I love the local lifestyle, but if there’s one thing I sometimes miss in summer, it’s being close to a beach.
That’s why our family likes to head to Lakes Entrance for our annual summer holiday and a fix of sand and surf.
It might be quite a hike over Mount Hotham and down to the Ninety Mile Beach and Gippsland Lakes, but the journey along the Great Alpine Road is all part of the road trip that we love.
Travelling with the family, including our Border Collie fur baby, we make time for plenty of stops to take in the scenery along the way.
First stop on our drive along The Great Alpine Road is Harrietville for a morning snack and stretch along the Ovens river (and a swim for our dog Jas)
The old gold township boasts several cafes, a couple of pubs, a lavender farm, blueberry farm and a homemade ice-creamery.
The stop sets us up for the beautiful journey through the Alps to Mount Hotham.
Travelling through the Alpine National Park during summer is a delight, with breathtaking views, soaring mountain peaks and fresh pristine air.
Mount Hotham is a popular destination in summer for hikers, bushwalkers, mountain bike riders, road cyclists as well as 4x4off road drivers. We like to simply stop and enjoy the cool alpine air.
As you meander past Dinner Plain and down to Omeo, the scenery changes from alpine beauty to lush grazing fields (even in summer the grass was still quite green this year).
Once the site of one of Victoria’s richest goldfields, Omeo is a great place for a quick walk, some retail therapy, a visit to galleries or a bite to eat.
The Great Alpine Road continues through the towns of Swifts Creek and Ensay.
These small towns have a rich history of mining, grazing and timber milling, but these days you’ll also find local wineries, cafes and fruit producers dotted along the way or nearby.
By the time we wind our way through more natural bushland to the village of Bruthen, you can almost smell the ocean.
The Tambo River is just to the south of the town and the East Gippsland Rail Trail between Bairnsdale and Orbost also passes through here.
Bruthen is home to the popular Bullant Brewery, which matches onsite brewed beer with regional sourced food.
It’s tempting to stop, but this time we’re eager to get to our destination.
The spectacular panoramic view as you descend into Lakes Entrance on the Princes Highway would be difficult to match.
I’ve seen this view so many times, but I still can’t resist stopping at one of the many lookouts to take in the view. Let the holidays begin!
For more information on driving The Great Alpine Road visit http://www.visitvictoria.com/Things-to-do/Touring-routes/The-Great-Alpine-Road.aspx