Take the time to go off the beaten track beyond Beechworth, Bright, Mansfield and Rutherglen, and discover fascinating secrets in quirky small villages.
Join the Beechworth locals snapping up delicious berries, crisp apples and fresh walnuts in Stanley, and find out why they're all flocking to The Stanley Hotel. The charming country pub offers French bistro fare that showcases the wonderful local produce. Watch out for local organic saffron and a wicked range of cider behind the bar.
Go deep into the King Valley
Wind your way through the King Valley wine region and stumble upon tiny villages like Myrhee and Whitfield, home to wineries producing wonderful Italian varietals and hospitality. Pick up a copy of Katrina Pizzini's cookbook at Pizzini Wines before taking a bottle of wine up the King River Road to enjoy by the shores of Lake William Hovell.
Step back to Yackandandah
Go back in time to the National Trust town of Yackandandah, surely one of Australia's prettiest villages. Rummage through Klimt's pre-loved clothes, cutting-edge fashion and vintage glam. Try something on for size before strolling down the street to Sticky Tarts, though some of the best coffee and cake in town may add to the waistline. Check out the great events organised by the vibrant community of tree changers, artists and country people, including the Folk Festival and Spring Migration Festival.
Nestle among the snowgums
Feel a million miles from city life amid Dinner Plain's alpine architecture and village ambiance; a real treat when the snow melts and cool, clear air offers a haven from the heat. Sunday high tea at Rundells Alpine Lodge shouldn't be missed, nor the Japanese inspired Onsen and Spa indoor/outdoor bathing experience.
Surprises around every bend
The road less travelled is full of wonderful surprises; Eldorado with its hulking, silent gold dredge, tiny pub and welcoming waterhole; Jamieson's brewery with surprising fudge bar; or Chiltern's Lake House, home of author/ess Henry Handel Richardson. The High Country has many villages with secrets to be explored.