The Great Alpine Road
The Great Alpine Road, stretching more than 300km from Wangaratta to Bairnsdale, is one of Australia's classic summer touring routes.
Wind your way along Victoria's Great Alpine Road, from Wangaratta in the north-east right across to Metung on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Gippsland Lakes.
The 339-kilometre adventure along Australia's highest year-round accessible sealed road takes you right up close to Victoria's diverse landscapes. Travel through lofty mountain ranges, down plunging valleys, into lush forests, and past rolling vineyards along the way to the sparkling waterways on Gippsland's coast.
Dine on fresh local produce, sample regional wine varietals, or catch your own lunch by throwing a line in a mountain stream as you go.
Be guaranteed an amazing journey year-round, with hiking, cycling, camping and high-adrenaline adventure opportunities an alternative to the perennially popular wintertime snow action. Whatever the season you'll be sure of breathtaking views, unforgettable scenery and warm welcomes in the villages along the way.
The Great Alpine Road is fully sealed and is open all year. However, expect snow and ice in winter and snow chains must be carried during the official snow season - Queen's Birthday in June to the first weekend in October (dates change yearly). Snow chains can be hired from outlets along the way, and dropped off on the other side of the mountain by arrangement.
Detours from the Great Alpine Road
If you have driven the Great Alpine Road a few times, there are several detours that can be taken from the main route that offer a bit of variety. A favourite for many is to start the drive by taking the Snow Road exit from the Hume Freeway, rather than the Great Alpine Road exit. This joins up with the Great Alpine Road a few kilometres west of Myrtleford, but takes you through the foodie townships of Oxley and Milawa.
Another popular detour is via Beechworth- at Tarrawingee take the exit to Beechworth where you can experience the Everton Upper wineries, visit the old gold mining town of Eldorado or sample delicious goats cheese at Tolpuddle Farm before arriving into historic Beechworth. From Beechworth take the road to Myrtleford where you will rejoin the Great Alpine Road.
Please take note that much of the Great Alpine Road is either National Park in which domestic animals are not permitted or the Mt Hotham Resort, where domestic animals are only permitted with a permit from the Mt Hotham Resort Management Board.