Driving along the Grand Ridge Road.
The view along the Grand Ridge Road.
The quaint little town of Mirboo North.
Get ready to take in scenery that varies between undulating farmland, thick forests, fern gullies and high ridges with panoramic views.
The Grand Ridge Road is 132 kilometres long and runs along the entire length of the Strzelecki Ranges. It starts at Mount Worth State Park and extends east to where it meets the Hyland Highway. Not all of the road is sealed, and it is a fairly winding drive with some confusing intersections, so be sure to have a map handy.
The scenery along the road varies between undulating farmland, thick forests, fern gullies and high ridges with panoramic views. The only town along the Grand Ridge Road is Mirboo North, which was settled as a timber town in the 1870s and now services the local dairy industry.
In Mirboo North is the Grand Ridge Brewery, operating in a building, which was a butter factory at the turn of the 20th century. The brewery has been turning out ale since 1987 and produces six varieties of beer, including a particularly strong one with an 11 percent alcohol content.
There are murals on the sides of prominent buildings in Mirboo North. They were commissioned by the community and depict various scenes of the area's history.
The Strzelecki Ranges are named after the Polish explorer Count Paul Strzelecki, who led an expedition from NSW to the Victorian coast in 1840. Using a compass, sextant and chronometer, Count Strzelecki never deviated from a straight course, regardless of the terrain. The journey became so difficult that horses and equipment had to be abandoned along the way. The party came close to starving but the skills of their Aboriginal guide Charlie Tarra saved them.
Tarra-Bulga National Park covers 1625 hectares and is said to be the best example of the forests and temperate rainforests that once covered the ranges. This national park is popular for picnics, walks and scenic drives. One of the best walks in the park is the Fern Gully Nature Walk. It leaves from the Bulga Picnic area in the park and takes a leisurely walk of about 45 minutes to complete.
About 300 metres into the walk is Corrigan's Bridge, a suspension bridge that was built in 1982 to replace the bridge originally built in 1938.
Apart from a few caravan parks, the 3½-star Tarra-Bulga Guest House is the only accommodation along the Grand Ridge Road outside of Mirboo North. Dating back to the 1930s, the guest house is located just before the entrance to the national park. It has 11 bedrooms with shared bathrooms, a games room and lounge with open fire.
Mount Worth, near Warragul, about 90 minutes from Melbourne.
There is no fee to drive along the Grand Ridge Road.
Tarra-Bulga Guest House and Tearooms charges $121 a double per night, including two meals.
Tarra-Bulga Guest House and Tearooms
Ph/Fax: (03) 5196 6141
Latrobe Visitor Information Centre: 1800 621 409