We can never resist taking another trip to Myrtleford.
This laidback town in the heart of Victoria’s alpine wine region is the perfect base from which to explore the many wineries, mountains, and valleys — along with some of the best food in the state.
In our opinion, one of the highlights of Myrtleford is its thriving arts and culture scene, which blends seamlessly with its outdoorsy culture. A quick stroll down the main street reveals art galleries, bustling cafes, boutique shops, and walking trails galore.
And of course, no visit to Myrtleford would be complete without sampling the region’s renowned wines. The town is a hub for the Alpine Valleys wine region, which produces some of Australia’s finest cool-climate wines. Visitors can take a scenic drive through the vineyards, stopping at cellar doors along the way to sample a range of varietals.
But Myrtleford is more than just a wine-lover’s paradise – it’s also a gateway to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the region. Nearby areas like Mt Buffalo National Park give easy access to the great outdoors, with hiking trails, mountain biking tracks, and scenic drives that take in the region’s rugged beauty.
Myrtleford is a destination that has something to offer everyone, from history buffs and culture seekers to wine enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its unique blend of heritage, culture, and natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Myrtleford has become one of Victoria’s most beloved towns.
See the Iconic Log Tobacco Kiln
We were seriously impressed with the old tobacco kiln in Myrtleford.
Interestingly, Myrtleford was once considered the tobacco capital of Australia, with its fertile land and favorable climate providing ideal conditions for growing the crop.
Although tobacco farming has since ceased in the area, its distinctive, A-frame buildings are still visible today through the iconic kilns that are scattered throughout the region. The most well-preserved of these is the historic log tobacco kiln in Myrtleford’s centre.
The kiln, believed to date back to the early 1900s, is an example of the type of structure that was used to cure and dry tobacco leaves in the region during this time.
It was constructed from locally sourced logs, which were hand-hewn and assembled using traditional techniques. The interior of the kiln then features a series of racks or “horses” on which the tobacco leaves were hung to dry. Nearby plaques pointed out how this specific design allowed for a controlled flow of air and heat; essential for the tobacco curing process.
While tobacco cultivation is no longer a major industry in the region, the tobacco kiln remains an important part of Myrtleford’s cultural heritage. The structure serves as a reminder of the hard work and ingenuity of the early settlers who turned the fertile soil of the Alpine Valleys into a hub of tobacco production, and is evidence of the unique architectural heritage of the region.
Today, the historic log tobacco kiln is a popular attraction for visitors to Myrtleford, and the interesting plaques both inside and alongside the structure are well-worth having a read of.
Walk the Marvellous Myrtleford Mosaic Trail
I love the story behind Myrtleford’s Mosaic Trail.
It was back in 2019 when two art-loving friends, referring to themselves as The Two Crackpots, crept out at night and decided to secretly install a mosaic mural along Myrtleford’s riverside. Fortunately, their guerrilla artwork attempt was greeted with praise and delight, so they reacted by doubling down on their efforts. Gradually, more and more murals began to pop up around town.
Four years later and there’s now over a hundred mosaics scattered across Myrtleford; you’ll undoubtedly stumble across a few without much effort. The vast majority of the artworks, however, are found along the Myrtleford Mosaic Trail.
This 5.6 km track leads you in a loop alongside the river and through the city’s parks, with mosaics, mosaics, mosaics, as far as the eye can see.
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, because the mosaics are actually quite hidden. Let’s just say, you shouldn’t expect to spot all one hundred of them — we uncovered only 20 or so on our morning stroll — but that’s what made it all so fun. Each and every time you tackle the walk, you’ll notice a few new ones, and kids will undoubtedly be thrilled to spend some time checking rocks, benches, and tree trunks for hidden artwork.
The motivation for the Two Crackpots was wanting to promote making art accessible for all in Myrtleford, while inspiring people to linger a little longer in nature, discovering the wonder that can be found in the small things. Impressively, all of the artworks have been created from broken tiles and dishes, spreading the message that you can creatively reuse materials without having to always buy new.
The official start point is at the Mosaic Wall in Jubilee Park (it’s a huge mural; you can’t miss it) and from there, you’ll walk to Rotary park, beside the Ovens River to Apex Park, and then back to the start. The trail is sealed and flat, and can be traversed by wheelchairs and bicycles, too.
Myrtleford’s Visitor Information Centre does carry Mosaic Trail Maps, so if you do want to ensure you see each and every one, pop in and grab yourself a copy before you set out.
Gain a Bird’s Eye View From Reform Hill
If there’s one thing that every visitor to Myrtleford should do, it’s checking out the views from the lookout atop Reform Hill. The viewpoint, on the outskirts of the town, has panoramic views of the town and nearby countryside, including Mount Buffalo.
If you’re short on time, or keen to give your legs a break, you can simply drive to the top of the hill — it’s marked on Google Maps as “Reform Hill Lookout”. The drive follows a tight and winding road, the surface a blend of dirt and gravel, but it’s not too tricky to navigate and you can make it in less than 10 minutes from the centre of town.
If you’re craving a bit of a workout, though, you can walk from Myrtleford to the lookout — a journey that you can expect to take around 40 minutes each way, with some steep parts towards the top. It’s a lovely walk, with plenty to see along the way, from the Hume and Hovell Monument to the Reform Mine shaft.
From the top, the views are most definitely worth the effort to get there. We’ve never shared the lookout with more than two other people whenever we’ve visited, so it’s always felt like a peaceful sanctuary from which to chill and take photos of the views.
Before descending, take some time to seek out some of those Myrtleford mosaics — there’s a few scattered around the landscape up here.
See the Big Tree
Myrtleford is known for being the home of The Big Tree, an enormous River Red Gum that’s one of the largest in Victoria. And it truly is a sight to behold.
Coming in at well over 200 years old, with a height of 23 metres and a girth of over nine metres, this tree is seriously impressive.
This tree has been used as a meeting place for local residents throughout history, from before European settlement when the Aboriginal group of Mnjambuta would gather, to the gold mining era of Myrtleford. You can certainly see why this tree was chosen when you get up close and compare its size to others that surround it.
Finding the tree is easy — just look up! — and it’s just one block back from the main street of Myrtleford, so there’s no need to drive there. It’s located in a small park in a residential area of town, with a couple of interesting plaques sharing information about the tree and the railway that once ran past it.
Have Breakfast at Cafe Chulo
If you’re going to be in Myrtleford on a Monday or Tuesday, that’s extremely unfortunate for you, as that means you won’t be able to experience the joy that is Cafe Chulo.
This is mine and Dave’s favourite restaurant in town, and we can’t get enough of its breakfast and lunch offerings. Cafe Chulo is a Nepalese-Australian restaurant, so don’t worry: it’s still got all of your typical Aussie brunch dishes, like smashed avo and toasties. But what truly makes this cafe so special is its Nepalese dishes.
I’ve had the pleasure of spending several weeks travelling across Nepal and must confess that one of my biggest highlights from that trip was the cuisine. Ever since, I’ve never turned down the opportunity to dig into some authentic Nepalese food.
And the dishes at Cafe Chulo? They’re seriously legit. Their chai took me back to breakfasts in the Himalayas and was perfectly spiced and sweetened; I could have drank a litre of it.
The kedgeree is probably our favourite dish, mixing spiced basmati rice with spring onion, coriander, a boiled egg, chillies, and even smoked salmon from the nearby town of Harrietville. Such simple ingredients, but they all come together in a way that’ll have you exclaiming it’s one of the best things you’ve ever eaten.
We’re big fans of their lamb and potato curry, too: the lamb provides a rich and meaty flavor, while the potatoes add a slightly sweet and earthy taste. The curry is cooked with a blend of aromatic spices, which give it a distinct and complex (and hot!) flavor, while the vegetables add additional depth and richness to the sauce.
If you find yourself in town when Cafe Chulo is open and you love your Nepalese food — or even just food in general — this is definitely the place to check out.
Play Mosaic Snakes and Ladders
So you’ve probably already gathered that Myrtleford is a haven of mosaics. You can spot them all over the town, from the lookouts to the parks and most notably, the Mosaic Trail we mentioned above.
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to get the kids (and kids-at-heart) excited in Myrtleford, though, it’s the giant mosaic snakes and ladders, located right in the heart of town. Every time I wander past this square-shaped delight, there’s always a new family diving in and playing an action-packed game.
You’ll find the snakes and ladders in Jubilee Park. It’s easy to spot, as the park is quite small, and there’s a picnic table beside it for anybody who wants to sit and spectate.
Ingeniously, there’s even a mosaic spinning dice attached to the nearby bus shelter, a metre away from the playing board, which makes it possible to play the game without needing to bring your own equipment!
Pay Your Respects at the Memorial Square
At the heart of Myrtleford, you’ll find Memorial Square, a beautiful area that pays tribute to the bravery of local defence forces who lost their lives as a result of war.
Originally constructed in 1923, the memorial features the bronze sculpture of local hero, Albert David Lowerson, a Victoria Cross recipient who lived from 1896 to 1945. Lowerson’s acts of bravery during World War One earned him the prestigious Victoria Cross and local veterans make a pilgrimage to Memorial Square on ANZAC Day to honour his sacrifice.
The memorial has undergone several updates over the years, with additional names of the fallen from subsequent wars being added to the monument, including the Korean War, Vietnam War, and World War II.
The memorial is in the center of the town and a must-visit for anyone who has an interest in history or simply wants to pay respects to our fallen heroes. There’s also a memorial that’s dedicated to the nurses of World War I.
Wow Over the Brunches at Cafe Fez
Cafe Fez is another wonderful cafe in Myrtleford, offering up Middle Eastern and Moroccan-style meals with some truly excellent decor. I felt as though I was back in Morocco while I was there, sipping on sweet mint tea and diving into some of the freshest tomatoes around.
It’s one of the most popular cafes in Myrtleford, so if you plan to visit on a sunny Saturday in summer, be prepared to not be able to get a table at all (it’s happened to us before), as locals and visitors flock to this bustling cafe in their droves.
If you can get a spot, though, you’ll be seriously impressed with the breakfast and lunch offerings. On our most recent visit, I went for the Lebanese breakfast (homemade labneh, fresh tomatoes, marinated olives, and za’atar blanketed pita) while Dave opted for the Fez Big Breakfast.
Cafe Fez is an institution in Myrtleford and for good reason: if you’re going to be spending time here, you’ll most likely find yourself popping in for at least one delicious breakfast.
Buy Something Unusual From Red Ramia Trading
Red Ramia is the type of place that I can’t quite believe is able to exist in Myrtleford, but I’m so glad it does, because I adore exploring this fascinating store whenever I’m in town.
Selling furniture, sculptures, and trinkets that have been imported from countries like India, Japan, Morocco, and China, perusing the shelves of Red Ramia is enough to have you feeling as though you’ve jumped on a plane to somewhere a little more foreign. And as somebody who has been to the countries these artefacts are from — thanks to my decade-long career as a travel writer — I had so much fun choosing the items I’d buy for my home if money was no object.
Some might refer to it as a junk store — and, in fact, I overheard one man say just that — but to me, it’s full of nothing but treasures.
So give yourself at least half an hour to wander down the aisles of Red Ramia (you could truly spend several hours here, as the space is vast), admire the goods from faraway places, and maybe even pick up a souvenir or two to brighten up your home.
Grab a Coffee From Coffee Chakra
If you love your coffee as much as we do, then we have no stronger recommendation than Coffee Chakra.
Tucked away on a quiet back street, Coffee Chakra is a charming little cafe and coffee roaster that easily serves the best caffeine in town. Open on weekdays from 6am to 1pm, it’s a popular spot with locals and visitors alike, and for good reason.
There’s a small range of tasty sandwiches and baked goods on the menu, but it’s the coffee that really brings people here. I last visited mid-morning on a Tuesday, and had to wait a while for my flat white, as a steady flow of takeaway cups made their way out the door.
It was worth the wait, though: strong and delicious, this place would fit right in with the best of Melbourne’s offerings. I enjoyed sipping my coffee in the sunshine on the small outdoor deck, but there are a few spots inside as well if the weather isn’t cooperating when you’re there.
The beans are roasted right there in town, too, so if you particularly enjoyed your coffee, you can buy bags to take home with you, or order them later from their online store.
Try Out Myrtleford’s New Bouldering Gym
One of the newest establishments in town — the owner told us they opened in January 2023 — Buffalo Boulders has quickly grown into a real asset for Myrtleford.
Welcoming experienced climbers and newbies alike, the staff at Buffalo Boulder are friendly, warm, and eager to introduce you to the sport if you haven’t tried it before. Dave and I are big fans of bouldering already, so needed no introduction, and we came away really impressed with the space.
The gym always contains a good mix of adults and kids, and routes range from easy climbs for young ones to crimpy slabs and overhangs that’ll challenge the very best of boulderers. Climbing is available for anyone aged five and up, with adult supervision required for anyone between the ages of 5 and 15.
Rental shoes are available, of course, and most importantly, so is freshly-brewed coffee. So if you find yourself at a loose end in Myrtleford, or are looking for a way to keep the kids busy on a rainy day, Buffalo Boulders might just be the solution to your needs.
Follow the Myrtleford Discovery Trail
Myrtleford has a fascinating history, from the Chinese gold miners who first had the bright idea to start growing tobacco in Myrtleford, to the Italian immigrants that found their way here while escaping unrest in the 1920s.
I confess I didn’t know either of those facts until I jumped on the Myrtleford Discovery Trail that runs right through the heart of town.
A series of stainless steel panels make up the Discovery Trail, starting from the Visitor Information Centre and taking you on a 500 metre journey through the history of Myrtleford. It’s a short but sweet activity, but worth doing as you’ll learn heaps about the town’s history over that time.
Join a Tasting at Gapsted Wines
Dave and I have drank our way through Victoria’s wine regions on more than several occasions, and we rate Gapsted Wines up there as having some of the best tipples in the area. It was established back in 1996 and has since become one of the region’s most award-winning wineries.
A wine tasting at Gapsted is a must-do while you’re in Myrtleford, but we have to say that the food is also impeccable and definitely worth sampling if you’re craving a winery lunch at the same time. We recommend making a reservation, as it can get busy. If you’re just there for the tastings, the cellar door and restaurant area is set against a landscape of vines and mountains, so do take the opportunity to sit outside while you enjoy the wine.
Interestingly, the Italian community that we mentioned above has had a huge impact on the choice of grapes grown within this region, so you’ll find pinot grigio, sangiovese, fiano, barbere, and even prosecco up for grabs at the winery.
Or Michelini Wines in the Heart of Town
If you don’t want to venture as far as Gapsted, then look no further than Michelini Wines, located within easy walking distance, on the main street of Myrtleford.
This winery was established in 1892 by the Michelini family, who have been making wine in this region for over four generations. And let’s just say, they’ve definitely perfected the art.
Michelini Wines is known for its premium cool-climate wines, which are made using traditional winemaking techniques and locally grown grapes. The winery produces a range of varietals, including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a number of sparkling and dessert wines.
Michelini Wines’ cellar door is a popular destination for visitors to the region, offering tastings of the winery’s full range of wines and some excellent food options.
Cycle Part of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
If your trip to Myrtleford is part of an extended adventure through Victoria’s High Country, then you’ll no doubt have discovered the existence of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. This 116 km (72 mile) cycling and walking track starts in Rutherglen (on the Murray) and finishes in Bright (at the base of the Victorian Alps), passing through railway stations, vineyards, and country towns — including Myrtleford — along the way.
It’s one of the country’s most popular rail trails — and one of the very best — following the route of the former Bright railway line that operated between 1890 and 1987.
The trail is well-maintained (it’s paved from start to finish) and takes you past a diverse range of landscapes as you meander your way through the Ovens Valley. You’ll get to explore historic Beechworth, the gourmet offerings of Milawa, and the outdoorsy alpine town of Bright. And whenever you need a break, you can stop at the many farm shops, breweries, wineries, and cafes along the way, making this trail just as much about the food as it is the exercise.
Odds are, if you’re only just finding out about the trail right now, you’re not about to spring for a rental bike and cycle over 100 kilometres on it. But there are sections of the trail that are well worth tackling.
We recommend hiring a bicycle and making the journey between Myrtleford and Gapsted Wines. At a distance of seven kilometres each way, it’ll take around half an hour to cycle there, at which point you can reward yourself with a delicious cellar door meal.
Buy All the Pumpkin Products From Pepo Farms
One of our favourite places to stop at while driving between Myrtleford and Bright is Pepo Farms: a delightful little place that focuses on all things pumpkin.
Now, if you were to tell me that pumpkin seeds weren’t something you typically get excited about, I wouldn’t be surprised; we were exactly the same. Still, we’d heard that Pepo Farms was a worthy stopover destination, so we decided to head out there to see what all the fuss was about.
To our great surprise, this ended up being one of our favourite discoveries of the region.
The staff were so warm and welcoming, greeting us at the door and immediately offering us a free tasting. Of course, we said yes. We sampled six different flavours of pumpkin seeds: roasted, salted, wood-smoked, mild chilli, hot cajun, and dark chocolate — all while learning more about the pumpkin seed production process. We washed it all down with some of their pumpkin seed oil, which was far more enjoyable than it sounds.
Everything we tried was fantastic, so we picked up plenty of treats to bring home with us: a bottle of pumpkin seed oil to drizzle over salads, a big bag of the hot cajun pumpkin seeds, and two smaller bags of the wood-smoked and dark chocolate.
The dark chocolate was probably our biggest surprise. You wouldn’t think that chocolate and pumpkin seeds would go together, but they do, and they do so spectacularly. As an added bonus, the chocolate is dairy-free, so vegans are able to sample it too!
Pepo Farms is just a 6 km (or 7 minute) drive from Myrtleford, so it’s easy to justify the visit. We highly recommend doing so.
Pick up Something Fruity at the Buffalo Berry Farm
If you love your berries, then you’re going to definitely want to make a pit stop at Buffalo Berry Farms, which is located on the outskirts of Myrtleford near Pepo Farms.
Here, you’ll be able to find any berry you can think of: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and more, along with a cafe that serves homemade ice cream, berry pies, berry pancakes, and berry milkshakes.
If it’s the right time of year, you’ll be able to join in on a berry picking extravaganza. Even if you happen to visit outside of season, that wonderful cafe will still be open, serving berry themed items throughout the year.
Spend an Afternoon at Mount Buffalo National Park
Mount Buffalo National Park is home to some of the best hiking in the state.
Kick things off by turning right when you get to Porepunkah, located just 6 km before Bright. The turnoff will take you straight on to Mount Buffalo Road, which then leads you through the national park. You’ll be able to gain a pretty good taste of the area’s unique landscapes along this road, and if you’re lucky, spot kangaroos and wombats from the asphalt.
There are over a dozen short hikes in Mount Buffalo National Park, many of which are just as scenic as the longer treks. With a limited amount of time, we recommend the Eurobin Falls Track (1.4 km return), which takes you to two remarkably impressive waterfalls, and the Gorge Heritage Walk (2.5 km loop), which offers up tons of great viewpoints of waterfalls and mountains. These trails are suitable for most fitness levels and Dave and I completed each of them in under an hour.
If you still have time after the walks, drive up to The Horn, the highest point in the park at 1,700 meters. A short 15-minute walk will take you to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with epic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. We were seriously impressed by this lookout, although warn you to expect to share it with a dozen other people at once.
Jump on a Tasting Extravaganza in Nearby Milawa
Myrtleford is just 30 kilometres east of Milawa, the latter of which is one of our favourite areas of the region. Yes, it’s in Milawa where you can sample tons of local produce — all of which are of such a high quality!
We had a fabulous time, driving from the Milawa Cheese Co. to Milawa Mustards, to the Milawa Olive Shop, to Milawa Bread. It’s an incredible part of Victoria, jam-packed with local foods and drink. Most of the providers offer free tastings, which makes it a super-fun experience, even if you’re travelling on a budget.
Although, if you’re anything like us, you’ll end up picking up some souvenirs from every place you step into.
We wrote an entire post on the best things to do in Milawa so do check it out if you want to spend a morning eating your way around the area.
Wander Through the Myrtleford Old School Museum
The Myrtleford Old School Museum is housed in the former Myrtleford Primary School, which operated from 1875 to 1994 and remains an important chapter of the town’s educational history.
Today, the museum offers visitors a glimpse into the past, showcasing a range of displays and artifacts, including photographs, documents, and objects related to the region’s early settlers, as well as exhibits on the timber and tobacco industries that flourished here.
One of the highlights of the Myrtleford Old School Museum is its collection of antique schoolroom furniture and equipment, which offers a fascinating insight into the educational practices of the past. Visitors can see how lessons were taught in the 19th and early 20th centuries, from the use of slate boards and chalk to the strict disciplinary methods of the time.
The museum also features a number of interactive displays and activities for children, including a replica schoolroom where kids can experience what it was like to attend school in the past.
Myrtleford Cycle Centre
The Myrtleford Cycle Centre is a hub for cycling enthusiasts in the town of Myrtleford, located in the Alpine Valleys region of northeastern Victoria, Australia. The center is a one-stop-shop for all things cycling, offering a range of services and resources to support cyclists of all levels.
At the Myrtleford Cycle Centre, visitors can rent bicycles, helmets, and other cycling gear, and get advice on the best routes and trails in the area. The center offers a range of bikes for rent, from high-performance road bikes to sturdy e-bikes and everything in between.
For those who want to explore the region on their own, the center offers maps and route suggestions for cycling tours of varying distances and difficulty levels. These routes take you to the landscapes of vineyards, forests, and mountain ranges.
In addition to its rental and tour services, the Myrtleford Cycle Centre is also a full-service bike shop, offering repairs, maintenance, and accessories for all types of bicycles. The center’s expert technicians can service and repair bikes of all makes and models, ensuring that visitors can keep their bikes in top condition for their entire trip.
Myrtleford Visitor information centre
The Myrtleford Visitor Information Centre is a valuable resource for travelers, and we do recommend popping in once you arrive in town.
Within the centre, visitors can find information on local attractions, activities, and events, and the knowledgeable staff can offer advice on the best things to see and do in the area, as well as provide maps and brochures to help you plan your itinerary.
In addition, the Myrtleford Visitor Information Centre is also home to a gift shop, which offers a range of locally made souvenirs and products.
Tobacco Heritage Display
The Tobacco Heritage Display is a cultural attraction that showcases the region’s rich history of tobacco cultivation. The display offers visitors a fascinating insight into the town’s past as a major center of tobacco production.
One of the highlights of the Tobacco Heritage Display is its collection of historic photographs, which offer a unique glimpse into the daily life of tobacco workers in the region. The photos capture the hard work and dedication of the early settlers who turned the fertile soil of the Alpine Valleys into a hub of tobacco production.