Located on the Ovens River and surrounded by mountains, it’s easy to see why Bright is a popular getaway destination any time of the year. Located about 3 and a half hours away from Melbourne, the drive becomes worth it as you get closer to town – rewarding you with spectacular views over the Alpine Mountain Ranges.
To break up the drive we stopped at the historic gold-mining town of Beechworth. We were only there for a short time, so we decided to take a walk around the city centre to check out the historical buildings. We stopped in at the famous Beechworth Bakery for a quick lunch where we tried the Lamb and Rosemary Pie and the Cuban Focaccia. Both were delicious; however, the Cuban Focaccia was definitely our favourite!
What to do:
If you’re after a truly unique experience in Bright or in Victoria, in general, we couldn’t recommend doing a cliff picnic through Bright Adventure Company high enough. We went at the end of August, so as we made our way up Mt Buffalo, we were lucky enough to still see some snow left on the mountain! Once we reached the top of the mountain, we met our guide who took us through the safety briefing and to the practise cliff. As a first-timer doing this, it can be quite daunting and scary, but our guide made us feel at ease the whole time and let us take as many turns as we needed to practise. Once we felt comfortable, our guide took us to the cliff where the picnic was located which had a drop-down to the platform of about 4 metres – making it far easier than the practise cliff.
When we arrived at the platform our guide gave us a picnic hamper which included an assortment of dips, fruits, desserts, a chicken salad and non-alcoholic drinks. The food was all locally sourced and extremely tasty. Depending on how long you take to practise, will determine how much time you will have on the cliff (we had 2 rounds of the practise cliff each and about an hour and a half at the cliff picnic, which we thought was the perfect amount of time up there). All that practise was worth it though, as we were rewarded with some majestic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Where to eat:
Tomahawks is the local hotspot, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re going for dinner, they do take some bookings, but the rest is left for walk-ins. We were lucky enough to get seated pretty quickly, as we didn’t mind eating at the bar. There was a lot of talk about their broccoli dish, which we just had to try! We were amazed at how such a simple dish could be so delectable. I would highly recommend this dish, as well as, the cauliflower and mozzarella fritters and the prawn and ginger dumplings. For drinks, we tried the Dark Matter cocktail and the Espresso Martini which were an excellent addition to the food we had.
We decided on the Cherry Walk Café for breakfast which is located in the heart of town. It’s a cosy little place with some delicious options, where we tried the house made toasted muesli and the sweet corn fritters – the sweet corn was definitely our favourite though!
Where to stay:
There are heaps of different accommodation options in Bright, but we decided to do something different and settled on glamping! The Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park offers four glamping tents to stay in. The Platypus tent which we stayed in is set apart from the other tents but was centrally located within the park and is set up right beside the Ovens River.
The tent included Wi-Fi, electricity (including a fridge, kettle and coffee machine) and Bluetooth speakers making it a luxurious experience. The tent also included outdoor furniture, and for the colder months, you can set up a bonfire (firewood can be purchased from reception for $15 a bag) which is the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day.
How to get there:
We travelled there by car, which was a three and a half hour drive from Melbourne. You can reach Bright by taking the M31 Hume Freeway, and then taking Snow Road C522 and Great Alpine Road B500. For more information on how to get there by other modes of transport, please check here.