Framed by the Victorian Alps and dominated by the nearby Mount Buffalo, the Victorian High Country is a region well known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine. This cycling trip takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy and experience rather than get the heart racing. Kick things off in the well-preserved historic town of Beechworth, then cycle the famous Murray to Mountains Rail Trail through small gold-mining towns like Myrtleford before arriving into the heart of the High Country, Bright. Meander through wine country, enjoy some proper Victorian hospitality at local pubs and rediscover the joy of pedalling through one of the most gorgeous areas in the entire nation.
Welcome to historic Beechworth. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm tonight. You can arrive at any time before this as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Beechworth is a character-filled and well-preserved gold rush town full of Australian history and stories, museums, heritage architecture and one of the finest bakeries in Australia. The region is also home to the legends of Ned Kelly legend and Australia's first native-born Governor-General. For those arriving early, there is a wealth of things to explore, such as the Burke Museum, Gun Powder Magazine, and what was once known as the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. Slightly further afield you can get a fascinating insight into local Indigenous culture and the art of the Dhudhuroa people at the Yeddonba Aboriginal Cultural Site.
For the more avid cyclist, you can book a half-day guided tour of the local (and excellent) gravel trails. If you’re feeling peckish the renowned Beechworth Bakery is always a highlight (try the ‘official’ Ned Kelly pie or famous Lemon Slice) but there are plenty of other options that all featuring that famous Beechworth hospitality. After the welcome meeting take a walk through the Historic Centre, with your tour leader pointing out the main points of interest along the way. Why not go out for an evening meal and get to know the rest of your riding group before the cycling begins tomorrow.
After breakfast this morning your cycling adventure begins. After getting acquainted with your bike you’ll get the chance to further explore this beautiful town on a guided ride through the town and surrounding area before joining the Myrtleford-Everton Rail Trail for 33 enjoyable (and mostly slightly downhill) kilometres. You’ll then get your first taste of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which follows the route of the former Bright railway line. The Rail Trail is a joy to ride with the surface mostly sealed, just a few compacted gravel sections and of course no traffic apart from fellow cyclists and the occasional walker. There’ll be the chance for a mid-ride treat along the way with a stop at a winery to sample a few drops of the local vintages. Today’s ride takes you along mostly flat and gently undulating terrain, past numerous vineyards and pastoral land all the way to your base for the evening, Myrtleford.
Included Activities: Murray to Mountains Rail Trail guided ride, 3 days Bicycle Hire
Meals Included: Breakfast
After breakfast, begin cycling, following the mostly flat contours of the meandering Ovens river as the Rail Trail quietly winds its way alongside the Great Alpine Road and through the small communities of Ovens, Eurobin, and Porepunkah and past vineyards, hops producers, orchards and groves. Your cycling leader will point out all the attractions along the way including the old tobacco kilns, a unique piece of High Country history. In the near distance, the towering Mount Buffalo dominates the skyline all the way into the Alpine hub of Bright. There may be another chance to stop at a winery en route to sample some of the local’s finest.
When you arrive at Bright there will be time for a quick ride around town to get acquainted, before finding a quiet and shady spot beside the river to relax and rest the legs prior to checking in to tonight’s accommodation. As the so-called capital of the High Country and base for exploring the nearby mountains the popular town of Bright has an amazing array of activities – from fishing to paragliding – to enjoy, as well as many local cafes and restaurants.
If you’re lucky enough to be here in autumn the fall foliage is second to none. This evening experience a unique insight into the brewing of local craft beer with a behind-the-scenes tour of the renowned Bright Brewery (and included tasting paddle) before settling in for an optional final night dinner with your riding companions.
Included Activities: Bright - Brewery Tour & tasting paddle
Meals Included: Breakfast
Today you have two options depending on how your legs are feeling. If you just want to relax and maybe take in the sights until checkout (11 am) you are welcome to do so (don’t worry, we understand). For those seeking a harder challenge from the flat rail trail scenery of the last few days, you have the option of an early morning ride up to the nearby Tawonga Gap. Make no mistake this is a real climb with over 500 metres of elevation gained on the 13 kilometre climb, but it’s well worth the effort.
The scenery is completely different from the valley floor as you cycle up through dense eucalyptus forest all the way up to the Tawonga Gap lookout. This offers amazing views of the Kiewa Valley below and majestic Mount Bogong, Victoria's highest peak at 1986 metres, in the distance. From here the real fun starts as you freewheel back down the sinuous but well-paved road down to the valley floor and the flat road back to Bright, all in time for a quick shower before checking out.
For those wanting to stay a bit longer in Bright, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. The more active may wish to ride the excellent trails at the nearby Mystic Mountain Bike Park, take the invigorating hike up to Huggins Point, or enjoy the riverside Canyon Walk. Or chill out at the Bright Splash Park or in one of our favourite local cafes like Blackbird or Sixpence Coffee.
Meals Included: Breakfast