Range Roving: Melbourne to Falls Creek Travel Guide

This is one of Victoria’s most adventurous destinations. Take a road trip to the High Country to discover resort towns where skiing dominates in winter and hiking and mountain biking take over the trails when the snow melts.


Horse riders in the Victorian High Country on a ride with Bogong Horseback Adventures, near Tawonga

This part of Victoria is known as the High Country, a picturesque landscape of rugged mountains, green valleys and sparkling rivers. Many people discover it during winter, when the alpine resorts of Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller are filled with those eager to take on the ski fields. Never rule out the months when the snow has disappeared though. Alpine National Park is carpeted with wildflowers in summer, and it’s the sort of place where relaxation and adventure sit side by side. Spend one day plummeting down slopes on a mountain bike and the next picnicking by a historical cattleman’s hut. For hikers, there is a treasure trove of options from a relatively easy trek to the summit of Mount Cope, at 1,837 metres one of the highest peaks in the High Country, to the three-day Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing.


Aerial view of the tepee and tents in the eco-camp set up by Alpine Nature Experience on Mount Hotham

In winter, snowshoe to a camp and stay in an igloo. When the weather is warmer, glamp in the trees – yes, hanging from the branches – and explore the surrounding wilderness. Take advantage of the expertise of Alpine Nature Experience and have an adventure like no other when you visit Mount Hotham. You just need to pack the right clothes because dinner is cooked for you over an open fire and you’ll wake to the smell of bacon, eggs, French toast and coffee in the morning.


  1. It’s not one of Victoria’s famous wine regions, but consider a stop in the Strathbogie Ranges, where the terroir favours pinot noir, shiraz, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. At Fowles Wine, you can do a tasting at the cellar door or book a table at the restaurant, where there’s a farm-to-table offering from the property and neighbouring farms.

  2. It’s got everything you could want in a destination: a sense of history, beautiful surrounds, a fantastic food and wine scene and even a Ned Kelly link or two. The golden sandstone buildings that line the main streets of Beechworth were built during the gold rush. Check out the historic precinct – the Kelly family appeared in the courthouse more than 40 times – do a ghost tour on Mayday Hill and book dinner at Provenance, where chef Michael Ryan combines Japanese influences with classic techniques and seasonal local produce.

  3. The High Country is blessed with cycling trails that link wineries and towns. Cycling in Bright is a popular pastime and there’s the opportunity to take off towards Porepunkah and Myrtleford (about 30 kilometres away on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail). Or choose a shorter ride to either Wandiligong or Harrietville. All take in beautiful scenery.

  4. During summer, hikers descend on Falls Creek and the surrounding mountains, but there’s also the chance to step out in winter. There’s a network of free cross-country trails at Falls Creek, but get started with an easy one, like the 2.5-kilometre Panorama Loop, which has varied terrain and great views.

  5. Pretend you’re on the set of The Man From Snowy River when you saddle up with Bogong Horseback Adventures. There are short rides – anything from two hours to a full day – for all levels of experience. Ride Alpine National Park trails, through mountain forests and across creeks.


The Old Priory

Set in beautiful gardens, The Old Priory in central Beechworth dates to the gold rush. It’s character-filled apartments and cottages are complemented by breakfast and recreation rooms, a shady verandah and a courtyard.

Cooroona Alpine Lodge

Ski-in ski-out options are never cheap, but Cooroona Alpine Lodge is among Falls Creek’s most budget friendly, despite its comfy rooms and great facilities. In summer, you’ll likely spot athletes doing altitude training among the adventure lovers.

Club Wyndham Dinner Plain

Check in to the cosy lodge accommodation at Club Wyndham Dinner Plain, set in Alpine National Park and just 10 minutes from Mount Hotham for those who want to enjoy hiking trails or snow activities in both.


The Beechworth Historical Precinct, High Country, Victoria

Pick up a car from Apex Car Rentals at Melbourne Airport then head towards the High Country, encompassing towns like Glenrowan, Beechworth and Bright and Victoria’s premier mountain resorts, including Mount Hotham, Dinner Plain and Falls Creek. This part of Victoria’s northeast is just about perfect year round – brisk and cold in winter, warm but pleasant in summer, a patchwork of colours in spring (wildflowers) and autumn (changing leaves) – so time a visit to best incorporate your interests. It can take five-and-half hours to drive there, but consider overnighting somewhere along the way and spending three or four days on the mountain.


Riding across the Ovens River between Bright and Porepunkah in Victoria’s High Country

Go a different way back to Melbourne by leaving the mountains in a southerly direction. Follow the Great Alpine Road from Falls Creek to Omeo then on to Gippsland. Spend some time around Lakes Entrance and Paynesville, where you can go fishing, boating, kayaking and exploring the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.