DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Melbourne to Lakes Entrance road trip

Mixing much-loved destinations with under-the-radar locations, this path encompasses spectacular and variable scenery and retraces fascinating histories.

Enchanting end point: Lakes Entrance.


   
 
 

What: Melbourne to Lakes Entrance via Bright

Distance (approx.): 550km

Driving time (approx.): 7hr

Suggested time: 3-5 days

Summary: The route heads in a northeasterly direction along the Hume Highway before descending via the scenic Great Alpine Road to reveal the splendour of the High Country region. The end point is the relaxing Gippsland town of Lakes Entrance. 

Bright by name, bright by nature.

Highlights

  • Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, Seymour
  • Big Ned Kelly statue, Glenrowan
  • Wangaratta Art Gallery
  • Huggins Lookout, Bright
  • Alpine National Park
  • Oriental Claims Historic Area, Omeo
  • Ninety Mile Beach, Lakes Entrance

The journey

For easy navigation, we’ve divided this route into four sections:

  • Melbourne to Seymour
  • Seymour to Wangaratta
  • Wangaratta to Bright
  • Bright to Lakes Entrance

Melbourne to Seymour

The first leg of this route heads through Melbourne’s northern suburbs before arriving at the historical railway town of Seymour.

Located on the Goulburn River, Seymour has a wide variety of compelling attractions. Among them are the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk, a thought-provoking and well-presented war memorial; and Seymour Railway Heritage Centre, which operates regular train rides and offers guided tours by appointment.

In addition, several picturesque parks are dotted around town and create ideal picnic settings.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk. Credit: Mitchell Shire Council.

Seymour to Wangaratta

Continuing along the Hume Highway, this next stretch breathes life into the state’s infamous bushranger days. The easiest of diversions from the main road leads to Euroa, which includes an old bank that was robbed by Ned Kelly and his gang.

Further along, Benalla is just off the highway and its acclaimed art gallery includes works that focus on the area’s bushranger link. 

Benalla Art Gallery.

You can’t miss the Ned Kelly association in neighbouring Glenrowan. This township is the site of the final siege and capture of the bushranger and his gang, and the Big Ned Kelly statue is among many attractions here that relive the gripping banditry days.

Wangaratta is just off the Hume, too, and this vibrant city blends a wonderful art gallery and museum with pretty parks and gardens among more.


BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Big Ned Kelly statue.

Wangaratta to Bright

Following the Great Alpine Road, this section reveals the immense beauty of the High Country region.

The scenic path passes the pleasant town of Myrtleford, with a mix of attractions that warrant a stop, before reaching beautiful Bright. This instantly loveable town peaks with prettiness in autumn but is a treat for the eyes at any time of year.

Ovens River, Bright.

The enchanting scenery is best explored via myriad walking and cycling tracks, or kayak along the Ovens River. A handful of wineries and iconic Bright Brewery provide the chance to indulge while Huggins Lookout is the go-to spot to soak up vibrant vistas.

Bright makes an excellent base for exploring the wider region’s many delights, too.

Bright Brewery.

Note: An alternative route is to begin this leg along Snow Road before linking with the Great Alpine Road. This path incorporates the Italian-influenced King Valley wine region, regarded as Australia’s home of prosecco.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Pizzini Winery, King Valley.

Bright to Lakes Entrance

The final leg continues its descent towards the coast. It incorporates the charming old-gold village of Harrietville as well as the popular ski resorts of Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain as the road winds through spectacular Alpine National Park.

Roughly halfway between Bright and Lakes Entrance is another former mining town that warrants a stop: Omeo. Its golden past is best retraced at the nearby Oriental Claims Historic Area, which reveals evidence of its heady days among scenic surrounds.

Alpine National Park.

Continuing to snake through East Gippsland, this suggested route bids farewell to the Great Alpine Road at Bruthen and soon reaches the aquatic playground of Lakes Entrance.

The attractive town is so named for its positioning on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach where Gippsland Lakes merges with the Southern Ocean. Naturally water-based leisure abounds, but ample attractions and activities await those who wish to stay dry.

BIG4 accommodation along this leg

Lakes Entrance.

If you have more time…

Nagambie Lakes wine region: Explore a handful of excellent wineries, beginning roughly 30km north of Seymour.

Beechworth: Indulge in more bushranger yarns or tasty craft beer in this well-preserved historical town, 40km west of Wangaratta.

Mt Buffalo National Park: Breathtaking scenery is on display year-round, including waterfalls, granite tors, and various wildlife. It all begins 35km west of Bright.

Alpine National Park: Victoria’s biggest national park is home to towering peaks, premier ski fields, river valleys, and much more. Accessible from Bright.

Buchan Caves: Admire amazing limestone creations on regular tours, 55km northeast of Lakes Entrance.

Old Beechworth hospital ruins. 

Time for a Victorian road trip? Start by booking a stay at a featured BIG4 park below.

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