Wow, beautiful Bright. It didn’t take me long to realise why everyone loves this place.
If you’re heading to Bright on a long weekend, or like I was, Easter long weekend, expect traffic and loads of it. What was meant to take 3 and a half hours nearly took 5 – probs my fault for the cheeky KFC stop which took 30 minutes waiting for food.
Anyway, not the point, it was long, but who doesn’t love a road trip? Once you start coming into towns like Myrtleford and Porepunkah, you get a taste for those beautiful autumn trees and then you hit Bright and like I said before, wow!
Driving into Bright was like driving into a country town in the US, the ones where people live on these huge farms with loads of trees. Autumn is so stunning in Bright, those bright yellow, red, orange and purple trees had me gazing at them the whole weekend – as well as taking 1,000 photos. It was really just beautiful.
Home for the long weekend was this gorgeous Air Bnb right in the centre of town, it was a quick walk to the shops, or the pub and a great place. The big living space and the master bedroom was beautiful! Definitely, recommend this property and it sleeps 6 so if you’re with a group it is perfect.
Joining me on my amazing Bright getaway was my parents, old Wayno and Sueboo but also friends Abbey (Abigail) and Britt (Brattany).
To kick off the adventure on morning one was a beautiful walk down along the river, to admire the beautiful setting of Bright, nestled in the mountains surrounded by nature, Bright is essentially a snow town so the lodge deco makes the town seem so cozy and welcoming.
But really, it wouldn’t be a MacInnes family holiday without some level of dysfunction, so as we disembark on our walk heading for some breakfast, Dad realised he needed the toilet. So he rushed off, Mum and I followed heading for the toilet too. Let me paint the picture for you whilst we were waiting after finishing.
“I thought I heard Dad whilst I was in the toilet” – Me
“Oh I don’t think it was Dad, I think it may have been a lady with a very upset stomach” – Mum
Moments later we see Dad coming out of the female toilets in distress, yep so in a rush to ensure he didn’t have an accident he, in fact, walked straight into the female toilets.
“Well, it isn’t like the signs are confusing are they?” – Dad
“Why do you do these things?” – Me
“I don’t really know” – Dad
Anyway, we headed off to breakfast in absolute fits of laughter at my very embarrassed father. The river walk was beautiful though.
So breakfast places in Bright, there are actually loads! On the Saturday we headed to Food Wine Friends. A cute cafe in the main street with super friendly staff and an eclectic vibe. Dad loved the coffee and I had the Friend something (oh god now I can’t remember but you can see it below), it was yum! The menu offers a nice wide variety and the food is really great!
On this particular Saturday, I’m not sure if they have this in the busy periods, but the main street closed for a market, loads of stall with nice handmade stuff, food and all kinds of items to buy! They also had a farmers market down by the river.
To fill in some time before Bratt and Abbey arrived, we headed on a road trip to Mt Beauty and Mt Beauty is a beauty alright.
The drive in is windy and car sick worthy but the lookouts and views make it all so worth it.
The town is small but really cute and again those beautiful trees added another 1,000 to my camera roll. A walk around the lake will get your heart rate up and, fun fact was also used to produce power back in the day.
Back to Bright and it was time for lunch! With the amazing bakeries, it isn’t hard to decide what to have. First, try? Beechworth Bakery for a Ned Kelly pie and a beesting! What are these two you ask?
Well, the Ned Kelly pie is a beef pie with egg, bacon and cheese on the lid! It is yum. The beesting is a famous dessert to the area, I can describe it as a donut type cake cut in half with custard in the middle and icing sugar on top, it is a MUST try! So delish, but they are huge so you could cut it in half and share if you want.
Eating down by the river is so peaceful and beautiful it really is the ideal stop for a picnic (and bevs if you can).
Bratt and Abbey arrived, but before our delish seafood dinner at home, it was time to try the Bright Brewery. Massive place overlooking the river with a massive selection of beers, wines and cider (they don’t do vodka), as well as food.
Wayno served me – not my Dad – and gave me a free drink after he nearly charged me for two drinks, not one. When Britt said “you should have charged her anyway” he handed me the drink card and said: “tell your friend, ha ha I got a free drink”. Well, of course, I did that!
After dinner it was off to the local football netball club for their function, yeah we crashed it. We arrived just before 9:30pm for the live band. Well, it was great but the band (called the Screaming Eagles might I add) finished at 9:30pm and then they all packed up.
Okay, so places to go in Bright to drink? Well, firstly we headed to the Alpine Hotel for another band. It was packed! A guy did try to dance with me and was shocked when Bratt introduced him to my Dad, the poor guy.
Making friends with the security guard on the way out we found out his daughter’s name was Abigail. Look how happy he is with this…
So once the band had finished it was the next stop, Dr Mauve Bar and Lounge. This is the bar all the younger people in the area go to – well I’m assuming. It was really quirky and has a nice warm winter vibe. After some digging, it turns out the football-netball functions finish early and then they head to this place, well we definitely don’t do that where I’m from.
The place closed around 1:30pm and guess what… no place open for food after, devastated. So it was chicken crimpy shapes in bed for us.
Happy Easter! Woke up on the Sunday feeling pretty seedy, but that won’t stop chocolate for breakfast with a side of bacon.
But there was no time for hangovers it was off to sweat it out with the Canyon Walk, which is along the river and heads slightly out of town. A beautiful bush walk and is around 3km, not a beautiful walk when you’re hungover – us not so beautiful, not the walk itself.
We stopped by the river for some rock skipping and rock throwing. Hot tip – don’t let Abbey throw rocks, she can get cm’s away from small children. So that ended that activity.
In the river loads of people canoe, float in tubes and swim. In summer it is a great swimming spot and they even have a water slide and little water park down the eastern end of the river.
Then it was off to Gum Tree Pies for the most amazing pie – yes meat pie again. The curry steak is amazing, so homemade and so fresh!
After trying to be fit girls it was a nap on the couch before gearing up for the winery – the hangover was real.
But after a nap, some panadol and a shower and we were back to life and off to Ringer Reef Winery in Porepunkah.
On Easter Sunday, they had a band on the lawn and platters. It was great, wine and a platter on a Sunday listening to live music and enjoying the autumn trees, does it get much better?
If you’re looking to find somewhere nice for dinner in Bright, there are loads of nice restaurants, like tons. But the one we went to on Sunday night was amazing!
Reed & Co is a gin distillery and I stumbled across it online and booked before we left.
They do have a sharing option but we opted for our own mains and shared the sides. The duck, steak and lamb are amazing!!
So is the bread with salami as an extra and the potatoes for side with the zucchini. All the food we tried was seriously so good.
As for the gin, it was also great. I’m not a massive gin fan but it was nicer than other gins I’ve tried. So if you’re looking for a nice meal whilst in Bright, definitely check out Reed & Co.
The Sunday night was A LOT quieter than the Saturday night and as the bartender at the Alpine told us, everyone is dead after a massive Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So Mum, Dad, Abbey, and Britt had a game of doubles pool before we headed home – it was possibly the worst game of pool I’ve seen.
Our last morning in Bright and we headed for breakfast before taking off. Ginger Baker was our choice and with the wait for a seat was still so worth it! The veggie breakfast was delish and very filling, massive meal sizes.
A cute little cottage cafe on the edge of the beautiful trees was just stunning – but sorry I forgot to take a picture of it.
Then it was time to hit the road. On the way home, we stopped in at Mount Buffalo – which I guess we could say wasn’t really a “stop in” but more of an hour drive up a very steep mountain.
When we reached the top, we were amazing at the view for 5 seconds before the clouds covered it completely over, oh good. Nice.
We did, however, see a rock climber scaling the mountain, and this isn’t a small one. How crazy is that?!
Anyway, we walked down to Lake Catani for a look, which was beautiful before heading back.
At Mount Buffalo there over 90km of walking tracks, so there is a lot to see and do! So beautiful but you definitely need a full day to explore. We also got crappy weather.
Before heading back to the big smoke it was a quick stop at Roma Pizzeria Kafe for a pizza slice or 10, delicious and then some snacks before the 4-hour drive home.
Bright is seriously stunning, the surrounding towns are beautiful and it really truly is a gem of Victoria.
From the autumn trees to the amazing historic style town, this place needs to be on your road trip list.
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