Tour Description

Beautiful Bright’s Autumn Colour 

Seven Days: April 2021

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

The town of Bright is a colourful canvas as it showcases its autumn leaves. Set on the edge of the Snowy Mountains in the beautiful Ovens Valley, Bright is one of Victoria’s most attractive destinations and becomes truly spectacular at this time of year. We stay in the nearby town of Tawonga while we explore Bright and the beautiful surrounding region in the Victorian Highlands. We discover towns steeped in history, admire breathtaking scenery and enjoy the best attractions of the area. Join us on tour as we brighten our days with the colours of autumn!

 

Day One

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

After being picked up from our homes (limited areas*) we head east from Adelaide, through the lovely Adelaide Hills and along the Princes Highway, pausing at Tailem Bend for morning tea. From here we enter the Murray Mallee, travelling through small communities before reaching the rural township of Pinnaroo, where we stop for lunch. Established in 1869, it is a service centre for the surrounding wheat, sheep, barley and mixed farming area.

This afternoon we cross the border into Victoria, passing through Ouyen where we stop to stretch our legs. By late afternoon we check into our accommodation for the night with some of our favourite hosts at the Comfort Inn Campbell, Swan Hill (to be confirmed) to enjoy a relaxing evening and lovely dinner.

Day Two

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

Today we are heading for the Victorian Alpine region. Departing Swan Hill, we travel through Kerang and on to Gunbower where we enjoy morning tea.

From here we drive alongside the Murray River passing through Echuca before we reach Shepparton on the floodplain of the Goulburn River. We will stop here for lunch and the chance to stretch our legs before the afternoon journey.

We continue our drive on the Midland Highway to the town of Benalla, probably most well known for its connection with Ned Kelly. There will be some time to explore this picturesque town including the Benalla Ceramic Mural, which started as a community project in 1983. It features an amphitheatre, stairs, turquoise domes, hundreds of carved tiles including some in Braille, and hollow sound sculptures called ‘Thongaphones’.

Departing the mural, we continue to the Information Centre which houses the Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum, the only public costume museum of its kind in Victoria. Founded in 1967, it is managed entirely by volunteers and showcases the area’s history, including the story of Ned Kelly through costumes, accessories, photographs, videos and other memorabilia.

Upon departing Benalla we travel through Glenrowan and begin to see the beautiful topography of the Ovens Valley as we reach Myrtleford. Late afternoon we arrive in Tawonga where we book into our accommodation for the next four nights at the Mountain Creek Motel (to be confirmed).

Day Three

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

After breakfast we make our way to Bright, coming into town on the Great Alpine Road, lined by trees on both sides. Like many other towns in Victoria, Bright’s history includes the discovery and subsequent mining of gold during the mid 1800s. After the decline of gold-digging, timber became a major economic resource for Bright, but since World War Two tourism has become its principal source of income. During the holiday season, the town’s population can swell by up to 1000 per cent!

After morning tea, enjoying the autumn colours at one of the local parks, there is free time to browse through the shopping area.  Afterwards we are joined by a local guide who boards our coach to tell us more about this beautiful area. Bright is noted for its impressive array of deciduous trees, which create a blaze of orange, red, gold and yellow at this time of year. We enjoy the beauty of this area with the colourful oaks, chestnuts, poplars, elms and Japanese maples lining the streets.

After our tour, we have a treat for our lunch today as the Bright Uniting Church Ladies will be catering for us in their church hall, where we are always well fed!

On leaving Bright, we drive south through the small historic village of Wandiligong, set in a picturesque valley surrounded by forests and mountain ranges. We arrive at the farm gate store of Nightingale Bros Alpine Produce and Cider where the family has been growing crisp alpine apples since 1954. Here we can purchase freshly picked family grown apples, nuts, berries and seasonal fruits, as well as their own Apple Cider and Sparkling Apple Juice, naturally made from 100 per cent Nightingale Bros apples, and a large range of locally made jams, relishes, vinegars, oils, gifts and goodies!

While here we can enjoy the beautiful mountain views and picturesque surrounds that this village offers.

On our journey back to Bright, we will stop at some of the lookouts to admire the breathtaking views, before continuing to our accommodation in Tawonga.

Day Four

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we find ourselves in Beechworth, one of Victoria’s most beautifully preserved gold rush towns, with more than 30 buildings classified by the National Trust. Situated in the foothills of the Australian Alps, Beechworth boasts wide tree-lined streets, 19th century residences and lush, attractive parks and gardens.

We pause to enjoy our morning tea in one of these parks before meeting our local guide who shows us all of the special locations to be found. The history to be discovered here is fascinating, including its connections with Ned Kelly, being the town where he stood trial.

Before our light lunch we have some free time to explore the main street and when refreshed we visit the Beechworth Historic Courthouse. This building was where Ned Kelly was imprisoned on several occasions and is also where he and several other members of the future Kelly Gang met. During our tour, expert historians bring to life some of the dramatic events which took place inside the courthouse walls, including the committal trial that sealed Ned Kelly’s fate.

Later we visit the historic Billson’s Breweries, built in 1865 while Beechworth was at the height of the gold rush. The production of beer at this site ceased during the 1920’s and operations transferred to Murray Breweries, who concurrently started producing soft drinks. While Murrays only continued brewing beer for another 30 years, it never stopped producing traditional cordials. The brewery was purchased by the Cowan’s in 2017 and they relaunched the business under its original name of Billson’s Brewery. We have the opportunity to taste the original cordials (produced from the original hand-written recipes of 1880), as well as a range of new cordials and sodas. There is also a few craft beers on offer for those who are interested, which are now in production again following a brewing hiatus of 70 years!

After exploring Beechworth, we take a pleasant drive back to Tawonga, where there is time to relax before our evening meal.

Day Five

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we take a scenic drive to Mount Buffalo. As we meander up the mountain, we enjoy spectacular valley views and waterfalls. Mt Buffalo was proclaimed a National Park in 1898 and is one of Australia’s oldest and most beautiful parks. After taking in the views, we travel a little further up the mountain to see where the ski fields are. The views are just as spectacular on the descent as we make our way to Porepunkah at the foot of Mount Buffalo for lunch.

A little further along the Great Alpine Road is Eurobin, home to the Red Stag Deer and Emu Farm. The farm borders the Mount Buffalo National Park and with the mountains in the background, the scenery is wonderful. We have the opportunity to wander around the farm and learn about these majestic animals   There is also a unique shop with a range of health products, gifts and souvenirs.

The drive back to our accommodation provides us with pleasant views over the surrounding countryside.

Day Six

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we farewell our hosts in Tawonga and begin our journey west. We take our last drive through the Ovens Valley past Wangaratta and onto Benalla.

We make our way to the Benalla Botanical Gardens which lie alongside Lake Benalla. The gardens were listed on the Register of National Estate in 1995 as the original layout of the garden has been left intact and they boast an unusual feature, being a large oval described as the most picturesque cricket ground in the country! There is also a beautiful rose garden surrounded by lovely elm trees and easy meandering paths creating a very peaceful atmosphere.  We enjoy our morning tea in the gardens to make the most of our visit.

The journey continues past orchards, vineyards and dairy farms, through Murchison and on to Bendigo, where we will be stopping for lunch. In 1851 the Bendigo region exploded into life with the discovery of gold and the resulting wealth created a city of beauty with magnificent architecture.

Refreshed, we continue west through central Victoria to Stawell.  Stawell is the gateway to the Grampians and famous for holding the prestigious foot race, the Stawell Gift. On arrival we check into our accommodation at the Magdala Motor Lodge (to be confirmed) with time to freshen up before our two course dinner.

Day Seven

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

Following breakfast we depart Stawell to begin the final leg of our journey home.

We travel through Horsham and on to the small town of Natimuk, known for its proximity to Mt Arapiles.  We pause for morning tea in this small farming community before continuing our travels.

Leaving Natimuk behind we sit back and relax while our driver takes us across the South Australian border. By lunchtime we reach Keith where our friends at the hotel will have a two course lunch waiting for us.

Refreshed, we make our way through Tintinara in the Murray Valley Region before we come to Tailem Bend.  Here we have a chance to stretch our legs before crossing the Murray River, and making our way through the Adelaide Hills.

We arrive back in Adelaide, where we begin returning everyone home after a holiday full of beautiful scenery, fascinating sites and fun with friends in the Bright region.