The Great Alpine Road Leg 1
Wangaratta to Bright
76 km / 47 miles, about 1 hr
The Great Alpine Road starts (or ends) at Wangaratta. Time your visit for the annual November jazz festival.
Make mouth-watering memories with the fine wine and local produce in the valleys along the northern leg of the Great Alpine Road. At Milawa call in at the famed Brown Brothers cellar door and sample your way through Milawa Mustards and the Cheese Factory. Meet the bold young winemakers reinvigorating historic Rutherglen, famous for its muscats and fortifieds.
Detour to Beechworth, a village built on the wealth of the gold rush of the 1800s. Explore the historic honey granite buildings, including the courthouse where bushranger Ned Kelly’s final trial commenced. Get a taste of Beechworth's burgeoning food and wine scene and try for reservations at Provenance, Wardens Food and Wine, Green Shed Bistro or Gigi's of Beechworth.
Discover Mount Buffalo and its unique rock formations. Take a gentle walk to see waterfalls, granite formations and lookouts with great views of the alps, or go extreme on horseback or two wheels. Try your hand at rock climbing and, in winter, cross-country or downhill skiing.
This leg ends at Bright, a beautiful town on the Ovens River, filled with grand deciduous trees that are breathtaking in autumn. Bright is also home to Simone’s, one of Victoria's most celebrated restaurants, and magnificent Italian villa-style accommodation at Villa Gusto.
Golden Heritage Drive
From Wangaratta, take the B500 to Tarrawingee, the C315 to Beechworth and Wooragee, the C352 to Yackandandah, then the C527 to Myrtleford. Stop at Tarrawingee's historic buildings, including St Peter's church, the Plough Inn and Carinya House. Wander around Beechworth, the beautifully reserved goldfields town, with more than 30 National Trust-classified buildings. Walk the tree lined streets of Yackandandah with its stately Victorian architecture.
Gourmet Food and Wine Drive
From Wangaratta, take the C521 to Oxley and turn left to the Milawa and Oxley at the heart of the famed Milawa Gourmet Region, where you can taste fine wines at cellar doors, including the renowned Mediterranean styles of the nearby King Valley. Sample outstanding local produce, experience the hospitality of award-winning country hotels and fine dining restaurants, and pull over at farm gates to stock up on local asparagus and walnut. Head back to Wangaratta or on to Myrtleford and beyond.
Mt Buffalo Drive
At Porepunkah take the C535 to Mt Buffalo and fantastic views of the High Country and the Alps. In winter, hire cross country or downhill skis. In summer try a new adventure activity such as micro lighting, paragliding and hang gliding, for which the area is famous.