Great Alpine Road Visitor Guide

GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 55 DINNER PLAIN Dinner Plain provides a fun, friendly and interesting alpine environment in summer and autumn. In fact, these warmer months open up a whole new world! Snow-based activities change to the active outdoors, with a variety of High Country adventures from which to choose. Established in 1986, Dinner Plain is located on the highest freehold land in the country and is a fairyland of timber and stone houses nestled among twisted snow gums. Built with sensitivity to the environment, the architecture is inspired by the characteristics of the old High Country cattlemen's huts. There are plenty of accommodation styles at Dinner Plain, including fully self-contained apartments, cabins, chalets, houses and of course, motels, making it an excellent base for alpine sightseeing. Go low-key A multitude of tracks, trails and roads criss-cross the mountain area, inviting exploration of the surrounding High Country on foot, by bicycle or in your car. Low-key local activities can include winery visits, bird watching, or just wandering the many bush tracks with their gnarled eucalypts and alpine flowers. There are a number of picnic sites at Dinner Plain, including JB Plain, Champagne Point, and Stonehenge, and barbecue facilities can be found at DP Hut and Scrubbers End. One relatively easy bushwalk to try is Fitzy's Circuit Trail. It's a gentle 1.2-kilometre circuit walk around Dinner Plain that will provide you with a great introduction to a variety of alpine landscapes, as well as highlighting the unique architecture of the village. The trail takes-in snowgum woodlands with understories of flowering shrubs, open grassy plains, wildflower meadows and wetlands. Playground sculptures For the younger members of the family, be sure to check out the delightful interactive sculptures – combining art with fun – at the Dinner Plain playground. The sculptures of an emu and a brumby are the work of Yackandandah artist, Benjamin Gilbert, and provide children with the opportunity to climb into and onto the pieces, surrounded by an unfamiliar alpine landscape. Get adventurous For the more adventurous, there are plenty of nearby opportunities for extended hiking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, abseiling, and horse riding. If you're fit and looking for a slightly more challenging, but relatively short bushwalk at Dinner Plain, consider the two-kilometre Carmichael Falls Walk. Heading off along the Dinner Plain 4WD track, this single-track trail descends through snowgum forest to a viewing platform overlooking the picturesque Carmichael Falls. The actual falls are in fact two falls side-by-side at the confluence of the Precipice and Dinner Plain Creeks which rise in the alpine bogs of the Dinner Plain Village. It's a short kilometre walk down to the lookout, but the hike out has a steep gradient that's sure to get your heart pumping. Mountain biking Mountain bike riders will want to take to the Dinner Plains pump track to test out their skills. During the 'green season' it's set up near the roundabout as you enter Dinner Plain. There are also plenty of mountain-bike tracks around the village, suitable for various skill levels, ranging from beginners to advanced. Trail maps are available from information centres, local outlets or online. For general information about Dinner Plain, go to visitdinnerplain. Stay safe At this altitude, weather conditions can change rapidly and mobile phone coverage isn't always reliable. So, when you're venturing out on a hike or mountain-bike ride, always carry warm clothing and a waterproof jacket, a sun hat, sturdy shoes, a map, a first-aid kit and plenty of water, as well as snacks. Importantly, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Warm-weather meandering in the alpine zone Hikers enjoying the headline attraction of the Carmichael Falls Walk at Dinner Plain. Photo: Visit Victoria