Have you and your daughter ever gone on a mini getaway together? If so, how long ago was it?
I had never taken my daughter away on a long weekend, where it was just the two of us. We decided to make the most of my 4 days off between night shifts and explore some of our beautiful state of Victoria.
Day One: Melbourne to Bright
As we were in no rush to get to Bright, we decided to stop and explore a few spots along the way. Brunch of scones, jam and cream was at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie (definitely worth checking out throughout May if you’re a fan of rocky road chocolate).
Our next stop was at Yea and the Y Water Discovery Centre, conveniently located at the Yea Information Centre. There are a few walking tracks through the centre, that enable opportunities to view platypus and koalas throughout the rivers accessible on the easy walk.
The final stop before arriving in Bright (aside from a cheeky late lunch at McDonalds in Benalla) was Devenish and a look at the grain silos. While it was a slight detour off our main roads to Bright, the hour round trip was definitely worth it when we saw the work that had been put in to depict two nurses from two different periods in Australia’s Defence history.
On arrival in Bright, we checked into our cabin at Riverside Holiday Park, conveniently located across the river from the main street. A perfect location to base yourself while in Bright, with easy access via foot or car to all major locations in town. We had booked a 2 bedroom cabin, that while provided us with plenty of room, could have easily catered for 4-6 people quite comfortably.
Day 2: Bright/Mount Buffalo
Waking to rain, was a little disappointing, however the view from the cabin of the autumn leaves over the river certainly made up for it.
After breakfast at Ginger Baker and a look around the river precinct at Porepunkah, we headed up Mount Buffalo for what we hoped to be amazing views over Bright and the alpine region.
After a couple of photo opportunities at some waterfalls along the way, we stopped at the observation point just below Mount Buffalo Chalet (currently under restoration). At a rather chilly 2 degrees, we unfortunately met thick grey fog rather than amazing views, and headed further up the mountain in search of coffee and hot chocolates. A brief stop beside Lake Catani showed a beautiful backdrop of the fog rolling in over the lake, before having coffee at Dingo Dell a few minutes further up the road.
Stopping again at the lookout near the Chalet, we came across what Bella is more than happy to call snow – it may have been more like hail, but who am I to disappoint a 6 year old. The smile on her face certainly made the cold and wet weather worth it.
Dinner that night was at Bright Brewery – I can definitely recommend the Southern style pork ribs with a schooner of Alpine ale.
Day 3: Bright to home
After promising to return soon, we checked out of the cabin and headed into Myrtleford for breakfast, before heading out towards Beechworth.
We arrived outside Beechworth Gaol just in time to join the 11am tour. With a history that involves notorious personalities such as Ned Kelly and Carl Williams, the tour is worth doing, especially if interested in local and Australian history. We even heard of a prisioner who kept his peaches from breakfast and dessert in an attempt to make home brew alcohol while in his cell – this certainly amused Isabella.
After lunch at Beechworth Bakery – can’t go passed a Snickerdoodle – we headed into Glenrowan to further our bushranger history lesson. If you haven’t been to Glenrowan, it is the location of the last siege and capture of Ned Kelly. While there is some work to be done in terms of maintaining the historical markers, the walk through town stopping at each of the 7 markers provides a great insight into the events that led to the capture and arrest of one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers.
After driving a total of 978 kilometers over the three days, we arrived back at home, ready to start planning our next mother/daughter getaway.
If you’re unsure about whether or not to book your own little getaway, we couldn’t recommend it enough. It was a great way to spend time together without the stress of school, homework, work and cooking dinners.
Where would you recommend we head to next?