We set out from Melbourne around lunchtime on our way to Dinner Plain which is located in Alpine National Park, a 4.5 hour drive. Dinner Plain is a small town established in 1986 that sits at 1570 meters above sea level. It has one ski run and a population of 80-100 people in summer. DP has a lovely community feel and is much more low key than the neighbouring ski town of Mount Hotham. Here the kids cycle in the streets, hike, and mountain bike in the summer months and in winter there is cross country skiing, snow shoeing and of course, skiing. Just leaving behind the 29c degree day we were having in Melbs to arrive to 13c with glorious fresh mountain air made the drive so worth while.
Once on the Great Alpine Road, we stopped in Milawa at the Bakery Café for a delicious afternoon coffee fix. I highly recommend it if you are ever driving through.
Pepo Farms was our next detour. They specialise in the farming of pepitas from a pumpkin especially grown for this seed type. I cannot remember the name of the pumpkin to save my life so you will just have to trust me on this. It was originally brought to Australia from Austria and Slovenia. Pepo are the only growers of pepitas like this in Australia and if you’re not buying from these guys, we were told everything else was imported from China. Aside from their range of many flavoured pepitas, they also carried home ground nut and seed flours, home pressed oils and an array of other locally farmed and produced products. It was a lovely place to stop and we all learnt so much. We weren’t expecting to walk in to a lesson on farming and production, nor were we expecting the food and oil tasting. It was a great experience and a perfect pit stop to get out of the car and stretch our legs.
We drove through Bright and what a cute little town it was. I would love to go back and spend a few days and autumn is definitely the time to do it. I haven’t seen such beautiful autumn leaves like that in years and definitely not in this country. The main drag was thriving with cafes and restaurants spilling out into the streets with outdoor dining, sweet little parks near a creek with families playing, campgrounds, holiday parks, food shops, it was bustling. I kept thinking of Katy Perry visiting last year to play a local concert for the people here after the terrible bush fires.
We began winding up into the mountains and the view was stunning. Fir trees and snow gums replaced the colourful, autumn leaves we had left behind. I reminded the driver to keep his eyes on the road repeatedly as it was hard to not stare out across the valley and mountains. The sheer drop and no guard rails was a little disconcerting. We stopped a few times to take photos of the sunset and enjoy the cool air before arriving finally in Dinner Plain. Looking forward to exploring this little village and surrounding nature trails over the next few days.