This group guided holiday focuses on the Victorian high country, a mountainous area located in the northeast of the state.
As part of the enormous Australian Alps National Park, the area is covered in a blanket of snow from late May to November, but then the winter snows melt and flow as life-giving fresh water into Australia’s rivers. The grasslands and boggy areas hold vast amounts of water, allowing a never-ending supply for alpine rivers and streams even during the driest of summers. The rolling plains become a cool refuge from the hot valleys below, supporting masses of spectacular wildflowers and extensive snow grass plains.
From the 1860’s huge quantities of gold were discovered in the area. Even before then, graziers brought their cattle into the mountains to feed on the lush green summer pastures.
During this hike you’ll see rough yards for holding mustered cattle, simple huts built by the cattlemen for protection from the weather, and follow trails that cattle traversed between valleys and the high plains.
This is a true alpine experience. Highlights include the classic Razorback Ridge to Mt Feathertop, the second highest peak in Victoria. The undulating ridge offers panoramic views all the way.
From here the route continues down to the picturesque village of Harrietville. Another “big tick” will be the walk from Hotham to Falls Creek via the Cobungra Valley, Derrick Hut and Dibbins Hut. The historic huts circuit walk will delight history buffs and remote Mt Tabletop is a favourite place to sit and ponder the beauty of the region.
If you can’t make it on our scheduled date or prefer to walk independently then have a look at our self guided Great Alpine Walk.
This is a circuit trip starting and finishing in Melbourne.
Full day walks range from 15-24km. This is alpine country with much of the walking above the winter snow line. The harder options involve significant ascents and descents; the easier options will be at a more leisurely pace and involve less climbing.
This trip operates with two guides so we can offer easier and harder walk options along the way.
For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please download our Fact Sheet below.
Alpine ski lodges and a luxurious alpine resort.
Two guides, all transport from Melbourne, 6 nights accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps & map case and info pack.
Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).
The summer months are the pick of the bunch here – the weather is usually good and the wildflowers are out in force.
See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.
The mountains are noted for fresh trout and excellent local wines.
10am start at Melbourne airport. Travel via historic Glenrowan and Mt Beauty to Falls Creek Alpine Village. An easy late afternoon walk provides you with a good orientation to this unique alpine ski village.
Accommodation: Falls Creek.
Great Alpine Walk starts by following an easy Aqueduct Trail connected to one of Australia’s early hydro-electricity schemes, built between the 1930’s and 1950’s. Mountain cattlemen’s huts feature prominently on this holiday and today you’ll visit the oldest in Victoria, Wallace’s Hut as well as Cope Hut, once known as the “Menzies of the High Country”. The ancient snow gum trees here are twisted and gnarled by centuries of harsh winters. After rain or fog these tree trunks change colour to brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow and green.
The route continues around the shores of Rocky Valley dam to a delightful lunch spot.
After lunch, there will be a choice of an easy walk following the lake shore back to the bus or a harder hike to the summit of Mt McKay with stunning 360 degree views. Then through the Falls Creek alpine ski area to get back to the lodge.
Accommodation: Falls Creek.
Today we’ll hike to some of the Falls Creek peaks and visit another couple of historic huts. The route begins along easy aqueduct trails again before climbing up through gently graded snow plains to visit secluded Fitzgeralds Hut. One more hut today – historic Edmonsons where we’ll enjoy lunch amongst the snowgums.
The easier option for the afternoon takes us along Watchbed Creek and back to the bus.
The more challenging option heads up onto Heathy Spur and then cross country on a compass bearing to Roper Lookout. The track then descends to the shores of Rocky Valley Dam.
Accommodation: Falls Creek
Will you be up to the challenge of walking all the way from Falls Creek to Mt Hotham?
Very few people have done this walk, even amongst the locals. Follow a section of the Alpine Walking Track (750km between Walhalla and Canberra) all the way to Mt Hotham. You certainly won’t see many people out here; in fact you are more likely to see brumbies (wild horses) than people! Along the way, drop steeply down to the Cobungra River and Dibbins Hut (sometimes also called “Creep-Inn” – you’ll see why), and then back through the Mt Hotham ski village. Skiers flock to Hotham for its powder snow. It is easy to see how the surrounding steep valleys would provide protection from strong winter winds, allowing snow to settle gently into deep drifts.
The days’ walking finishes with a stroll through the picturesque Davenport area of Hotham village. Those taking the more leisurely option will do a shorter walk and then travel by bus to Mt Hotham – someone has to deliver the luggage after all!
Accommodation: Dinner Plain.
Today’s walk meanders through snow gum forests and across thick snow grass plains, where there are many spring wildflowers. The standard 10km track to Dinner Plain is easy, but you can also add an optional 9km return bushwalk to the aptly named Mt Tabletop.
Accessing this remote mountain requires some off track walking over uneven terrain. Cattle grazed these plains till recently, and you’ll see historic huts and even some cattle yards made by felling trees into piles! You’ll walk into Dinner Plain, the highest freehold land in Australia, where every building is constructed of mud brick, weathered timber, local rock and galvanized iron. You can build anything you like there, so long as it resembles a cattleman’s hut!
Accommodation: Dinner Plain.
Another big walking day today. The hiking starts along the breathtaking Razorback Ridge, surely one of the most dramatic walking routes in Australia. As you walk along it, Mt Feathertop gradually looms more and more impressively.
The final (optional) steep climb to the summit is a ripper! The rest of the day is spent walking down the gently graded Bungalow spur to the township of Harrietville. The spur is covered by tall and most impressive mountain ash trees.
An easy two hour walk through picturesque Bright Gorge finishes off the walking for this tour. There are numerous sluices, tailings, mines and shafts remaining from the days when Chinese miners were more successful than Europeans, with nasty consequences.
After morning tea in Bright, travel back to Melbourne, ending this vacation at the airport at about 5pm.
(A $100 Early Bird Discount is applicable for all bookings made 6 months prior to the the selected departure date.)