Victoria's High Country is famous for its unbeatable valley and mountain scenery and clean, fresh air. You'll also find a world of seasonal produce, warm hospitality, cafes and bars offering sophisticated fare, award-winning wines and outstanding craft breweries and distilleries.

The High Country boasts some of the best on and off-road cycling experiences in Australia. And in winter, it’s where all the snowy action can be found at Victoria’s premier alpine resorts.

Shake off the city and hit the road for a long weekend’s indulgence in all the good things in life. Bring the bikes or skis, pack your appetite and get set to explore this beautiful pocket of Victoria.

  • Set off on the Great Alpine Road, which cuts a stunning path through the Ovens Valley. Stay the night or just stop awhile in the cute and cosy town of Myrtleford on your way to Bright. With Mount Buffalo as the dramatic backdrop, and nestled in a valley studded with iconic tobacco kilns from the area’s once booming industry, Myrtleford is well known for its post-war Italian heritage, marked each Autumn with the fabulous La Fiera Festival. Just down the road is Ovens, home of excellent country pub the Happy Valley Hotel and the Australian Pumpkin Seed Co, Australia's first and only pumpkin seed grower. Swing by to taste and pack a hamper with their outstanding oils and fresh-roasted seeds.

    Bright is a year-round destination, but probably best-known for its incredible display of autumn leaves which attract visitors from around Australia. There's a wide range of accommodation to suit all pockets, so base yourself here for the night and waste no time fuelling up at one of the town's many excellent cafes, bars, or cellar doors. For a crispy cold ale, head to Bright Brewery, and for divine gin head straight to Reed & Co Distillery. Settle in with a hot beverage at Sixpence or experience a tasting at Billy Button cellar door. Smash that hunger with an outstanding burger at Tomahawks or breakfast at the excellent social enterprise cafe, DuMu 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, around 80 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 several 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.

  • Kick off your second day in the High Country by making your way from Bright to Beechworth, about 45 minutes away. This gold-era village is one of the best preserved in Australia. It's also a foodie’s delight, with several excellent cafes (Ox & Hound Bistro is a standout) as well as Provenance, one of regional Australia's best restaurants that consistently earns owner-chef Michael Ryan multiple chefs hats and best regional wine list gongs.

    Wander around the town to admire the stunning gold rush architecture and get to grips with the fascinating local history in the Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct. Join a Ned Kelly Walking Tour to discover the infamous bushranger's close links to Beechworth locations, including the historic courthouse where he and members of his gang stood trial.

    In Beechworth, it always comes back to the food and drink. Wind down at Ben Kraus' excellent Bridge Road Brewers, with its fantastic range of craft ales made with locally-grown hops and a menu starring some of the best pizza funghi you'll ever eat. Or discover the cosy pleasure of a house-distilled whisky at Billson’s Brewery Speakeasy on a chill winter’s afternoon. In summer, a dip in Lake Sambell or a wallow in the rock pools at Woolshed Falls are a local tradition.

  • By now the region's acclaimed cellar doors will be calling. Head to the Milawa Gourmet Region via a couple of pit-stops at Glenbosch and Weathercraft, both a few kilometres from Beechworth, to taste their fine range of wines (plus gin and whisky). Take a small detour to Tolpuddle to meet some extremely cute goats and fill the Esky with farm-fresh cheese to take home. Leave some room for produce from the Milawa Cheese Co, Milawa Kitchen and Bakery, Gamze Smokehouse, Milawa Olives and Walkabout Apiaries. By now it’s time for lunch at Brown Brothers' award-winning restaurant, Patricia's Table. Afterwards, if the weather's warm, grab a beanbag and sprawl out on the lush cellar door lawns.

    Milawa is the jumping off point for the famous King Valley, home to several Italian families whose flagship Prosecco and Sangiovese wines have become synonymous with the region. Follow the Prosecco Road all the way through to Whitfield and spend a leisurely afternoon tasting and meeting the winemakers at the cellar doors dotted throughout the valley. Indulge in a Prosecco cocktail and game of bocce at Dal Zotto Wines, taste local varietals and experience the warm family atmosphere at Pizzini Wines, or tuck into a late lunch at the Chrismont restaurant, with its 180-degree vistas of the valley and surrounding ranges. Spend the night and hit the freeway early to get home, or just tell the boss you’ll be back next week while you settle in for a few more days in the valley.