is a town of some 3,500 people located 223 m above sea-level
on the Great Alpine Road between Wangaratta and Bright in north-east Victoria. Myrtleford is 273 km north-east
of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway.
Approaching Myrtleford, travellers are struck by the beauty
of the mountains. From these mountains run fresh clean waters
to make the creeks and streams which finally join together
to form the Ovens
river has been the life blood of Myrtleford since 1837 when
the first squatter John Hillas erected his huts and stockyards
on its banks. Soon after, miners began to arrive in the
region in search of gold. The track the miners hacked along
the Ovens, River is now the Great Alpine Road.
is beautifully positioned in the northern foothills of the
Mt Buffalo Range adjacent the Ovens River, Happy Valley
Creek and Barwidgee Creek. As a result of its location it
serves as a gateway to Mt Buffalo National Park and its
associated skiing resorts.
scenery, tranquillity, rivers and mountain views will enchant
visitors to Myrtleford, nestled in the Ovens Valley with
Mt Buffalo providing a dramatic backdrop. The town is a
flourishing commercial centre and the hub for timber,
hops and the expanding premium
on foot or by bicycle is the best way to explore Myrtleford
and its surrounds. There's a wonderful view of the town
from Reform Hill which you can reach via the walking tracks.
On the western side of town on the Great Alpine Road is
the Phoenix Tree, where, to the centre of its root system
you will see the Phoenix Bird sculptured by Hans Knorr.
At the entrance to the town is a old log Tobacco Kiln which
has been relocated and represents one of the industries
that Myrtleford has been built on.
to the Mountains Rail Trail
the beautiful Ovens Valley by walking or cycling along the Murray
to the Mountains Rail Trail. This is an old,
disused railway line that has recently been converted into
a walking and cycling track, and is now available for public
The track currently extends from Myrtleford through to Bright
to the South, and to Gapsted, Wangaratta and Beechworth
to the North. Easy gradients and wide curves make the track
suitable for all ages, and you will encounter interesting
cuttings, bridges and reminders of railway eras. In addition,
the railway reserves are ideal corridors for nature conservation.
section of Rail Trail is part of the Victorian Rail Trail
Project which is setting the pace in converting "rails to
trails". Changed transport needs have left a network of
disused railway lines across the state, which offer tremendous
opportunities for recreation and tourism. By the time the
project is completed, a total of 700 km of disused railway
line will be converted to tracks for the public to enjoy.
at the foot of Mt Buffalo, Lake Buffalo is a man-made picturesque
lake located on the Buffalo River. It is a part of the Murray
River system, with a storage capacity of 24,000 ml. It supplies
water to Wangaratta and the many farms and hop gardens
in the Buffalo Valley. It is an excellent spot for fishing,
boating, swimming and water skiing, and has picnic facilities.
Lake Buffalo is approximately 20km from Myrtleford. There is no camping allowed around Lake Buffalo, camping
sites are located 14.2km south of Lake. See information
board for camping details
Fishing is also popular on the Ovens and Buffalo Rivers,
Rose River and Barwidgee Creek.
For many years tobacco growing was the main agricultural industry around Myrtleford, contributing $28 million each year at the farm gate. This all came to an end in 2006 when the growers accepted a financial package from British American Tobacco, Phillip Morris and the Australian Government to terminate production as it was cheaper to source leaf from overseas.
Today, there is a boom in wine-grape production as well as other crops such as walnuts, chestnuts and cherries. New wineries have sprung up and the availability of fresh produce has encouraged people to open quality restaurants and bistros.
From what was seen as a major blow to the town's economy, the advent of other crops and the rapid expansion of the tourism industry linked to food and wine has given Myrtleford a new lease on life!