Best time to visit Victoria

Great Alpine Road in Victoria

Discover the most beautiful mountains, scenic vineyards, wildflower fields and lush forests of Victoria

Best time: all year round

Great Alpine Road
Great Alpine Road

Great Alpine Road in eastern Victoria runs from Wangaratta in the north to Bairnsdale in the south-east, trespassing the scenic Victorian Alps. It is the mountain equivalent to iconic Great Ocean Road that Victoria is famous for. A 303-km (188-mi) road is the highest paved highway in Australia. The road is accessible all year round all but during snow season from June to early October, where the section between Harrietville and Omeo is only open for the vehicles carrying snow chains. Built in 1998, this asphalted road is officially known as B500.

The Great Alpine Road features scenic mountain ranges, lush forests, rivers, vineyards, and valleys. The drive starts in Wangaratta with its picturesque farmland. Then the road climbs to 1,840 meters (6,040 ft) over Mount Hotham. This part is somewhat dangerous with hairpin turns. In 15 minute after the pass the road arrives in Dinner Plain, and from there it's another 15 minutes to Omeo. The section between Omeo and Bruthern is very curved and steep. The section from Bruthern to Bairnsdale is quite straight and easy.

Great Alpine Road offers many opportunities for a hike. Check out Mount Buffalo National Park and its granite formations, waterfalls, and lookouts. It's also a popular skiing spot in the winter. The town of Bright is famous for breathtaking trees in the autumn. While trekking Mount Hotham in the summer, you'll see Victoria's highest alpine village and stunning fields of wildflowers. In the winter it offers 245 ha of ski slopes.

Don't forget to stop by one of the farms to try local produce and sample award-winning wines at Milawa Gourmet Region. Visit the famous Brown Brothers Epicurean Centre, Cellar Door, or Milawa Cheese Factory. The area is known for its muscats and fortifieds.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the Great Alpine Road?

The Great Alpine Road's ideal season is amid November to April, where you can experience pleasant weather and see the wildflowers in full bloom. Accessing the road during the wintertime is challenging, from June to early October, so it is wise to avoid that period. However, winter is the most suitable time for having fun with skiing and the snow. Show more

Where are the best locations to see wildflowers along the road?

You can catch a glimpse of beautiful wildflowers between December and February in the sub-alpine mountains surrounding Bright and Mount Hotham. Another favorite spot is the drive from Omeo to Bruthern: a scenic route with meadows of colorful flowers growing on the mountain. Keep in mind that some parts of these areas may close at certain times to safeguard the flora and fauna, so it is best to check before you go. Show more

What are the top hiking trails along the Great Alpine Road?

The Great Alpine Road offers several hiking trails. The Mount Feathertop Summit hike, beginning from Mount Hotham, is the most popular, encompassing 22 km in total, a challenging hike that promises impressive views. Another notable mention is the Mount Buffalo Plateau Walk for its stunning views of the mountainous granite surroundings in the Alpine National Park. Besides, the 29 km Bright to Harrietville Rail Trail caters to all ability levels, making it perfect for walking and cycling, and is available all year round. Show more

What are the best wineries to visit in Milawa Gourmet Region?

The Milawa Gourmet Region has numerous wineries and cellar doors that offer exceptional wine tasting experiences. Brown Brothers is the most distinguished winery in that region, and it is a must-visit if you are around, boasting its Epicurean Centre and Cellar Door. Additionally, the Milawa Cheese Factory is yet another popular destination, where you can sample some of the finest cheese produced in that area. Other reputable wineries on the list include Paradise Falls, Sam Miranda, and Wood Park. Show more

Where are the most scenic viewpoints on the drive?

Mount Hotham and Mount Buffalo present some of the most picturesque views along the Great Alpine Road. Exquisite fields of wildflowers blossom in the summer at Mount Hotham's highest alpine village. Mount Buffalo National Park offers stunning views of granite formations, waterfalls, and lookout spots. Besides, the charming towns of Harrietville, Omeo, Metung, and Bright provide a visually stunning landscape to behold and are worth visiting. Show more

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