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February 3, 2020
Photography by Tim Bardsley-Smith
The 2019/20 bushfire season has proven devastating for many communities around Australia, with the immediate impacts compounded by a drop in tourist numbers in the aftermath. Now, Victoria’s High Country is imploring cyclists to roll back to the region.
Whilst the key cycling towns of Bright, Beechworth, Mansfield, Mt Buller and Falls Creek escaped physical harm from the bushfires, the economic damage that has been caused has been significant, hitting the communities hard in what would normally be a time of high visitation.
The High Country region has long been seen by Australian cyclists as one of the most well-rounded destinations for a cycling holiday in the country. It features a large network of rail trails, seven mountain bike parks, and Australia’s greatest road climbs. Off the bike, Victoria’s High Country is blessed with a variety of exceptional producers of beer, wine and regional produce. It’s something of a de facto home for CyclingTips, too, as a regular training and tourism destination for our Australian team.
With the immediate threat of bushfires now over, cycling in the High Country is now entering the peak time of the season, with multiple major events enticing riders to the region.
The key stages of this week’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be raced there, with summit finishes on Falls Creek on Thursday and Mt Buller on Saturday. The Labour Day long weekend will also be a great opportunity to get up to the High Country, with Australia’s leading gran fondo Peaks Challenge Falls Creek taking place on the 8 March. A week later, the Australian MTB National Championships are held in Bright. And if those aren’t reason enough to entice you to the region, check out our High Country features (linked below) to spark some wanderlust.
The High Country is known for both its exceptional riding and the welcoming community spirit that genuinely makes visiting cyclists feel at home. In its time of need, this is the perfect opportunity to return the favour and roll on back there.