We probably wouldn’t have thought of staying at Porepunkah (near Bright) if Don Corliss hadn’t urged us to come visit. Don and Denise do the relief manager’s job at Porepunkah Pines Caravan Park, so they know the area well. Now that we’ve been there, we’ll go back and stay another time – Porepunkah is a lovely little town just a few km from Bright, and handy to all sorts of attractions in the Alpine area.
You can read more about Porepunkah Pines and the surrounding attractions here:
There’s a delightful little walking track that winds its way along beside the Ovens river. It takes only 10-15 minutes to walk from the caravan park into Porepunkah, where you can enjoy coffee and a meal at the Rail Trail cafe or have a meal at the pub. Our site allowed us to sit looking out at the river and the suspension bridge, so we could watch walkers and bike riders while we relaxed outside the caravan. The colours in Autumn are just stunning – brings back memories of growing up in Bathurst, when you really knew when it was autumn!
There are several small towns around here: you can go back to Eurobin or Myrtleford or move on to Bright and Harrietville. Our stay coincided with the Bright Autumn Festival, so accommodation was at a premium… if you decide to time your visit to go to the festival, it might be a good idea to book ahead!
THE BRIGHT AUTUMN FESTIVAL
Bright makes an effort to include as many of the town businesses and attractions as possible in the festival program, so you can entertain yourselves over a whole week instead of just a weekend (or one day). In the days leading up to Gala Day (Saturday) we visited the Red Stag Deer and Emu Farm and the Bright Berry Farm, as well as the Wedding Belles Display (wedding dresses through the years) and the Art and Craft display at Wandiligong. Unfortunately we arrived in the area a couple of days too late for the associated Wandi Nut Festival (the previous weekend) – it sounds like it would have been great!
If you’re interested for next year, here’s the Festival site: http://www.brightautumnfestival.org.au/
I also meant to fit in a tour of some of the open gardens, but just ran out of time! (If you’re a keen gardener, you’ll enjoy this aspect of the festival.)
Gala Day at the festival, on Saturday, was excellent! I knew that the Grand Parade was due to start at 1.45, so I thought we might go in at around 10-ish, spend an hour browsing around the street stalls, and then maybe duck back to the park for a few hours before the parade. Well…that didn’t happen! There was so much to see and do that there simply wasn’t time to go back to the van. Music galore (buskers and bands) kept everyone entertained, and there were SO many stalls. I really liked the way the stalls lined the roads in front of the everyday businesses in Bright, so visitors wound in and out of shops and stalls all day. We caught up with other caravanners, had coffee and a quick snack for lunch, and really enjoyed the parade. There’s a great sense of community in Bright, and you can see it reflected in the festival. I could easily go back and do it all again… which is surely the sign of a good festival!
Marie, on the site next door, bought a gorgeous alpaca blanket for under $100 – she says she would have paid two or three times as much if she’d bought it retail.
Rob was keen to do a day trip to Mt Buffalo, so I went along with it even though I’m not keen on winding mountain roads! I’m so glad I went along: it was one of the highlights of our trip to the area. We passed keen cyclists powering their way up the road (sitting DOWN. I don’t believe it. Who cycles up a mountain road without having to stand up and pedal? The kind of cyclists who find their way to the Alpine area, that’s who.) We were amused when we called into the Dingo’s Den coffee shop at Mt. Buffalo to see a sign on the glass wall near the comfy corner lounge saying ‘Please – no food & no lycra in this area’! I asked the guy behind the counter if it was okay for us to go and sit there with our coffee, and he said it was fine because we looked like responsible adults, adding: “It’s just kids who drop food down behind the cushions, or those stinky bike riders in their lycra sitting on it!”
The views from Mount Buffalo are truly magnificent. We took a gazillion photos and short videos from the various viewing platforms, and amused ourselves watching abseilers of various degrees of competency having a shot at rappelling down the cliff face. The place was quite busy when we were there, which made it all the more interesting. Highly recommended!
We stayed at Porepunkah for six days before moving on to Yackendandah. This is just one of the most BEAUTIFUL areas – we’ll be back for sure, and I can see how this could easily become a favourite. We ran into a caravanner from Melbourne who said he’d been holidaying in the area for decades, and said he never tires of coming back… that returning to Bright/Porepunkah was like ‘slipping into a pair of comfortable old shoes’.
Why haven’t we been down this way before??? 🙂