Let’s go for a drive, I say, when we arrive at Bright after a great start at the Myrtleford Butter Factory.
It won’t take long, I say. It’ll be a great way to see the alpine country.
Famous last words.
And so we set off from Bright at 11.30am. We’re already on the Great Alpine Road, so it’s just a matter of staying on it and heading south to get to Mt Hotham.
It gets steep – fast. We pass plenty of cyclists and motorcyclists making use of the steepness and awesome (in the true sense of the word) views.
It’s not long before I’m actually feeling a little nervous. Boyfriend is an excellent driver, but there are huge, seemingly vertical drops just past the passenger side and there are plenty of tight and hairpin turns where we’ve no idea what’s around the corner. It’s breathtaking in every sense of the word.
The higher we get, the darker and colder it gets.
Make no mistake – this is a long drive (sorry, Boyfriend!), and reminds me of the stretch between Khancoban and Thredbo where 100km takes more than double the time it otherwise would.
On a bright and sunny day, I can imagine the views are vast. Even on this blustery, grey day there are plenty of areas to pull over and admire the mountains – and the deep falls.
While the roads haven’t been busy, Danny’s Lookout is packed with cars – and people braving the weather to snap a picture and get a glimpse of the view.
It feels like it could start sleeting at any moment – and we’re not even at Mt Hotham yet!
Mt Hotham is your typical alpine ski-resort town – plenty of accommodation and a lot of parked cars this Easter weekend as people explore the area on foot or bikes.
From here, it’s downhill, including past the town of Dinner Plain which – even now – feels lively and has a distinct village feel.
We’re only a small portion into the drive, and I have to admit that I snooze a little from here until Omeo – the twist of the roads rocks me to sleep!
At Omeo, we take the Omeo Highway north until the turn-off at Middle Creek, where – strangely – there’s a RBT! It’s good to see police everywhere – even in the middle of nowhere.
We turn up the Bogong High Plains Road and head towards Falls Creek. This is incredibly windy and tiring just being a passenger – I can’t imagine how Boyfriend feels! We play my favourite car game (say any word, and then the next person has to stay a word beginning with the last letter of the word you just said until no more words can be thought of). This game takes hours and we are still playing it just before we get to Falls Creek – which gives you a sense of how long the drive is!
It’s pouring rain now, and we see plenty of people who are camped and hiking near at the Rocky Valley Storage (dam?) near Falls Creek scrambling for jackets – maybe being in the car ain’t so bad after all.
Falls Creek is another alpine village but we’re both a bit over the drive and so don’t stay – I don’t even get out of the car. However, I’m interested to see there’s yet another QT open!
It’s a pretty drive from here and we realise just how high we are as we travel down and down to Mt Beauty, and then back to Bright. But now before a few more selfies!
When we’re back in Bright, we head to Bright Brewery for a well-deserved beer.
Date: Friday, 18 January 2014
Cost: Free… if you don’t count the fuel. And about four and a half hours of your day!
Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile
Want more? Try the Victoria Tourism site.