VICTORIAN HIGH COUNTRY: Australia’s premier cycling destination
Since our trip to Victoria’s High Country, the region has been affected by bushfires. However, we are relieved to report that all of the mountain bike trails, towns, and businesses featured in this article were unaffected, despite some occasional smoke. The area looks forward to welcoming you as soon as you can pack your bags, saying that is the most effective way to support the region.
Rolling down the tree-lined avenues into Bright, you could be forgiven for feeling like you were somewhere else. Generally, Australia is known for its wide-open spaces, beachside cities, and red sand desert, but as you enter the Victorian High Country, you are surrounded by thickly forested hills and winding mountain roads. The township itself bears comparison with many small mountain towns from around the world, nestled amongst tall pines in the foothills. Its quaint shops and quiet main street in stark contrast with Australia’s second-largest city, the bustling metropolis that is Melbourne, with its tall buildings and laneways, only a little over three hours away.
Cycling has become one of the key reasons to visit the Victorian High Country. On the weekends you’ll spot group after group of road cyclists enjoying the diverse scenery, and of course, mountain bikers, coming from all over the state and the country to discover one of the seven areas open to explore. On this trip, we were able to sample three of the seven destinations, Bright, Beechworth, and Falls Creek. Joining us on this trip, two local riders, each from a different discipline, but with plenty of experience on these trails between them. Gaelen “Lenny” Slaney, from a freeride and slopestyle background, and Josh Tanzen, straight off the downhill track. Living close, they were the perfect pair to show us around the area, all the good trails, places to eat and drink and a few local secret spots too.