3.Explore the Bogong High Plains
There’s nothing plain about Bogong High Plains, a vast area of Australia’s Alpine National Park which in spring comes alive with a mesmerising variety of wildflowers and in winter becomes one of the largest snow covered fields on the continent.
After the snow melts away, the dirt track on the southern outskirts of Falls Creek becomes accesible again to take you down to a place whose name says it all – Pretty Valley Pondage.
From there the trail winds its way up and over the top of a mountain range opening to never-ending views before dropping down again to a car park at the Pondage reservoir. This is where you leave you car behing and continue on foot deeper into the landscape.
This part of the Australian Alpine region presents itself at its absolute best – fresh, clean and bright. If a couple of hours is all you have, pick the trail down to Tawonga Hut, a picturesque few kilometre walk from the Pondage that will give you a taste of the surrounding scenery.
We loved being there in summer trying to keep count of the different wildflowers, a bright contrast against the burnt grey gumtree tops.
4.Drive to the top of Mount Buffalo
Weather permitting, the Horn lookout at top of Mount Buffalo makes for a superb picnic spot. The backdrop to your sandwich will be amazing layers upon layers of the dark mountain ranges that keep changing colours as the sun goes down.
Australian Alps are best discovered while wearing hiking boots but for once you can leave those behind. Reaching the top of Mounth Buffalo is a driving adventure with the road leading all the way to the lookout. The drive is curvy, the angles sharp, and the incline very steep, so make sure you have a decent horsepower under your bonnet.
5.Potter the leafy streets of Bright
For a moment you may think you’ve crossed the borders to Austria, for Bright, a handsome town on the edge of the Snowy Mountains, bears a striking resemblance to the mountain villages of European Alps.
Bright is immaculate with huge deciduous trees lining the roads. These leafy giants, occasionally interspersed with tall pine trees, are the town’s pride and joy as well as an inspiration behind the Spring and Autumn festivals that take place in Bright every year. These are wonderful occasions celebrating all things Alpine under the colourful crowns of the trees.
We loved the bicycle rides through the unexpectedly luscious green character of this town that is just so pretty. Remember, winters can be bitterly cold while summers, despite the town’s elevated position, still deliver 40°C temperatures.
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