Set off on a drive to remember as you immerse yourself in the scenery of the Great Alpine Road. Follow the beautiful Ovens Valley, taking in Myrtleford on the way to Bright, near the foot of Mount Hotham. Nestled in a valley studded with tobacco kilns, Myrtleford is known for its post-war Italian heritage, marked each autumn by the La Fiera Festival. Stop in nearby Ovens for a tasty pub lunch at the Happy Valley Hotel, or sample outstanding oils and fresh-roasted seeds at the Australian Pumpkin Seed Co.
Famous for its stunning display of autumn colour, Bright is one of the region's most popular villages. There's a great range of accommodation to suit all pockets, so base yourself here for the night and waste no time fuelling up at one of the many excellent cafes, bars, or cellar doors. Settle in at Bright Brewery for a relaxing afternoon or pop down to Reed & Co. for a distinctly Australian gin. Grab a hot beverage from Sixpence, or drop in for a tasting at Billy Button cellar door. Satisfy lunchtime cravings with a burger from Tomahawks, or meal at social enterprise Dumu Balcony Cafe.
The good news is that the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is right there to work off your weekend excesses. The High Country's iconic, sealed cycle trail hugs the valley all the way to Wangaratta, nearly 100 kilometres away. Don't panic if you didn't bring your own treadlie - you can hire a standard, a tandem or an e-bike at any one of three cycle shops in Bright. Porepunkah is a perfect distance (six kilometres) away for an easy, mostly flat ride that combines stunning views of Mount Buffalo with a great late afternoon tipple and cheese platter at Ringer Reef Winery.