What an absolute wonderful part of the state Victoria’s alpine region is and what a spot to spend a weekend away as I did with my wife in the picturesque region. Situated in north east Victoria, the region consists of towns such as Bright, Myrtleford & Mount Beauty.
With plenty of accommodation in the area, Australian travellers are sure to find something to suit both budget and rating. We stayed at Ted’s High Country Lavender Farm in Porepunkah, which was perfect; gorgeous wood fire mud brick cottages are set on a large property with magnificent views of Mt Buffalo and Porepunkah’s surrounds. In the summer, purple lavender covers the ground. In winter, the farm offers a great romantic mud brick cottage hideaway. The cottages have spas, wood fires and are self contained; a fantastic rustic getaway. This time of year brings cold, frosty nights, and the wood fire is a must. The crisp mornings are just beautiful as the frost and fog takes over the land.
Winter brings plenty of snow to the mountains in the alpine region. On clear days, you can see snow capped peaks in the distance. Snow lovers travel up north to hit the alps to ski, toboggan or hike. For those not into the recreational activities, travelling to the area just to see the marvelous views would suffice, there’s something for everyone.
View from Mackeys Lookout on Mount Buffalo, VIC.
Mount Buffalo (see National Park website for more info www.parkweb.vic.gov.au) stands tall as the dominant mountain south along the Great Alpine Rd from Myrtleford, Ovens, Eurobin, Porepunkah and along to Bright. The mountain has spectacular granite cliffs, endless waterfalls and enormous deep gorges. Lying on the western slope of Mt Buffalo is the voluminous Lake Buffalo. A popular fishing, water skiing and picnicking venue, it’s just one of a number of areas of interest.
View of Mount Buffalo from Lake Buffalo. North of Mudgegonga, VIC.
This time of year, if you’re driving up the mountains, carrying snow chains is compulsory. The main road is often snow-covered from McKinnons Corner through to Cresta Valley. In winter, the road to “The Horn” (the peak of Mt Buffalo at 1723m) is closed due to the road being snowed under. Skiers can enjoy a day at Cresta Valley, while hikers can venture around other areas of the park as there is over 90km of tracks. Starting at the Cathedral Picnic Area, the “Hump track” track is covered in snow in winter, but worth the climb for spectacular views of Cresta Valley and the Horn. We hiked up “The Hump” track to the Cathedral, and after a few close encounters, made it back; make sure you watch out for those soft edges! On the climb up or down, make sure you pull over and check out Torpedo Rock. This unbelievable ‘torpedo’ shaped rock sits on another and looks amazing in winter with the ground covered in snow and a vibrant blue sky.
On the climb down the mountain, we walked the Eurobin Falls Track, which passes Ladies Bath Falls along the way, an easy track which has some lovely views. Just round the bend from the walking track is the Eurobin Falls Picnic Area which is also a lovely spot to stop and view the water running at full force this time of year.
Eurobin Falls picnic area, Mount Buffalo National Park, VIC.
A trip to this region wouldn’t be complete without stopping at one or many of the local wineries. Without doubt, the most popular from the King Valley wine region is Brown Brothers. The family owned and run Brown Brothers produces the largest range of wines in Australia. You can be sure every time you go, there will be something new and exciting to taste and buy.
As the chilly evening arrives after a day of experiences, sit back, relax and enjoy that bottle of wine from the region by a warm fire…does it get any better? Don’t get too comfortable though, you must venture outside and do some star gazing; the omission of city lights emphasises the beautiful bright stars in the country. Be quick though, that fog approaches very swiftly into the valleys!
Australian Travel Photography and Writing
Victoria’s Alpine Region (winter)
See also my Summer in the Alpine Region Australian Travel Photography & Writing post