Cafes, Restaurants and Wineries
There is a lively cafe, restaurant and winery scene in our local area. Here are a few of our favourites:
Cafes Ginger Baker Wine Bar and Cafe: all day cafe with a sprawling outdoor area perfect for warm weather serving breakfast, tapas style lunch and sometimes dinner. Phone:(03) 5755 2300 Website: gingerbaker.com.au
Sixpence Coffee Pocket Full Of Rye Sourdough Bakery and Coffee House 35 Churchill Avenue, Bright Mon–Fri 7:30am-2:30pm (03) 5755 1242 www.sixpencecoffee.com.au A wholesale coffee roaster with a world-class sourdough bakehouse, ﬁlled with breads, pastries and cakes. There is no set menu, but jam doughnuts are a favourite, along with apple tarts, poached peach frangipani and cinnamon brioches. Sixpence Coffee Bar and Roastery, 15 Wills St, Bright 3741 Tues-Fri 8am-3pm Sat 7.30am-2pm 0423 262386.
Rail Trail Cafe, 2 Service Street, Porepunkah 0428 359 884 www.railtrailcafe.com.au Licensed cafe serving all day breakfast, lunches, and homemade cakes and scones.
Harrietville Bakery 219 Great Alpine Road, Harrietville 03 57592553 Award-winning vanilla slice, along with bakery classics such as sausage rolls, shepherd’s pie, steak and kidney, and vegetarian quiche.
Elm Dining, 98 Gavan Street, Bright 3741 Open 6pm – late Tues – Sat (03) 5755 2266 elmdining.com.au Fine Contemporary Australian cuisine highlighting regional produce.
Tomahawk, 15 Camp Street Bright 3741 Open Wed – Sun from 12pm onward (03) 5750 1113 tomahawksbright.com.au Uncomplicated, tasty food reimagined with a beer garden and fun cocktails.
The Wandi Pub, 580 Morses Creek Road Wandiligong 3744 Open 6 days, 12pm – late. Closed Mondays (03) 5750 1050 thewandipub.com All your pub meal favourites served with seasonal ﬂare in a glorious garden setting.
The Punka Pub, 13 Nicholson St, Porepunkah 3740 Open Wed-Sun 12-3pm, 5.30pm-late (03) 5756 2111 www.porepunkahpub.com.au Seasonal dishes utilising fresh ingredients with a local wine list.
Reed and Co Distillery 15 Wills Street Bright, 3741 Open Fri – Mon 3pm-late (03) 5750 1304 www.reedandcodistillery.com Usual evening gin tastings and cocktails with a menu of fresh, locally sourced sharing plates
Ringer Reef Winery, 6835 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah 3740 Open daily 12-5pm (03) 5756 2805 www.ringerreef.com.au This winery and cellar door produces a range of white, red and sparkling wines. Produce platters and cheese boards available daily, served with home made sourdough. Live music on some weekends. Spectacular views across the Buckland Valley, and Mount Buffalo.
Stone and Barrel@Feathertop, 6619 Great Alpine Road Porepunkah 3740 Open for lunch Fri-Sun Phone: (03) 5756 2356 https:// feathertopwinery.com.au A seasonal modern Australian menu overlooking the mountains and sloping vineyards.
Further aﬁeld Provenance, 86 Ford Street, Beechworth Open Wed-Sun 6.30-9pm (03) 5728 1786 www.theprovenance.com.au Japanese inﬂuenced locally grown and foraged produce
Bright Brewery, 121 Great Alpine Road, Bright
Producing one of the most exceptional ranges of beer in the country, the Bright Brewery has welcoming owners and staff, a cafe and and sunny terrace, which provide ample inducements to stay and enjoy its Ovens River location. Live music on Sundays, and beer geeks can also enjoy ‘Brewer for a Day’ workshops.
Boynton’s Feathertop Winery, 6619 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah
Boynton’s Feathertop Winery produces a substantial range of cool climate wines produced from mainly French grape varieties. These span the full spectrum of whites, reds, sparkling, dessert and fortified wines. Spectacularly situated on a steep hillside with an inspiring outlook, its imposing cellar door includes a terrace where visitors can enjoy alfresco dining in garden surrounds every day throughout January, and reduced trading hours through to Queen’s Birthday Weekend. A mini-deli has a selection of local cheeses, antipasto and chartcuterie.
Ringer Reef Winery, 6835 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah
A small boutique winery, Ringer Reef produces a range of handmade cool-climate white, red and sparkling wines. An inviting cellar door with views across the Ovens Valley towards Mount Buffalo, is the perfect setting to taste varieties such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Petit Manseng, and a delectable Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay.
Mount Buffalo is a unique and pristine alpine plateau surrounded by sheer granite cliffs. One of the oldest national parks in Australia, it offers numerous day walks of all grades (trail maps are offered at the Park gate). At 1723 metres, the view from the top of the mountain’s highest point, atop the towering granite outcrop of The Horn, offers a 360 degree view of the Australian Alps. The Gorge walk leads to the top of the Crystal Brook, where the brook can be seen tumbling 300 metres down into the chasm below.
Cycling the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and Audex Alpine Classic
Popular with many guests at the Buckland Studio Retreat is the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Over 100 kilometres of sealed off-road trails provide riders with safe and scenic links between Wangaratta, Beechworth, Rutherglen and Bright.
The Buckland Studio Retreat also makes a luxury base for the Audax Alpine Classic bike tour, and for mountain bikers taking on ‘The Dirty Dozen’ iconic MTB trails located in North East Victoria, including national competition-standard MTB parks at Mount Beauty and Beechworth. www.thedirtydozen.com.au
The Bright region has a number of ‘curtained’ MTB trails known only to insiders. Ask a local for details.
Flying out of the nearby Porepunkah Airfield, Holiday Air Adventures offers scenic flights in a high-wing Cessna Hawk XP, with trips covering the Alpine Valleys, Mount Buffalo, Hotham Heights and Falls Creek.
Microlight flights are available through Australia’s longest running microlight school, The Eagle School of Microlighting.
Ultimate Alpine Loop Day Trip
At approximately 250km, this substantial day trip is much loved by everyone who does it. From Bright, take the Tawonga Gap Road to Mount Beauty, overlooked by Victoria’s highest peak, Mount Bogong. From here, follow the Bogong High Plains Road. Be sure to stop at the tiny township of Bogong (especially in Autumn to enjoy the gardens), before continuing onto Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains. On the High Plains, view historic Mountain Cattlemens’ Huts such as Wallaces Hut (a short walk from the road), and Cope Hut (visible from the road). Continue on to Angler’s Rest on the Mitta Mitta River, stopping at The Blue Duck Inn for lunch. Head south to Omeo to encounter the biggest Cuckoo Clock shop in the southern hemisphere. Take the Great Alpine Road back up into the High Plains, driving through Cobungra Station to Dinner Plain to view uniquely Australian alpine architecture, and through Hotham Heights to view the spectacular scenery of The Razorback and Mount Feathertop. Continue to Harrietville for the best homemade icecream at Morries Ice-creamery and Cafe, before returning to Bright. This drive takes at least 5 hours plus breaks, and is only accessible from October to May.
Happy and Kiewa Valleys Scenic Drive
Happy Valley Road offers a picturesque route linking the alpine valleys of the Ovens and Kiewa Rivers. A 23 kilometre drive starts at Ovens (almost opposite the Happy Valley Hotel), and traverses the length of this secluded valley, winding through an unspoiled pastoral landscape until it climbs into the Kancoona forest. As the road swings around the valley’s head, the forest opens up, allowing an uninterrupted view down the length of the valley framing a panoramic silhouette of Mount Buffalo. This is one of the most perfect views in North East Victoria. From here it is only a short drive to connect with the Kiewa Valley Highway, with Kergunyah to the North and Tawonga and Mount Beauty to the South. Visit the Mount Beauty Bakery, or the craft beer house Sweet Water Brewing, for drinks and light meals. For exceptional fine dining, be sure to visit Waddington’s of Kergunyah. It is also possible to loop from the Kiewa Valley Highway back through the historic gold mining towns of Yackandandah and Beechworth.
Destination Beechworth and Stanley
Historic Beechworth had its early beginnings in the gold rush of 1852. These days visitors enjoy its intact heritage streetscapes, featuring a historic precinct of granite buildings dating from the gold-era, including the courthouse where Ned Kelly was put on trial. The town also boasts a range of fine dining establishments, including The Green Shed Bistro, Gigi’s, and Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel. Provenance Restaurant is one of Australia’s most highly awarded; known for its spectacularly innovative dishes matched with an exceptional and ever-changing wine list. Cellardoor carries a carefully-crafted range of regional and international wines, as well as good coffee; and opens as a wine bar on weekends. Bridge Road Brewery will thrill craft beer aficionados with tastings accompanied with wood-fired pizzas. Beechworth’s boutique shopping can prove irresistible to some, while others opt for a bit of silly fun at Splatoons Cartoon Shop: get your portrait on a Wanted poster in five minutes.
The short drive from Beechworth to Stanley is worthwhile solely to visit The Stanley Pub. Great food and a strong regional and international wine list make it an ideal venue for lunch or dinner. www.stanleypub.com.au Pitstops at Snowline Fruits and High Grove Chestnut and Berry Farm offer the finest farm-gate produce.
Milawa Gourmet Region Tour
For anyone interested in local produce, the Milawa Gourmet Region is a gourmand’s dream. Within walking distance of the Milawa cross-roads are The Olive Shop (with adjoining country bakery), Snow Road Produce and Cafe, and Milawa Mustards, as well as the cellardoor of King Valley winery Chrismont. Nearby are Brown Brothers Winery (see below), and the Milawa Cheese Factory, known for farmhouse cheeses, an exceptional bakery, and a restaurant. The Factory complex also includes The Muse Gallery and the cellardoor of Woodpark Wines. Between Milawa and the village of Oxley (four kilometres away) is Walkabout Apiaries; while Oxley is host to Ciavarella’s Oxley Estate Winery, known for its white port; Blue Ox blueberries, selling fresh berries in season as well as preserves and frozen berries; and the King River Cafe.
Brown Brothers and the Epicurean Centre, Milawa
Set in charming manicured gardens, Brown Brothers winery at Milawa, produces the widest range of varietal wines in Australia. Their Epicurean Centre is one of North East Victoria’s premier lunch venues. Its a la carte menu is matched with recommended Brown Brothers wines, and the quality of food and service never disappoints.