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Bright drive

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Driving holidays can be a wonderful experience, but if your co-driver is good company but not a wonderful navigator, they can be a nightmare. Most of us have had the experience of turning maps upside down to read them, searching for adjoining maps and possibly frustrating the driver to anger.

Getaway tested the Nokia 6110 Navigator Phone along the Hume Highway from Melbourne to Bright in the alpine region.

The phone can be used if you are walking or driving. Australian maps are loaded on each phone free of charge and a one-touch navigation button provides easy access to GPS function and maps. If you are out of phone range, the system is operated by GPS so you are always covered. It has a 2 megapixel camera and QVGA TFT 2.2” screen, and images are crystal clear with a lens slide protection screen. The Navigator Phone sits in a cradle and has a message reader which allows you to listen to your messages.

It certainly proved to be a successful addition to driving in unfamiliar places, and took away the related stress. Following is some information about the Melbourne to Bright drive.

Benalla was the first stop. On the Broken River 188 kms north-east of Melbourne, it is in the heart of Victoria’s bushranger country. These days it is better known as the Rose City with a festival each November, and noted for its public gardens.

The Benalla Art Gallery is a striking modernist building by the lake. Its collection continues to grow with recent acquisitions including indigenous and contemporary media postmodernist works. Its Ledger Collection is made up of Australian art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Once you are back on the road, it’s easy to see how painters gained inspiration. The landscape certainly helped a young Arthur Streeton to gain fame, and the gallery is proud to have one of his early works on display.

On the way in to Bright the crew paid a visit to the local brewery. It has an open fire and leather couches, and if you sit outside, there are pretty views to enjoy with your beer. The bar has beer in bottles or on tap which comes straight from fermenter tanks. There is a tasting board of all beers on tap, and by appointment, there are behind the scenes Tour and Tasting tours.

They are launching a ‘Brewer for a Day” program, an opportunity to join their brewer for around 10 hours for a hands-on lesson in brewing a batch of beer.

Bright Brewery was awarded the 'Best Bar' in the 2007 Alpine Style Awards. The Odd Frog is accommodation with a difference. The luxury architecturally designed studios are set on 4.2 hectares of native bushland and offer a great escape to those looking for privacy, modern design and the Australian landscape.

It is connected to many walking and cycling tracks winding their way through the bushland, accessing Huggins Lookout, Bakers Gully Reservoirs and The Alpine Rail Trail. It’s also a stroll to town for shopping and eating.


From Melbourne to Bright in Victoria.


Benalla Art Gallery entry is free.

Bright Brewery tour and tasting is $15 per person. It opens to the public from noon.

The Odd Frog accommodation starts at $150 a night.

Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.

One-way fares from;

  • Adelaide, $95
  • Sydney, $115
  • Brisbane, $145
  • Darwin, $199
  • Perth, $229

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at August 02, 2007 and are subject to change.

Prices correct at 02.08.2007

For more information

Benalla Art Gallery
Bridge Street
Benalla 3672
Ph 03 5762 3027
Fax: 03 5762 5640

Bright Brewery
Great Alpine Road
Bright 3741
Ph: 03 5755 1301
Fax: 03 5755 1346

The Odd Frog
3 McFaydens Lane
Bright 3741
Ph: 0418 362 791
Fax: 03. 5755.2123

Alpine Shire Council

Virgin Blue
Ph: 13 6789

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