Never entertained fantasies about relocating to Bright, Victoria, and opening a café? That can only mean one thing: you haven’t been here yet, writes Georgia Rickard
8am: Food is a regional pastime here – the farms, wineries and orchards in surrounding valleys take care of that – but the town’s best breakfast, hands down, is found at Coral Lee. Order a produce-filled plate and linger afterwards over a creamy, aromatic coffee.
9:30am: Wander the two blocks over to the banks of the Ovens River, where the Make it, Bake it, Grow it markets are held at Howitt Park during the third Saturday of every month. As is befitting of a foodie town, the treats on offer here are superb.
12pm: Just next door to the markets is Bright Chocolate Bean to Bar, where you can sample handmade chocolates by locals Simeon and Shannon Crawley. Chocolate lollipops, chocolate tea, chocolate nuts… Lucky you’ll be cycling it off shortly!
1pm: Lunch with weeping willows in the gardens of Ginger Baker café, next to the Ovens River. Local kids can often be found launching themselves off a large diving board into the picturesque river here – great entertainment.
3pm: Hire a bike from local shop Cyclepath and tackle the six-kilometre section of the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail from Bright to Porepunkah, past the Rail Trail Café, Porepunkah swimming hole and two pretty wineries. Pack the camera.
7pm: Sip a pre-dinner craft beer at buzzing Bright Brewery before heading across the road to Tani Eat & Drink, Victoria’s ‘New Regional Restaurant of the Year’, according to The Age. Alternatively, get a bit spesh at two-hatted institution Simone’s, in a sweet little cottage on the main road.
11pm: Crash out at one of the many cosy options in (or outside of) town. For a stay that’s a step above basic (and a bargain), we like Ovens Motor Inn. Alternatively, luxe B&B The Buckland really is just that: luxe.
More Bright ideas
Bright’s alpine landscape is also a fantastic backdrop for some top adventures, like these:
1 Abseil Mount Buffalo
If anything helps cut through the mire of the mind, it is walking backwards off a cliff face. (The crisp alpine air doesn’t hurt, either.) From $70 per person with Absolute Outdoors
2 Scope out the Adventure Travel Film Festival
Each year, Bright plays host to a brilliant line-up of films and speakers, who share stories that are adventures in themselves. The Adventure Film Festival, from $95 for a weekend pass, 13–15 February 2015.
3 Microlight the Valley
If you’re game enough to try microlighting – like hang-gliding, but with an engine – here’s the spot to do it. Bright and its surrounds are stunning from above, and the post-ride thrill stays with you all day. From $80 per person at Eagle School