Guide to Victorian High Country – Mansfield, Mount Buller and Jamieson
Victoria’s high country is absolutely beautiful and has such diverse landscapes. It is the perfect place for a holiday, whether you’re interested in relaxing or being adventurous.
How to get there
From Melbourne, it’ll take around 2.5 or 3 hours to drive to Mansfield and an extra 30 minutes to drive to Jamieson or Mt Buller.
Where to stay
I would highly recommend staying in an Airbnb as there are some sensational properties in these areas that you an stay at. They are also usually much better value for money than staying in a motel.
I stayed at Stoney Creek Lodge in Jamieson and it was the best Airbnb I have ever stayed at! The location and views were spectacular, nestled in Jamieson valley looking out over Lake Eildon to the mountains.
Alternatively, if you want to be closer to the shops and restaurants you can stay in one of the many Airbnbs or motels in Mansfield.
What to do
Trail ride on horse back through the countryside
Wandering through the high country on horse back is a brilliant way to explore the area. McCormack Mountain Valley Trail Rides in Merrijig run fantastic tours and I would highly recommend them. The tours are suitable for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider.
You can go on a tour for 2 hours, a half day (3 hours) or even multiple days. The half day tour is AUD$130 and is worth every penny. The groups are nice and intimate and you are joined by 2 very friendly staff.
The ride will take you across creeks and through beautiful Man from Snowy River countryside. You may also be lucky to see kangaroos and deer like we did!
Water sports on Lake Eildon
Lake Eildon is a very popular place for kayaking, waterskiing and all things water sports. The scenery is beautiful and it is very relaxing.
If you don’t have you own, you can rent kayaks down at Jamieson caravan park.
Jamieson is a lovely quaint town that holds a lot of history. On the main street you’ll find Deb’s Cafe, a local favourite with delicious home cooked meals. Inside they have brochures for a Historical Walk that you can do.
The map will take you around town to various locations and there are plaques which describe their historical significance. It takes about an hour and is a great way to explore the town.
See sweeping views of Jamieson valley at the lookout
As you’re driving up the main highway between Mansfield and Jamieson (Mansfield Woods Point Road), turn up Eildon-Jamieson Road and drive up the mountain for a few kilometres. After a while you will see a sign for a lookout on the right and you can pull over to enjoy the view.
Visit Mansfield Zoo
Mansfield Zoo is a great place to visit while you are in town. It is home to over 30 animal species who live on a massive 30 acre lot. When you enter you can collect some food and wander around feeding the different animals. If you are going on the weekend, I would recommend seeing the lion feeding at 1:30pm. The zoo is home to 2 stunning African white lions – out of only 105 left in the world.
Animals such as the deer, kangaroo and alpacas roam free amongst the tourists and they are very friendly!
If you want a unique experience, you can even stay the night and camp at the zoo! There is a picnic area with a BBQ for cooking and you can set up camp anywhere in the grounds.
Mt Buller is a spectacular place to visit in any season. In winter, it is one of Victoria’s most popular alpine ski resorts. It has 300 hectares of skiable terrain and 22 ski lifts, the largest amount in Victoria. Lift passes will set you back about AUD$125 a day – it’s not cheap, but definitely worth a day trip. You can either drive up or take a bus from the CBD with multiple tour companies.
In summer, Mt Buller is equally rewarding as it is a great place for hiking and mountain biking. The Northside Express chairlift remains open and you can take this up the mountain for some great views. From here, you can walk 15 mins to the Summit where you can see over the whole mountain range.
Where to eat
The Mill Inn
If you feel like some delicious Italian food, go no further than the Mill Inn in Merrijig. Their home made pasta is to die for, especially the ravioli! You can even buy some to take home. The service is great and the atmosphere is sophisticated yet laid back, making it a great place for a nice meal.
Hunt Club Hotel
Hunt Club Hotel in Merrijig is a local favourite for good quality pub food (and excellent pizza!). The place is super lively and buzzing with groups of friends and families. The place is filled with history and culture as the walls are covered with all sorts of interesting Man from Snowy River memorabilia.
The unpretentious atmosphere along with the friendly staff makes you feel right at home.
The Produce Store is in the centre of Mansfield and has delicious coffee, lunch and brunch options. It was so good that we went back there twice! The place is always packed and you can tell that it is a local favourite.
The walls of the cafe are full of scumptious local produce that you can purchase – you will even find wine and beer out the back on your way to the bathroom! T