Cycle the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail: Beechworth to Bright
Is there a better part of Australia to cycle through than the Victorian High Country? Framed by the Victorian Alps and dominated by the nearby Mount Buffalo, this is a region well known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine. This cycling trip takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy and experience rather than get the heart racing. Kick things off in the well-preserved historic town of Beechworth, then cycle the famous sealed tracks of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail through small gold-mining towns like Myrtleford before arriving into the heart of the High Country, Bright. Meander through wine country, enjoy some proper Victorian hospitality at local pubs and rediscover the joy of pedalling through one of the most gorgeous areas in the entire nation.
- Cycle the spectacular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, the best known and loved rail trail in Victoria, sampling the bounty of country Victoria along the way.
- Ride along flat, sealed, and traffic-free paths alongside some of the High Country's most stunning scenery.
- Begin your journey in Beechworth, a fascinating insight into the past and home to the Beechworth Bakery, official home of the Ned Kelly pie, and end at the charming Bright in the heart of High Country.
- Experience firsthand the famous hospitality of local Victorians as you tackle a trail built specifically to cater to cyclists.
- Cycle in the company of an experienced guide as they share their unique perspective of this fascinating region.
- By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.
Welcome to historic Beechworth. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. You can arrive at any time before this as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Beechworth is a character-filled and well-preserved gold rush town full of Australian history and stories, museums, heritage architecture and one of the finest bakeries in Australia. The region is also home to the legends of Ned Kelly legend and Australia’s first native-born Governor-General. For those arriving early, there is a wealth of things to explore, such as the Burke Museum, Gun Powder Magazine, and what was once known as the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. For the more avid cyclist, you can book a half-day guided tour of the local (and excellent) gravel trails. If you’re feeling peckish the renowned Beechworth Bakery is always a highlight (try the ‘official’ Ned Kelly pie or famous Lemon Slice) but there are plenty of other options that all featuring that famous Beechworth hospitality.
After the welcome meeting take a short walk to the nearby Billson’s Brewery. Founded in 1865, the brewery is in a charming 150-year-old building, producing beer, sodas, spirits and cordials (the raspberry vinegar cordial is amazing!). Enjoy a Gin or Beer Tasting Paddle (your choice) then take a tour of Brewery & Distillery to get a true insight into this fascinating piece of Beechworth history. Afterwards take a walk through the Historic Centre, with your tour leader pointing out the main points of interest along the way. Why not go out for an evening meal and get to know the rest of your riding group before the cycling begins tomorrow.
After breakfast this morning your cycling adventure begins. After getting acquainted with your bike you’ll get the chance to further explore this beautiful town on a guided ride through the town and surrounding area before joining the Myrtleford-Everton Rail Trail for 33 enjoyable (fully sealed and mostly slightly downhill) kilometres. You’ll then get your first taste of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which follows the route of the former Bright railway line.There’ll be the chance for a mid-ride treat along the way with a stop at a winery to sample a few drops of the local vintages. Today’s ride takes you along mostly flat and gently undulating terrain, past numerous vineyards and pastoral land all the way to your base for the evening, Myrtleford.
After breakfast, begin cycling, following the mostly flat contours of the meandering Ovens river as the Rail Trail quietly winds its way alongside the Great Alpine Road and through the small communities of Ovens, Eurobin, and Porepunkah and past vineyards, hops producers, orchards and groves. Your cycling leader will point out all the attractions along the way including the old tobacco kilns, a unique piece of High Country history. In the near distance, the towering Mount Buffalo dominates the skyline all the way into the Alpine hub of Bright. There may be another chance to stop at a winery en route to sample some of the local’s finest. When you arrive at Bright there will be time for a quick ride around town to get acquainted, before finding a quiet and shady spot beside the river to relax and rest the legs prior to checking in to tonight’s accommodation. As the so-called capital of the High Country and base for exploring the nearby mountains the popular town of Bright has an amazing array of activities – from fishing to a pampering spa – to enjoy, as well as many local cafes and restaurants. If you’re lucky enough to be here in autumn the fall foliage is second to none.
After an early breakfast enjoy your last ride of the trip as you leave the rail trail scenery of the last few days behind and head out on a loop ride towards (but not up!) nearby Tawonga Gap.
Start out riding along the mostly flat valley floor towards the tiny hamlet of Germantown then turn back along the quiet and slightly downhill gravel road that runs past serene farmland and eucalypts then through the pine plantations that dominate the hills above Bright. Be prepared to get your tyres (and perhaps your feet) wet on a creek crossing along the way, then finish by dropping back down into Bright itself, all in time for a quick shower before checking out.
For those wanting to stay a bit longer in Bright, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. The more active may wish to ride the excellent trails at the nearby Mystic Mountain Bike Park, take the invigorating hike up to Huggins Point, or enjoy the riverside Canyon Walk. Or chill out at the Bright Splash Park or in one of our favourite local cafes like Blackbird or Sixpence Coffee. Please note that special mountain bikes are required for Mystic Mountain Bike Park and these can be hired in Bright.
This evening is free for you to also explore this charming town. If you are staying on longer why not visit our favourite spot eat in town, the Dumu Balcony Cafe. Dumu, pronounced DOO-moo, is a training cafe that opened in 2014 and is part of a larger leadership program – a partnership between Bright and an Indigenous corporation called Thamarrurr Youth – that sees young people from Wadeye (the Northern Territory’s largest Aboriginal community) put forward by their community to attend high school in Bright and work at Dumu and have all sorts of other new experiences. Being a social enterprise, any profits go back into the partnership’s other programs that, in turn, support people in Wadeye.
Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.
This itinerary does not have a full-time support vehicle constantly following the group. Your luggage is always transported for you (by vehicle) between accommodations.
Due to the relatively small distances cycled on this trip, we have a single leader that rides with the group.
- Billson's Brewery Tour & tasting paddle
- Beechworth - Murray to Mountains Rail Trail guided ride
- Myrtleford - 3 days Bicycle Hire
We have put a calendar of events together that will provide you with some inspiration of what you can expect on your holiday, and when the best time to jet off is. Now’s your chance to travel further than you can by foot and be part of a memorable and exciting two-wheel journey with us.
15 Dec - 18 Dec
FROM £830 P/P