We decided to take another detour from our mostly coastal route, to spend two nights exploring the Victorian Alps and the High Country.
Our journey took us along the Great Alpine Road, a scenic drive through the diverse scenery of the region. Setting out at sunrise, we were rewarded with a perfectly clear morning, and after initially passing through rolling hills and forests, we were soon climbing into the mountains.
As the van chugged up the steep inclines and around countless hairpin bends, we had time to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The drive also took us past several of the areas ski resorts. Yes this place really does seem to have everything! With the ski season still two months away, the resorts were almost empty, but it definitely seemed like a great place to take a winter break. The ski lodges in the largest resort of Dinner Plain looked particularly nice.
This drive was completely different to anywhere else we had been so far, and the huge variety is one of the things that has made our trip so enjoyable. Although we were both thankful to be driving along the route before any snow had arrived.
We gave the van a particularly tough day, as we also drove all the way to the 1,700m summit of Mount Buffalo. We were pleased to see it survive unscathed, especially with the last few km being on a rather uneven gravel track. The van did however manage this a lot easier than the many cyclists we passed on the way up.
The Horn, as the summit is known, has a small viewing platform, just a short climb from the carpark. We braved the strong winds to take in the impressive views, before making the much quicker journey back down.
The High Country’s largest town is Bright, and we timed our visit perfectly, as this is one town that really does look good in Autumn. With a variety of trees lining almost every road, the place was covered in leaves of every shade of red, orange and yellow you could imagine.
We took a short walk through the centre of the town, before enjoying a picnic on the bank of the river. The town seemed very busy, with lots of small shops and cafes full of people. The Bright Brewery was especially full, and with no time to waste I had to settle for a just bottle to take away.
We managed to get some great views of the town, by making the short climb up to Huggins lookout. While the sign promised an hour return, we managed to make it up and down within 25 minutes.
On our way back along the Alpine Road, we made a quick stop in Harrietville, another small and picturesque town. We took the short walk around the Tronoh Dredge, which is apparently now a popular swimming spot with locals.
While it was great to experience something completely different, and a welcome break from seaside towns and beaches, this detour did come with a downside. Our base for two nights was in Omeo, a sleepy but friendly little town, which also happened to be very cold. With the town at an elevation of 600m, on our first night there the temperature dropped to -1c! As you can imagine despite wearing as many layers as possible, it still wasn’t the most enjoyable night in the van. Fortunately our campsite was just a short walk from the Golden Age Motel, where we spent as long as possible enjoying food, drinks and the warmth!