March through May is a great time of year in Australia – cool crisp air and, in certain parts of the country, fantastic displays of autumn leaf colour.
The town of Bright in Victoria’s alpine high country is one of the best places to see a concentration of autumn colour (along with places like the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, the Adelaide Hills and the Australian Capital Territory).
There is a bit of luck involved in a trip to see the autumn leaves in their full splendor. Have the trees turned yet? Is the sun going to be out to see them at their best? Has there been too much rain and strong wind to blow the leaves off the trees?
We decided to hedge our bets by staying in Albury-Wodonga with the intention of making it a day trip to visit the alpine resort towns.
As it turned out, the Saturday wasn’t the best. We made the most of the day visiting the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Albury LibraryMuseum, and then touring the historical towns of Chiltern, Rutherglen and Corowa.
Sunday morning was sun and clear sky, so it was off to Bright via Yackandandah, returning via Myrtleford and Beechworth.
One of the best spots in Bright to see the colour is Centenary Park, which runs alongside the Ovens river.
And there’s plenty of colour in town too
What a spot for a coffee!
The annual Bright Autumn Festival runs for 2 weeks, which includes taking in open gardens (great if you are staying up in the alpine area for an extended period). Check out the program at http://www.brightautumnfestival.com.au/. We caught the Ivan Gellie big band – great sound!
And the festivals are not restricted to Bright. An institution is the annual “Drive Back In Time”, organised by the Beechworth Old Cranks Motor Club, which is held on the first Sunday in May each year. Part of Beechworth’s main street is closed off for the occasion!
Design Your Own Road Trip!
The trip map and itinerary is available for you to use as a basis for your own trip at Trip Plan Australia. Browse events on during your trip timeframe, and add/remove attractions and accommodation to the itinerary to suit.