A Travellers Guide to the Buckland Valley in Victoria
In Victoria’s High Country you can experience world-class epicurean delights, rugged adventure and luxury accommodation. Combine this with snowy slopes to ski, and the region is a winner for those seeking a holiday of a lifetime.
You can find hatted restaurants, gourmet pubs and winery eateries peppered throughout the region. You can also go horseback riding with Bogong Horseback Adventures or take an overnight escapade into the Wonnangatta Valley with Buckland and Beyond.
1. Mount Buffalo National Park
If you’re looking for a mountain adventure, you’ll love visiting Mount Buffalo National Park. It’s a microcosm of the Australian Alps, with sheer cliffs, granite tors, waterfalls and grand views. You can get your outdoor fix here by hiking, camping and climbing or taking part in a range of other activities.
The 31,000-hectare National Park is a 320km drive from Melbourne and it’s worth spending some time here to explore its vast alpine terrain. You’ll discover unique rock formations and sheer cliff faces that are made of granite, which has slowly cooled over hundreds of millions of years to form the massifs you see today.
As well as being a stunning natural feature, Mount Buffalo is home to a wide variety of Australian wildlife and over 550 species of plants including endemics such as the Buffalo Sallee tree and the buffalo sallow wattle. These thriving trees and plants have evolved with the harsh conditions of the plateau.
One of Victoria’s oldest national parks, Mount Buffalo is a stunning destination that’s perfect for a summer holiday. It’s a popular place for walkers and is the ideal spot to take in the panoramic views of the Victorian Alps.
For a more leisurely hike, you can try the Underground River Walk that’s accessible from Lake Catani campground and features an abundance of caves. If you’re more of an experienced walker, there are plenty of longer and more challenging walks to choose from as well.
You’ll also find a huge range of different activities in Mount Buffalo National Park, from fishing to hang gliding and mountain biking to abseiling. You can even watch the sunset at The Horn, the park’s highest point and an unforgettable experience.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some of the charismatic wildlife that calls Mount Buffalo home. There are a number of different mammals that can be seen around the area, including wombats and kangaroos. Birds include owls, possums, honeyeaters and lyrebirds, while crimson rosellas and currawongs can be spotted in the skies.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are several accommodation options in the surrounding townships of Bright and Wangaratta. Both towns are very popular with tourists, and you can easily access the Park from here by car.
2. Lake Eildon
Lake Eildon is one of Victoria’s most popular attractions, attracting a huge number of people who enjoy boating, waterskiing and other water-based activities. The pristine water, lush green scenery and spectacular mountain views make it a popular holiday destination.
Aside from a multitude of water sports, there are also many different attractions for tourists to explore. The lake is surrounded by national parks, offering a variety of opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside.
This part of Australia is known for its rich biodiversity and wildlife, making it an ideal destination for visitors looking to get in touch with nature. If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, you can try your hand at mountain biking, canoeing or bushwalking on the countless trails in the area.
If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, you can also go camping at the lake. This is a great way to escape the city life and enjoy the beauty of the Australian bush.
It’s a good idea to book your accommodation before you arrive, as the lake can fill up very quickly during peak times. You can find a wide range of options in Buckland Valley, including luxurious cottages and old-style bed and breakfasts.
The quaint township of Eildon is situated on the southern shores of the lake and is a peaceful holiday destination that features scenic mountain backdrops. It is a small town that offers a range of attractions and accommodation to suit all needs.
Originally known as Darlingford, the township was founded to service farmers and graziers, timber cutters and the gold-mining town of Enoch’s Point. The township was later submerged in the 1920s when Sugarloaf Dam was built on the Goulburn River between Mounts Sugarloaf and Pinniger.
When the lake is at its highest, it covers more than 13800 ha and is a huge reservoir that provides the water for the irrigated agriculture of the region. Its catchment is also home to numerous rivers and waterfalls, making it a natural place for water-based recreation such as boating, fishing and sailing.
In addition to the wide range of water-based activities, the lake also attracts a number of visitors who love to go hiking and camping. The lake is surrounded by the beautiful Lake Eildon National Park and its surrounding mountains, making it a great place to enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside. You can also hike along a network of trails that will take you through a stunning pristine environment where you’ll be sure to encounter the region’s kangaroos and other wildlife.
The enchanting alpine town of Bright in Victoria’s High Country is a glorious gateway to enthralling attractions and captivating experiences. It’s the perfect base to experience this renowned region and its distinctive seasons, stunning scenery and mouthwatering produce.
Just a three-and-a-half-hour drive north of Melbourne, Bright is the ultimate destination for epic cycling trails, a vibrant dining scene and a clutch of boutique wineries. It also boasts an impressive microbrewery with awe-inspiring mountain vistas.
One of the best things to do in Bright is a visit to Mystic Park, a gravity mountain bike park that offers a full range of trails for all skill levels. It’s also an ideal location for a day out in the great outdoors, as it’s within easy reach of the Buckland Valley State Forest for hiking, fishing and swimming.
Another popular activity in Bright is horse riding. Alternatively, you can choose to ride on the famous Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which connects Bright with Porepunkah, Myrtleford and Beechworth.
The region is a hub for outdoor pursuits, with world-class skiing and snowboarding available at Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, which are all within an hour’s drive of Bright. A guided tour with Bogong Horseback Adventures is a memorable way to get the most out of these majestic mountains, and for an overnight escapade you can stay at a local farm cottage.
A trip to the acclaimed Milawa Gourmet Region is another must-do for those who love food, wine and stunning views of the Alps. It’s home to many fine wineries with a distinct Italian influence, and a trip along so-called Prosecco Road is an absolute must.
While you’re in the region, take in a round of golf at Porepunkah Golf Club and try your hand at driving the legendary King Valley Highway, the only motorway in the High Country that winds its way through pristine rainforest and rocky outcrops.
If you’re looking for something a little different, consider a trip to Ringer Reef Winery. The tasting room is awash with picturesque views, and the sharing platter served with the wine is an excellent way to sample everything from macadamia nuts to cheeses.
Buckland Valley is an enchanting alpine-surrounded valley and one of Victoria’s most historic gold mining areas. It’s also a great base to explore bush tracks and mountain biking adventures.
The Milawa Gourmet Region is the veritable food bowl of North East Victoria, renowned for its wineries, farms, restaurants and local produce. It is also a great base for exploring the surrounding areas, including the famous King Valley.
In Milawa, there is a number of attractions to visit such as the Brown Brothers Cellar Door with its Epicurean Centre and the Milawa Cheese Factory bakery and restaurant. Other attractions include the Muse Gallery and Anna Bienvenu Photographic Gallery.
For the explorer with a sense of adventure, why not take your pick from one of the many stunning hiking and cycling tours available in the area? Let the views inspire, the tastes leave an impression, the scents linger, the characters endear and the challenge render you fulfilled on one of these unique adventures.
There are a range of self-guided and fully guided hiking and cycling tours in the area to choose from. Discover North East Victoria’s diverse countryside from natural bushland to open farmland, hidden valleys and some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Australia.
Become intimate with the region on an extensive network of rail trails and hiking routes. Select from a range of self-guided or fully guided hiking and cycling tours that will offer you a truly memorable experience in the High Country.
On the Milawa Gourmet Ride, pedal a gently paced 10- to 12.5-kilometre route through vineyards and farm gates to sample wines from Brown Brothers, Sam Miranda and Ciavarella Oxley Estate. Stop to indulge in handmade goodness at Milawa Cheese, get your condiment fix with Milawa Mustards and swing by Blue Ox Berries for a punnet of freshly picked fruit.
Then head back along the Milawa Valley Road to visit the Old Emu Inn. Located on Snow Road in Milawa, the old building once served gold miners on their way to the Ovens Valley. The Old Emu Inn is now home to Milawa Mustards and Milawa Cheese Company bakery.