The Victorian High Country is a completely breathtaking region in the state’s North-East, and one that I hadn’t visited before. Towards the end of Summer, I spent a week shooting around the region for a Wander Victoria campaign. A destination with an incredible amount to see, eat and do – from walking and hiking trials in and around Mount Buffalo, to an abundance of wineries, cooking classes, farmers markets and local producers (many of my favourite things!)
I spent my time between the King Valley, Bright and Porepunkah. Being the end of Summer, days were warm and nights were cool. The Pizzini family specialise in the production of Italian varieties of wine such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Alfredo was kind enough to show me around their property in Whitfield; just before vintage was a beautiful time to stop-by. Katrina also runs A tavola! Cooking School and whipped up some delicious pasta and gnocchi, with ingredients all fresh from the property. Just down the road, the beautifully modern restaurant at Chrismont served up a delicious authentic Italian feast.
From Whitfield to Wandiligong, I went to meet Megan from Wandiful Produce. I can’t even begin to explain how inspirational this little farm is! Megan and her partner Geoff maintain chestnut orchards, a hazelnut grove, a variety of other fruit trees and a small farm. They focus on soil health through biodynamics with the help and productivity of their bees, and their three geese (one called David!). Basically we need more people like Megan caring about sustainability – I loved this place!
Road trips in and around the area are inevitable but with scenery as stunning as this, you could drive all day! To the east of Bright is Mount Hotham and to the west is Mount Buffalo. Having never been during snow season, I did a drive to the top of Hotham to check it out which was totally worth it for the incredible views. Having grown up around the beach in South Australia, I don’t see mountains like this every day! Then to Mount Buffalo, I could spend a lot of time here – the Ladies Bath Falls were a comfortable 800m walk and I can imagine would be lovely all year round.
There was a lot happening in and around Bright. The Brewery was always packed, serving up perfectly cooked wood-oven pizzas right by the river – it’s no surprise! All beer is brewed onsite and they also have a focus on sustainability through solar panelling. Another plus, they were open daily (when most places didn’t serve dinner early in the week).
A week really wasn’t enough to explore this region. I’d love to spend more time ambling these towns, meeting the locals and trying all of the produce. One way to get around is the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, where you can cycle between destinations, perfect in the sunnier months.
795 Morses Creek Road, Wandiligong, 3744
13 Nicholson Street, Porepunkah, 3740
121 Great Alpine Road, Bright, 3741
307 Mount Buffalo Road, Porepunkah, 3740
175 King Valley Road, Whitfield, 3733
Mount Buffalo National Park
I’ll be back here again soon. Get out and see your own backyard, it’s a beautiful part of the world.
Images shot for Visit Victoria.