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10 reasons to wander the High Country

High Country

  • Mount Buffalo, High Country, Victoria, Australia

Toe-dippers, two-wheelers and trail-trippers, grape-getters, beer-buffs and dairy-fiends, we've picked out ten top reasons to wander the High Country. Find trails for foodies and epic adventurers, rivers and lakes perfect for lilos and lures, and wineries and breweries for sippers and swillers. Explore the peaks and valleys on foot, on a mountain bike or from a hot air balloon, and discover at least another ten reasons to come back.  

1. Cycling tours
Double your fun on a two-wheeling tour of Alpine landscapes and historic villages, taking in top restaurants, wineries, farm gates and farmers markets.

Follow the region's iconic rail trails or pedal your way to the best cheese, craft beer and crisp wines on the Pedal to Produce cycling routes.

No wheels? No worries – there are plenty of operators in the region ready to kit you out with bikes, maps and picnic hampers. Hit the trails on a self-guided jaunt or join a small-group tour.

2. Hot air ballooning
Kick your holiday into high gear with a hot air balloon trip. Watch the sun rise over the High Country's magnificent rolling hills and valleys, and touch down for a gourmet brunch with local Prosecco. It's well worth getting up early for.   

3. Glamping
Get five-star treatment sleeping under millions more on a glamping weekend. Stay in a luxurious bell tent at Cofield Wines in the heart of the Rutherglen wine region and let Grapevine Glamping take care of everything – wine, gourmet hampers, serenity. No tent set-up, no camp ovens and no need to lie about being the outdoor type.   

4. Hiking and running trails
Lace up and fill your lungs with fresh alpine air.

Runners, test your stamina on the High Country's 7 Peaks Run: 21 colour-coded trails covering more than 200 kilometres across Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Mt Buffalo, Dinner Plain, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Lake Mountain.

Only ever run for the last tram? Mount Buffalo National Park has a 90-kilometre network of well-signed hiking trails to explore at your own pace.

To expand your outdoor adventure repertoire, join a tour and explore the region's peaks and valleys with local experts.

5. Mountain biking
Take the trusty steed on an epic adventure: hit the Australian Alpine Epic Trail – the first trail in the southern hemisphere deemed officially 'epic' by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Stick around Mount Buller to get your heart racing on the Copperhead and Stonefly trails or head to Falls Creek to explore the new Flowtown.

Pick up trail maps from visitor information centres or let local mountain biking tour operators lead the way.  

6. Cool waterways
Discover rivers dotted with campsites and swimming holes and lakes perfect for skis, boats, canoes, lilos and fishing.

Dip your toes or a line in the Murray, Ovens, King and Kiewa rivers, or make a splash in valley lakes, Lake William Hovell, Lake Eildon and Lake Sambell, where water sports reign supreme.

On higher ground, chill out at local favourites Late Catani at Mount Buffalo, and Rocky Valley Lake at Falls Creek – a cool 1600 metres above sea level and home to the annual Falls Creek Dragon Boat Regatta.

7. Beer
Seek out the perfect brew with a view on Victoria's High Country Brewery Trail. Weaving a scenic path to the region's best beers, the trail takes in newcomers Rutherglen Brewery, Social Bandit and Blizzard Brewery, as well as established favourites Sweetwater Brewing Company, Bright Brewery, Bridge Road Brewers and Black Dog Brewery.

Beyond beer, try the Beechworth Cider at Amulet Wines, the artisan gins at Hurdle Creek Still or, the bees knees, honey mead at Beechworth Honey.

Wherever you go, you're never far from a lovingly crafted tipple.  

8. Cooking classes
Take your culinary skills to the next level with a cooking class at High Country restaurants and wineries. Do nonna proud at A Tavola at Pizzini Wines and Simones in Bright, or pick up a trick or two at monthly cooking classes at the Pickled Sisters Cafe. As you would expect in these parts, classes are followed with gourmet feasts and top tipples. Buon appetito.

9. Local produce
The High Country is the whey to go for cheese lovers. Shoot the bries with legendairy producers King Valley Dairy, Milawa Cheese and Tolpuddle Goat Cheese and Farm Foods.

Branch out with olives, mustard and other munchies at the Brown Brothers Winery Epicurean Centre and treat your sweet teeth at Beechworth Honey and Bright Chocolate.

10. Wine
Grape expectations are met with artisan wines, fortifieds, full-bodied reds and Italian varietals in the High Country's wine regions.

Grab your two best wine buddies for some Muscateering around Rutherglen, stopping at All Saints Estate, Chambers Rosewood Winery, Scion Vineyard and Winery, and Stanton and Killeen Wines. On the King Valley's Prosecco Road, get a right royal fix of fizz along with a little bocce at Pizzini, Sam Miranda, Chrismont, Dal Zotto and Brown Brothers.