Tour Description

Bright in Autumn

Seven Days: 7th – 13th May 2019

Twin Share: $1995 per person. Sole Use: $2295 per person.

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.

 

A canvas of colour, the town of Bright is renowned for its showcase of 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 and brighten up your autumn!

 

Day One – TUESDAY 7 MAY 2019

(includes lunch and three 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 are stopping for lunch today.

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 at Comfort Inn Campbell, Swan Hill (Ph. 03 5032 4427) to enjoy a relaxing evening and lovely dinner.

 

Day Two – WEDNESDAY 8  MAY 2019

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

Today we journey to 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.  We reach Shepparton on the floodplain of the Goulburn River around lunchtime, and stop in town for lunch.

In the afternoon we continue on the Midland Highway to the town of Benalla.  We visit the Benalla Ceramic Mural which started as a community project in 1983, and features an amphitheatre, stairs, turquoise domes, hundreds of carved tiles including some in Braille, and hollow sound sculptures called ‘Thongaphones’.

Housed in the Information Centre is the fascinating Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum, which is the only public costume museum of its kind in Victoria. Founded in 1967, it is managed entirely by volunteers and showcases the areas history, including the Ned Kelly story through photographs, videos, costumes, accessories and other memorabilia.

Upon departing Benalla we travel through Glenrowan and begin to see the beautiful topography of the Ovens Valley as we near Myrtleford.

Arriving in Tawonga by late afternoon, we book in to our accommodation for the next four nights at the Mountain Creek Motel (Ph. 03 5754 4247) with time to settle in our rooms before meeting in the hotel restaurant for dinner.

 

Day Three –  THURSDAY 9 MAY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, picnic lunch and three course dinner)

After breakfast we drive along the tree lined Alpine Road to Bright. 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!

We take the chance to get a feel for this town with morning tea at one of the many beautiful spots before having some free time take a look around. Afterwards we are joined by a local guide who boards our coach to tell us more. 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. The Bright Uniting Church Ladies will have lunch waiting for us in their church hall following our tour.

After departing Bright we journey south to the village of Wandiligong. The town enjoyed a small gold rush in the mid-1850’s and its population built a variety of public buildings including schools, churches, hotels and a public library. Many of these buildings are still standing and today, the entire town and its landscape are classified with the National Trust of Australia.

We’ll take time to explore the town, including a visit to Nightingale Brothers Alpine Produce, which boasts one of the largest apple orchards in the southern hemisphere.

The family purchased their first orchard in Wandiligong in the 1950’s and four generations on, they now have five orchards in various locations in Victoria and NSW, growing a wide variety of apples. In addition, they are the largest grower of chestnuts in Australia, grow persimmons, produce a variety of jams, relishes and sauces and are now making their very own Apple cider! There will be plenty of time to look through their produce store before returning to Tawonga for dinner and a good nights sleep.

 

Day Four – FRIDAY 10 MAY  2019

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

Our destination today is 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’s beauty is obvious with its wide tree-lined streets, 19th century residences and lovely 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.

Following our light lunch we have some free time to explore the main street before visiting the Beechworth Historic Courthouse. This building was where Ned Kelly was imprisoned on several occasions and is also where he and several of the 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.

Afterwards we visit the historic Murray Breweries. Built in 1865 while Beechworth was at the height of the Gold Rush, the production of beer was to cease here during the 1920’s, although stout continued to be made for another 30 years. It was at this time a soft drink and cordial factory was started, and we have the opportunity to taste the cordials they still make today. There is an amazing range of flavours crafted and perfected from 1860s recipes and if a tasting isn’t enough you can buy some to take home.

After a great day at Beechworth, a pleasant drive takes us back to Tawonga and our accommodation in time to relax and refresh before our evening meal.

 

Day Five – SATURDAY 11 MAY  2019

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

We begin our morning by taking a scenic drive to Mount Buffalo. As we meander up the mountain, we enjoy spectacular valley views and waterfalls. Mount 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 up 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 great views over the surrounding countryside and there will be time to relax on arrival, before meeting again at dinner.

 

Day Six – SUNDAY 12 MAY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three 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. There is 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.

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

Refreshed, we continue west through central Victoria before pausing at Avoca for a comfort stop.

Our final drive for the afternoon brings us 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 (Ph. 03 5358 3877) with time to freshen up before our three course dinner together.

 

Day Seven – MONDAY 13 MAY 2019

(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.

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.