This is our longest tour and some would say our best. We tend to take things pretty easy down there. The climbing might be hard but the rest of the time we take it easy - swimming in the nearby river, visiting the local brewery or vineyard, afternoon naps and evening BBQs. You can see how 6 days of this is a good thing! Typically the rides are at touring pace and we stay together for the flat Lake Buffalo and Happy Valley rides. This, however all goes out the window when we hit the climbs of Mount Buffalo, Falls Creek and Hotham where we all ride up at our own pace and regroup at the top before zooming downhill.
Bright is an idyllic town nestled right in the heart of the Victorian Alps. It lies in a valley shadowed by Australia’s highest mountains - Falls Creek, Mt. Buffalo and Mt. Hotham and yes we climb all of them! Prepare yourself for some breathtaking moments in more ways than one.
We vary the tour routes every year but here's an example of what to expect.
DAY 1 - LAKE BUFFALO
106km | 460m | 3½hrs
A flat ride out to Lake Buffalo to warm up the legs for the week to come. We make our first stop at the lake for a few photos and to catch a glimpse of Mt Buffalo - don't worry we won't be tackling that today! On the way back we ride some of the famous rail trail and stop off at a cafe and or winery for a some brunch and refreshments.
DAY 2 - HAPPY VALLEY
120km | 1420m | 4½hrs
This big loop of a ride starts with a magic 25k section to the picturesque Happy Valley (it's called that for a reason!). From there it gets more hilly as we go over a small range from Ovens Valley to Keiwa Valley. It's not hard climbing but you'll be rewarded lovely views and a fun downhill sweep to the valley below. We continue along Kiewa Valley to Mt Beauty (not actually a Mountain or that beautiful) for lunch/coffee. Don't eat too much because then we've got the climb up Tawonga Gap. A 7km climb averaging 7% with a great lookout point at the top. Then it's downhill burn back to Bright.
DAY 3 - FALLS CREEK
123km | 2700m | 6hrs
We leave Bright and climb over Tawonga Gap but the opposite way which is a little bit longer at 10km but still averages 7%. We descend down the otherside and there's a short flat section through Mt Beauty. From here it's all vertical for the next 30km. We regroup at the top, take in the view, grab some fuel and enjoy the descent back down to Mt Beauty where we stop for lunch. We then go back over Tawonga Gap for the Full Monty. A big day with 47km of climbing. If you're not feeling up to it there is a shorter option to drive to Mt Beauty and just do the climb and descent of Falls Creek.
DAY 4 - REST DAY!
0km | 0m | 24hrs
Rest day. Woo hoo. We've definitely earnt it. There's so much to do in Bright - whether is strolling around the town, visiting wineries, sightseeing, hiking, going for a swim or just lazing about. The choice is yours, you could even go for a ride if you wish!
DAY 5 - MOUNT HOTHAM
108km | 1,904m | 5hrs
The Queen Stage! I hope you're ready for this! A simple Bright to Mt Hotham return. With it’s formidable length and unforgettable moon-like summit, the ascent of Mt. Hotham is among Victoria’s most iconic climbs. A 30km climb averaging 4% but with some really steep ramps and a total vertical gain of 1300m. The climb is split into 3 parts roughly 10km each. The first section is a steady 11km … except The Meg (a 300m pinch at 10% at the 5.6km marker). The second section is a long false-flat from 11km to 19.7km with only minimal climbing. The final section is steep with a couple of short descents and CRB Hill at 23.5km (1.1km at 10%) and Diamantina at 28.3km (1.4km at 9%). You will not forget this climb or the descent!
DAY 6 - MOUNT BUFFALO