Last week I took a trip down to Victoria’s Great Alpine Valleys. The countryside there never fails to inspire and always makes my city soul skip a beat.
On my way to the wild and woolly Mount Hotham, I passed through Beechworth to grab a coffee (yes, tea drinkers do drink coffee too!) and then rolled on down to the beautiful little towns of Bright, sleepy Smoko and Harrietville. These places boomed at the height of the gold rush era and a local told me that in the nearby mountains there is still old mines with buckets, picks and other relics from the gold mining hay-days. Apparently somewhere in the national park there is a piece of vintage mining equipment said to be worth millions. The odd modern day gold digger has set out in search of it but to date, nothing has been found.
After a few days at Hotham I drove through the state forest around to Falls Creek, which was dark and misty, like a movie scene. Then it was a quick trip back to Albury, through Mount Beauty and Tawonga, along the Kiewa Valley Highway. The soil in these areas is rich and fertile and the region has a reputation for high-quality produce. Foods such as nuts, apples, wine grapes, berries, asparagus, peppermint, lavender and, of course, green tea thrive.
It was just a few days away but the fresh alpine air and beautiful scenery completely re-booted my system.