In autumn the historic gold towns of Bright, Beechworth and Yackandandah light up as exotic trees paint the landscape in yellow, orange and red. We’ll wander through private gardens, kick through fallen leaves, eat the great local food, and cheer as the floats of Bright’s Autumn Festival Gala Day take to the main street in a great fun short break.
Your Ross Garden Tour leader, Robin Powell, will meet you at Sydney Airport for the flight to Melbourne. Our first stop is Benalla, in the heart of Victoria’s bushranger country. On the site of the old police lock-up there now sits one of Victoria’s best regional art galleries. We’ll lunch here at the Benalla Art Gallery, overlooking Lake Benalla. The collection is especially strong in Australian 19th and 20th century women artists and landscapes and you’ll have time to search out some favourites before we take a wander through the neighbouring Botanic Gardens, which features a beautifully fragrant rose garden.
We’ll travel on to Bright as the afternoon sun lights up the autumn foliage. Our welcome dinner tonight is in a local restaurant.
We go behind the fences and gates today, to visit private gardens in Bright. Each has a very different, and very personal, take on garden-making in this climate, but all celebrate the glorious colours of autumn. Bright is famous for its stunning display of exotic trees and we’ll get a good look at their glowing colours today, and have plenty of opportunities to kick through fallen leaves.
Gala Day of the Bright Autumn Festival! There is a street fair this morning that brings craft makers and producers from all over Victoria. After lunch the main street clears for the parade and spectators find a seat in the sun to cheer the floats and the marching bands. It’s great fun! As the parade winds up, we’ll have some free time.
Today we visit Boynton Feathertop Winery which has a commanding view of the Alpine Valley region. The mountain not only visually shelters the valley and influences the air currents, but it has defined the soil structure in which they grow their grapes, as well as providing fresh Alpine spring water that flows and nourishes the vines. These environmental conditions are integral in how they make their wine.
Explore Mount Buffalo National Park, a short drive from Bright. An all-seasons park, Mount Buffalo has sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning views.
We’ll start the day with a visit to an exceptional country garden, then discover the beauty of the Kiewa Valley. This whole valley is heritage-listed so there are no overhead power lines and no pine plantations spoiling the bucolic views. Lunch is at Jan Waddington’s restaurant and we’ll have time to tour her incredible garden. After lunch we’ll catch the afternoon buzz in the historic town of Yackandandah and return with the evening free to enjoy the resort facilities.
We’ll travel up the Ovens Valley today to the historic town of Beechworth, Victoria’s best-preserved gold town. The 1850s wealth and optimism produced by the gold rush is beautifully apparent, and there is also much to learn about the Ned Kelly story here. Oh, and for shoppers, Beechworth is a treat! Farewell dinner tonight.
Explore Milawa district this afternoon, which is famous for its gourmet produce.
We’ll say goodbye to the autumn-tinted vineyards and avenues of golden poplars of Victoria’s alpine country today. But there’s one more treat – a morning tea stop en-route to Melbourne at the historic Avenell hotel and our early afternoon flight to Sydney.
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