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Introducing The High Country

Grab your bike, throw the skis on the roof, and get set for an action-packed trip to Victoria’s High Country, where the air is clear and the mountain scenery invigorating and spectacular. The High Country isn’t particularly high – the highest point, Mt Bogong, only reaches 1986m.

Although there are plenty of activities to do in the High Country, it’s the ski resorts that have really put this area on the map. Skiers and snowboarders flock here from Melbourne and the outlying areas during the winter months.

The ski season officially launches, with or without snow, on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June and runs until mid-September. The best deals are to be found in June and September (low season), with late July to August (high season) the busiest and most expensive time.

Others may prefer the year-round slothful delights of wine tasting, and during the summer (October onwards) there are outdoor activities such as horse riding, canoeing, abseiling and mountain-bike riding.

Eildon and the gateway towns (Mansfield, Myrtleford, Harrietville and Bright) are in the northwestern foothills. Omeo is the High Country’s southeastern gateway town.

Declared a national park in December 1989, the 646, 000-hectare Alpine National Park joins the high country areas of Victoria, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Recreation and ecotourism opportunities in the area are outstanding, particularly snow sports in the winter. Dispersed bush camping is available in areas running off 4WD and walking tracks, while on principal roads the use of designated camping areas is encouraged. The area’s many walking tracks include the Australian Alps Walking Track, which extends 655km through the park from Walhalla to the outskirts of Canberra.

The park is a spectacular and fragile en­vironment, and the vegetation throughout is quite diverse. In spring and summer the slopes are carpeted with beautiful wild­flowers. More than 1100 plant species have been recorded in the park, including 12 that are unique to Australia.