(Easy - 20 Minutes)
Informationj signs at the historic locations along this walk bring this tiny town's past to life. In the mid 1800s it was thought Porepunkah would become the district centre.
a - Site of henderson's Mill Port House, a popular tourist guest house in the early to mid 1900s.
b - Porepunkah Hotel, built from locally made sundried bricks.
c - Site of Blacksmiths Shop.
d - Porepunkah Primary School was officially opened in 1873
e - Hall and Recreation Reserve. The Hall was erected in the early 1900s
f - Tewksbury's Dredge began work on this site in 1901.
g - Site of Police Camp
h - Site of Hoopers Ovens Crossing Inn
i - Site of Duncan's Porepunkah Hotel, the towns first hotel
j - Site of tiny Onley's Bakery which dispatched bread throughout the district
k - Site of Russell's Temperance Hotel, noted for its fine terraced gardens.
(Easy - 1.9km; 45 Minutes)
Take in the sights and sounds of the Ovens River, cross the swing bridge and return via the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail
(Easy - 3 km; 1.5 hours return)
Bright's most popular walk takes you past a small canyon carved by the Ovens River and amazing water races carved by the hands of early miners.
Enjoy the ever changing river in all seasons and watch for birdlife and wildflowers especially in spring.
A - Start at Star Bridge or the end of Riverside Ave. The northern track (B) which has steep steps and may be difficult for people with limited mobility
C - For an easy loop, continue past the suspension bridge to the railway bridge and return along the Alpine Rail Trail.
D - Along the southern bank are many deep and narrow water races, cut by hand through solid rock. The deeper the race, the further the mining site was from the river.
NB. Caution - cliffs and steep banks.
This popular bike and walking track is ideal for families with pushers. It officially starts at the "old" Bright Railway Station (now the museum) but you can join or leave this converted railway line at many different places along its length to create your own walk route.
(Medium - 2.5 km; 2 hours return)
E - The best place to park is near the school on Hargreaves Street. Look for the signposted start of the walking track where the eucalypt forest meets Hargreaves Road. In spring, look for native orchids on walks 3 & 7.
(Easy - 0.5 or 1 km 05 or 0.75 hour return)
Stroll around one or both of these reservoirs. The first dam was built in 1892 and the second in 1916 to provide a permanent supply of water to the town, railway station and trains.
The reservoirs no longer provide water to Bright but they do offer a peaceful place for walking. Enjoy watching and listening for wildlife in the former reservoirs, now home to platypus, tortoise, fish. frogs and yabbies. Try your luck at catching a trout.
Lots of fungi grow among the leaf litter in autumn.
Try a spotlight walk here at night. Bring a strong torch and warm clothing.
F - Follow the walking track that leads from the Information Shelter then follow the signs to circle one or both reservoirs.
(Easy - 2.5km: 1.5 hours return)
Explore the quiet reaches of Morses Creek between the caravan park and Dougherty Bridge. Mines Department Battery near Dougherty Bridge was erected as recently as 1956. This five-head stamp battery provided quartz crushing facilities for gold prospectors until it closed in 1994. The battery and forge is opened for viewing during festivals and school holidays.
G - Start at either Hawthorn Lane or Dougherty Bridge, follow the track along one side of the creek to a bridge then complete the loop via the other side of the creek.
(Medium - 3 km; 2 hours return)
H - Drive to Quinn's Gap up Mt Porepunkah Road. Park a short way up gravel track where the walking track turns right, off the gravel track. The steady climb rewards you with views of Mt Feathertop, Mt Fainter, and Mt Bogong. the highest peak in Victoria.
J - Eucalypt forests of Peppermints and Box cover these lower slopes of the Victorian Alps. Crush a leaf and smell it to discover which is the Peppermint. Look for evidence of wombats or wallabies.
(Medium - 1.5 km; 1 hours return)
K - Park here along Deacon Ave for Huggins Lookout Walk. Walk along Deacon Ave and Zivan Court to the start of the Walking track. Return the same way.
(Easy -3 km: 1.5 hour, return)
Stroll along the banks of the now picturesque Ovens River and reflect in its past. Once a hectic noisy scene of gold digging and dredging, it is now a place for relaxation and quiet strolls.
Stripped of its gold and plant cover, the land on both sides of the river had been left in a severely degraded state, even though the companies had promise to replace the topsoil. In 1916 this was the site of the first experimental pine plantings to reclaim a dredged area. This test planting showed that Radiata Pine survived well and other dredge tailings, began being restored by planting them with Pines. Their success led to the establishment of commercial Pine Plantations on non-mined areas.
The Cherry family name is still a common one in the area.
L - Start near the Water Slide on Mountbatten Ave. Follow the southern bank of the river to the suspension bridge and return along the northern bank. This walk can also be started at the parking area where Hawthorn Lane meets the river.
(Easy - 5 km: 2 hours return)
Walk from Bright to Wandiligong along picturesque Morses Creek. As you saunter up and down the old dredgings and past its little rocky gorges, rapids and quiet secluded holes, contemplate how important the local creek and river have been and continue to be to the region. Native eucalyptus shade much of the track.
M - Start at Dougherty Bridge Bright
(Easy -1 km: 1 hour return )
Park at either Alpine Park or Royal Bridge and complete this circuit of Wandiligong's historic sites and buildings, imagining it filled with the 3000 people that once lived here.
N - Alpine Park has been a recreation reserve since 1877. The original 1884 pavilion was recently rebuilt.
P - The first section of the impressive Wandiligong School was completed in 1877. It had to be extended to cope with 300 students during the gold era.
Q - First official Post Office built in 1885, replacing, General store and Post Office on adjoining site.
(Easy - 2km, 1 hour return)
Starting at either Alpine Park or Royal Bridge. This loop takes you through the goldfields of Wandiligong. The Dig- area has been subjected to almost every type of mining. The first diggers in 1860s sluiced for alluvial gold with gold pan, sluice box and cradle. Deep mine shafts were then sunk to locate deep leads of gold bearing rock. Heavy machinery in the form of the Wandiligong Number 1 Dredge worked the area between 1905 to 1914.
R - This area was worked by Chinese and contained a small settlement of houses, shops, flower and vegetable garden and a Joss House.
S - The Wandiligong Number 1 Dredge worked over the old alluvial diggings between the Hall, Post Office and Hotel, leaving the whole area severely degraded.
T - Adit. (Mine entrance) Collapsed and filled with water
U - Stephens Water Race. This channel carried water to the water wheel in Stephens Mill.
(Easy - 2km: 1 hour return)
Explore the quiet back lanes of Wandiligong to Williams United Mine and return past the Hotel. Still a great pub for a drink and chat - if only the walls could talk!
(Easy - 1.6km; 45 mins (long), 0.5km; 15 mins (short))
Muse over the lifestyle and hard work of the town's pioneers and gold miners as you peruse the waterwheel and log wagon in Pioneer Park before sauntering along the burbling East Branch of the Ovens River. The dredging operations altered the natural course of the river.
V - Start at he Museum in Pioneer Park. For a short loop, cross the small footbridge to Feathertop Lane and return along the Great Alpine Road. For a longer loop continue along the river to Bon Accord Track then follow this road to the Great Alpine Road and back to Pioneer Park.
(Easy - 1.4km; 30mins)
Marvel at the Tronoh Dredge Hole and enjoy the waterfall and pine forest. The Tronoh was one of the world's largeset electric powered mechanical dredges, larger than the MCG. This dredge hole was created as a turning area due to a rock bank for the 170 metres long Tronoh. The dredge worked 24 hours a day, 6 days a week between 1946 and 1954. It dredged 156ha of land on the river flats up to a depth of 40 metres.
As you can see, gold dredging operations in the past were not required to repair the damage they caused. Pines were planted to reclaim some of the dredge tailings.
Experience th esights, sounds and aromas of the eucalypt forest and river. The walking track heads off from Charlie Miley Road (named after a world champion axeman from Harrietville) in Clarrie Keating Memorial Park. Note the scenically located football oval.
W - The walking track starts at the end of Charlie Miley Road, and is flanked by ribble from Chinese gold diggings.
Y - When you reach ths small bridge, complete a loop by turnuing left into Lyrebird Gully and then into Mill Road (once the Town centre), or return the way you came.
Z - Private property ( do not cross the bridge).
Survey Track - 9.2 km medium (1-2 hours)
This ride has no steep uphills, however there is a great downhill back into Mt. Beauty. A classic rollercoaster singletrack with nice views beginning in Mt. Beauty township and skirting a ridgeside to a hairpin turn on the Bogong High Plains Road called "Cranky Charlie". The ride returns to the township on a fast gravel firetrack called the Pole Track, although several other options are also available, including a few singletrack options. To try the singletrack, continue on a downhill singletrack under the powerlines when the Pole Track veers left, then turn left on Harry's Track. Follow Harry's Track (or any track going downhill) back to the Bogong High Plains Road which will take you back into town. It would be difficult to get lost here as all the tracks seem to head towards town. If you can do only one ride in Mt. Beauty, this is probably the one to do. I also recommend doing the ride in reverse - climbing up the Pole Track and descending on the Survey Track singletrack (see Mt. Beauty Hill ride below for a suggested route).
Simmonds Creek Weir Loop - 7.8 km medium (35 minutes)
This is a short ride beginning in Mt. Beauty township and climbing up the partly sealed/partly unsealed Simmonds Creek Road. The ride then turns off on a downhill management track, crosses the Simmonds Creek, and returns to Mt. Beauty on a gentle downhill singletrack. A good beginner ride. Note I have described the ride in reverse of the guidebook description, which climbs up the singletrack and descends on the sealed road.
Mt. Beauty Hill Loop - 12 km medium (1 hour 20 minutes)
Beginning and ending in Mt. Beauty, this ride climbs steeply onto the Mt. Beauty hillside using a variety of fire tracks (Pole Track, Reservoir Track) and offering great views of the township and surrounding countryside. For an additional viewpoint, take the short Tower No. 33 Track at the 5.1 km mark. The ride continues on the West Kiewa Power Station Road to the Cranky Charlie hairpin where it joins the Survey Track. This ride offers the maximum views in the shortest distance.
Bogong Hill Explorer - approx 20-25 km hard (2-3 hours)
Note: this ride not described in guidebook and is unsuitable in wet weather. Route finding skills and map required.
This ride uses firetracks and overgrown singletrack to explore the Bogong Hill and East Kiewa River Valley. The track can be difficult to follow at times and there are 2 river fords (of which at least 1 can be ridden). The ride offers a feeling of remoteness, a few climbs, and 1 steep (overgrown) singletrack descent. To start the ride, follow the Survey Track out of town for about 1.2 km's to the No. 2 Reservoir. Take the steep downhill track to the left of the Survey Track and follow it a short distance to a ford of the East Kiewa River (ridable). Climb the riverbank a short distance on the other side and turn right on the East Kiewa Fire Track (signed). Continue climbing for several km's to the Cranky Charlie Fire Track (signed) on the right. Descend steeply on the overgrown track to the valley floor. The trail becomes very faint toward the bottom. Upon reaching the river, turn right and follow a rough, muddy track a short distance to a ford of the East Kiewa River (use rocks to hop across). On the other side, pick up the Cranky Charlie Fire Track and climb steeply to the intersection with the Survey Track (signed). Turn left on the Survey Track (turning right will take you back to town), and continue about 3 km's to the Cranky Charlie hairpin. Return to town via the Pole Track or any of the various other tracks (described in the Survey Track ride above) back into town.
Falls Creek down into Mt Beauty 4-5 hour mainly downhill
The high country Mt Beauty descent gives each rider a taste of downhill riding. no long arduous uphill climbs.....all enjoyable downhills through spectacular alpine forests. ride at your own pace. Suits intermediate riders
Moncreiffs Gap Loop - 31.2 km hard (4 hours)
This ride features long and steep climbs, an occasional view of Mt. Bogong, and a wild, twisty firetrack descent back into town. The ride is rated hard due to fitness requirements, but technical skills are not required as the ride is entirely on roads and firetracks (no singletrack). The ride begins by following the sealed Damms Road out of town to the Mountain Creek Road. Turn right and follow the sealed Mountain Creek Road through rolling farm country. The road eventually becomes unsealed and after 15 km (total) the Mountain Creek camping/picnic area is reached (about .1 km past the turnoff on the right for the Moncreiffs Gap Fire Track), which is a good spot for morning tea or lunch. After a break, retrace your route back to the turnoff for the Moncreiffs Gap Fire Track. The track climbs very steeply for about 1 K into the Alpine National Park and the loose dirt surface will force most riders to walk at least part of this section. Eventually the grade levels out to a steep granny gear climb and occasional views of Mt. Bogong appear as the track skirts around Little Mt. Bogong for the next 4 km or so. Shortly after the turn off for the Little Bogong Track (stay straight on Moncreiffs Gap Track), a long windy descent begins which ends at a (ridable) fording of the East Kiewa River. At this point the Survey Track can be picked up back to town, or the road route described in the guidebook.
Big Hill Downhill Loop - 17.6 km Expert Only (2 hours)
Big Hill’ is a mountain looming over the township of Mt. Beauty. this mountain is famous amongst downhill riders who flock to mt. beauty each year. This ride features a very steep technical descent on the downhill race course and is suitable only for riders with advanced off-road bicycle handling skills. Good brakes and knobby tires are also highly recommended. Although most riders will enjoy the technical challenge of the ride, there are also fantastic views to take in on the climb up to Big Hill. The ride climbs to the downhill race course on the sealed Bogong High Plains Road and the unsealed but smooth West Kiewa Power Station and Big Hill Roads. Various tracks (described in the guidebook) are taken to the start of the downhill course, which starts with a steep dropoff, and continues steeply downhill on loose dirt over various dropoffs, rock gardens, ditches, jumps, and other obstacles before finishing back at the Bogong High Plains Road near town. After the long climb up, you will be surprised how quickly you reach the bottom (if you survive!)