Introducing the Great Alpine Road
On the Great Alpine Road, experience Australia’s highest year-round-accessible sealed road, winding past lofty mountains, scenic valleys, towering forests, rivers, vineyards and farms.
What to do and see on the Great Alpine Road
This route offers an amazing range of active pursuits, including hiking, horseback riding, cycling, fishing, kayaking and rafting in summer, spring and autumn; while in winter you can choose from some of Australia’s best downhill skiing and snowboarding trails.
Be adventurous and try abseiling or rock climbing and later sample sample local produce and award-winning wines at world-class restaurants.
Choose from a wide range of luxurious accommodation in the region.
Trip length from Melbourne 4 days
Total distance 898km
Road conditions All sealed roads
Segment distances: Melbourne to Beechworth 3hrs 15mins; 285km
Beechworth to Omeo 3hrs 10mins; 209km
Omeo to Bairnsdale 1hr 30mins; 122km
Bairnsdale to Melbourne 4hrs; 282km
Suggested overnight stops: Beechworth, Falls Creek and Bairnsdale
Major attractions along the route, include:
Alpine National Park
– Take a scenic drive through Victoria's largest park and the state’s highest mountains and alpine environments. While winter brings snow, warmer months produce stunning wildflower displays and is the ideal time for bushwalking, horse riding, kayaking, rafting, bike riding or fishing.
In winter, go cross-country skiing and downhill skiing at resorts such as Falls Creek and Mount Hotham. On foot, atop a horse or by bicycle, discover historic huts on the Bogong High Plains and Mount Buller, belonging to the legendary cattlemen immortalised by poet AB 'Banjo' Paterson in The Man from Snowy River.
– Enjoy one of Australia’s premier alpine resorts and winter playgrounds. In winter, thrill to some of Victoria's steepest and deepest skiing and boarding, while in spring, summer and autumn you can join a range of activities and a full calendar of events and festivals. Explore the Bogong High Plains on a self-guided walk and discover historic cattlemen’s huts.
Choose from a wide range of mountain bike trails that cater for all levels of ability around Falls Creek and Mount Beauty. Or try fly-fishing the many creeks and lakes of Falls Creek and the Kiewa Valley with an instructor, or perhaps discover your own secret spot.
– Known as the ‘powder capital’ of Australia and perched high on a ridgeline, Mount Hotham ski resort offers spectacular 360˚ views across the alps, with Mount Feathertop, Falls Creek, Mount McKay and Mount Buffalo all visible on a clear day. With its fresh mountain air and temperatures that average 25˚C, Mount Hotham is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain bike riding and sightseeing.
Explore the spectacular winter alpine terrain on skis or a snowboard, while at other times of the year, hike or mountain bike along cross-country and downhill ski trails and enjoy breathtaking views of the Australian Alps. Saddle up for a horseback riding adventure or cast your line for trout.
– Nestled at the foot of Victoria's highest mountain, Mount Bogong, in the fertile Kiewa Valley, Mount Beauty offers many scenic highlights. Go horseback riding along scenic High Country trails, bushwalk the Alpine National Park, try mountain biking along numerous bush tracks or fish in the Kiewa River.
Visit Wallace's Hut, the oldest existing cattleman's hut in Australia, admire the magnificent views of Mount Bogong and the Mount Beauty township from Tawonga Gap and sample premium vintages at one of the region's fine wineries.
– Located in Gippsland along the Great Alpine Road, Omeo is known for its gold mining history, high country cattle grazing and historic buildings, including the 1858 jail, built of logs. Stroll the A.M. Pearson Historical Park to see the town's original courthouse (1865), post office (1890s), log lockup (1858), blacksmith shop, stables and waterwheel.
Head to Kozsciusko Lookout for panoramic views of the Victorian alps and surrounding countryside, fish for trout in the nearby Mitta Mitta and Cobungra rivers, join a white water rafting trip down the Mitta Mitta River or wander through spring wildflowers on the Bogong High Plains.
– Discover one of the oldest wine-growing areas in Australia, best known for its superb fortified wines, especially muscats. The region is also renowned for producing crisp, fruity whites and rich red wines that cellar well. Visit the Rutherglen Wine Experience and Visitor Information Centre to learn about winemaking and to sample premium wines.
For a variety of winery and cellar door experiences, join a coach tour to explore the scenic winery circuit of more than 20 outstanding wineries, or cycle the Muscat Trail past stands of river red gum and secluded billabongs along the Murray River. Stroll through the town’s historic streets, enjoying the sidewalk cafés and browsing a mixture of friendly shops.
– The stunning mountains, valleys, lakes, waterways and rich heritage of this region offers an inspiring setting for a host of adventure activities. Wander around town on a self-guided heritage walk and browse local art galleries, museums, craft and antique shops.
Don’t miss the National Trust-classified St Mary’s Catholic Church in Main Street with its unique murals and painted ceilings.
Hike through the Mitchell River National Park and visit the Den of Nargun, fish on the Mitchell River or the nearby lakes and rivers, cycle the East Gippsland Rail Trail from Bairnsdale to Nowa Nowa or drive the local Twin Rivers Food and Wine Trail.
Tour the Bataluk Cultural Trail and discover elements of Koorie history and culture or visit the Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place to view artefacts and history on the Gunai/Kurnai people of East Gippsland.
Discover some of the best hotel accommodation in Bairnsdale – find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say at TripAdvisor.
– Explore one of Victoria's best-preserved gold rush towns. Take a walking tour of the Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct and discover more than 30 historical buildings, many of which are made of local honey granite.
Stroll through the historic courthouse at Beechworth, where Ned Kelly stood trial in 1880 after the siege at Glenrowan. Visit Burke Museum to learn about local Aboriginal heritage, gold fever and the history of the town and region, and to see Ned Kelly's death mask.
Browse the many antique and craft shops, some of which are housed in historic gold rush buildings; savour a meat pie, lamington or pastry at the famous Beechworth Bakery; or visit cellar doors to sample local wine and taste the gourmet fare of local producers.
Cycle the scenic Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, a sealed bitumen trail following the historic railway lines linking Wangaratta, Beechworth and Bright. Or drive to the nearby towns of Yackandandah and Chiltern, which have changed little since the 19th century and are often used as the setting for Australian period films.
– Nestled in the valley below Mount Buffalo on the beautiful Ovens River, the township of Bright is one of Victoria's most picturesque destinations. In autumn, the town’s deciduous trees put on a breathtaking display of colour.
Follow the many walking and bicycle paths that circle the town, including Canyon Walk and the Apex Lookout Walk. Along the river you'll find great fishing spots renowned for trout, as well as safe swimming holes for a cooling dip on a warm summer’s day.
Enjoy a relaxing picnic or barbecue in beautiful Centenary Park among the centuries-old elms and friendly resident ducks, ride a bike or walk along a section of the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, stretching between Wangaratta and Bright, or go paragliding, abseiling, kayaking and horse riding.
Explore nearby Mount Buffalo National Park’s sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning views. Along the way pop into world-class wineries to sample local wines, and later dine in award-winning restaurants.