Bright 3741The attractive holiday township of Bright is situated on the scenic Great Alpine Road between Porepunkah and Harrietville in the beautiful Ovens Valley.
Bright is a popular tourist centre due to its close proximity to the mountain and ski resorts of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek, and other natural attractions such as the Alpine National Park and Mount Buffalo National park.
The commercial centre of Bright extends from the Great Alpine Road to the war memorial tower located at the roundabout in front of the Alpine Hotel, and then south along the wide boulevard of Ireland Street. The towering mountains of the Victorian Alps provide a scenic backdrop in all directions from the town centre.
A number of attractive parks and reserves are located within Bright. Howitt Park stretches along the Ovens River from Star Road to Morses Creek, while Centenary Park continues along the Ovens River from the Morses Creek junction and out to Mountbatten Road. Both parks feature attractive picnic spots and grassy areas which extended right down to the river. There is a water slide and designated swimming area at the junction of the Ovens River and Morses Creek, accessible via a footbridge.
To fully appreciate Bright, several lookouts located within the surrounding mountains provide good views over the town and adjacent forests. The most accessible lookout is Huggins Lookout, accessed via Bakers Gully Road, around 5 kms from the town centre. Clear Spot Lookout, 12 kms out of town, provides limited views over the surrounding forests. Perhaps the best views over the town itself can be appreciated from the southerly oriented Apex Lookout, accessed via the Mount Porepunkah Road. There is a steep walking track up to the lookout from the main road, however you can drive right up to the lookout via a narrow dirt driveway, but a 4 wheel drive is recommended.
Bright is particularly attractive during autumn when the blazing colours of its large variety of deciduous trees creates a spectacular display, celebrated annually by the Bright Autumn Festival. Good spots to appreciate Bright's vibrant autumn colours include along Delany Avenue where burning red leaves of oak intermingle with the dark green of cedar trees. Cobden Street, near Ireland Street, is also very colourful in Autumn, as are Howitt Park and Centenary Park.
6 kilometres south of Bright is the historic village of Wandiligong with its National Trust classified streetscape.
6 reasons to visit Bright
1 Autumn festival
After the autumn equinox, when the first frosts turn the paddocks white, the rows of deciduous trees lining the roads and lanes of the north-east valleys start their annual shedding of leaves. Russet, red, yellow and vermillion, the vibrant lines of autumn trees appear as colourful veins among the olivegreen native bush. Complementing this natural palette are the many events staged as part of the Bright Autumn Festival, which starts next week. You could take a guided tour of the old Mount Buffalo Chalet, or be scared witless on a spooky after-dark tour of the Bright Pioneer Cemetery. Scores of beautiful private gardens are opening to the public, as well as dairy farms and historic sites. The festival runs from April 25 to May 4 and incorporates gala parades, special markets and tours of the region's hidden delights.
2 Cooking school
Patrizia Simone is a vivacious cook from Umbria, Italy, whose passion for simple food, made with top-quality ingredients using traditional techniques, is evident with every hand gesture and each twinkle in her eye. Last year she stepped away from the stoves of her eponymous Bright restaurant, leaving son Anthony in charge, to concentrate on teaching Umbrian culinary techniques at her cooking school. Weekend classes over autumn include fishing for trout and cooking it several ways, and foraging for mushrooms in the pine forest before returning to the school to make pasta with wild mushroom ragu.
Patrizia Simone Country Cooking School, 18 Riverside Avenue, 5755 2266,
3 Eat and drink
Restaurateurs Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed so love the challenge of nose-to-tail cooking that they recently bought a quartertonne wagyu cross carcass. They will use every cut in their Japanese-inspired bar and restaurant, Tani Eat & Drink, where they use Japanese ingredients and techniques for their take on modern Australian cuisine. Take a seat at the bar for snacks including steamed bun with carrot jam or pickled octopus, pork cheek with apple, celery, hock sauce and rice cracker, or a wagyu steak with asparagus, wild cress, pork salt and horseradish.
100 Gavan Street, Wed-Thurs , 6pm-late , Fri-Sat , 4pm-late , Sun, 6pm- late, 5750 1304,
4 Bike it
For a reasonably fit cyclist, the 96km ride of the Murray to Mountains rail trail from Wangaratta to Bright can take a day. Three V/Line train services link Wangaratta to Melbourne and Albury, with the trail head close to Wangaratta train station. The trail is both well-made and off-road , and meanders through historic towns and along the Ovens River to Bright. Wineries, restaurants and cafes dot the route. From Bright, an offshoot trail, an old spur rail line, runs the 6km out to the former gold mining town of Wandiligong.
5 Wandiligong | Wandi to the locals
It's worth going to Wandiligong just to pronounce its name. The main street is dominated by old miners' cottages, the Manchester Unity Hall of 1874 and the town's century-old general store. There are walks around town; one takes you over Morses Creek via a swing bridge to the old gold diggings, with the Chinese-style pagodas on either side of the bridge testament to the Chinese who worked the goldfields. After all that walking, reward yourself with a massive slice of cream-filled sponge cake for $6 at Wandi Maze, Australia's largest living hedge maze. The town's annual nut festival is being held next Saturday at Alpine Park from 9am.
Wandiligong Maze and Cafe, 11 White Star Road, daily, 10am-4 .30pm, 5750 1311,
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Bright 3741
❊ Also See... ❊
→ Bright Art Gallery & Cultural Centre
→ Bright Autumn Festival 2021
→ Disclaimer: Check with the venue before making plans...
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