Eat.Stay.Play in Mansfield

Lake Eildon

Lake Eildon

When this year’s RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride (29 November – 7 December 2014) travels through Victoria’s cycle-friendly High Country, participants will spend their “rest day” in Mansfield. There will be no rest, however, for the adventurous, with plenty of opportunities to get active in Mansfield’s fresh alpine air and invigorating scenery.

Located 180 kilometres (112 miles) north east of Melbourne, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Mansfield is home to Victoria’s iconic cattlemen, mountainous wilderness and some of the state’s great food and wine producers. Blending the best of both adventure and relaxation, cyclists will have the chance to refuel and reinvigorate after four full days of riding.

EAT

Mansfield Coffee Merchant
As the name suggests, new-kid-on-the-block, Mansfield Coffee Merchant takes its coffee as seriously as its Melbourne-based cousins. With single-origin beans roasted in-house, visitors can get their out-of-town espresso, siphon or cold-drip fix, or linger over the café’s adventure-fueling all-day breakfast and lunch menus. Menu highlights include chorizo baked eggs in a spicy tomato and capsicum sauce, and lamb biryani with chilli jam and yoghurt. A selection of delicious cakes, slices and biscuits house-baked with love are also available, along with fresh scones with jam and cream.  23 Highett Street, Mansfield, +61 3 5779 1703

Delatite Cellar Door
This small, family-run winery is set on one of the most picturesque vineyards in Victoria, with views over Mount Buller. Delatite specialises in cool-climate wines, especially aromatic whites, grown and crafted following biodynamic practices and minimalist wine making. Visitors can taste award-winning Riesling, Pinot Gris or cool-climate Shiraz at any time of year, or visit during one of Delatite’s seasonal behind-the-scenes events. Corner Stoney Road and Pollards Road, Mansfield, +61 3 5775 2922

“Maggie’s” at The Magnolia
Maggie’s at The Magnolia offers relaxed à la carte dining with fresh seasonal produce dictating an ever-changing menu of simple, classic European dishes. Owner-chef Travis Boltong draws on his experience working in chef’s-hatted and Michelin-starred restaurants in Australia and Europe. Visitors are invited to cosy up by wood-fires in the cooler months and dine al fresco by the 150-year-old Magnolia tree during summer. The historic property is also home to bed and breakfast accommodation where Travis and partner Tracie offer all guests a warm welcome. 190 Mount Buller Road, Mansfield, +61 3 5779 2922

STAY

Grand Mecure Pinnacle Valley Resort
Located in Merrijig, just half an hour from the Mount Buller ski fields, and surrounded by rivers and mountains, Grand Mercure Pinnacle Valley Resort marks the entry point to the Victorian Alps. An all-seasons holiday destination, adventure activities abound in the resort grounds and surrounding Alpine National Park. Guests can explore the resort’s lake by boat, throw out a fishing rod, cruise the bicycle trails or venture further afield for horseback, mountain bike and snow adventures. The resort offers a variety of accommodation options from studio apartments to two-bedroom deluxe chalets, all with self-catering facilities, or the option to dine at the à la carte restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Mimosa Drive, Merrijig, 1800 033 214 or +61 3 5777 5788

Riverdowns
Located on the iconic Howqua River, Riverdowns is situated on a picturesque 20-acre property with beautiful gardens, magnificent trees, a river walk and a dam full of yabbies. Featuring exposed beams, rustic timber walls and modern amenities, the two-bedroom historic miner’s cottage is equally suitable for a romantic getaway or fisherman’s weekend. Visitors can relax by the water in the shade of the 100-year-old oak tree, take a spa bath, look out for resident kangaroos and other native wildlife, or book a guided fly fishing experience with local expert Andy Matenson. 395 Howqua River Road, Howqua, +61 3 5777 3865 or +61 434 053 566

Wombat Hills Cottages
Set on acres of beautiful gardens with stunning views of the lake and mountains beyond, Wombat Hills offers three boutique stone and timber cottages located 18 kilometres (11 miles) from Mansfield. The ridge-top location provides ‘front-row seats’ for nature’s spectacular displays: brooding summer storms, unforgettable sunsets and clear starry nights. The cottages are self-contained with full kitchen facilities, double spas, open fires and wildlife on the doorstep, making this an ideal country getaway just 15 minutes from Mansfield’s vibrant café and arts culture. 55 Lochiel Rd, Barwite, +61 3 5776 9507

PLAY

Great Victorian Rail Trail
Stretching from Mansfield and the foothills of Victoria’s High Country to Tallarook, the Great Victorian Rail Trail is Australia’s longest continuous Rail Trail. The 134 kilometre (83 mile) long trail features almost 50 water crossings as it follows the Goulburn River and traverses Lake Eildon. Visitors can opt for a family-friendly 22 kilometre (13.6 mile) ride from Mansfield to Bonnie Doon, passing the Mullum Wetlands and bucolic pastures before crossing the 385 metre (1263 foot) historic Bonnie Doon rail bridge. Cyclists can opt to take a gourmet picnic packed by Mansfield Regional Produce Store  for lunch on the go, or stop in at Bonnie Bar and enjoy wood-fired pizzas and cleansing local craft ales. Bike hire and transfers are available from All Terrain Cycles, +61 3 5775 2724 for departure from Mansfield Visitor Information Centre, 173 High St, Mansfield, 1800 039 049 or +61 3 5775 7000 

Craig’s Hut Explorer with Alpine Helicopter Charter
Explore the country described in Banjo Patterson’s iconic Australian poem, The Man from Snowy River, at Craig’s Hut via a scenic helicopter flight. Alpine Helicopter Charter specialises in personal, informative scenic tours in and around Victoria’s High Country. The tour follows the Delatite River valley, climbing to reveal Mount Cobbler as it dominates the horizon. From the air, a stunning bird’s-eye view of Razorback Hut is visible, originally used by mountain cattlemen. The tour finishes with a thrilling landing at Craig’s Hut, where there is time to stretch the legs and enjoy local refreshments. 325 Mount Buller Road, Mansfield, +61 428 376 619

Watson’s Mountain Country Trail Rides
For more adventures reminiscent of The Man from Snowy River, visitors can join Watson for a horseback ride, departing from the Watson family farm near Mansfield. A variety of rides are available for all levels of ability,  ranging from one hour through to five days in duration. Most rides show guests where the famous downhill scene from The Man from Snowy River film was shot, and all feature spectacular scenery where native wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and a colourful array of bird life can often be sighted.  Watson’s family has worked this land for generations and have been offering rides since 1982. 296 Three Chain Road, Boorolite, +61 3 5777 3552

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