ALPINE NATIONAL PARK
The wild beauty of Victoria's largest National Park is addictive. Its magnificent scale and endless views overwhelm the senses and its fierce weather humbles the brave. But while the majesty of alpine Australia is to be admired, the Alpine National Park plays an even bigger role in protecting some of Australia's rarest and most vulnerable environments. Separated from the rest of the world for millennia, the ancient alpine areas of the Great Dividing Range are like none other on earth.
AKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The sections of the Alpine National Park that fall within Bright & Surrounds are part of a cultural landscape that spans part of the Nations of the Taungurung and Gunaikurnai to its south and west and the Dhudhuroa, Waywurru and Yaitmathang to its east. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. Bright & Surrounds respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and recognises their ongoing role in caring for Country.
GETTING THERE FROM HARRIETVILLE
Resting at the foot of the sublime Mount Feathertop, Harrietville is a popular base for exploring the north-eastern sections of the Alpine National Park, which at 646,000 hectares, is the largest National Park in Victoria. Summer and autumn are the best times of year to walk in the upper sections of the Alpine National Park as snow blankets the trails in winter and spring. Resort entry fees apply to enter Mount Hotham during the snow season, however, it's free to drive through to Dinner Plain along the Great Alpine Road if you don't stop within the resort. You'll need to carry snow chains – which you can hire in Harrietville – to drive up the mountain during the snow season.
Some of the Alpine National Park's most iconic hiking trails, such as Bungalow Spur and Bon Accord Spur start in Harrietville and carve their way up into the High Country. These challenging trails steer walkers to the summit of Mount Feathertop, The Razorback and Mount Hotham, and are a rewarding way to experience the microclimates of the park as you slowly rise from the valley floor through sub-alpine forest and up to the alpine tundra.
The 30km drive along The Great Alpine Road from Harrietville to Mount Hotham in the Alpine National Park is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in Australia. As you reach Danny's Lookout, the panorama spans Mount Bogong, Mount Feathertop, Mount Buffalo, Mount Buller and everything in between. There are numerous vantage points to stop in the park as you continue driving along the Great Alpine Road to Dinner Plain.
There are many scenic walks of varying difficulties and lengths throughout the northeast section of the Alpine National Park, with most trails concentrated around Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain. Harrietville is the base for those aiming to walk the full ascent from the valley floor. Popular hikes in the include The Razorback, Mount Loch, Cobungra Ditch, Room With A View and Carmichael Falls.
HISTORIC HUT WALKS
The Victorian High Country is home to over 60 historic huts built as refuges for the mountain cattlemen of the past, skiers and hikers, and the road workers who maintained the first Alpine Road over the Great Dividing Range. Many of the huts are now protected by the Alpine National Park and some are easily accessible on day trips from Harrietville up to Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain.
PREPARE FOR ANYTHING
From snow to bushfires, floods and gale-force winds, the weather in the High Country can be fierce and change rapidly. Always check conditions before venturing out, ensure your equipment is working and carry adequate food, water and warm clothing. Importantly, download the VicEmergency and the Emergency Plus apps to your phone.
Notify someone of your plans before you set out. Many parts of the High Country have poor or no mobile phone coverage. Emergency beacons and satellite devices are recommended for your safety.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Our region is sensitive to human presence. We are privileged to have endangered animals such as platypus, pygmy possums and alpine dingoes surviving in our environment. Your behaviour has a direct impact on our flora and fauna. When driving or riding, stay on formed roads and don't cut new lines. Protect our wildlife and the beauty of our environment by taking all rubbish with you.
Never light a fire on a Total Fire Ban day. When permitted to use fire, always extinguish your campfire completely before you leave. Enjoy our outdoors, and remember, leave no trace.
Our list of the top 10 things to do in the Alpine National Park around Mount Hotham, Dinner Plain and Falls Creek.