KAYAKING, CAVING AND CLIMBING

RAFTING ON THE OVENS

You meet your guide Tim on a quiet bend in the Ovens River down behind the residential streets where no tourist would think to look.

Standing there with eight others in your wetsuit listening to Tim's safety briefing as the river surges by, you start to feel nervous. But nerves will have to wait – it’s time to launch.

Tim holds the kayak steady as you step in, heart pounding. This is what it’s all about, right? Pushing yourself to the limits, living on the edge. Besides, how hard can it be? It’s a beginner’s run after all – at least, that’s what you tell yourself.

One by one you push out into the current; the water quickens beneath you, its rippling white fingers reaching up and pulling you along.

“Stay left,” Tim yells. You thrust your paddle ahead to your right and turn your torso as you stroke. Amazingly, your kayak moves left. You smile proudly.

The pace quickens. You move through some boulders, your hips pivoting beneath you as you keep your torso straight. Sunlight flickers on the water’s surface as you carve your way down the river. Birds in the towering gums along the water’s edge watch on, calling out songs of encouragement.

Up ahead, you notice the water drop over an edge to a place you can’t quite see. The kayak moves toward it, faster and faster and you realise you're going to go over. You stop breathing, you try to keep straight, and then the moment arrives: you plummet over the edge, landing, thankfully, upright.

Woah, you laugh, realising you only dropped 30cm or so.

The hour passes as fast as the water runs, and soon you’re helping to drag your kayak out of the river near a footbridge. A minibus is there to take you back.

“How was that?” beams Tim, reading your smile as he collects your wet gear. “You should come back for one of our other tours.”

He hands you a brochure: 'Rock climbing, abseiling, caving, kayaking and paddleboard hire'.

You’re keen, but those adventures are for another day. There’s still so much you haven’t done… like visit the brewery. And you’ve had your heart set on going to the snow for a sled dog ride.

The clock is ticking. Which one do you do next?

Choose your next adventure, or scroll down for more outdoor activities

CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE TOURS

Bright has two fabulous outdoor adventure companies that offer a wide range of activities, including kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling and caving as well as winter snow shoe tours. Check out both Adventure Guides Australia and Bright Adventure Company to find a tour that suits your style.

ROCK CLIMBING & ABSEILING

Abseil or rock climb the awe inspiring granite formations of Mount Buffalo with experienced guides. These activities are most suited to summer due to harsh winter conditions in the alpine areas, although alternate locations are available during the colder months.

PADDLEBOARDING

This fun and easy activity is well suited to summer when the river runs gently. Hire your paddleboard from Bright Adventure Company and head out on the still water at the Bright River Pool or Porepunkah River Pool. Kayaks are also available for hire. A great activity for families.

KAYAKING TOURS

Kayak the scenic Ovens river anytime of year. In winter, the river runs fast and high, making it an ideal white water rafting experience, while in summer when water levels drop and the current slows, it's perfect for a leisurely float that allows you to settle in and enjoy the views.

CAVING TOURS

Escape the heat in summer and head underground on a caving tour of Mount Buffalo. Choose between adventures in the underground river cave or a dry canyoning tour that can include everything from abseiling, rock climbing, rock scrambling and ladder climbs.

HIKING TOURS

Are you looking for a guided hiking adventure on the alpine peaks? Try Hedonistic Hiking for a full-service walking tour with experienced guides.

CLIFF PICNIC

These picnics are not for the faint hearted. Perfect for winter when the cliffs of Mount Buffalo are too dangerous to climb, grab a friend and hang over the edge instead – 300m above the valley floor. Your hanging picnic rug comes complete with a packed picnic lunch, helmet and safety harnesses. Enjoy!

HORSE RIDING TOURS

Experience the alpine landscape 'Man From Snowy River' style on a guided horse ride with Bogong Horseback Adventures based in the stunning Kiewa Valley.

MOUNTAIN BIKE GUIDES

Get shown the best trails our alpine region has to offer and experience the Bright, Mount Beauty, Dinner Plain and Falls Creek with an experienced MTB guide. Check out Bright MTB, CyclePath, ATC Bright, Alpine Expeditions, Mint Tours and Blue Dirt Mountain Biking for a range of different services.

SWIMMING HOLES

COOL OFF THE NATURAL WAY

Take a dip in the river or cool off at a lake. Our natural swimming spots are the ideal way to spend a hot summer's day.

swimming buckland valley summer 4_3

PREPARE FOR ANYTHING

From snow to bushfires, floods and gale-force winds, the weather in the High Country can be fierce and change rapidly. Always check conditions before venturing out, ensure your equipment is working and carry adequate food, water and warm clothing. Importantly, download the VicEmergency and the Emergency Plus apps to your phone.

Notify someone of your plans before you set out. Many parts of the High Country have poor or no mobile phone coverage. In remote areas, emergency beacons and satellite devices are recommended for your safety.

LEAVE NO TRACE

Our region is sensitive to human presence. We are privileged to have endangered animals such as platypus, pygmy possums and alpine dingoes surviving in our environment. Your behaviour has a direct impact on our flora and fauna. When driving or riding, stay on formed roads and don't cut new lines. Protect our wildlife and the beauty of our environment by taking all rubbish with you.

Never light a fire on a Total Fire Ban day. When fires are permitted, always extinguish your campfire completely before leaving. Enjoy our outdoors, and remember, leave no trace.

OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU'LL LOVE

Kayaking - Adventure Guides Australia

Kayaking – Adventure Guides Australia

If you are wanting to keep cool in summer then this activity is for you. Adventure Guides Australia have various kayaking options available to suit your needs. Activities include guided white water kayaking experiences on the Ovens River in Bright and flat water kayaking on Lake Catani on Mount Buffalo, Lake Sambell in Beechworth or…

Hedonistic Hiking's Sunset Dinners on Mount Buffalo

Hedonistic Hiking’s Sunset Dinners on Mount Buffalo

Hedonistic Hiking offers a series of Sunset Dinners on Mount Buffalo, on selected evenings during the summer months. Close to Bright in north east Victoria, this beautiful granite mountain is home to a number of unique plants and wildlife and gives shelter to lyrebirds, wombats and possums amongst many other species. The highest point on…

Bright & the Victorian High Country

Bright & the Victorian High Country

Explore an area of outstanding natural beauty with mountains, rivers and lush fertile valleys and picturesque historic towns. Gracious avenues of poplars, maples, silver birches, pin oaks, liquid amber and verdant ashes – many planted early last century – cloak the towns and villages of the area in stunning foliage. Dotted along the Ovens and…

Great Alpine Walk 7-Day - Self-Guided

Great Alpine Walk 7-Day – Self-Guided

Few places in Australia offer such a diversity of pristine scenery and hiking options as the Victorian Alps. This inn-to-inn walk traverses striking landscapes of alpine forests, grassland, snow-blanketed mountains, precipitous ridges and high plains. The alpine hiking trails cover some of the most spectacular sections of the 700km Alpine Walking Track from Walhalla to…

Hedonistic Hiking's Day Walks in the High Country

Hedonistic Hiking’s Day Walks in the High Country

A selection of half and full-day hikes in Victoria’s beautiful High Country for a minimum of two people. All the hikes have transfers included and start and finish in Bright or Porepunkah. Let the team know if you are staying in another town close by and need help with transport. Razorback – Hotham to Harrietville…

Hedonistic Hiking's Hiking the Victorian Alps

Hedonistic Hiking’s Hiking the Victorian Alps

This six-day tour starts and ends in the charming High Country town of Bright and explores the magnificent mountain scenery surrounding the ski villages of Falls Creek, Hotham and Dinner Plain. In spring this alpine region abounds with wild flowers and the tour blends our well-known passions for great hiking with the fabulous food and…

alpine national park winter 4_3

NATIONAL PARKS

RARE AND BEAUTIFUL

Experience the uniquely Australian beauty of the Victorian Alps, an alpine environment like no other in the world.