Top 5 Reasons to Cycle North East Victoria:
Reason 1: Cycling Paths
North East Victoria hosts the iconic Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, with sections including Rutherglen, Wangaratta, Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright. A sealed, well maintained and easy to navigate rail trail covering over 100kms of lovely Alpine valleys. It’s a pleasure to cycle here and a huge reason North East Victoria has become a mecca for cycling.
The other key drawcard to cycle North East Victoria are the hills. Certainly not for everyone, but climbs up such peaks as Mt Buffalo, Hotham, Falls Creek & Mt Beauty are on many cyclists wish lists (not ours!!). The roads are smooth and relatively quiet and the views superb, it’s as close to the European Alps as a cyclist can get.
Reason 2: Food in North East Victoria
Where there are cyclists, there is food and even more so, coffee! North East Victoria has long had some wonderful produce, but in more recent times has developed a gourmet culture that reaches out to visitors & cyclists. Chef Hatted restaurants (The Provenence, Beechworth), Good Food Guide regional winners (All Saints, Rutherglen), and esteemed dining venues such as Simone’s in Bright, make it possible to compile a gourmet journey across the region. And it can also be done on bike (check out our Tour de Grand Gourmet!).
Reason 3: Wine in North East Victoria
Now this is our sort of thing! North East Victoria is blessed with a number well defined wine regions, being the King Valley, Alpine Valley, Beechworth and Rutherglen. Vineyards not only provide scenic vistas with their rows of vines over grassy hillsides, but of course the many cellar doors that accompany them. And these are ideal pit stops on a cycling journey! In fact the cycling trails often pass right outside these cellars which make them very hard to resist!
Reason 4: History
The region is also blessed with a colourful and significant history, and there is still plenty of evidence of this available to ponder over. The 1850’s gold rush town of Beechworth is a classic example, with well restored original buildings and cobbled streets. There is also evidence – including the old Gaol where he was temporarily kept – of cult villan Ned Kelly. And we aren’t far from “Man from Snowy River” country, the famous story set in the Victorian Alps.
Reason 5: The Scenery
From the majestic peaks of Mt Hotham and the sheer granite rock wall of Mt Buffalo in the Alpine Valley, to the relative flats of Rutherglen and the Murray River, the diversity and beauty of the landscape in North East Victoria is worth the visit alone (and many travellers do). Ski in winter and swim the ice melt waters in summer! The real gem is the light and the changing seasons. A fading afternoon glow down the Alpine Valley on a spring afternoon is just stunning, as is the almost famous change of season colour of the poplar and other tree varieties that dot the landscape.
Simply, the North East is a beautiful region of Victoria, if not Australia. There is plenty more information about the region on the Visit Victoria website.