The Great Alpine Road may be famous for its incredible ski season and snowy views in winter, but in spring Victoria’s High Country comes alive – with opportunities for adventure around every bend in the road.
The Great Alpine Road winds through more than 300 kilometres of Victoria’s High Country – from the bustling rural city of Wangaratta up near the New South Wales border, to the relaxing village of Metung down on the Gippsland coast. On the journey, you’ll be weaving through quaint country towns, wining and dining at local wineries and restaurants, perusing fascinating museums, and admiring the landscape. No matter where you are on the route, you’ll be treated to a sample of Victoria’s very best natural wonders – lush forests, dramatic valleys, towering mountains, rolling pastures, and tranquil streams.
Wangaratta to Myrtleford
Start your journey in Wangaratta, at the junction of the King and Ovens rivers. Those familiar with the Melbourne-to-Sydney drive up the Hume Highway are bound to be acquainted with this bustling regional hub, which serves as a pit stop about three hours north-east of the Victorian capital. While Wangaratta is a great place to stop and stretch your legs, dig a little deeper and you’ll see what makes this country town so special. Art lovers can admire the works of local artists at the Wangaratta Art Gallery, while the kids will love the sensory experiences and playground at Wangaratta Childrens Garden.
If you’d prefer to get out and about in nature, head to the nearby Warby-Ovens National Park, home to some of Victoria’s most significant bushland. Here, you’re spoilt for choice – eager anglers can throw in a line for some local Murray cod and trout varieties (just be sure to check any fishing restrictions on the Parks Victoria website before you go!), while hiking enthusiasts and birdwatchers can enjoy the ancient gum forests along the many walking trails.
Make a day of it and pack a picnic to enjoy at the foot of Briens Gorge, where an easy walk from the car park takes you to the foot of a 30-metre-high waterfall. The water only falls after heavy rains, so plan your trip around the weather if you want to catch a glimpse of the cascading rainwater! Alternatively, stretch your legs and your imagination on the Bullawah Cultural Trail, where you’ll learn more about the region’s traditional custodians, the Bpangerang people, who called the junction of the rivers ‘korumbeia’, meaning ‘high riverbanks’.
This is a sneak peek. To read the full journey, read the Spring 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia!
Pictured: Great Alpine Road, Mount Hotham. Image courtesy of Josie Withers