Spring into Jazz country with these 5 ‘Civilised’ Adventures

Excuse the ‘obvious’ title but as the winter thaw reveals blossoms bursting against our impossibly blue High Country skies I have rediscovered the spring in my step (Sorry, again) and thought I’d select a few of the more ‘adventurous’ activities you might like to add to your Jazz country itinerary over the festival weekend.

Some people journey to Jazz country for three days of non-stop jazz & blues but with Day Passes now available why not take the opportunity to explore the High Country as part of your weekend plans?

rivertribe1. Paddle & Picnic with River Tribe Adventures

Okay, so it’s not exactly extreme white-water-type adventure I’m talking about. Paddling downstream on the Ovens River after enjoying a gourmet picnic hamper lunch with local Prosecco on a secluded river beach is a great way to connect with the natural landscape, bird and animal life. It’s quite civilised really! River Tribe Adventures will sort out all the transport, food (and sparkles!) and can even arrange a guide if you like. If this sounds all too civilised then how about an overnight stay…Glamping style of course.

Take advantage of River Tribe Adventure’s Spring Special of $79 per person (normally $99) based on a minimum of 2 guests.

PHONE: 0457 902 966.
EMAIL: info@rivertribeadventures.com

2. Hike or Mountain Bike the Friends Trail: Warby Ranges

Friends Track is a self‐guided walk/ride starting from Wenhams Camp in the Warby Ranges and is a moderate 4.6km loop track taking approximately two hours to complete by foot.

The 14,655 ha Warby-Ovens National Park is characterised by three distinct vegetation communities – the granitic hills and woodlands of the Warby Range, the Box-Ironbark of the Killawarra Forest and the Redgum forest and wetlands of the unregulated Ovens Heritage River. Together they provide an important link from the alpine foothills to the Murray River protecting some of the State’s most significant bushland.
There is an opportunity to divert from the track to Kwat Kwat Lookout (1km return) with excellent views of the Ovens Valley and the Victorian Alps. So whether you hike or mountain bike, take some time to connect with some of Victoria’s most significant National Parkland.

Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.

3. Lake William Hovell Road Ride 42kms.

The High Country boasts some of the finest road, rail trail and cross-country cycling in Australia and is a destination in its own right for serious cycling adventure. But, as part of a weekend of Jazz and Blues, here’s a great way to stretch the legs between sets!

Starting in Whitfield, in the glorious King Valley riders take the King Valley Road to Cheshunt and continue to the stunning Lake William Hovell passing through stunning countryside and numerous vineyards which pose a genuine (if not welcome) distraction to completing the ride.

4. Prosecco Pack on Horesback

If you hadn’t worked it out we are fairly fond of Prosecco in these parts and with good cause, Prosecco was pioneered in the King Valley Wine Region and some of Australia’s finest examples are produced here (Prosecco Road – is a whole other adventure!)

It seems appropriate then that the pioneering Forge family of Forge’s Farm, the last original settlers on the King River and still farming the land today will teach you how to pack a horse (With essential stores such as Prosecco of course) before meandering down on horseback to the shady banks of the King River where Milawa Cheese & your Dal Zotto Prosecco awaits.

Call Graham on 0407 009 114 or email ggamforge@gmail.com

5. Hook a trout

Some beautiful streams pass through the King Valley and it’s great country to spend an afternoon on the water so pack a rod if you are so inclined. These are small streams and the fish mightn’t be record breakers but as I say to my son “Fishing isn’t all about catching fish”, a sentiment that comes in particularly handy when the basket returns home bare.

There are a couple of small, gravel bed creeks including Boggy Creek and Black Range Creek in Edi, flowing through forest and farmland, containing brown trout to 750 g, some small blackfish and small redfin downstream. Also Australian smelt, mountain galaxias and southern pygmy perch.

Did we mention that trout goes well with Prosecco?

In hindsight this list probably better qualifies as what the tourism folk term “soft adventures”.

I’d prefer to coin the term “civilized adventures”, but hey we are fans of jazz and blues…would we have it any other way?

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