops and meeting the winemakers at the cellar doors dotted along the valley. Indulge in a prosecco cocktail and game of bocce at Dal Zotto Wines Cellar Door, taste local varietals and experience the warm family atmosphere at Pizzini Wines, or tuck into a late lunch at the Chrismont restaurant, with its 180-degree vistas of the valley and surrounding ranges.Local produceMilawa Cheese CompanyVery proudly a fully Australian owned, family business now in its second generation, David and Anne Brown started Milawa Cheese Company in 1988, and it...WineriesBrown Brothers Milawa VineyardVisit one of Australia's oldest family wineries and pop by the cellar door, live it up at Patricia's Table, or enjoy a relaxing bite at Epi.Curious.King Valley wine regionKing Valley's Prosecco RoadTravel down King Valley's Prosecco Road at your own pace and discover the finest examples of Australian prosecco and home-style hospitality on offer.WineriesDal Zotto Wines Cellar DoorThe wine, food and hospitality here will make you wish you shared the Dal Zotto name. A visit to the cellar door and trattoria is a King Valley must.WineriesChrismontTaste your way through the La ZONA portfolio of Italian varietals at this beautiful property. Extend your visit and stay at the Chrismont guesthouse.WineriesPizzini Wines King ValleyExperience true Pizzini style in a warm family atmosphere while tasting top regional Italian varietals. Stay on at the Pizzini Vineyard guesthouse.