Victoria’s High Country region encompasses an extensive area of alpine mountain terrain about 350km north-east of Melbourne. This inn-to-inn walk traverses diverse landscapes of forests, alpine grassland, snow-blanketed mountains, precipitous ridges and high plains. There is much to discover about the area’s rich pioneering history, from settlement by cattle graziers and the beginning of the Hydro Electric Power Scheme to pre-European history as an important seasonal migration path for indigenous Australians.
The walk’s seven day itinerary covers some of the most spectacular sections of the 700 km Alpine Walking Track from Walhalla to Canberra. The 19th century saw cattlemen pioneer trails for their cattle to traverse between valleys and the high plains for grazing. You’ll see plenty of evidence of this in the simple huts they built for protection from the weather, some of which are remarkably well preserved, as you walk the historic huts circuit walk.
You’ll enjoy the pure air and dramatic views from the high plains supporting masses of spectacular wildflowers in summer (December to February) and cross-country skiing terrain during winter months (May to October). Highlights include the Razorback Ridge to Mt Feathertop, the second highest peak in Victoria, the iconic hike from Falls Creek to Mnt Hotham, passing Dibbens Hut and staying overnight at the resort town of Dinner Plain, Australia’s highest freehold village.
This is one of Auswalk’s most challenging Inn-to-inn walks. Traversing alpine terrain means there are some undulating, mostly flat sections along well-marked trails, rougher tracks along some long, gradual ascents to the summits to small peaks for spectacular views, and some steeper downhill sections through snow gums to forested valleys below.
You’ll be walking an average 17 kms a day over five days. Those that enjoy the solitude of nature will appreciate some days where you are probably more likely to see wild brumbies than other people!
There are five walking days on this seven day itinerary starting in Mt Beauty and ending in the village of Harrietville. We include accommodation from day one to day six, most meals, transfers and comprehensive trip notes and walking maps. Each day we transfer your luggage to the next accommodation so you can focus on enjoying the walking with just your daypack and what you need for the day.
The high rolling plains become a cool refuge from the hot valleys below, supporting extensive snow grass plains and the plethora of flowers. The alpine wild flowers are prolific from about November to February. The carefully handpicked accommodations are all delightful as are our hosts. Lisa at Diana Lodge is a seriously amazing Chef.
Importantly there are additional short walks in the area for those who need more exercise.
Note: We highly recommend taking a rest day at Dinner Plain.
This holiday is Self-Guided. Note that we also offer a 7 day group guided trip on a similar itinerary.
This trip starts and finishes in Bright. It’s a 5 hour drive from Melbourne. There are also public transport services from Melbourne – contact us for more details.
20% easy, 40% moderate, 40% more challenging. 15-24km (5-7 hours) walking each day. This is our most demanding inn-to-inn walking holiday. The highest altitude on this trip is 1922 metres, and the greatest descent is 1400 metres in one day.
For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please see download our Fact Sheet below.
Alpine ski lodges, motels, a boutique hotel and a delightful B&B.
6 nights accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners, vehicle transfers required for the itinerary, luggage transfers, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps, map case & info pack.
Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).
This walk can be done any time from the start of December to 20th April. This mountain environment is about 10–15 degrees cooler than Melbourne and Sydney, and there is a possibility of bad weather even during summer. January and February are usually warm and the alpine wildflowers are at their best. December and March are usually mild, and considered by many people to be the best times to visit.
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.
Great Alpine Walk starts in Bright any time after 2pm. No walking scheduled for today, although if you arrive early enough you’ll have time to explore the small township of Bright.
After a transfer high into the mountains, the walk begins 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. The ancient snowgum 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.
After lunch, walk along the southern edge of Rocky Valley Dam, before climbing to Falls Creek ski resort.
Accommodation: Falls Creek
An easier walking day, following more aqueduct trails and crossing gently graded snow plains. All the walking terrain yesterday and today provides superb cross country skiing during winter. It is easy to imagine dozens of fit, lycra–clad athletes skating past and making it look effortless.
The day ends with a trek to the summit of a small peak with a fine view over Falls Creek and the Kiewa valley before strolling along another aqueduct trail back to the village.
Accommodation: Falls Creek
A big one today! Very few people have done this bushwalk, 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), then back through the Mt Hotham alpine 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.
Accommodation: Hotham alpine village
Today’s walk meanders through snowgum forests and across thick snowgrass 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 walk to the aptly named Mt Tabletop. 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.
Suggestion: Many of our walkers have suggested that you take a rest day at Dinner Plain. This allows you to recover from a couple of big walking days. There are short walks close to the village. We can arrange an extra night for you – contact us for a price.
Another big walking day today.After an early start, you’ll be transferred to 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. Harrietville is built on mine tailings created by a huge dredge called the Tronah Monster, which was sold to a tin miner in Malaysia in the 1930’s. Today it’s a friendly holiday village with a laid-back atmosphere.
The trip ends after breakfast when you will be transferred back to Bright to either your vehicle or public transport connections. This transfer is included in the cost of your walk.
Overall the walk was great, especially along the Razorback to Feathertop.
The organisation was excellent, all of the accommodation and meals met or exceeded our expectations and the support we got from staff was great.
We heartily recommend the company and the walk.
The six in our group walk extensively around parts of Australia and this is the first time we have used Auswalk.
The notes are outstanding, providing total comfort in the knowledge that the walk has not only been thoroughly researched and road tested but packaged in such a way that the highlights are captured and you ease into the trip with less demands on day one.
The quality of accommodation and food from external providers was of a very high standard with all being part of the “Auswalk” family in providing for our every need.
It is a great feeling to be stretched throughout the day and return in the knowledge that a delightful meal, engaging conversation, a glass or two of wine and a warm bed awaits each night away. Great memories
The Great Alpine Walk with Auswalk was our very first walking holiday, and we absolutely loved it!
The organisation of our self guided trip could not have been better!
Everything was arranged so smoothly and not a detail was overlooked.
Thank you so much for everything, it has been a very memorable holiday!
This was my first ever Auswalk and I loved every moment of it!
The wind, the rain, the thunder the wet socks and the blistered heals!
The little kid came out of me each day and was awed and full of wonder!
Something triggered out there and a switch was flicked!
All the “I cant’s” melted away and I could, and I did!!
Thank you Auswalk for a great adventure!
Best walking notes we’ve ever used.
Honestly, Auswalks have been brilliant.
Your attention to detail stands out above all, as well as the fact your staff seem to have actually walked the walks.
The accommodation and hosts were all delightful, and all clearly had worked with you for a while.
Really cant think of anything you could do better.
The Auswalk staff were extremely helpful at every stage.
At every stage the organisation was first rate: the booking process; phoning pre-walk to ensure we had no questions;
every stage of organisation from day to day; being flexible when we wanted to skip our rest day to avoid potential bad weather.
An absolutely fantastic walk in spectacular scenery.
Every aspect of the organisation of the walk was faultless.
It more than fulfilled our hopes and expectations.
Great accommodation and hosts especially in the Alpine sections.
We came home and started trying to work out when we could do another one and where.