Discover Victoria’s King Valley and High Country in pure class. With exclusive behind the scenes access to some of the regions best wine makers, gourmet dining experiences and luxury accommodation paired with travelling in the colourful Autumn or Spring, this journey is perfect for those who love to travel in style.
Follow your taste buds through the region’s best produce as you absorb some of the state’s wildest and most beautiful scenery. A journey transporting you through the times, learn of the fascinating bushranger history, tinker through quaint former goldmining towns and engage with an elder of the Wurundjeri people where you will experience the ancient tradition of Tanderrum. There is nothing quite like this in-depth journey through Victoria’s King Valley and alpine High Country.
Day 1 - Prosecco Road & Italian Hospitality
This morning your local guide will meet you in the lobby of your Melbourne CBD hotel (08:30am) before departing for the King Valley and High Country. The picturesque and bountiful King Valley is located at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, surrounded by mountains, rivers and rolling vineyards.
You could be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to the picturesque hills of Northern Italy. For the vineyards, perched on the fertile slopes that rise above the King River, are home to great wines and their makers. ‘Prosecco Road’ is an exciting food and wine trail that includes intimate tastings with these makers.
Your first stop will be Pizzini Wines located along ‘Prosecco Road’ in the heart of the King Valley. Like many of the surrounding vineyards, Pizzini Wines is a family owned and operated vineyard that specializes in the production of Italian wine varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and of course Prosecco!
Meet your host, then journey amongst the vines to learn how the Pizzini vineyard has evolved over the years, and why certain sites are more suited to particular varieties or wine styles than others. From the vineyard, you will venture into the winery to explore the barrel room. Enjoy a tutored tasting of current and vintage wines and learn how sight and the different ‘makers’ techniques have influenced wine styles over the years.
In true Italian fashion, enjoy a sumptuous grazing platter with estate wines for lunch overlooking the vineyard.
As for the afternoon, continue to sample wines at neighbouring King Valley vineyards, such as Chrismont and Dal Zotto Wines before transferring to your accommodation for the night, Lancemore at Milawa. The evening is yours at leisure with the option to dine at Restaurant Merlot or utilize the in-house room service. (L)
Overnight Lancemore Hotel, Milawa or similar
Day 2 - Explore the quaint township of Bright and the High Country
Today you journey deeper into Victoria’s High Country to explore the picturesque and historic village of Bright. Located on the Ovens River and surrounded by mountains, Bright has long been a popular getaway that offers something special in every season. Prior to departing the King Valley, enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the Lancemore, or perhaps opt for a sunrise balloon flight (not included).
Optional – Scenic Sunrise Balloon Flight over Milawa
Take in the beautiful King Valley and surrounds in your balloon at dawn. From the vineyards and patchwork of fields, the views expand to the King and Ovens Rivers, spectacular Mt Buffalo and High Country beyond. Gain a new perspective of the Milawa Gourmet region and ‘Prosecco Road’ from aloft to fully appreciate the enormous potential of the region. After returning to terra firma, celebrate your flight with a delicious Prosecco breakfast at Brown Brothers Winery. Price available on request.
Upon arrival in Bright, hop on a bicycle for a scenic ride taking in scenic views on a rail trail from Bright to Porepunkah (E-Bikes are available if preferred). As you take in the mountain views, break for an espresso at the Rail Trail Café. Further down the trail, the team at Feathertop Winery will share insights to the Boynton family’s favourite picnic spots amongst the vines. Select your preferred location then explore the grounds, while your vineyard service angels prepare your gourmet picnic lunch.
Returning to Bright, the afternoon is yours at leisure to explore the township and its stunning riverside setting. Foodies may wish to sample locally made chocolates, enjoy an ale at the friendly Bright Brewery, or gin tasting at Reed & Co Distillery. Alternatively, embark on the easy one-hour canyon trail which meanders along the banks of Ovens River and takes in two swing bridges. Your guide can assist with arrangements.
Departing Bright, venture on to historic Beechworth, arguably Australia’s best-preserved gold mining town. The evening is yours at leisure. Blessed with wonderful dining options, consider The Ox & Hound Bistro for something special, the Empire Hotel for warm hospitality and elevated pub fare, or pizzas and ale at Bridge Road Brewers. (B,L)
2 nights Freeman on Ford, Beechworth or similar
Day 3 - Bushrangers & the Gold-Rush in Historic Beechworth
Don’t let the graceful, gold-rush-era architecture and friendly folk of Beechworth fool you. The town was a hot bed of revolutionary fervour when the Kelly Gang roamed the countryside and were frequent guests of Her Majesty at Beechworth Gaol. Incensed with the brutal behaviour of the Victoria Police, Ned Kelly reputedly threatened to declare Victoria’s north-east a republic before his capture, conviction and execution in 1880. Life is calmer these days, with Beechworth ruled by food and wine producers, rather than bushrangers and the constabulary.
Following breakfast, join a local historian who will bring to life the stories of the gold-rush and infamous Kelly Gang on a private walking tour of this town steeped in history.
The afternoon is yours to continue to explore the town’s quaint boutiques, antique stores or visit the famed Beechworth Honey for a tasting. For the energised, walk to Woolshed Falls, home to thousands of miners during the height of the Gold Rush in the 1850’s.
Dinner this evening will be at Provenance, one of Australia’s most esteemed regional restaurants. Housed in the former Bank of Australasia building, Provenance’s reputation is as high as the soaring six-metre ceiling in the dining room. Chef Michael Ryan’s abiding fascination with Japan, finds expression in a menu that marries Australian produce with exquisite Japanese flavours. Enjoy the Chefs tasting menu with matched beverages. (B,D)
Day 4 - Scenic return to Melbourne via the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges
Farewelling the High Country, return to Melbourne along the scenic route travelling through the agriculturally rich and picturesque central Victorian countryside. In the foothills of the spectacular Cathedral Range, stop at Buxton Trout and Salmon, Australia’s first commercial Trout farm where trout have been reared for over 50 years. The gravity fed water supply originates from the pristine snowfields of Lake Mountain, providing the perfect place to grow clean, natural food. Join a private behind-the-scenes tour of the farm and sample their famous Mountain Ash Smoked Trout, premium hand-milked salmon caviar before dropping a line and catching your own lunch.
Your journey continues along one of the most ethereally beautiful drives in the state. The Black Spur cuts through the forest landscapes of the verdant Yarra Ranges. Savour the fragrance of the Australian bush, as you gaze up at the immense mountain ash trees scattering sunlight on the cool understorey of green ferns below.
On the outskirts of Melbourne, arrive at the Dandenong Ranges, a lush haven of hidden delights, secret fern glades, towering forests, and eclectic villages. Stop at Grants Reserve in the region’s heart, where you will be joined by an elder of the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of Melbourne and surrounds. Learn more of the land, the lore, and participate in the ancient tradition of Tanderrum – a ceremony to welcome guests to country.
From here it is just a quick hop step to central Melbourne, where your journey of Victoria’s King Valley & High Country concludes. (B,L)
- Pick up and drop off in Melbourne
- 3 nights hotel accommodation
- Services of a local expert guide
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
- National Park fees
- Private transportation
- Local taxes and levies
- International and domestic airfares
- Optional excursions
- Travel and medical insurance
- All services, meals other than those indicated above
- Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
- All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc.
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of 30% per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
|Start Date||End Date||Duration||Availability||Price|
|12th Oct 2020||15th Oct 2020||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|
|16th Nov 2020||19th Nov 2020||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|
|12th Apr 2021||15th Apr 2021||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|
|03rd May 2021||06th May 2021||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|
|12th Oct 2021||15th Oct 2021||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|
|16th Nov 2021||19th Nov 2021||4 Days||Limited availability||$3,465 AUD||Book Now|