8 days in Victoria’s High Country
Set off on an eight-day gourmet adventure through the picturesque food and wine regions of Victoria’s High Country.
Beginning in the spectacular King Valley, wind your way into Victoria’s High Country for eight days of gourmet delights. Taste your way through exquisite cellar doors where famed muscat and prosecco are produced, drive beneath breathtaking canopies of eucalyptus, and discover delicious local produce in enchanting countryside villages.
Day 1: Melbourne to King Valley
- Drive time: about 3 hours
- Distance: 283 kilometres (175.8 miles)
Depart Melbourne and drive 64 kilometres (40 miles) along vineyards and rolling hills before reaching Healesville. This charming gourmet village is the perfect spot for a coffee break. If you’re peckish, try the legendary sourdough and baked goodies at Habituel — they won’t disappoint.
Next, hit the glorious Black Spur drive, one of Victoria’s most stunning routes through towering mountain ash forest and vibrant-green fern trees. After about 1.5 hours, arrive in the town of Mansfield in time for lunch at Mansfield Coffee Merchant, before winding your way further into the hills.Show more
Day 2: Explore the King Valley
Rise and shine — today you’ll explore this little patch of paradise. Get started with the Pop & Fizz Prosecco food pairing class at Pizzini Wines, before testing your palate on the winery’s range of Italian varietals at the tasting counter. Afterwards, make it lunch with a view on the deck at Chrismont, a beautiful restaurant offering 180-degree vistas of the lush valley and its surrounding ranges.
Drive 56 kilometres (35 miles) on to Milawa, a village brimming with food and wine from local producers, including the renowned Brown Brothers cellar door. Be sure to stop at Gamze Smokehouse, the Milawa Cheese Company, and Sam Miranda Wines to round off your tour of gourmet delights, before heading back to your accommodation in the King Valley for the evening.
Day 3: King Valley to Bright
- Drive time: about 1.5 hours
- Distance: 90 kilometres (56 miles)
Today you’ll head into the Alpine Valley. After 60 kilometres (37 miles) along the Great Alpine Road, take a coffee break at Lupo's Kiln Cafe in Myrtleford. Then continue on a beeline for Bright, one of the region's most popular villages, well known for its stunning display of autumn colours. Arrive in time for brunch at Ginger Baker overlooking the Ovens River.
Work off some of the recent indulgences by exploring the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, the High Country's iconic sealed cycling trail that hugs the valley all the way to Wangaratta, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) away. For an easy ride, cycle from Bright to Porepunkah along the mostly flat six-kilometre (3.7-mile) route with stunning views of Mount Buffalo. Don't worry if you don’t have a bike — you can hire one at any of Bright’s bike shops.Show more
Day 4: Explore Bright
Start your day with brekkie at retro Coral Lee, then stretch your legs on the 40-minute canyon walk along the Ovens River (keep your eyes peeled for the elusive platypus). Settle in at Bright Brewery for lunch and a relaxing riverside afternoon, or pop down to Reed & Co. Distillery to sample distinctly Australian gin inspired by the local landscape.
Sixpence Coffee is a local favourite if you’re seeking an afternoon caffeine boost. Pop in before tackling the three-kilometre (1.8-mile) Apex Lookout Walk which serves up stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Bogong, the highest mountain in Victoria. In the evening, wander back to Reed & Co. or sit down at Tomahawks for a casual but scrumptious meal.
Day 5: Bright to Beechworth
- Drive time: about 1 hour
- Distance: 61 kilometres (37.2 miles)
Head to Blackbird Café for breakfast before setting off with plenty of energy to Beechworth, a 45-minute drive from Bright. Break up the drive with a visit to Mount Buffalo, or explore villages such as Myrtleford and Yackandandah along the way.
You’ll find the well-preserved gold rush town of Beechworth punches above its weight when it comes to gourmet offerings. Wind down at Ben Kraus’s Bridge Road Brewers for fantastic craft ales made with locally grown hops, and some of the best pizza you've ever tasted. Afterwards, check out Billson's Brewery for imaginative and delicious cordials, as well as their own vodka, gin and beer.Show more
Day 6: Beechworth to Rutherglen
- Drive time: 30 minutes
- Distance: 43 kilometres (26.7 miles)
Take the morning to wander around Beechworth’s fascinating historic and cultural precinct, admiring the town’s stunning architecture. Spend the rest of the morning relaxing at The Spa Beechworth, but be sure to book ahead.
Relaxed and revitalised, finish up at the spa and drive about 30 minutes north to the village of Rutherglen. Lunch on local produce at The Pickled Sisters Café located on the charming grounds of Cofield Wines. Or indulge at stunning All Saints Estate, an award-winning restaurant and winery set in a family-owned vineyard established in 1864. Did we mention the heritage-listed castle?Show more
Day 7: Explore Rutherglen
Hop back on a bike today to explore Rutherglen village and wineries. On your way, keep a lookout for great views of ‘The Wine Bottle’, an iconic silo built in 1900, and a perfect Instagram snap for your trip. Stop by Scion winery to discover a progressive take on Rutherglen classics, then head to the small but beautiful Anderson Winery. Finish your cycle at Jones Winery and Restaurant which serves up French country-style food and wine.
You can’t leave Rutherglen without getting the lowdown on the region’s muscat. Take a classification tasting at Campbells Wines to learn about — and taste — this unique wine of Rutherglen. Make a final stop at Indigo Food Co. to gather a feast for your evening meal, then head back to your accommodation to dine and relax under the stars.
Day 8: Rutherglen to Melbourne
- Drive time: about 3 hours
- Distance: 293 kilometres (182 miles)
Today it’s time to head back to Melbourne from your High Country food and wine adventure. The drive takes about three hours, but we recommend stopping along the way to pack in a few more highlights.
For lunch, detour from the highway for a bite by the water at Nagambie Brewery, or a seasonal menu with matching wine at Mitchelton’s Muse restaurant. While you’re there, satisfy your cultural appetite at the Mitchelton’s Gallery of Aboriginal Art or take a sneak peek at the stunning Mitchelton Day Spa. No doubt you’ll leave with a few tempting ideas for your next stay.Show more
This article was written by Visit Victoria. For more information about road trips in Victoria, go to visitvictoria.com.