A Tourist Drive from Mt Beauty – Yackandandah – Beechworth – Bright and Wandiligong.
Places of interest: Yackandandah, Beechworth, Bright & Wandiligong.
Highlights: Historic buildings, museums, galleries, wine & food, gold panning, pottery
Duration: ½ day or all day (but you could really spend two days exploring this area)
Drivers Advisory: None
Head north out of Mt. Beauty on the Kiewa Valley Highway, following the signs to Wodonga. After passing through Dederang township (careful of the speed limit signs!) the road to Wodonga veers to the right. This is about 38 Kms out of Mt. Beauty. Do not take the highway to Wodonga … keep heading straight ahead past an electricity switch yard to your left. Continue on this road. The radio masts on the top of Mt. Stanley to the right of the road will indicate that you’re getting closer to Yackandandah. About 14 Kms out of Dederang you will reach an intersection. Take the right. Keep alert as you get closer. About 21 Kms out of Dederang, you will see a turn to the right towards Osborne’s Flat. The strawberry winery & the patisserie are worth visiting. 2 Kms further on, the left turn takes you to one of the country’s best potteries at Kirby’s Flat on the outskirts of Yackandandah township. This historic gold town was the birthplace of Governor General Sir Isaac Isaacs & is full of quaint shops & museums.
From Yackandandah, follow the road signs to Beechworth. Beechworth with its famous bakery, historic buildings & Ned Kelly legends is a great place to spend some time.
Beechworth Bakery will provide you the sustenance to continue towards Myrtleford. Continue along this street (Albert Rd.) you will see a signpost to the right directing you to Mt. Buffalo. This road takes you down through the Buckland Gap & when you reach the bottom keep an eye out for the Hume & Hovell memorial on your left hand side. Shortly after you will meet up with the Ovens Highway. Turn left here towards Myrtleford & Bright. Around the Gapsted area you will glimpse your first views of Mt. Buffalo to the right. As you drive along you will pass orchards, walnut & chestnut farms, tobacco plots & hop growing areas. As you reach the outskirts of Myrtleford, take a break at the Phoenix Tree(on the left) before proceeding on towards Bright. Drive through the Bright shopping area until you reach Churchill Avenue on your right. Turn here towards Wandiligong.
Wandiligong is a historic mining area & it is well worth driving around to look at the old miner’s cottages. Down by the river is a park, ideal for children.
On leaving, follow the route back along Churchill Avenue to the Ovens Highway & there, turn right. This goes towards Harrietville, keep an eye out for the left hand turn over the narrow Ovens River bridge towards Tawonga & Mt. Beauty. It’s an easy 30 min. drive from home, so stop to take in the breathtaking views of the Kiewa Valley & the Alps from the top of the Tawonga Gap. You will find a viewing platform directly facing Mt. Bogong. A little on the downhill side, you will come to Sullivan’s Lookout with wonderful views over Mt. Beauty township. A little further along is Lawler’s Spring. Located on the right hand side of the road, this gives you a taste of the sweet water typical of the areas mountain springs.