Published on 16th June 2017
by Linsey Rendell

While Bright might offer sweeping vistas and outdoor adventures galore, the Victorian town also provides plentiful opportunities for comfort food and drink by the fireplace.

You might consider the sub-alpine valleys of Bright in North East Victoria as where only the snow-mad visit. But this verdant pocket lures visitors in each of its seasons. Naturalists chase the autumn leaves and spring flora, mountaineers enthusiastically trudge the walking tracks and cyclists take on the riding trails all year long.

In winter, it’s Bright’s access to the nearby slopes of Falls Creek and Mount Hotham that become the main attractions. But you could easily set your sights on a weekend dedicated to food and drink, dropping into the valley’s many cafes, bars and eateries for a hearty meal paired with local beers, cool-climate wines and the odd local spirit.

Similar to the nearby King Valley, tobacco was once a prosperous harvest in this area. But with the legislated ban of the 1990s, such crop was traded for nuts, apples, grapevines and berries. Australia’s main supply of hops are now grown in the region, resulting in many a good ale.

Just six kilometres from Bright is quaint Wandiligong, affectionately known as Wandi, and Porepunkah lies between Bright and Mt Buffalo, which you may hear referred to as “the sleeping buffalo”.

It’s just over a three-hour drive from Melbourne. Take the Hume, turning off at the Great Alpine Road, then wind your way through the Ovens Valley before arriving in Bright.

Welcome to Bright

DO

Marvel at this mountainous region’s immense natural beauty on heritage walks, bike trails and ski slopes.

Itinerary

Explore a white winter among beautiful mountains and valleys.

Winter is a rather magical time to visit the North East of Victoria. Catch the adrenaline buzz on the snowfields of Mt Buffalo by day, before retreating to cosy drinking dens in Bright and Wandiligong by night, where comforting food, warming liquor and fireplaces await.

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10PM

Abby’s Cottage

169 School Road
Wandiligong VIC
0417 367 494
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Abby’s Cottage

From the pub, you can walk back through the crisp evening to your accommodation. Run a bath and enjoy a nightcap, toasting to a well-spent day in the valley.

7PM

The Wandi Pub

580 Morses Creek Road
Wandiligong VIC
(03) 5750 1050
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The Wandi Pub

This regional pub might have some awards under its belt, but it remains humble and quaint at its core. The folk here will keep you well fed and liquored into the wee hours if you let them. Start with the house mulled cider, before moving onto the range of local beers, wines and spirits.

3PM

Canyon Walk

8 Star Road
Bright VIC
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Canyon Walk

Walk off lunch on this easy trail that hugs the Ovens River. There are two suspension bridges to mark the short or longer routes, and paths that lead down to the riverbed on the southern track, so you can closer inspect this nature-carved gorge.

12PM

Tomahawks

15 Camp Street
Bright VIC
(03) 5750 1113
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Tomahawk

Warm up again at this lively neighbourhood kitchen. Try the house wine made by King Valley vintners Pizzini, and tuck in to all manner of comforting dishes. Don’t skip the broccoli.

9AM

Snow at Mt Buffalo

Mount Buffalo Rd
Mount Buffalo VIC
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Mt Buffalo

Make your way up to Mt Buffalo for a little snow play. You can hire a toboggan or snow shoes to move a little quicker, or build a snowman as you watch the cross country skiers shred.

8AM

Ginger Baker Wine Bar and Cafe

127 Great Alpine Road
Bright VIC
(03) 5755 2300
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Ginger Baker Wine Bar and Cafe

Start your day with coffee at this town favourite. There’s an open fire out front to take the chill off, or brave the cold in the rear garden where leaves blanket the ground and the Ovens River gushes by in the background.