10 Things to Do in Harrietville, Victoria

Harrietville, located in the heart of Victoria’s Alpine region, is an under-the-radar gem that appeals to those seeking a peaceful escape amidst nature’s beauty.

This charming village is approximately 320 kilometres northeast of Melbourne and offers a serene setting at the base of the Victorian Alps. It is a gateway to adventure where outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers can find solace and excitement equally.

This comprehensive guide will showcase ten captivating experiences that await you in Harrietville, highlighting the diverse tapestry of activities that make this alpine wonderland a must-visit destination.

Whether you’re yearning for mountain hikes, wine tastings, or a historical journey through gold rush-era charm, Harrietville has it all and more – promising a memorable sojourn in Victoria’s high country.

Where is Harrietville?

Harrietville, a picturesque village in the northeastern region of Victoria, is a tranquil haven nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Alpine region.

Situated at the foothills of the Victorian Alps, this charming destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical charm. With a history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1800s, Harrietville carries echoes of its past in its heritage-listed buildings and museums, inviting visitors to step back in time.

Lush forests surround the village and provide a serene setting for outdoor adventures, including hiking, mountain biking, and fishing, while also an ideal gateway to the Alpine National Park and nearby ski resorts during the winter months.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or actively exploring nature’s wonders, Harrietville welcomes you with open arms to experience the magic of the Alpine region.

How to Get to Harrietville

Reaching the enchanting village of Harrietville is a straightforward journey, offering several convenient options.

Situated northeast of Melbourne, getting to Harrietville involves picturesque routes through the Victorian countryside. If you prefer the freedom of your own vehicle, taking the Hume Freeway (M31) north from Melbourne and then the Great Alpine Road (B500) through the scenic towns of Bright and Mount Beauty is an excellent choice, providing the opportunity to soak in breathtaking views along the way.

Alternatively, those relying on public transportation can use bus services connecting Melbourne to nearby Bright, followed by a short taxi or shuttle ride to Harrietville. The nearby Albury Airport offers flights from major Australian cities, making air travel another viable option.

While there isn’t a direct train service to Harrietville, you can reach the nearest major train station in Wangaratta and arrange further transportation to your final destination.

Best Time to Visit Harrietville

Best Time to Visit Harrietville

Harrietville is a destination you can happily visit all year round, although you should be aware its climate varies significantly throughout the year. Subsequently, the best time to visit the region depends on your weather preferences and the activities you want to enjoy. Here’s what to expect in each of the seasons in Harrietville:

Spring (September to November)

Spring is a fantastic time to visit Harrietville when the weather is mild, and the landscape comes alive with colourful wildflowers. It’s an ideal season for hiking and exploring the Alpine National Park. Be prepared for cool nights, so bring layers.

Summer (December to February)

Summer in Harrietville is warm and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities like swimming in the Ovens River, fishing, and mountain biking. The village is bustling with tourists during this time, so book accommodations in advance.

Autumn (March to May)

Autumn is a delightful season to visit Harrietville as the deciduous trees turn brilliant shades of red and gold. The weather remains pleasant, and it’s an excellent time for hiking, cycling, and wine tasting in the nearby wineries.

Winter (June to August)

Harrietville becomes a winter wonderland during the colder months, attracting snow enthusiasts to nearby Mount Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts. If you love snow sports, this is the best time to visit, but remember to check road conditions and carry snow chains.

Things to do in Harrietville

Visitors to Harrietville can enjoy a wealth of sites, attractions and activities. Here are some of the best things to do in the area to make the most of your available time during your visit.

1. Explore the Alpine National Park

Explore the Alpine National Park

Harrietville is the gateway to the Alpine National Park, one of Victoria’s most spectacular natural areas. The park covers a vast expanse of alpine and subalpine wilderness, offering a diverse range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking is a popular pastime, with many trails catering to various skill levels. One must-visit spot is the Mount Feathertop Trail, which leads to the state’s second-highest peak, Mount Feathertop. This challenging hike rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The Bungalow Spur Track is a scenic option for a more leisurely stroll. Watch for native wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, and colourful bird species.

2. Relish Wine Tasting in the Surrounding Wineries

Relish Wine Tasting in the Surrounding Wineries

The Alpine region is known for its thriving wine industry, and Harrietville is no exception. While the village itself doesn’t have vineyards, it’s surrounded by several renowned wineries. So why not take the opportunity to enjoy a short drive to nearby towns like Bright, Porepunkah and Myrtleford, where you can visit cellar doors and taste exceptional cool-climate wines?

Gapsted Wines is one of the most famous wineries in the area, offering a diverse selection of wines, including chardonnay, shiraz and prosecco. Many wineries also have picturesque settings, making them ideal for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting amidst the stunning landscape.

3. Go Mountain Biking

Go Mountain Biking1

If you’re into mountain biking, Harrietville is the perfect place. Numerous trails are available that cater to people of all levels of experience.

The terrain in the area combines challenging downhill tracks and scenic cross-country paths, making it an exciting adventure for everyone.

Mystic Mountain Bike Park is an excellent trail to try out. It has a variety of tracks, ranging from easy to advanced, and it’s well-maintained. The park also offers stunning views of the mountains that surround it.

For experienced riders, the Razorback Trail is a must-try. It’s known for its steep descents and technical sections, making it a challenging adventure.

If you didn’t bring your wheels with you or are new to the sport, you can rent bikes and equipment from local shops.

4. Discover the History of Harrietville

Discover the History of Harrietville

Harrietville has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when it was a bustling gold-mining town.

To gain a deeper insight into its past, it’s worth visiting the Harrietville Historical Museum. Located in the heart of the village, the museum houses an impressive collection of artefacts, photographs and documents that showcase the region’s mining heritage.

You can also take a self-guided historical walk through Harrietville, where you’ll encounter heritage-listed buildings and plaques that provide information about the town’s history. While strolling through the charming streets, you’ll be able to imagine what life was like during the gold rush era.

5. Go Fishing in the Ovens River

Go Fishing in the Ovens River

The Ovens River flows through Harrietville, making it an excellent spot for a bit of fishing.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, you can try your luck at various places along this serene river. Commonly caught species include brown and rainbow trout.

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend your day, pack a picnic, grab your fishing gear and head to one of the many idyllic spots along the riverbank. The peaceful surroundings and the gentle flow of the river make it an ideal location to unwind and enjoy nature.

6. Experience the Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention

Experience the Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention

The Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention is a must-attend event for live music lovers.

As its name suggests, this annual festival celebrates the best of bluegrass and traditional country music, attracting talented musicians from across Australia and beyond.

During the convention, you can enjoy live performances, jam sessions, workshops and even join in on the fun if you play an instrument. Held in the beautiful alpine setting of Harrietville, this event offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s rich musical traditions.

The convention usually takes place in late February or early March, so be sure to check the dates if you’re interested in attending. You’ll need to book your accommodation early.

7. Take a Scenic Drive on the Great Alpine Road

Take a Scenic Drive on the Great Alpine Road

The Great Alpine Road, which passes through Harrietville, is renowned as one of Australia’s most scenic drives. This road stretches for over 300 kilometres, offering breathtaking views at every turn as it winds through the Victorian Alps.

This route is a must-do activity if you love photography or enjoy scenic drives. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to stop at various lookout points and take in the stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks, lush valleys and pristine forests. Plan to stop in towns like Bright, Omeo, and Bairnsdale to explore more of the Alpine region’s charm and experience their excellent gastronomy.

8. Relax by the Ovens River

Relax by the Ovens River

The Ovens River provides fishing opportunities and is a great place to relax and cool off on a hot summer’s day. So pack a picnic, bring a book, or stretch out on the riverbank and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature.

Many sections of the river offer safe swimming areas, making it a perfect spot for families. The clear, cool waters of the Ovens River are inviting, especially during the warmer months when you can take a refreshing dip. Just be mindful of water safety, supervise children at all times and don’t forget to slip, slop, slap.

9. Visit Mount Hotham and Falls Creek Ski Resorts

Visit Mount Hotham and Falls Creek Ski Resorts

If you’re visiting Harrietville during winter, you’re in for a treat. The village is a gateway to two of Victoria’s most popular ski resorts – Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. Both resorts are renowned for their excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions, making them a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts.

Mount Hotham boasts a range of ski runs suitable for all levels, from beginners to experts. The resort also offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobile adventures. Falls Creek, on the other hand, is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and extensive cross-country skiing trails.

Whichever one you decide to go to, you’ll enjoy a fabulous skiing experience at an excellent resort.

10. Indulge in Local Cuisine

Indulge in Local Cuisine1

Harrietville, despite its small size, offers a delightful selection of dining options that showcase the region’s culinary charm.

One standout establishment is the Mountain View Hotel, a historic pub known for its warm ambience and hearty meals. Here, you can savour classic pub fares such as gourmet burgers, succulent steaks and locally sourced trout dishes while enjoying picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.

For those seeking a taste of Italy, the Harrietville Snowline Hotel is a fantastic choice, serving up authentic Italian cuisine in a cosy Alpine setting. Their wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta dishes are real crowd-pleasers. Additionally, Feathertop Winery Restaurant offers an exquisite culinary experience with dishes expertly paired with their award-winning wines for a touch of romance and fine dining. Be sure to sample their seasonal tasting menus highlighting regional ingredients and flavours.

Overall, these dining establishments provide delicious meals and embody the warm and welcoming spirit of Harrietville.


As a tourist destination, Harrietville reflects the beauty of Australia’s Alpine region, offering a diverse range of experiences that cater to every traveller’s interests.

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking mountain thrills, a nature enthusiast yearning for tranquil landscapes, or a history buff eager to uncover the past, Harrietville has something special to offer.

From the pristine Alpine National Park and the thrill of winter sports at nearby ski resorts to the charm of its historic streets and the harmony of its wineries, this idyllic village encapsulates the essence of a perfect long weekend getaway from Melbourne.

Overall, Harrietville invites you to disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in its natural wonders and cultural heritage, promising lasting memories and a longing to return to this hidden gem in the Victorian Alps.