Day One: Melbourne – Oxley - Beechworth
After meeting at Essendon Airport, leave Melbourne with minibus and trailer along the Hume Highway to Oxley, on the snow road. At the Sam Miranda winery, very chic and minimalist, you will sample the first of many platters showcasing some of the famous and delicious local produce. In the afternoon stop briefly to pick up any hire bikes at Wangaratta and then continue the very scenic trip to Beechworth.
Check in to La Trobe at Beechworth, the old Beechworth Hospital now a hotel. Dinner in the town of Beechworth.
Day Two: Beechworth – Everton – Milawa
After a stroll around the historic town of Beechworth, leave mid-morning to enjoy the first 15 km of riding - all downhill on the Rail Trail. Travel through beautiful bush to arrive at the revamped Everton Station for a rest and a drink. After a rest, leave the Rail Trail for a while and set off down quiet country lanes towards Milawa, noted as a gourmet region. Stop for lunch at the Milawa Cheese factory and wood-fired bakery to sample some of the local treats and also be guided through a private cheese tasting. After lunch cycle a short distance to your accommodation for the night at the luxurious Lindenwarrah Boutique Country House Hotel, directly opposite Brown Brothers Winery. The rest of the afternoon is free to perhaps indulge in a Lindenwarrah massage, a swim in the pool, a visit by bike, foot or bus to some of Milawa’s other local gourmet enterprises which include Brown Brothers wines, EV Olives, Milawa Mustards, mead and honey, nuts and berries. Dinner will be in house tonight.
Day Three: Milawa – Gapstead - Myrtleford
After breakfast, depart Milawa and head towards Everton, again on quiet country lanes. Visit EV Olives to learn about the growing and processing of olives complete with tasting and ‘grove door’ sales. At Everton, rejoin the Rail Trail and continue to Brookfield Station for a pause and a drink before a climb to the top of Taylor’s Gap. Then descend to Gapstead for lunch in the tranquil setting of the scenic terrace at Gapstead Winery to sample some more of the region’s specialties. After lunch, continue to Myrtleford for time to relax and explore the town and its surrounds by bike, foot or bus. Overnight at the newly refurbished and very comfortable Motel on Alpine. Dinner in house.
Day Four: Myrtleford – Porepunkah – Bright
After breakfast, leave Myrtleford for the ride of a lifetime through the beautiful Ovens Valley. The route is virtually flat and follows the floor of the valley, with rolling hills on both sides. Pass through fields of hops and vines, nut orchards and berry farms - all unforgettable scenery. Pause for a rest at Eurobin station (there is a berry farm nearby with delicious home-made berry ice cream!) Continue towards Bright, stopping for lunch under the trees and amongst the roses at Boynton’s Vineyard. Then cycle on through Porepunkah and into Bright. Overnight Riverside Motel.
Day Five: Bright – Myrtleford – Oxley - Melbourne
Leave Bright around 0800 and cycle back through the beautiful Ovens Valley, well worth a second look at a different time of day. Meet up at the historic ‘Butter Factory’ in Myrtleford for morning coffee, load the bikes and then drive to Oxley, having collected some goodies to take home from the Milawa Cheese Factory. Visit Gehrig’s vineyard: John Gehrig is a 5th generation vigneron and an AAA client. His is a simple, rustic family vineyard and he will share some of his stories (his nephew played AFL for St Kilda), his wines and champagnes over lunch provided by the locally renowned King River Café