There is something so beautifully alluring about the high country in Victoria. The region’s vast open spaces and towering mountains lure me in each time and tease me to stay for longer. It is a region to be celebrated all year round, Although most people flock to Mansfield in the winter months to ski at Mount Buller and sip on hot chocolate, the region is worthy to be explored in all the seasons. On this occasion, we visited in all its autumnal glory and watched a kaleidoscope of colours glimmer from the trees and felt the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet. At just two and a half hours away from Melbourne, Mansfield is a nature lover’s paradise boasting a brilliant blend of stunning natural beauty, laid-back country vibes and a burgeoning gourmet scene. Here’s a guide to making the most of your visit to the region.
Start your morning off right, with breakfast and coffee at Mansfield Coffee Merchant. The smell of freshly brewed coffee will always tempt you through the doors to the modern, comfortable space where you can enjoy a specialty made brew from their in-house roastery. The all day menu boasts a range of gourmet goodies including an omelette paired with Gamze chorizo, feta, smoked tomatoes and sourdough toast and a house made hash brown with smoked salmon, herb and garlic cream cheese.
Then venture down Mansfield’s High Street and make a b-line to the bright yellow umbrellas lining the pavement. Here you will find Mansfield Produce Store, a local favourite where you can stock up on gourmet goodies, enjoy a cuppa and their delicious all day menu. This former auction rooms is full of regional produce and a wine room with over 70 wines from around the region as well as plenty of art from local artists and an eclectic mix of furniture and culinary goods. Don’t leave home without trying some of their delicious sweet treats.
Cake and pastry lovers rejoice! You will soon be in heaven at Alpine Patisserie – Mansfield’s answer to a French patisserie which bakes fresh each morning. Alpine Patisserie specialises in sourdough breads, pastries, cakes and chocolate. Make sure you visit early to avoid disappointment.
For dinner, grab a seat at The Fields, a modern fusion restaurant in the heart of Mansfield. Here you can feast on crispy pork baos, prawn dumplings with black vinegar, shoyo chicken broth and ginger, Japanese fried chicken with miso mayo, daikon and togarashi and a crispy pork bell with tamarind sweet chilli glaze and charred bean. It’s a buzzing sport, with cool tunes and a great atmosphere.
Make sure you book a distillery tour at Swiftcrest Distillery, a small family distillery striving to make the best spirits in the world by using local, biodynamic and organic produce. Owners Hank and Carrie Thierry lovingly craft a range of spirits including vodka, moonshine and gin. Don’t miss their signature Dutch Apple Pie Moonshine, which definitely needs to be tried to be believed . The off the grid distillery is one of the most sustainable in the world and is set on a picturesque farm of 120 acres, boasting incredible views to Mt Buller and across the Delatite Valley. They use deadfall timber from their property to run a wood-fired steam boiler to heat their stills. Bookings are essential for tours.
After a tour of the distillery, head over to Delatite Wines where you can enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by one of their delicious platters. Nestled in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, the views from here are spectacular. The small, family winery was established in 1968 by Robert and Vivienne Ritchie and now run by their son David and head winemaker, Andy Browning. The winery is famous for its delicate whites and elegant red thanks to its cool climate and alpine location. Stay tuned for their restaurant opening soon!
Whether you’re interesting in skiing, hiking, mountain biking or fishing Mansfield is a nature lover’s paradise. You can enjoy some of the best downhill and cross country tracks Victoria has to offer on Mt Buller during the peak of winter season, bushwalk amongst the wildflowers, hike to Mt Stirling’s Craig’s Hut or cruise the Great Victorian Rail Trail. There are so many beautiful picnic spots to enjoy along the banks of Lake Eildon and the picturesque Jamieson River.
For the ultimate stay in Mansfield book in a luxury farm stay experience with A View to a Hill housing both BullerRoo and Stone Creek Cottage, located in one of most beautiful spots in Victoria’s high Country. Set on 24 acres, the stunning property has breathtaking views across the Barwite Valley overlooking rolling farmland full of wildlife. There is no better spot to watch the sunrise and sunset. The property is also a working goat stud farm home to the cutest miniature pygmy by a luxury ski chalet, BullerRoo offers floor to ceiling windows taking advantage of 180 degree vistas, as the name suggests – to views of Buller and kangaroos in abundance. Experience luxury at its finest with a state of the art kitchen, open plan dining and lounge, an over sized fireplace and the stunning rooftop terrace. While, Stony Creek Cottage is a quaint colonial-style cottage, which is built from locally sourced stone and timber and full of cosy furnishings around every corner.
To find out more about how to experience Mansfield visit https://www.mansfieldmtbuller.com.au/mansfield-visitor-information-centre/
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