Day 1 Wangaratta to Bright
Head to Wangaratta by train from Melbourne or get a lift from a friend. Stage 1 is an easy 90 km rail trail from Wangaratta to Bright. A very pretty rolling old rail trail that passes through tobacco farms and some interesting old farms with car wrecks.
Day 2 Bright to Dargo
This is the Queen Stage of the trip with 115km and 2200m of climbing. Had a good breakfast in Bright (leaving by 8.30am) and morning coffee at Harrietville Bakery before the climb up to Hotham. The turnoff to Dargo is 10km from the Hotham summit and be prepared for a bumpy 4 hour section from the turnoff which includes around 45km of gravel. Last 10km or so is bitumen and a very nice descent into town. Great old pub to have a recovery beer and traditional “parmy” for the night.
Day 3 Dargo to Heyfield
This 120km stage leaves the alpine high country behind as you cycle into the edges of Gippsland. Very pretty rolling hills across the spine area and progressively heading to farmland via some quiet backroad routes. Stay at the very basic 1930’s Heyfield hotel and share a beer with some local stockmen in town for cattle market day. Another “parmy” for dinner…just for comparison.
Day 4 Heyfield to Walhalla
A short 55km stage from Gippsland farmland to the beautiful restored old gold mine town of Walhalla. This section includes about 50% gravel which has some steep pinches and a few gnarly, rocky sections that need to be taken cautiously. Very little traffic other than some enduro motorcycle riders and the local water truck. A very pretty downhill cruise for the last 10km into Walhalla.
Day 5 Walhalla Loop
This was the full day and second night spent in Walhalla. Great historic town to explore. Planned a 55km loop via Thomsons dam which is Victorias largest dam. Worst 25 km is a very quiet gravel road which is a 4wd track only. Slow going but very pretty section before finding the dam.
Back to Melbourne from here the following day with help from friends and a car. If not available then cycle toward Gippsland and catch the train!