Words: Chris Panozzo                                                                         Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith

If only Australians celebrated mountain biking like they do surfing. I remember every news bulletin growing up would finish with the latest results from the World-Tour, here in the middle of the Aussie Alps I was painted a nightly picture of what Australian sport was if you weren’t that into footy, and that it was surfing. Sweet, surfing it was then, except for one problem, I was at least a five hour drive from my local break.

Now every kid in Australia has access to more mountain bike highlights on their phone than there are minutes in the day. Kids are telling their parents they want to go mountain biking, or maybe parents are telling their kids it’s time to go mountain biking, either way the next question is, how do I get to the Victorian High Country, and who do I know that can tell me where to ride?

Part 1 - A Locals High Country: Bright

Part 3 - Mt Beauty  


Where to Begin
When arriving during summer, make your way to the shipping container situated in the main carpark which saddles up just to left of the main road, it’s easy to find as it’s the only thing to the left of the main road bringing you into Falls from Beauty, apart from those endless views.

 

There are trail maps, a coffee machine, bike hire and shuttles available from this reliable pop up summer setting, with further café’s sprinkled throughout the village, the opening times vary at these cafés as locals toss a coin on whether to open or not each day, apart from QT, which runs 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, opposite the pop up shipping container.

What to Expect
The outlook from this hydro scheme turned ski village is breathtaking. 180-degree view of the valley floor 1500m meters below brings your normal pre ride routine to a halt. When pulling up to the main carpark, a simple look out the car window immediately takes you away from your worries and leaves a sense of wonder.

 

Pack for the day, with all the commercial built trails in a clover leaf pattern surrounding the village, there is always a way back to your base, but you will find yourself stretching your legs as the endless vistas call you away from the village. The cool temps even during peak summer are fantastic, but don’t let that fool you, pack sunscreen, it burns hot up here.

 

Rocks. Yes there is a lot of them, and the trail builders haven’t helped the situation by hunting them out during construction of the trails, but there is now a good mix of trails that have less rock and more packed in ground ready for wheels to make their mark.