Photo credits: Ricky French

The Victorian High Country around Mansfield and Mt Buller is a bushwalker’s paradise. The closest true alpine area to Melbourne, you can get there in a few hours without breaking a sweat.

While skiing is the major winter activity, once the snow melts the landscape comes alive with blossoms and wildlife, ideal for walking. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for hiking, but even at the height of summer you can find respite at the top of Mt Buller or down among the manna gums in the gold-tinged Howqua River.

The former timber town of Mansfield has boutique wineries, microbreweries and cafes serving some of the best coffee and local produce you’ll find anywhere. With its winning combination of back-to-nature adventures and urbane comforts, it’s the ideal base for exploring the local region.

Here are our top picks of the area’s trails and activities.

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