Mount Beauty - The name says it all!
by Stacey Begg
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Hidden away in North East Victoria, surrounded by mountains, the place I call home is often referred to “God’s Favourite Valley”. Home to Victoria’s highest mountain, Mt Bogong, the Kiewa Valley is both a staircase to, and from, the heavens. At the end of the valley, located at the base of Mt Bogong lies the beautiful small country town of Mt Beauty – and of course, the name says it all.
A bustling tourist destination in both winter and summer, it offers a wide range of adventure sports, family activities, luxury indulgences and everything else one requires for a weekend getaway or weeklong holiday.
As the gateway to Falls Creek, Victoria’s largest ski resort, Mt Beauty provides off-mountain accomodation and ski hire for those seeking the snow in winter, but also a base for those wanting to explore the Alpine National Park, by mountain bike or foot, in summer.
Things to do in Mt Beauty
Skiing and Snowboarding
Though not technically done in Mt Beauty, as the last stop before hitting the slopes at Fall Creek, Mt Beauty provides a range of ski-hires and accomodation for those not wanting to stay on-mountain. Ranging from luxury Spa stays, to motels and caravan parks, there is accomodation to suit all budgets. For those wanting to avoid the stress of driving up the mountain, there is also a coach service that takes snow seekers to the snow. Falls Creek Coaches provide several services a day from Melbourne, Albury and Mt Beauty to Falls Creek. They also provide a park-and-ride service so you can leave your car with them for a small fee if you’re staying on mountain. Don’t forget to pick up a coffee and snack from one of our many cafes before heading up the mountain!
In summer the Alpine National Park offers great hiking tracks for those of all ages. From short one hour walks through the plains to visit the old stockman’s huts, to those lasting a few days requiring camping out. The tracks are well sign posted and information on trails are available at the Mt Beauty Visitor Centre on the Kiewa Valley Highway as you enter the town centre. Check out Wallace Hut – the oldest in the Alpine National Park – still standing despite being surrounded by bushfires in 2003, its only a 1.5km return walk.
There are also beautiful walking tracks at the base of Mt Bogong, only 12km drive from Mt Beauty at Mountain Creek Campground, through fern gardens and bubbling creeks – a great one for the kids!
Challenge yourself to the Mt Beauty Conquestathon on Labour Day weekend in March with a hike up Mt Bogong – a 20km climb of over 1300m! Worth the hike for the amazing views of the valley.
Mt Beauty is home to Big Hill Mountain Bike Park – an internationally renowned park with world class tracks for both downhill and XC enthusiasts. Drop into the local Rocky Valley Bike Shop to get some info on the tracks before attempting to make it down (or up!) some of Australia’s best trails. All ages and abilities are catered for – great for those no-fear kids (and kids at heart!).
Team Mt Beauty (TMB) is the local club in charge of maintaining the tracks, and organising the many events put on every year – memberships available for access to bike shop discounts and free use of a bike trailer!
If you’ve got a speed boat hiding away in the shed and want to get it out for summer, the Mt Beauty Pondage provides the perfect location for water-based activities! The lake is regulated through the hydro electricity plant at West Kiewa, so levels can vary depending on the demands for electricity. Though, most days in summer provide adequate levels for all kinds of activities. The facilities available at the Mt Beauty Playground, where the boat ramp is located, include toilets, barbecues and shaded picnic areas, as well as a children’s playground.
Fishing is popular with both locals and visitors to Mt Beauty, with the wide range of water access catering to all ages and abilities. The Pondage provides a great beginners level, with waterside access around the perimeter and the regular release of trout and redfin. The Kiewa river provides for those wanting to just throw a line in or those keen on perfecting the art of fly fishing. Just don’t forget to purchase your Fishing Licence prior to heading out to avoid fines! Required by anyone aged 18-70, they are available for a small fee from Rocky Valley Bikes.
For those with a great sense of adventure and thrill seeking, Mt Beauty can offer rides in a two-seat glider, with an experience glider pilot, throughout the year. A great way to view the beauty of the valley and a truly unreal experience soaring through the air in silence.
Hang gliders and para-gliders are also a common sight in the skies, especially around January when Mt Beauty hosts the Bogong Cup Hang-gliding championship.
The Kiewa Valley is home to several local wineries, all of which provide tastings, some also provide meals at certain times of year. Grab a responsible driver and head off on an afternoon of treating your tastebuds!
If you have a passion for music, make sure you check out the Mt Beauty Music Festival run over a weekend at the end of April offering local, Australian and even international talents. The festival continues to grow year to year and now hosts 45 artists including musicians, poets and story tellers for all ages. Food and market stalls take over the main street and the happy vibes are infectious!
Sweet Valley Sounds is another music festival that has taken off in the last few years, a day long festival in January located at the base of the Big Hill Mountain Bike Park. Local food and drink stalls keep the crowd going through the warm day and night with entertainment from a range of Australian up and coming talents. Kids are kept entertained with face painting and kids entertainers, and local talents are shown between acts. A great day out for all ages!
What are you waiting for?
Escape that city life for a weekend of serenity, or treat those thrill seeking feelings to a week-long adventure in Mt Beauty and its surrounds. All year round you will find something to keep you and all the family entertained, and will no doubt fall in love with our hidden treasure and keep coming back year after year! Mt Beauty – the name says it all.
by Stacey BeggTuesday, July 26, 2016
A chocolate-loving, wine-drinking, travel addicted gym junkie! Having spent the past 2 years living and travelling in Europe, I'm back home in Australia saving up for my next adventure. 49 Countries down - many more to go!Read more at theineffableitinerary.com