Andrew Railton & Mt Buller
Victoria
The High CountryAn all-year-round playground for adventure lovers. In winter it's all about the ski-resorts, in summer brilliant bushwalking, horseriding, cycling, and fishing - in a region wrapped up in superb local produce and wineries.
Victoria’s High Country is overflowing with stunning mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes – the perfect place to get away for adventure and relaxation, year-round, and take in the regions invigorating crisp air. You can also find yourself exploring one of the many bushwalking trails or rolling along its famed rail trail. At the end of your action-packed day, you can enjoy a relaxed dinner at one of the many restaurants or wineries, or kick up your heels and grab a cold beer at one of the many micro-breweries. The region is a foodies mecca - so make sure you come with an empty esky.
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Things to do
Mount Hotham
From Australia's 'powder capital' in the winter months to an outdoor playground in spring and summer, Mount Hotham alpine resort is a year-round favourite for holidaymakers and adventurers. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and savour the 360-degree views from the summit of the highest resort in Victoria. Regularly posting the state's highest annual snowfall, it is renowned for its double black diamond terrain. Explore more than 320 hectares of snowfields, complete with downhill runs, cross country trails, jumps and terrain parks, not to mention ski-in, ski-out accommodation and 13 lifts to get you up the mountain. Life on the mountain has plenty of diversions in the off-season too with average summer temperatures of 25 degrees. Walk along cross-country ski trails, trek to Falls Creek, or take the iconic Mount Feathertop Razorback Walk along the crest of the razorback from Mount Hotham to Federation Hut. There are also great opportunities for horse riding and trout fishing in crystal-clear waterways. Mountain bikers can cruise along scenic downhill trails and coast back up on the chairlift, which operates over Christmas/New Year and again over Easter, while road cyclists in search of something new will love the Audax Hotham Challenge or the Scody 3 Peaks Challenge. Take in spectacular views on a drive or ride along the 230-kilometre Bogong Alpine Way. Feel the wind in your hair as you make your way through Bright, Mount Beauty, Falls Creek and over Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham. Mount Hotham is around 380 kilometres from Melbourne and just over four hours by car along the Hume Highway and the Great Alpine Road.
Mt Buller Bike Park
Mt Buller offers the ideal biking escape, no matter what you are into. Tackle the 16-kilometre uphill road climb, ride the extensive cross-country trail network, hit the downhill trails or tackle the pump track – all just three hours from Melbourne. Mt Buller is Australia’s first and only International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) endorsed Ride Center, meaning it joins a select group of mountain biking destinations around the world that represent IMBA’s Model Trail recognition for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider. Over 100 kilometres of quality cross-country trails, including 40 kilometres of singletrack; The Australian Alpine Epic, a 50 kilometres all-mountain trail that takes in some of the most spectacular terrain and scenery in the Australian Alps. Stonefly, Mt Buller’s signature 10 kilometres wilderness trail, one of the country’s best trails. Home of the first flow down trail – XC/DH hybrid with a style all of its own. Four downhill trails serviced by shuttles. Australia’s first modular pump track, designed to test your skills, test your balance and build confidence. A range of tours, camps, clinics and skills sessions for all levels and types of riders. A range of bike-friendly accommodation.
Falls Creek
Whether you're into skiing and snowboarding or adventures in the wilderness, stunning Falls Creek has it all. Cut up the slopes during the snow season and return in the warmer months for hiking and mountain biking, road cycling, camping and fishing. During winter the resort offers true ski-in/ski-out accommodation, skiing and snowboarding for all abilities and a huge range of daytime and night-time activities. Falls Creek's terrain parks feature excellent rails and jumps, plus 65 kilometres of free cross-country trails. Competitive types will want to take on the challenge of the International Kangaroo Hoppet XC Ski Race at Falls Creek in August. Visit in spring and summer to discover the best of High Country village life. See dazzling wildflowers and collect farm-fresh produce and boutique wines to take home. Walk further to view spectacular scenery along the 230-kilometre Bogong Alpine Way, which loops through Bright, Mount Beauty, Falls Creek and over Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham. Embark on road cycling challenges around Falls Creek, or tackle the huge range of mountain bike trails. Take a self-guided walk in the fresh air of the Bogong High Plains and discover historic cattlemen's huts. The Rocky Valley Dam and other Kiewa Valley creeks and lakes offer great fly-fishing and canoeing opportunities. In the winter months, Falls Creek has over 5,000 beds to suit every budget, from cosy lodge-style accommodation to five-star luxury penthouse suites and eco-friendly resorts. Falls Creek is almost 400 kilometres from Melbourne along the Hume Highway and the Great Alpine Road. You can fly to Falls Creek from Melbourne or arrive by coach. The drive is around four-and-a-half hours.
Pizzini Wines King Valley
Pizzini Wines specialise in the production of Italian varietal wines. Located in Victoria's northeast and the King Valley wine region, Pizzini has been producing wine under their label since 1994. Alfred and wife Katrina along with their four children believe strongly in their Italian heritage and ensure that all aspects of their business focus on their three loves or Tre Armore; wine, food, family and friends. Pizzini are passionate about the production of Italian varietal wines including Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Verduzzo and Arneis, Prosecco and Brachetto. Pizzini also produces a selection of traditional French styles including, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot and Shiraz. Pizzini's cellar door is open seven days offering a warm family atmosphere where you can bring friends and family to enjoy wine tasting in true Pizzini style. The cellar door is closed Christmas day. Pizzini Wines are members of Ultimate Winery Experience Australia offering unique hands-on experiences. Pizzini also hosts several events at Cellar Door and around Australia. See website for details. Katrina Pizzini runs a cooking school at the winery teaching a variety of classes including gnocchi and pasta classes. Pizzini Vineyard guesthouse is perfect for a relaxing stay in the King Valley.
Feathertop Winery
Come and discover your new favourite wine at Feathertop Winery, located in the heart of the Alpine Valleys wine region that is home to 22 different varietals, planted and nurtured lovingly by hand over the last 30 years. Create your own Insta-worthy moment in the beautiful estate overlooking Mt Buffalo, whether it be enjoying a relaxing long lunch on the terrace on a balmy summer’s day or staying in the onsite apartments as a base for exploring the great outdoors. If you are keen to do just more than a wine tasting, make sure you check out the range of winery experiences that give you the 'meet the maker' experience. General public trading hours are Friday to Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, with extended hours during public and school holidays. Please check the website for more details.
Mount Buller
Mt Buller is Victoria's most accessible alpine resort, offering adventure, excitement and relaxation just a few short hours from Melbourne. Wintertime brings spectacular views and amazing ski runs while the summer's clear skies, mild temperatures and fun-filled events will have you returning to the mountain in the off-season. A premier ski destination for snow enthusiasts, Mt Buller boasts Victoria's largest lift network, offering skiers and snowboarders access to over 300 hectares of terrain covered by 22 lifts. Courses range from beginner slopes to challenging black runs, plus three terrain parks and an ultra-cross course. And come break time, you can try tobogganing and snowshoeing, or slow it down with a movie or visit to a day spa. Explore every inch of Mount Buller's stunning scenery via the excellent hiking paths, mountain biking trails, four-wheel-drive tracks and horse riding tours. Ride from summit to summit and take in spectacular views on a mountain bike. Cruise through gentle terrain or experience the thrill of a downhill run. Bring your road bike and take the 7 Peaks Challenge or try Copperhead, a new mountain bike trail that mixes beginner downhill and cross-country. Download the free Mt Buller Walks app and accesses a range of audio tours of Mt Buller's iconic walks. Hike to historic Craig's Hut, Bindaree Falls and Sheepyard Flat, or just admire the sweeping views from the 1,804-metre summit. A great range of events are held throughout the snow season at Mt Buller, including ski and snowboard competitions, food and wine festivals, film festivals and much more. Highlights include whiteOUT!, July's gay and lesbian snow event, while mountain biking is celebrated in the Bike Buller MTB Festival in March. Mt Buller is around 230 kilometres from Melbourne, or three hours and 20 minutes by car along the Melba and Goulburn Valley highways.
Razor Back Hut
Until recent times, local mountain country cattlemen used Razorback Hut during annual stock drives. Today, the site is a popular overnight stop for horse-riders, four-wheel drivers and hikers. There is plenty of camping space around the large hut and the site also includes a public hut for overnight accommodation. To reach Razorback Hut follow the Circuit Road north (keep left) for four kilometres past King Saddle. Turn left just before the Mt. No. 3 Road intersection – the camping area is 500 metres along this road. Please note access by vehicle is not possible from June to November due to seasonal track closures in the High Country. These closures generally operate from the long weekend in June through to the beginning of November but may be extended due to seasonal conditions. Contact the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre for more details.
Mount Buffalo National Park
Mount Buffalo National Park has sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning wildflowers. The park features over 90 kilometres of walking tracks, panoramic scenery, waterfalls and scope for adventurous pursuits such as rock climbing and hang-gliding. Mount Buffalo is an all-seasons playground. In summer, wildflowers are plentiful and the park is a cool retreat from the heat of the lowlands. Take in superb 360-degree views from the summit of the Horn and the delightful Gorge Heritage Walk. Enjoy picnics, canoeing and camping at Lake Catani in the summer months. In winter the park is ideal for cross-country skiing with its gentle undulating landscape, spectacular sub-alpine environment and the convenience of over 14km of marked ski trails. The park offers safe and accessible tobogganing and snow play areas, providing great fun for the whole family. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is the perfect way to discover the diverse and ever-changing landscape of North East Victoria - from natural bushland to verdant farmland, delightfully unexpected hidden valleys and some of Australia's most spectacular mountain ranges. Along the ride (no matter which leg you choose) you'll savour some of Australia's finest gourmet produce, renowned wines, and handcrafted beer. Over 100 kilometres of sealed off-road trails provide you with the perfect link between the already popular tourist centres of Wangaratta, Beechworth, Rutherglen, Bright and Myrtleford. The popular rides along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail caters to all from the intrepid rider, keen to tackle the bigger rides to the more gentle, short rides perfect for little people who are still finding their rolling legs. Map out your ideal morning, day or even long weekend.
Try a craft beer Bright Brewery
Bright 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 spectacular Alps, their key values of - active, sustainable and authentic - are the cornerstones of everything Bright Brewery do. From brewing beers that reflect the bold and wild local environment, to embracing the outdoor lifestyle that the region offers, Bright Brewery helps form the heart of a vibrant community. The brewhouse is located on the banks of the Ovens river; a place for families to bask in the sunshine, cyclists to rest their weary legs, and paragliders to dream about their next flight above the mountains. Bright Brewery is a family and cycle-friendly venue, usually open daily for lunch and dinner. There is usually live music every Sunday, featuring the finest local and touring artists.
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