We talked about the first leg (The Great Alpine Road Drive : Leg 1) of this great road trip in our previous blog. In this blog, you’ll discover more of the Great Alpine Road, waiting to surprise you in the most pleasant way.
The name of this spectacular road trip actually comes from this second leg that travels from leafy Bright straight towards the alpine area and the historic town of Omeo.
Leg Two :- The Great Alpine Road
Bright to Omeo
Time to go upwards
Pull yourself from colors of Bright and ascend along the Great Alpine Road that’ll take you to the charming Harrietville and Mount Hotham. As you head upward the landscape changes from alpine ash to snow gum forest and heathland.
Mount Hotham is Victoria's highest alpine village offering 500 acres of ski area. It offers a wide selection of downhill and cross-country trails perfect for beginners as well as experienced skiers and snowboarders.
On Mount Hotham, you can trek along fields of wildflowers, or go horse riding, or fishing. Take in the spectacular views of Mount Feathertop, (the second-highest mountain in the state), over the Alpine National Park. On a clear day you can see as far as Falls Creek and Mount Buffalo. Follow the Razorback Trail, to take you along the exposed ridges that leads to the summit of Mount Feathertop.
Less than 10-miles south of Mount Hotham is the Dinner Plain which is a popular center for horseback trail rides in summer, and cross-country skiing in winter.
What goes up must come down.
As the landscape changes from alpine ash to lush grazing fields, you know it’s time to descend to the old gold town of Omeo. Once the site of one of Victoria's richest goldfields, Omeo will quickly win you over with vistas of snowy mountains over green fields.
Omeo to Metung
Go further south following the Great Alpine Road to small towns of Swifts Creek and Ensay, with a contemporary passion for freshly baked goods, just-picked fruit, and local wines, and then onto Bairnsdale.
Now it’s time to explore the spectacular Gippsland Lakes.
Past Bairsnsdale drive towards Metung, a starting point for exploring the Gippsland Lakes.
Next is Bruthen, a small rustic village overlooking the Tambo River with its very own brewery ... be sure to get refreshed by an energizing ale before you leave to explore any further. Departing from Bruthen, drive towards NowaNowa and Lakes Entrance and watch the daily catch being unloaded ... or cast a line yourself.
Bairnsdale would be your last stop before Metung. It has everything that you need to sustain you for some time. On the banks of the Mitchell River, Bairnsdale was originally settled as an inland port.
In Bairnsdale you can attend a musical and sporting event, or enhance your hunger for further exploration of the impressive Gippsland Lakes network by roving the Mitchell River silt jetties that extend five miles into nearby Lake King.
Explore the Majestic Lakes
The Gippsland Lakes system happens to be the biggest expanse of inland waterways in the southern hemisphere. With five main lakes, fed by the waters of four major rivers, and with over 400 square kilometres of lakesand lagoons have made this region an ideal location for all forms of water based fun and sport, and an exceptional fishing spot.
With that you're off to Metung, a picturesque village on the shores of Bancroft Bay and Lake King. The Great Alpine Road trip ends in Metung. Check out the harborside restaurants that serve fabulous local seafood and wine, spend a day in a relaxed pace by floating around in a boat or take a stroll along the water's edge admiring the sunset.
Alternate route from Bright
An alternative route turns off at Bright and continues to the Tawonga Gap, Mt Beauty, Bogong, Falls Creek and across the Bogong High Plains, then joins to Anglers Rest and Omeo. This road remains closed in winter. This road will amaze you with breath-taking views of historic cattleman’s huts, before connecting with the Omeo Highway to descend into Omeo.
[Read Our Previous Blog on The Great Alpine Road Drive : Leg 1]
Bogong Alpine Way
Bogong High Plains Road loops through Bright, Mount Beauty, Bogong, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham and back to Bright. This loop drive can amaze you with scenery like nothing else. We can bet that you’ll spend the rest of your life admiring every single sight from this loop drive.
Buchan Caves Reserve worth a stop
From Bruthen a scenic 20-minute drive takes you to Buchan, the gateway to the Buchan Caves Reserve that offers camping, bushwalking and wildlife spotting. Inside the caves you’ll find spectacular limestone formations. Guided tours take you for an easy walk through these ancient caverns, exploring beautiful calcite-rimmed pools. On a hot summer take a plunge in the underground, spring fed Buchan Caves Reserve pool, with the purest water you can imagine.
Take a Detour to Cassillis
An alternative route from Omeo to Bairnsdale is through Cassillis, a small town that was once a thriving mining community. Explore the picturesque valley on foot and see relics of the gold-mining era, including the unmissable Oriental Claims walking trails, the Cassilis Cemetery and the old goldmine.