Set on the picturesque Ovens River in Victoria’s spectacular High County, the alpine town of Bright is a nature-lovers paradise. And the best way to explore this panoramic paradise is on foot. Whether it’s a short amble along gravelled trails or a longer hike through mountainous tracks, you’ll find crystal-clear creeks, lush forests and valleys, wildlife and wildflowers galore. Here’s our round-up of the best walking and hiking trails in and around Bright.
Explore the area with these walks that start from Bright:
- Huggins Lookout (1.5km): Although a relatively short distance, this track winds its way steeply up the side of the valley towards the vantage point. Well worth it for the views, with a spectacular outlook over Bright and up the Ovens River towards Porepunkah.
- Canyon Walk (4km / 11km): A scenic walk from the centre of Bright, along the river, past a small canyon, with plenty of birdlife and wildflowers along the way. Cross either of the suspension bridges for a shorter loop or continue past the bridges for a longer loop.
- Apex Lookout Walk (3km return): A steady climb with a couple of rocky obstacles along the way. A breathtaking view of Mount Feathertop, Mount Fainter and Mount Bogong (the highest peak in Victoria) awaits.
- Cherry Walk Nature Trail (5.2km): Starting in Bright, this loop takes a picturesque path upstream along a pretty stretch of river, crossing two suspension bridges along the way.
- Bennett’s Trail (11km): Easy, slightly undulating shared path between Bright and the heritage-listed village of Wandiligong. Tree-lined route through an old gold-mining area, along Morses Creek, past orchards and the Chinese swing bridge.
More adventurous explorers will love these walking and hiking tracks nearby:
- Staircase Spur, Mt Bogong (10km): To reach the top of the tallest mountain in Victoria, you’ve got to climb a thigh-burning 1986m above sea level. The aptly named Staircase Spur ascends through a forest of peppermint gums, which sounds much less painless than it is. Bivouac Hut, about halfway along the climb, offers some respite before you hit the steep rocky ridge leading to the summit plateau.
- The Big Walk, Mt Buffalo (10km): This challenging walk climbs 1000m in just 9km. Passing through several different terrains as the altitude increases, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Australian Alps and the Gorge from various lookouts along the way.
- Bungalow Spur Track, Harrietville (9km): This is the most popular way to summit Mount Feathertop. Starting on the Feathertop Track, the Bungalow Spur Track takes you to the top via Federation Hut on a well-graded and sheltered track.
- Survey Track, Mt Beauty (9km): This shared walking and mountain bike track was the original track used by workers on the Kiewa Hydro Scheme in the early 1930’s. Passing through thick forest, winding around the valley, this trail offers breathtaking views of the Kiewa River East Branch below.
- Eskdale Spur, Mt Beauty (22km): This steep, rocky climb to the summit is challenging, and with little shade it’s not one for high summer. On the flip side, the exposed route makes for some dazzling views! Mitchell Hut is the perfect spot to rest and refuel about half-way up.
When you’ve dusted off your boots for the day, rest your weary feet and take some time out at one of Bright’s boutique wineries, craft breweries or riverfront cafes. There’s plenty to do in Bright, but don’t be tempted to cram it all in… you’ll want an excuse to come back!
Autumn Beauty Cottages is centrally located to all of Bright’s major attractions, and makes the perfect base for your walking adventures. Book your cottage online, send us an email or call us on 1300 551 117 to enquire about our rates. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for your regular dose of Bright inspiration!