Your Ultimate Experience Playground

Villa Gusto is set amongst the mountains of Victoria’s High Country, a region that’s renowned for its pristine environment, fresh produce, artisanal foods, and wineries.

You and your group won’t lack for experiences to choose from – whether you’re keen to immerse yourself in nature with a hiking adventure, taking a bicycle trip along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, or indulging in the delicious, fresh produce, premium wines and craft beers the area is famous for.

There’s also plenty for the thrill-seeker in you, such as a paragliding experience from Mystic Mountain, a dining experience while suspended off a cliff ledge, or taking the plunge via a caving tour in Mount Buffalo National Park.

Walking and Hiking

Regardless of your hiking experience, there’s a range of bushwalking trails in nearby Mount Buffalo National Park that will have you at one with the local environment. The trails are well marked and range from easy through to difficult.

Or have a local guide take you and your group on a walk. Everest Sports, which has a retail outlet in Bright, offers guided walks in the area including one up to the magnificent peak of Mount Feathertop.

Cycling

The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail meanders through the Ovens Valley from Wangaratta to Bright, linking a wide range of towns and experiences on an easy to cycle sealed path. Even a short ride can offer so much, with just a few flat kilometres separating a delicious lunch at Feathertop Winery and a refreshing ale at the recently refurbished Porepunkah Pub; or a heart warming and energy laden breakfast at Food Wine & Friends in Bright followed by the delicious produce at Nightingale Apples, located in the quaint National Trust-registered village of Wandiligong. Or stretch your legs on a longer ride to Myrtleford to enjoy a Middle Eastern-inspired feast at Café Fez or a glass of local bubbly at Reclaim Wine Bar and Café.

More experienced riders may want to tackle the 7 Peaks Road Cycling Challenge. This annual event is an at-your-own-pace cycling challenge that sees you ride up to seven of Victoria’s Alpine Resorts. Climbs include Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buffalo, all of which are easily accessible from Villa Gusto – making us the perfect base. More information can be sourced from Ride High Country.

You can hire bikes from Cyclepath, All Terrain Cycles or, for a more relaxed ride, at Bright Electric Bikes - all of which are located in nearby Bright.

Skiing

Villa Gusto is on the doorstep of some of the country's best ski resorts. The main two ski destinations are Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, which offer extensive downhill and cross country options.

Mount Hotham, which is blessed with some particularly steep slopes, has 13 lifts spread across 320ha of stunning mountain terrain. The longest run is 2.5km, with the highest lifted point at 1845 metres. There's also 35km of cross country trails.

Both resorts offer a range of ski lift passes, with discounts applying when you book online. There's also the opportunity to take lessons for adults and children with qualified skiing instructors, and to hire gear - particularly useful if you need to change boots that end up hurting you.  

Mount Buffalo offers a few cross country trails at Cresta Valley, including a 2.5km trail to the panoramic outlook at The Horn, and a tobogganing slope which is conveniently located next to Dingo Dell Cafe.

Eating

Where do we start! You could start by having a chef prepare a feast in the professional-grade kitchen at Villa Gusto. Or, if you do want to head out for a meal, you can try any one of a range of local eateries. From enjoying lunch in one of the many cafes in Bright, through a fine dining experience at the exquisite Elm Dining.

Another option in Bright is Tomahawks, which offers a vibrant, fun atmosphere, an expansive drinks menu, and food that's well worth the trip. Book beforehand or get there early to get a table, as this place is popular with locals and tourists alike.

For a more casual and fun dining experience, head out to The Wandi Pub - regional Victorian pub of the year. Just five kilometres from Bright,  this historic pub has a fantastic outdoor area to relax in, whether it be for a few beverages or a delicious meal. Live music may also feature depending on when you're there. Book ahead. 

Drinking

There are plenty of excellent local wineries to choose from, offering a broad range of cool climate varietals to suit most palates. Try Billy Button’s Cellar Door in Bright, Feathertop and Ringer Reef Wineries in Porepunkah, or head to Gapsted Wines and Michelini Wines in Myrtleford.

For craft beer lovers take in Bright Brewery, or it’s well worth the effort to get to Bridge Road Brewers or Bilson’s Brewery in Beechworth. If you enjoy something a bit stronger, Reed’s Distillery in Bright now serves its own hand-crafted gin - which it includes in a number of its delicious cocktails. If you'd like to stay on after your drinks, this stylish bar also serves meals.

Dr Mauve's Bar and Lounge is another option in Bright for a cocktail, or you can choose from their extensive wine and beer selection. This funky bar is open late, so makes for the perfect spot to end your night out.

Cooking

Patrizia Simone, formerly of the hatted Simone’s Kitchen in Bright, conducts cooking classes that focus on using simple, fresh ingredients to create delicious, memorable dishes. Beyond cooking, Patrizia will show you why authentic Italian meals are more than recipes, and why taste matters so much.

Patrizia will create bespoke cooking experiences as well, perfect for your group. Call Patrizia on 0439 952 022 for more information.

For the adventurous

For a truly exhilarating experience – and some of the region’s best views - take a tandem paragliding flight with Alpine Paragliding. Launching from Mystic Mountain in nearby Bright, you can choose from a short 10-minute glide through to an hour-long flight over the Ovens Valley.

Or consider a cliff picnic with Bright Adventure Company. Dine out on your own private ledge 300 metres above the valley floor! Sunrise, lunch or dinner options are available.  

The same company also offers a host of other adrenaline-rush experiences, including abseiling, rock climbing and underground river caving. These activities are ideal for your corporate retreat group, inspiring team work and camaraderie, or for a memorable family holiday getaway experience.

Alpine Valley Getaways can help you organise any of the above experiences, and can be reached on 03 5759 2555 or at book@alpinevalleygetaways.com.au