|The Great Alpine Road at Cobungra|
Route: Langfords West Camping Area, Angler's Rest, Omeo, Cobungra, Victoria Falls Camping Area.
Begin the day by checking your bicycle's breaks. The ride begins with 21km of unsealed road, and much of it will be downhill. I got the impression that I wouldn't want to do the trip in reverse: the unsealed road on the eastern side of the high plains is much steeper than the sealed ascent from Mount Beauty to Falls Creek. (Note that the Bogong High Plains Road should be sealed by June 2009; see here for progress.)
|Mount Willis as seen from the Bogong High Plains Road|
near the Mitta Mitta River
At the end of the Bogong High Plains Road, turn right onto the Omeo Highway, which follows the Mitta Mitta River for some 15km. This is an excellent stretch of road: a good sealed surface, very little traffic, good scenery and enough twists and turns to keep interest up. There are a couple of rest areas along the way, including Middle Creek Picnic Area (1km south of the Bogong High Plains Road intersection). It is unfortunate that recent bushfires had devastated most of the vegetation from this point in the trip all the way to Mt Hotham.
|The Omeo Highway and Mitta Mitta River|
Angler''s Rest has the first services encountered since Falls Creek, namely the Blue Duck Pub. There is also a pleasant rest area with toilets, picnic tables, a fast flowing creek and camping possibilities. Beware the two slat bridges on the Omeo Highway after Angler's Rest: it may be best to dismount and walk across these. Food supplies can be topped up at Omeo (population 350, altitude 600m). There is a supermarket, bakery, caravan park, hardware store (which sells puncture repair kits), post office, accommodation and other basic services.
From Omeo, take the Great Alpine Road toward Mount Hotham. Some of the altitude lost at the beginning of the day will be gained again with a 400m ascent out of Omeo. The steepest part of this climb is 8 or 9km from the town, but offers good views along the way.
|Looking back at Omeo from the Great Alpine Road|
At the top of this climb is a lookout which has views of Mt Kosciusko and other mountains of the New South Wales Alps. The rest of the day's cycling is chiefly undulating and begins with a moderate descent which can be chilly after the long climb. The farmland around Cobungra is lovely in the glow of the late afternoon sun.
|Cobungra Station, Great Alpine Road|
The Victoria Falls Historic Area has an excellent campsite by the Victoria River, complete with toilets and an information bay documenting the history of one of Australia's oldest hydroelectric generation projects. To reach the campsite, turn right from the Great Alpine Road at the Victoria Falls turn off and cycle 800m down the unsealed road. The falls are another 3km to 4km down the dirt road. Unfortunately I did not have enough daylight to visit them.
© 2008 Robert Taggart. Last updated 19 November 2008.