Great Alpine Road

Great Alpine Road, Australia's highest year-round accessible paved road

Great Alpine Road is a country tourist road in Victoria, Australia, running from Wangaratta, in the northeast of Victoria to Bairnsdale, a small city in East Gippsland, Victoria. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world.

Is the Great Alpine Road paved?

Running through the Victorian Alps, the Great Alpine Road (B500) is totally paved. It’s 303 km (188 mi) long and the name came into use on 4th April 1998.

Where does the Great Alpine Road start and finish?

The Great Alpine Road runs for 303 km winding through mountains, valleys and forests, and past rivers, vineyards and farms. Starting at Wangaratta the road passes through farmland and vineyards and valleys until Bright. Then the road passes through countryside until Harrietville. After that the road ascends uphill to Mount Hotham. This steep part of the road is very dangerous and care should be taken when driving, it is also very twisty and has numerous hairpin bends. Once this road leaves Mount Hotham it is a 15 minute drive to Dinner Plain. From there the road is steep, twisty and has a few extreme curves, once again care should be taken when driving.  Once you have passed the twisty road. You will end up in Omeo in 5–15 minutes. Once you leave Omeo the road is moderately steep and is quite twisty between Omeo and Bruthern. From there the road is straight most of the way until Bairnsdale, where the road finishes.

Is the Great Alpine Road safe?

The drive demands careful attention from the driver. It is wide enough for oncoming vehicles to pass, but in some places only just. Many steep drops begin almost at the edge of the road surface, and there aren't always crash barriers. It’s also known as the GAR and is the highest bitumen road in Australia. Between Omeo and Harrietville the road is not suitable for towing caravans, and care should be taken with other RVs.

Is the Great Alpine Road open?

Take this road slow. Extreme weather conditions can sometimes still result in the road being closed between Harrietville and Omeo. It’s said to be Australia's highest year-round accessible sealed road. The section over Mount Hotham rises to an altitude of 1.840m (6,040ft) above the sea level, and is blanketed with snow during winter months and must be cleared on a daily basis. Even without ice or snow it is a drive to be treated with respect. The road is often closed by snow from late autumn through to early spring, and chains should always be carried at this time of year. During the official snow season, chains are compulsory for all vehicles, and they may be hired on a one-way basis from either side of the high country.

 

 

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