Up there with the friendliest, most hospitable places I’ve visited in Australia is Bright. It’s a small town in Northeastern Victoria with plenty going on. I probably wouldn’t have found it were it not for the fact I needed somewhere to stay when I ultimately came here so that I could try my hand at snowboarding on Mount Hotham. You’ll have to excuse the grey, bland photography I resort to for this, because I can assure you that Bright is a picturesque little place and deserves to be portrayed in a much better manner. The poor quality is for good reason – it was the middle of Australian winter, it was cold, it was damp, and well, it was awesome.
Bright is ideally situated near the Victorian Alps, which means you can get to most, if not all, of the good spots for skiing and snowboarding quite easily. It also isn’t too far from Melbourne, which meant that Billy got to come along with us.
You can see here just how close the mountains are to Bright. With a bit of imagination, you can also see how cool you look slaloming down them. Right?
As I mentioned, the initial pull was because I wanted to learn to snowboard, and it worked out much more economical to stay in Bright, catching the coach up Mount Hotham to the slopes, and then return in the evening. However, that meant that whenever I wasn’t falling flat on my face and completely failing at the pommel lift, I had time to explore a little bit.
Now Billy being Billy wants to go for lots of walkies, because hes a good fluffy boy. So we obliged – and you can see him at the side of the picture above.
I noticed a couple of things about Bright which add to its allure.
1. It’s quiet. Very quiet.
Bright has a small population, so when out walking in the middle of winter, you don’t really come across too many people. Certainly not a bad thing if you’re looking for some well earned respite after a day up the mountain.
2. It’s pretty. Very pretty.
I can only imagine how it looks in the summer and autumn. Bright has more than its share of tree-lined streets which I’m sure look amazing when the leaves begin to fall. It also has a river running through, which is mostly what I ended up taking photos of. Unfortunately they really don’t do the place justice. Gloomy winter days tend not to be too good for making somewhere look its best. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
What I’m trying to say is, it might be small, and it might cut into your time on the slopes, but you shouldn’t write off this gem of a town from your plans if you find yourself in the area. It certainly has the charm to make your vacation that little bit better, and a little bit different.