Cycling Around the Great Alpine Valleys and Hills
According to some guests who arrived on their push bikes to stay at The Buckland or brought their bikes to go cycling during their stay, our beautiful valleys and hills are regarded as a piece of cycling heaven by the ones in the know.
Bright and surrounding hills (the locals call them mountains…. but we, with our German background, still consider anything short of 3000 meters in altitude merely being a hill has, since a long time, served as a high altitude training ground for the more serious cyclers.
Our guests, albeit often keen cyclers, obviously also appreciate the added benefits of lazy afternoons by the river and evenings filled with delicious food and locally grown wine.
Some love the easy ride from The Buckland through the Buckland Valley and then on the Murray to Mountain rail trail to Bright (24km return) past scenic vineyards and studded with great views of Mt. Buffalo. Bright’s many shops and cafes promise great shopping and a spot of lunch.
We often suggest to our guests to take the car and bikes down the dirt road to the corner of Buckland Valley Road (900 meters) and start their cycling trip from there because this last leg on the way back can be a bit of a challenge due to its rather steep incline and also because it is a dirt road. Along the Buckland Valley Road towards Porepunkah however, it is an easy cruise on bitumen.
Our more pain resistant guests can choose from rides ranging from scenic to hellish:
There is the relatively flat and easy ride to Myrtleford (60km return) via the Mountain to Murray rail trail which follows the Great Alpine Road most of the way, offering great scenery and perhaps a stop at Boynton’s Feathertop winery for lunch or a home made ice cream at the Bright Berry Farm.
But turn right at Happy Valley Road in Ovens and you’ll soon find yourself heading up and over the ranges towards the Kiewa Valley. Best not to expend all your energy just yet though because after a pleasant ride along the Kiewa Valley Hwy on the other side of the ranges, you have to climb back over the Tawonga gap on your return to The Buckland via Bright.
For more serious suffering head back over the Tawonga gap another day, past Mt Beauty and climb all the way up to Falls Creek. A ski resort in winter, it’s high altitude and even in the height of summer, it will be cool at the top and you’ll better have some layers to put on not to freeze on the way down.
The climb up Mt Buffalo is the closest from here, but some say also the most hellish. After an easy start it’s a tough 25km climb that offers stunning vistas (if you have the strength to lift your head and take them in). But the views from the gorge over the valleys and ranges are almost worth the pain.
And I haven’t even mentioned the toughest round trip via Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and over to Omeo and then back again via Falls Creek and Mt Beauty.
Torture for some, a pleasant full day of cycling for others.
Another blog, another day.