Self Drive Tour Guide
Historical and scenic tours from Mount Beauty
Not open during winter months. See when to go below.
A 240 km loop across the roof of Victoria, on the Great Alpine Road, Omeo Highway and Bogong High Plains Road. The final section was finally sealed in 2009. This is the must do before you die tour. You had to sail out to the Great Barrier Reef, and climb up Uluru, you can just drive this one. The tour is packed with fantastic scenery and fascinating history of Aboriginal heritage, pioneer cattlemen, bushrangers and adventurers. The tour makes one big day, with winding roads which are best taken leisurely, lots of history to absorb, places to see and importantly sit quietly at a number of spots and absorb the magnificent mountains and valleys of the Great Dividing range over a drink or picnic snack.
It will take about five hours driving without stopping, and there are lots of worthwhile stops. We suggest that you do the loop anti-clockwise and travel to Omeo via Mt Hotham, and return via Falls Creek. This way you complete some of the more difficult and more distant sections first and if you start to run out of time or daylight, you do not have to rush. You can quickly and easily go back up towards Falls Creek on a subsequent day to complete the tour. We suggest a start between 8am and 8:30 is ideal, to get the most out of the day at a leisurely pace. Key stopping points are Tawonga Gap, Germantown, Smoko, Harrietville, Mt St Bernard, CRB Hill, Mt Blowhard, Mt Loch car park, Hotham Heights, Dinner Plain, Victoria Falls, Cobungra Gap, Omeo, Anglers Rest, Trapyard Gap, Strawberry Saddle, Langford Gap, Wallaces Hut, Rocky Valley Dam, Watchbed Creek, Falls Creek, Howman Gap, Fainter Falls, Bogong Village, Clover Flat, Cranky Charlie.
Parks Victoria have produced a High Country Heritage Audio Discovery Tour in mp3 format, which is an excellent complement to this tour. You can listen to this audio program before coming to the High Country and again while as you do each section of the tour. Kiewa View has prepared a copy of the audio program which has been customised for our guests convenience as a compilation starting and finishing in Mount beauty zipped into a single convenient download. Our guests can download a copy of this special version prior to arriving in Mount Beauty.
Parks Victoria High Country stories is another good source of interesting information.
When to go
The road between Anglers Rest and Falls Creek is snow covered and closed during winter, and part of it becomes a 10km plus cross country ski trail. The road normally opens some time in October and closes again in June. However the road can close temporarily due to heavy unseasonable snowfalls any time of the year. It would be very inconvenient and potentially dangerous to be travelling between Anglers Rest and Falls Creek and find the road ahead blocked by snow. You should check the road status the day before departure, with VicRoads, the Mount Beauty Tourist Information or knowledgeable locals. Do not start out if inclement weather is forecast. The High Plains are not a pleasant place to be in bad weather unless you are going for skiing or snow play. While the driving time is about five hours we suggest you plan a total trip of around ten hours, to make a most pleasant experience and to make all that driving worthwhile.
This same circuit is becoming a popular cycling challenge. It is the route of an annual one day event on March for very keen and fit cyclists. It is also becoming increasingly popular as a training ride and for cyclists throughout the year to ride split up over two or three days. See our road cycling pages for more information.
Three more detailed itineraries with index to map
Five additional suggestions for easy self planning
A. TO THE BOGONG HIGH PLAINS - 4 hours return - chains must be carried in winter.
POINTS OF INTEREST
2. ROUNDABOUT - Turnoff to West Kiewa.
3. WEST KIEWA POWER STATION - continue onto lookout.
4. BIG HILL LOOKOUT - backtrack to roundabout.
5. MOUNTAIN VIEW PICNIC GROUND
6. CLOVER DAM AND POWER STATION
7. CLOVER FLAT ARBORETUM
8. BOGONG VILLAGE - LAKE GUY - ROCKY VALLEY PICNIC GROUND
Picturesque alpine town built into the side of the mountain. Petrol and Store.
9. MCKAY CREEK POWER STATION
10. HOWMANS GAP - Former National Fitness Camp.
- Snow clearing station.
ENTER SKI AREA - Entrance fee payable during Winter season.
11. FALLS CREEK - Alpine Ski Village.
Store and Restaurants.
ROAD CLOSED BEYOND FALLS CREEK IN WINTER
13. RUINED CASTLE - Spectacular basalt rock outcrop.
14. PRETTY VALLEY DAM - Snowed over in Winter.
15. ROCKY VALLEY - Main reservoir of the Kiewa Scheme. Sailing and fishing.
B. HARRIETVILLE, WANDILIGONG, BUCKLAND VALLEY - 3 hours return.
1. MOUNT BEAUTY
21. SAMBAS MINE - site of last working mine.
22. HARRIETVILLE PIONEER PARK - Outdoor Museum, farm and mine machinery.
24. WANDILIGONG - Continue past township to chestnuts and backtrack on reaching apple orchards.
26. BUCKLAND VALLEY - continue until road narrows and starts to climb towards Mt. Selwyn. RETRACE route to Mount Beauty or return via Owens and Happy Valley.
C. YACKANDANDAH, BEECHWORTH, ELDORADO - 4 hours.
27. YACKANDANDAH - Bank of Victoria (Sundays and Public Holidays 2-5), Millfield Stables and Carriage Museum, Yackandandah Workshop.
28. ALLANS FLAT - Schmidts Strawberry Winery.
29. BEECHWORTH - Rockcavern, Powder Magazine, Carriage Museum, Star Youth Hostel, Ned Kelly's Cell, Burke Memorial Museum, Prison, Commercial Hotel, early miners collages, gallery.
30. GOLDEN HILLS TROUT FARM
31. WOOLSHED GOLDFIELDS - Old gold diggings, Kelly's Caves.
32. WOOLSHED FALLS - Picnic facilities, swimming. ELDORADO - Museum, St. Jude's Church, dredge and dredge hole.
Return via TARRAWINGEE and MYRTLE FORD.
OTHER SUGGESTED TOURS
- MT. BUFFALO
- GLEN ROWAN - WANGARATTA
- ALBURY - LAKE HUME
- MITTA MITTA - DARTMOUTH DAM
- CHILTERN - RUTHERGLEN