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Things to do around Bright and Porepunkah with kids
There are just so many things to do around the Bright and Porepunkah area with kids. We have visited a number of times and have stayed in town, in Porepunkah and we also love camping at Lake Catani. We had a week and we enjoyed a great mix of relaxing around the campground and also getting out and exploring.
If camping is not your thing, there are many, many accommodation options in Bright, from holidays parks, homes through Stayz and Air B&B and motels. There will be something to suit your style of travel.
There are so many great things to do in Bright with kids, making it an excellent family-friendly destination from Melbourne; although, I think a long weekend at a minimum.
I’ve put together a list of things we did on our week break and also listed other things which I think would be excellent to do – I’ll be referring back to this list next time we go!
There are so many activities in Bright for all ages and interests. If you are looking for things to do in Bright, then look no further!!
What follows is definitely not everything there is to do in Bright! Although, I’d like to think we’ve covered a fair bit over our visits. What will work for your family when visiting Bright will depend on what you are interested in, what time of year you visit and how long you stay. However, I hope it provides some useful tips for things to do and places to visit in Bright xx
Outdoor play, Bright
Howitt Park, Bright – for a play
Howitt Park in Bright is right behind the Bright Brewery! Right behind! Perfect! The playground is a large adventure playground with swings, slides, bridges and plenty of space to run around. The kids were kept entertained for ages – no visit to Bright with kids is complete without a couple of plays here!
Rotary Waterslide, Bright
We had lots of fun on the waterslide into the river in Bright. The slide is operated by Rotary Australia. Over the summer holidays, it is open from 1pm-6pm. $1 a ride or 6 rides for $5. It went straight into the cold river – the best way to get it! So much fun!
Bright Splash Park
Bright Splash Park – we enjoyed playing here. The water was freezing but on the hot days it was great. Such an amazing set up given it is free. There is also a diving board into the river and an old school metal slide. Life guards are on duty at certain times over summer. A couple of weeks after our visit I saw photos of everyone standing on the side of the river – there was a snake in the river! The life guards were all over it and kept everyone safe.
Outdoor Play, Porepunkah
Porepunkah River Pool play area
There is also a little play area in Porepunkah. Not water play as such, but there is a little kiddie pool which is a perfect size for little ones and the river here is very calm. This is where you can go stand up paddle boarding. There is usually a lifeguard here in the afternoons and BBQ facilities.
There is also a little playground in Porepunkah.
Other water play
Sinclair’s Waterhole – I keep calling this our secret waterhole but the secret is well and truly out. Both times we have swum here have been the highlight of my trip.
A fellow camper told me about another waterhole called ‘Chinamen’s’ he gave us directions and we found it (can be hard to find these waterholes if you don’t know where you are going). This would have been a lovely spot – a little current to float down and a beach entry but it was very busy with another group when we visited. It’s well worth a visit for a swim though.
We had great fun floating down the Ovens River directly from our camping ground – Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park. For the most part it is quite shallow and safe but we did have some rain and the river flowed quite quickly. We didn’t venture in with the kids when it was like this.
There are a few access points along the river if you wanted to try floating down from elsewhere. Not all are safe for kids though with some rapids and trees across where you could get stuck. Best to send an adult down first to check for safety.
For a different type of water play. Here is what I thought about our visit to the Yarrangobilly Thermal Cave Pool in NSW.
Walks and Rides
Lots of opportunities for walks around Bright, Porepunkah and surrounds
An easy 9 minute drive from Porpunkah up towards Mt Buffalo are Eurobin Falls and Ladies Bath Falls. An easy-ish walk for the kids (it is up though with lots of steps). The first time Ross and I did this walk we skinny dipped as the water was just too inviting (at Ladies Bath Falls – never go off the path on the way up to Eurobin) – somehow we timed it with no other people! This trip we only saw two other people on our way up but when we were walking back down we passed at least 20 people on their way up. A great little walk that is well worth doing.
If you are interested in heading up to the Mt Buffalo Chalet then there are plenty of walk to choose from in this area. I have written a post on the best little walks at Mt Buffalo with kids here.
This is a great little walk – my morning walk was along part of this trail (starting from the Porepunkah end). From Bright, the walk begins at Howitt Park and follows the river back towards Porepunkah. There are a couple of swing bridges (great fun) and you can make it as long or as short as you like – you can turn around if you have had enough or you can follow the track to Porepunkah and follow the rail trail back (this is a decent walk though).
Go For a Bike Ride
Bike riders are absolutely everywhere in Bight. Bright, Porepunkah and surrounds is really a bike riders dream. It is also a really safe area for the kids to ride as the trails are off road.
There are lots of bike paths and trails to follow. From flat endless KM’s to Mystic Mountain, Mountain Bike Park.
If you are a mountain bike rider there is a great mountain bike park called Mystic Mountain. Ross took his bike and enjoyed the tracks. Check out the rides on the Mystic Mountain website.
The Rail Trail from Bright to Porepunkah is super popular with the Rail Trail Cafe at the Porepunkah end a great spot for a pit stop.
If you don’t have space in your car for bikes or have a tow bar, there are a few bike hire places in town to choose from – they are very easy to find in town.
Activities around Bright, Porepunkah and Surrounds
Mountain Fresh Trout and Salmon Farm
We haven’t visited but sounds like a fun activity if you enjoy fishing. The Mountain Fresh Trout and Salmon Farm is 15 minute’s from Bright towards Harrietville. There are great reviews on Trip Advisor if you are interested in reading more and they have a website.
We didn’t visit the berry farm but I wish we did given how many berries we eat. This is not a pick your own berry farm (we had fun picking berries closer to home at The Bramble Farm).
Red Stag Deer Farm
Red Stag Deer Farm is another place we didn’t have time for but it sounds like a great little family activity with animal feeding and a café. The Red Stag Deer Farm is approximately 22 min’s drive through Bright in Eurobin. Read more from Mamma Knows East. The deer farm have a FB page.
Bright Chocolate – the retail store is now closed but the chocolates are available to buy at the Bright Visitor Information Centre.
I also can’t believe that we forgot to visit Bright Olives. It was only 3km’s from our caravan park! Olive (and I) love Olives and she loves tasting all the different varieties – on both our visits to Rutherglen we have tasted and bought bucket loads (literally!) of olives!
Wandiligong Maze & Cafe
We didn’t visit the Wandiligong Maze and café on this trip but our friends did. Wandiligong is a few kilometres out of Bright and here you will find the Wandiligong Maze and Café.
I can see how the kids would love walking through the maze and finding all the bits and pieces along the way and there is also a mini golf course with the grounds.
Due to the cafe being on site they do not allow BYO food.
A little cinema in town is great for a hot or raining day
Ok, this one is not for the kids or for the scaredy cat adults like me – tandem paragliding over Bright, Porepunkah and surrounds with Active Flight.
Food, Food, Food
Ringer Reef Winery
Unfortunately, when we visited Ringer Reef Winery it was forecasted to thunderstorm – and storm it did!
We were excited to sit out on the deck admiring the views of Mt Buffalo while the kids ran around on the grass – but, it wasn’t to be!
It poured, poured and poured rain. We set the kids up under the veranda and the adults stood under the umbrella’s eating the delicious platters.
The staff were amazing, catering to whatever everyone needed to stay dry. The food was fabulous and the setting is perfect for the kids to run around on the grass.
I’m disappointed that we ran out of time to return on our trip but next time we are visiting we will definitely visit again. It is an easy 10 minute drive from Bright (closer to Porepunkah) and there is also the option to bike ride. Another wine region you could visit from Bright is Rutherglen.
Feathertop Winery in Bright, Victoria
Feathertop Winery is now operating as a private estate only.
I will update if this changes again and they are open to the public…..
Feathertop Winery is situated on the Great Alpine Road as you drive towards Bright. This winery is well set up for families and knows how to attract them!
In saying that, there are a great deal of wineries these days who cater for families and it is really something they all need to be thinking about.
Feathertop Winery is great for either a stop off for wine tasting or a meal as there is a fenced playground! Yippee!!
This is one of the best places to take kids if you are visiting Bright and the surrounds and enjoy a winery experience. It’s approximately 15 min’s from Bright with the option of bike riding there also.
The sit down menu is a more formal style of eating but there is also the option of buying local produce and creating a platter. We find this is absolutely the best way to enjoy winery lunches. The kids love picking off a platter including cheese, meats, dips and bickies.
Lupo’s Kiln Café
A little further down the road near Myrtleford (25 min’s from Bright) is Lupo’s Kiln Café We didn’t stop in at but looks like a great option with a fantastic large playground and just about everything is grown in their kitchen garden.
The Punka Pub is open for lunch and dinner. It has recently been updated and is definitely not a country bumkin pub – it is really funky with a great outlook down to the river. It was ridiculously busy over Christmas.
The Punkah Pantry is open for lunch (pizza on Wed and Sat nights). We didn’t eat here but friends had pizza and said it was good. There are no phone orders for pizza.
Rail Trail Café
The Rail Trail Cafe, Porepunkah is a café with Mexican influence. They don’t take bookings and is very popular so there is sometimes a long wait for food. There is a sand pit for the kids and the meals are large!
We loved the Bright Brewery! We only had one lunch during the week but could have easier visited more than once. The menu is extensive with yummy salads, pizza and sweet potato taco’s. There is plenty of seating but it does get very busy over the holiday periods. It is also right next to the playground!
The Wandiligong Pub
The Wandiligong Pub, or Wandi Pub is less than 10 minutes from Bight. We ran out of time to visit but it was high on our list – next time for sure. The grounds look awesome, the menu sounds delicious so it’s a definite for next trip.
So, there you have it. I think I have covered some of the best activities for kids in Bright, Porepunkah and surrounds (and families in general). There are of course heaps more places to eat in Bright with kids – would love to hear your favourites.
We loved our weekend away in Bright with kids, hope you do too. Bright is a really popular family destination in the summer holidays but the other seasons are just as beautiful.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Bright? Have I missed anything that you love?
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