The beauty of golden leaves spinning through the air with the touch of an invisible breeze, dancing elegantly along the way, murmuring the arrival of autumn, is one of nature’s most beautiful moments. Soon winter will set in and the trees will look naked, bereft of their gaiety but until then they will adorn the streets with their transient beauty. The beauty of autumn, one may find hard to describe with words. But for Melbournians, it is only a three-hour drive through the smooth roads of Hume Freeway to the carpets of gold and crimson to witness the final dance of trees before the icy cold winter. Autumn, for nature is the celebration of good times, and Bright in Victoria should be your destination to witness it.
Named after a British politician, John Bright – this picturesque village, was a star during Victoria’s gold rush days with the discovery of Gold at nearby Morses Creek and the Ovens River in the 1850’s. As a country town Bright had its good days and bad days. With the diminishing gold reserves, the town’s population dwindled after the 1870’s. The vision of its inhabitants restored the town’s glory as a tourist point due to its proximity to Mount Buffalo. In 1890 Bright was connected by railway to Myrtleford and Wangaratta which gifted its place in the Alpine tourism map. But Gold mining revived in the early 1900’s and bucket dredging left areas of overturned river bed and sludge which created unsightly landscape in many parts of the village. Planting trees was the only solution to bring back Bright’s picturesque beauty. Along with pine plantations, exotic trees were also planted along the streets which blessed Bright with its Autumn colours which attracts tourists today.
The Bright Autumn Festival is a ten-day celebration of the autumn colours and produce during April and May.
How to reach Bright
It is a 3.5-hour drive from Melbourne CBD via Hume Freeway with nearly 320 km to cover.
The nearest airpot is Albury with 1.5 hours from Bright. Qantas, REX Regional Express and Virgin operate several flights daily from Melbourne and Sydney.
Trains run daily from Melbourne and Sydney via Wangaratta. vline.com.au
VLine runs daily bus services to Bright. Phone 1800 800 007 or go to vline.com.au for a timetable. Alps Bus Link offers services from Bright to Omeo via Harrietville, Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain: Phone 5159 1377 or 0477 991 377 or go to omeobus.com.au
Alpine Spirit Coaches and Snowball Express operate coach services in the North East. Winter services available to Mount Hotham Resort refer to website for online alpinespiritcoaches.com.au and Snowball Express