A VISIT to Bright in autumn is to step into a canvas of colour surpassing anything the most renowned artist can produce.
The town and surrounds in Victoria’s Alpine region becomes a favourite of Mother Nature who paints a backdrop of reds and golds as the area’s famous European trees change their foliage colour in preparation for winter.
To celebrate this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (with credit to poet John Keats), Bright hosts a 10-day festival, which this year runs from April 27-May 6.
Festival highlight is the gala day on May 5 featuring a huge market, music in the streets and a grand parade, but almost every day is a feast of activities, food and fun.
On April 28 the Wandi Nut Festival, in the Wandiligong Alpine Park (the only nut festival of its kind in Australia), celebrates the end of the harvest and the wonderful produce this cool region produces.
From 9am-4pm visitors can enjoy the produce and artisan market with stalls selling chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, apples, beer, cider, wine, oil and lots more.
The air is scented with the aroma of roasting chestnuts and generous bowls of chestnut soup fortify market-goers as they listen to live music, while in the food and wine tent guest chefs show off their skills with chestnuts, hazelnuts and other local produce.
A shuttle bus runs from the Memorial Clock Tower in Bright.
On both festival weekends the more adventurous can soak up the scenery on an electric bike ride along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, culminating in a Mexican-themed breakfast at the Rail Trail Cafe in Porepunkah and tasting the range at the Ringer Reef cellar door.
Other festival events include a fun run, cemetery tour, bush dance, craft market, bike tours, concert, evening of poems and yarns, and food and wine tastings.
Bright’s Autumn Art Exhibition – one of Australia’s oldest and longest-running art shows – this year features up to 1000 quality paintings and drawings from some of Australia’s biggest names in the art world.
And for those who prefer a more natural canvas, the Bright Open Gardens features 17 venues – just look for the Open Garden signs.
Bright is on the Great Alpine Road about 75 km from the Hume Highway and an easy three hours’ drive from Melbourne.
More info www.brightautumnfestival.org.au
Story supplied by www.thesenior.com.au