A Weekend on the Great Alpine Road
The journey we are on has a bit of a twist. We are following the route of a festival that is known as the Great Alpine Roast, celebrating all of the wonderful producers along this great drive. So, if you are going to do this, be prepared to loosen your belt buckle and lap up the incredible produce put on by some of the most warm-hearted locals you could dream of!
Seeing as Clint and I are going to eat our way along this drive, we decided to bring our friends Emma and Sean to really enjoy an indulgent weekend.
About 400 kilometres from Melbourne, we begin our journey at the foothills of Mt Hotham at the alpine ski town of Dinner Plain. As soon as we step out of the car, the temperature has dropped to a crisp 10 degrees, perfect for our first destination, dinner at Rundell Lodge’s Graze restaurant. It’s just what you’d wish for – the fire is crackling, the red wine is superb, and we devour a dinner of scrumptious roast beef, locally grown vegetables and homemade Yorkshire puddings with owners Gary and Marg who have been coming to the mountains all their life. Five years ago, they decided to retire here and soak up this crisp mountain air. You can see why. The place is absolutely stunning.
Another day, another treat. We all feel a million miles away from our daily lives. We leave Dinner Plain and head south along the Great Alpine Road. The scenery is timeless as we pass through country towns filled with historic buildings of the gold rush era. Fifteen minutes down the road from Omeo, we are welcomed to our next destination, Nullamunjie Olive Grove. It is a dream-come-true for local Annie, who went to Greece and fell in love with olives. She came home and planted hundreds of olive trees with her bare hands in the very region her family had been driving cattle since the 1800s. We enjoyed a lunch of fresh pasta and the perfect amount of extra virgin olive oil. The afternoon slipped away and melted into the evening.
The passengers in our Subaru XV are getting a little heavier! We have one final stop on our ‘Great Alpine Roast’. It’s in a little town called Bruthen. Welcome to the Bullant Brewery! This is the story of another passionate local. Neil Triggs had been brewing beer in his backyard most of his life, and loved it so much that he decided to share it with the world. Craft beers are perfectly matched with food, and the hardest thing is to know is whether you choose the beer first and match the food, or the food first and match the beer!
Being on such a unique drive really is an incredible way to spend a weekend. Whether it’s two or three days, or more, it really doesn’t matter. There are so many wonderful places to stay along the way, so many tempting places to eat and above all so many incredible locals that welcome you in.
Do you like road trips? If yes, what’s your favourite road trip you’ve ever been on?