Photograph courtesy of Pizzini Wines
North-eastern Victoria is known for its incredible natural beauty, fantastic produce, and rich history. Join this tour and immerse yourself in the stunning sub-alpine environment as you cycle along three rivers: the Kiewa, the Ovens, and the King, all of which feed into Australia’s precious Murray. The valuable natural resources of these valleys, from gold, to timber, to agriculture, have attracted waves of immigration that make the area fascinating to visit and explore. Most recently, Victoria’s north-eastern valleys have developed a vibrant food and wine culture, making this tour the perfect balance of gourmet indulgence and the great outdoors.
Starting from the charming Lindenwarrah at Milawa Hotel, we’ll set out at a leisurely pace and stop for a visit to the Milawa Cheese Company, where you’ll be able to sample local artisanal cheeses. We’ll cycle across the Ovens River, pause for lunch at The Plough Inn at Tarrawingee, then join the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, where, en route to Beechworth, we’ll pass through serene natural bush, surrounded by tall gums and abundant birdlife. Our ride will finish with a steady but pleasant uphill climb, before we arrive at the historic Mayday Hills Village at Linaker Hotel, where you’ll have time for a relaxing walk around the extensive, established gardens. Once the grounds of the Mayday Hills Hospital, the gardens are steeped in history, as is the hotel itself: a gorgeously-refurbished art deco building that was once the hospital’s nurses’ quarters.
Relax for the day, soaking in the fascinating local history and natural beauty of Beechworth. We’ll start the day with a walking tour of Beechworth’s historic town, and you’ll have the entire afternoon to explore on your own, relax, or have a coffee in one of Beechworth’s many cafés and eateries. Cycle the five-kilometre Gorge Scenic Drive, visit the home of Beechworth Honey, or relax over a local pale ale at Beechworth’s Bridge Road Brewers.
Today is our longest day on the bikes, but with pleasant roads, natural beauty, and a gentle valley gradient, it’s very achievable. We begin with a short climb through magnificent countryside dotted with berry farms, before a long scenic downhill run through magnificent eucalypt forest. We’ll cycle through quiet, undulating valley roads with views over tranquil countryside, before a picnic lunch at Dederang in the Kiewa Valley. After lunch we’ll enjoy a tranquil cycle along the back road beside the Kiewa River, before our final run into Tawonga along the Kiewa Valley Highway.
Waking to birdsong in your peaceful sub-alpine surroundings, today we’ll be cycling over roads much-loved by bicycle and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, and travelled by some of Australia’s biggest cycling events, including the Great Victoria Bike Ride. We’ll start with a challenging but achievable climb – the eight-kilometre winding road to the famous Tawonga Gap. Here, you’ll be rewarded by inspiring views of Mt Bogong and the Kiewa valley, a peaceful morning tea break, and better still, an incredible 19-kilometre descent into Bright, one of Victoria’s most charming and bike-friendly villages.
Bright has so much to offer that we’ll be spending the day here, giving you the chance to wander through town, take in the local café and food culture, visit the boutique brewery, or immerse yourself in the town’s fascinating mining history. If you’re feeling energetic, we’ll be on hand to offer support for a cycle either to the top of Mt Buffalo (33 kilometres each way), one of Australia’s most satisfying alpine climbs, or an easier ride along the gorgeous Buckland Valley (32 kilometres return). From Mt Buffalo’s slopes you can take in the magnificent Gorge, views over the Ovens Valley, and incredible rock formations near the top. If you’re chasing alpine summits you’ll be able to collect a stamp for your 7 Peaks Passport. On the other hand, the Buckland Valley ride gives us the opportunity to stop for a picnic beside the Buckland River.
Within view of several alpine peaks, particularly Mt Buffalo on our left, we’ll cycle up the Ovens Valley, close to the Ovens River, on the famous Mountains to the Murray Rail Trail. This rail trail undulates gently on its way to Myrtleford, is steeped in history, and passes through gourmet farming territory. We’ll stop at the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company to learn about a thriving family business selling locally-grown, fresh produce. We’ll cycle on and stop for lunch at Lupos Kiln Cafe, which serves authentic, fresh, and healthy Italian food. After another scenic pedal, we’ll arrive in Myrtleford in the early afternoon, leaving plenty of time to explore or take in a scenic walk in the town’s relaxing surrounds.
Today we’ll cycle further along the gentle Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail before turning onto peaceful country back roads at Everton, which will take us to Milawa. Here, we’ll delve into tasting and exploring the farm and cellar doors, local produce, and gourmet eateries that populate the area, venturing as far as Oxley five kilometres away if guests wish to take their tasting further afield. On the menu are the fascinating Milawa Mustards, the Brown Brothers Epicurean Centre, and perhaps a return to the Milawa Cheese Company for an encore. Tonight we’ll dine at the Milawa Gourmet Hotel, a short stroll from our accommodation.
Today is another day steeped in the food and wine culture of Victoria’s stunning north east. We’ll begin with a short, scenic drive to Whitfield, where we’ll ride alongside the King River to Lake William Hovell, a reservoir which supplies water for the surrounding farmland, where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. From here, we’ll cycle back towards Whitfield to Pizzini Wines, where we’ll enjoy a short cooking class with Katrina Pizzini making apple strudel, wine tasting at the cellar door, and a delicious afternoon tea of our fresh strudel served with tea or coffee. Afterwards, we’ll drive back to our accommodation at Lindenwarrah, and celebrate the end of the tour with dinner at Restaurant Merlot at Lindenwarrah.
Today the tour ends at checkout. You may wish to spend some more time exploring the many farm and cellar doors and gourmet product outlets the area has to offer.