Road Trip Essentials: Melbourne to Bright, VIC

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by Hertz AU - 23 July 2018

Need to get out of Melbourne for a cheeky weekend away (or maybe a longer escape)? Jump in a rental car and make your way about 5 hours north to the stunning Bright region.

We’ll guide you through some of the best pit stops on your way to one of the most renowned inland locations in Australia. Read on to discover the main attractions during your Melbourne to Bright Road Trip:

Stop 1: Yarra Valley

Start your road trip off with a bang. The Yarra Valley is the heart of Australian wine country. We recommend heading off in the morning from Melbourne and making a 1-hour drive into wine territory for a day of tastings (make sure you have a designated driver with you or join one of the many wine tours available). Then stay the night in one of the charming housing options scattered throughout the valley’s rolling hills.

Some of the most recommended wineries include TarraWarra Estate, Yering Station, Dominique Portet, Coombe – The Melba Estate, Giant Steps, and De Bortoli. But don’t worry, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also explore an array of fine dining, hot air balloon rides, bush walks, bike rides and more.

Stop 2: Bonnie Doon

Depart from the Yarra Valley and drive about 1.5-2 hours into the picturesque countryside of Bonnie Doon. Made famous in the classic Aussie flick The Castle, Bonnie Doon is situated just off your route to Bright on the edge of Lake Eildon. For those that have a bit more time, this quaint town is just a short drive away from the famous Mount Buller.

Known as the ‘Gateway to the High Country,’ water-skiers, motorcycle and 4WD enthusiasts, fisherman, and wakeboarders who flock to Bonnie Doon for its wide variety of outdoor activities. If you head to Mount Buller, get your fix for skiing, snowboarding, and a refreshing colder climate. For other attractions, check out Memorial Rock and the community’s Country Markets. Spend about 1-3 days in the region for a rejuvenating pit stop.

Stop 3: Bright

From either Bonnie Doon or Mount Buller, drive 2.5 hours to your final destination, Bright. If you have young ones and can’t make the 2.5-hour trek, stopover in Wangaratta (a 1-hour drive from the Mount Buller region) before continuing onwards. Nestled at the bottom of the Victorian Alps is your sought-after destination.

Bright is known for having four distinct seasons with stunning colours. Don’t miss driving along one of the most famous roads in Australia, the Great Alpine Road. Twist and turn your way through the serenity of Mount Buffalo National Park or up to Mount Hotham for breathtaking views. Be sure to visit the Bright Brewery for delicious craft brews.

Explore Ovens Valley for a relaxing yoga class, or Buckland River for canoeing and kayaking. The region offers opportunities for climbing, cycling, paragliding caving, bushwalking, fishing, 4WD, horseback riding and more. You can even try your luck at panning for gold during the Autumn Festival.

The Bright Markets showcase wood work, original art, fashion, jewellery, complemented by fresh local food and delectable wines. Visit the markets after a cheeky morning hike up to one of the stunning lookouts within Bright. Try Apex, Clearspot, Tower Hill, or Huggins Lookouts for panoramic views.

Melbourne to Bright Fast Track

If you’re looking to go directly to Bright from Melbourne, there is a faster direct route that only takes approximately 3.5 hours (instead of approximately 5 hours over 5+ days). However, this faster path bypasses the other stops on this road trip itinerary.

You can also fly into Albury Airport and then drive a rental car 1.5 hours to Bright for a quick and easy trip to enjoy the splendour of the region.

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Article by Hertz AU

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