PAGE 52 | GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE HARRIETVILLE As you make your way along the Great Alpine Road towards Mt Hotham, you drive (or ride) into the picturesque mountain village of Harrietville. Resting on the banks of the Ovens River, Harrietville is tucked-in at the foot of the surrounding slopes of the Ovens Valley. The town offers a range of affordable accomodation options, and – in summer and autumn – is an ideal home base for activities including mountain bike riding, bushwalking, four-wheel driving, off-road and on-road motor biking, and fishing. Surrounded by the Alpine National Park, Harrietville is also the starting point for the world renowned Mt Feathertop and Bon Accord walking tracks. A golden history Gold was first discovered in Harrietville in 1852, and the area was soon inundated with every kind of gold-mining technology, from the humble panning dish, to the largest dredge in the Southern Hemisphere. The quest for gold went unabated until the mid 1950s. Today, it is a little quieter, offering visitors a serene and beautiful location for a getaway. The town's golden history is captured in the riverside Pioneer Park, which features a museum and displays paying homage to the local pioneers and prospectors – including a riverside bronze sculpture of a gold panner. The park is a pleasant spot to have a picnic, stretch your legs, or just sit and listen to the cascading river water. Gourmet delights The rich soil of the valley floor – and the rivers that flow through the region – ensure bountiful harvests for the local alpine valley farmers, and many have farm gate shops or stalls, providing you the opportunity to enjoy their fine, fresh local produce. Harrietville is also an ideal base from which to explore the High Country's renowned wineries. Riding high If you're a motorbike or road cycling enthusiast, you'll love staying in Harrietville, which has some great cafés and country pubs, so you can fuel-up before heading up into the mountains, and enjoy a hearty pub meal on your return. And mountain bike riders are well catered for as well, with a fun network of bush trails to explore. Tranquility at the base of the mountains Mountain bike riders are well catered for in Harrietville, with a fun network of bush trails to explore. The Ovens River at Harrietville. The world renowned Mt Feathertop and Bon Accord walking tracks can be accessed from Harrietville.