Image: Blue Rag Range Track, High Country
The area offers a range of activities for just about everyone: you can tackle a number of formidable four-wheel drives, go fishing and boating in rushing rivers, take a hike in one of many national parks, or try local wines at cellar doors. No matter what activities you try, the High Country’s mountain vistas and fields of wildflowers are sure to thrill you.
Best time of year
As part of Australia’s cool temperate zone, Victoria’s High Country experiences cold winters and mild to warm summers. Alpine weather is notoriously changeable and snow has been recorded in all months of the year. When you go will largely depend upon what you wish to do.
Four-wheel driving from November to May, as most 4WD tracks in the region are normally closed from approximately June to the end of October. Skiers will seek out the mountains from winter to early spring (June to September) with the exact timing depending on the particular season’s snowfall. Hikers and cyclists may prefer the autumn months (March to May) when the sunshine isn’t so intense.
Image: Dingo Hill Track, High Country
Victoria’s High Country is the place where many of our best four-wheel drivers earned their spurs.
Victoria’s High Country offers plenty of opportunities for bushwalking, whether you are experienced or merely wanting to take a stroll.
National Parks & Reserves
Mount Buffalo National Park
This 31,000 hectare sub-alpine park offers some of the area’s best hiking, rock climbing, swimming, scenic views and wildflowers. There are amazing views of the surrounding mountains at spots like The Horn and The Cathedral that will give you an appreciation of the vast majesty of the Great Dividing Range.
Alpine National Park
The Alpine National park, Victoria’s biggest park, covers 646,000 hectares of rugged Alps, dominating the High Country. This park offers exceptional opportunities for bushwalking, snow sports, four-wheel driving, camping, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, horse riding, mountain bike riding and restricted hunting.
Avon Wilderness Area
Tucked away within the High Country are pockets of declared wilderness areas, the most famous and popular of these being Avon Wilderness Park. Covering an area of more than 4,000 ha, the park boasts some of Australia’s most isolated sub-alpine woodlands offering what some consider the best and most challenging bushwalks around.
Snowy River National Park
Snowy River is a stunning park that offers some of the High Country’s best fishing, boating and camping. McKillops Bridge is one of the only 2WD-accesible point into the park with shallow rock pools and sandy beaches that make it a perfect place to put up camp.
Baw Baw National Park
The 13,000 Baw Baw National Park covers much of the Baw Baw Plateau and offers fantastic activities all year round. In winter you can enjoy winter sports at Mount Baw Baw, while in summer you can take advantage of the area’s scenic hikes through snow gum woodlands. Drive to Mount St Gwinear or Mount Erica for spectacular views and enjoy the wildflowers in spring and summer.
Image: Crooked River Track, Wongungarra River Crossing
During summer, camping is a fantastic overnight alternative and there are literally thousands of excellent camping spots available, both basic bush camping or more defined areas with limited facilities. Alpine National Park has a huge range of sites. Other popular locations include Victoria Falls, Howqua Hills and Grant historic areas as well as Walhalla, the state forests near Bright, Buchan Caves Reserve and Lake Catani in Mount Buffalo National Park. Campsites at Lake Catani and Buchan Caves Reserve can be booked online through the Parks Victoria. There are many camping areas outside the parks as well, including in state forests. Of course there are also many caravan parks in the region, usually with cabins available too.
Bairnsdale Visitor Information Centre - (03) 5152 3444
Beechworth Information Centre - 1300 366 321, (03) 5728 8064
Bright Information Centre - 1300 551 117, (03) 5755 2275
Dinner Plain Visitor Information Centre - 1300 734 365, (03) 5159 6451
Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centre - (03) 5155 1966
Mansfield-Mt Buller Regional Tourism Association - www.mansfieldmtbuller.com.au, 1800 039 049, (03) 5775 7000
Metung Visitor Information Centre - (03) 5156 2969
Myrtleford, Apline Visitor Information Centre - (03) 5755 0514
Orbost, Snowy River Visitors Centre - (03) 5154 2424
Omeo Information Centre - (03) 5159 1679
Parks Victoria - parkweb.vic.gov.au, 13 19 63
Tourism Victoria - www.visitvictoria.com
Wangaratta & Region Visitor Information Centre - 1800 801 065, (03) 5721 5711