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War memorial in centre of Bright
|Elevation||319 m (1,047 ft)|
Bright (pronunciation [ˈbɹɑet̥]) is a town in northeastern Victoria, Australia, 319 metres above sea level at the southeastern end of the Ovens Valley. At the 2006 census, Bright had a population of 2,684. It is in the Alpine Shire local government area. Its postcode is 3741.
The town was first known as Morse's Creek after F.H. Morse but in 1861 it was renamed in honour of the British orator and politician John Bright. The Post Office opened on 25 January 1860 as Morse's Creek and was renamed Bright in 1866.
During the Victorian gold rush there was a rush to the nearby Buckland River. As the gold deposits gradually diminished, Chinese miners arrived in the area to sift the abandoned claims. Tensions over Chinese success from Anglo-Irish miners caused the violent Buckland Riot in 1857, resulting in deaths of Chinese miners and the fleeing of 2,000 Chinese. The riot was eventually quelled by the Beechworth police under the command of Robert O'Hara Burke from 80 kilometres away.
Bright has a rich cultural heritage and many locations within the town along with street names can be traced to present day residents. The Bright Historical Society has extensive records of the region's past.
The main industry of the town at the beginning of the 21st century is tourism, with much focus on the autumnal colours of the European trees planted in the area. A major cultural event is the Bright Autumn Festival. Due to the number of paragliding and hang glider launch sites close to Bright, the town has been a centre of activity for paragliding festivals and competitions.
Bright is a major gateway to majestic alpine scenery and has a variety of native birds and animals. Morses Creek and the Ovens River have adjoining tracks which are ideal for short or long walks.
Bright is also a popular family destination over summer and the population swells, particularly after Christmas. During the summer months Bright enjoys consistently warm, sunny days with comfortable overnight temperatures.
The town is close to the Victorian Alps, and various alpine national parks including the Mount Buffalo National Park.
Mount Feathertop, Mount Bogong and Mount Hotham are also near the township. At 1986 metres Bogong is the highest peak in the state of Victoria, Feathertop is the second highest at 1922 metres above sea level.
The railway station has been preserved as a local history museum. Although trains no longer run from the township, the 95 km Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail allows cyclists to travel the same route that train passengers would have travelled via the townships of Myrtleford, Beechworth and Wangaratta.
Bright P-12 College is located within walking distance of the town centre. The College population comprises students from the surrounding townships of Porepunkah, Harrietville and Wandiligong. The College also operates an annex school in Dinner Plain during the winter season.
The College is one of a few state educational facilities where primary and secondary students share the same campus.
Flora and fauna
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The local area has an abundance and variety of plants and animals. Many wildflowers, large and small trees, undergrowth and even ferns can be seen close to each other. Within literally 350 metres of the town centre, just a few minutes walk, can be seen platypus, fish, yabbies and amphibians in their natural environment. Overhead there are Dragonflies, harmless native bees and many species of birds including Willy Wagtail, Kookaburra, Magpie and Cockatoo to name a few. They give the area an intermittent background soundtrack and can be quite communicative and sometimes emphatic if not occasionally boisterous. Lyrebirds can be heard outside of town and Wombats and the occasional Echidna can be seen. Several species of mostly small Reptile such as Lizards live in the area, and whilst the local people have a most approachable charm typical of small towns and are surprisingly diverse given the conservative and historic town facade, the same forthright approach to new acquaintances is however not recommended if you chance upon a Goanna or Snake on one of the many nearby wooded bushwalking tracks as they have a different temperament indeed.
Fishing occurs in the rivers and dams in the area and are stocked with Trout from the local hatchery. Native Murray Cod have also been caught in the local rivers, but these are becoming increasingly rare.
Mountain biking trails exist close to the town centre. The tracks range from technical, fast, singletracks to easy river side rides. Best trails are found within the Baker's Gully area and downhill tracks are located off Mystic Hill, Apex Hill and in the Porepunkah pines on the south side of the Ovens River.
Cycling: The Audax Alpine Classic cycle event is run every Australia Day weekend by Audax Australia with over 2000 cyclists descending on Bright. The 200 km route takes the rider to Falls Creek and back and then a return trip to Mount Buffalo.
Golfers play at the Bright Country Golf Club on Back Porepunkah Road.
Local attractions include farms, wineries, historic sites, fruit orchards, restaurants, the beautiful natural landscape, surrounding mountains and more.
There are many events held in the Bright township and surrounding areas. In Spring, Bright holds regular Markets, as well as the Bright Spring Festival, Bright 6 Hour Mountain Bike Event, Bright High Country Horse Endurance Ride, Art Exhibitions, Bright Grand Fireworks Spectacular and Concert, Bright Alpine Four Peaks Mountain Climb (www.brightvic.com/alpineclimb), Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention and the Alpine Delight (Audax Cycling Event).
In Summer you can attend the SP Ausnet - Tour of Bright - Road Cycling Race, Christmas Carols at the Bright Art Gallery, Carols by Candlelight at the Bright Sound Shell, the Rotary Waterside at Centenary Park or go for a Tandem Paraglide for an aerial view of Bright. There are also many markets in Bright and Harrietville, as well as the Alpine Valley's Gourmet Weekend and Drive in Movies at Pioneer Park.
Mail is delivered every weekday and collection from post boxes is regular. The area is within a mobile phone coverage region for NextG (3G) and GSM. (as of Feb 2008) A variety of internet access is available including internet cafe style access. ADSL is available in most places. There are no longer any ADSL1 ports. (as of Jan 2010)
Road access to town is via the Great Alpine Road connecting to the Melbourne to Sydney Hume Freeway about 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the northwest or 120 kilometres (75 mi) to the north or through the Murray Valley Highway to the northeast, Canberra and the east coast, or along the continuation of the Great Alpine Highway to the southeast of the state.
Local Radio Stations FM
- 87.6 MHz Valley FM- Narrowcast
- 88.1 MHz ABC Classic FM – ABC
- 88.9 MHz Radio National – ABC
- 89.7 MHz ABC Goulburn Murray – ABC
Local TV Stations
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bright (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- The Ovens Valley Goldfield Railways Eardley, Gifford Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin December, 1968 pp281-294; January, 1969 pp1-18
- http://www.brightp12.vic.edu.au, retrieved 30 April 2010
- Full Points Footy, Bright, retrieved 2008-07-25[dead link]
- Golf Select, Bright, retrieved 2009-05-11
- http://www.brightvictoria.com.au, retrieved 30 April 2010
Media related to Bright, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons
- Bright Victoria Website Tourism Website
- Bright - Government tourism site
- Bright Village - Bright Community Website
- Valley FM 87.6 Bright - Valley FM 87.6FM Narrowcast Radio Station in Bright