Great Alpine Road

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Great Alpine Road

Map of the Great Alpine Road in eastern Victoria
General information
Length303 km (188 mi)
Route number(s) B500 (1996-present)
route number
Major junctions
NW end
  for full list see major intersections
SE end
Major settlementsMyrtleford, Ovens, Bright, Harrietville, Mount Hotham, Dinner Plain, Omeo, Swifts Creek, Ensay, Bruthen
Highway system

The Great Alpine Road (B500)[1][2][3] is a country tourist road in Victoria, Australia, running from Wangaratta in the north to Bairnsdale in the east, and passing through the Victorian Alps. The road was given its current name because it was considered the mountain equivalent to Victoria's world-famous Great Ocean Road in the south-west of the state.[citation needed] The road usually remains open during winter; however, vehicles travelling between Harrietville and Omeo are required to carry diamond-pattern[4] snow chains during the declared snow season.[5]


In 1923 the Victorian Country Roads Board (CRB) took responsibility for the Alpine Road between Harrietville and Omeo, and appointed William Benjamin (Bill) Spargo (1888-1959) as supervisor.[6] He lived in a stone cottage at Hotham Heights, which the CRB expanded, at his request, to accommodate up to twenty visiting skiers. From 1925 the premises operated as a guest-house, Hotham Cottage (Hotham Heights Chalet). This was the forerunner of the Hotham Alpine Resort.

Route details[edit]

The Great Alpine Road[7] winds through mountains, valleys and forests, and past rivers, vineyards and farms. At a length of 303 kilometres (188 mi), it is Australia's highest year-round accessible sealed road. The section over Mount Hotham rises to an altitude of 1,840 metres (6,040 ft) AMSL.[8] It is blanketed with snow during winter months and must be cleared on a daily basis. Extreme weather conditions can sometimes still result in the road being closed between Harrietville and Omeo.

The Great Alpine Road links Victoria's North East with Gippsland. It was completed with the sealing of the section between Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain and was officially opened on 4 April 1998.[citation needed] The road itself has existed since colonial times in some form, but was unsealed for much of its history, and was only given the Great Alpine Road designation after being fully sealed.[citation needed]

The current Great Alpine Road includes the former Ovens Highway from Wangaratta to Bright, and a former section of the Omeo Highway from Omeo to Bruthen,[9] along with the section of the Omeo Highway from Bruthen to Bairnsdale.

Gallery of some notable sights[edit]

Major intersections, towns and resorts[edit]

WangarattaWangaratta10.62 Parfitt RoadWangaratta, Yarrawonga, Wodonga
East Wangaratta53.1 Hume HighwayWodonga, Sydney
63.7 Hume HighwaySeymour, Melbourne
Tarrawingee127.5 Beechworth-Wangaratta Road (C315) – Beechworth, Yackandandah
Bowmans Forest3522 Buckland Gap Road (C524) – Beechworth
AlpineGapsted4125 Snow Road – Milawa, Glenrowan
Myrtleford4629 Myrtleford-Yackandandah Road (C527) – Yackandandah
4729 Buffalo River Road (C526) – Lake Buffalo
Ovens5132 Happy Valley Road (C534) – Mount Beauty
Porepunkah7144 Mount Buffalo Road (C535) – Mount Buffalo
Germantown8352 Tawonga Gap Road (C536) – Mount Beauty
Mount Hotham13282
Dinner Plain14389
East GippslandOmeo187116 Omeo Highway (C543) – Benambra, Tallangatta
Bruthen282175 Bruthen-Buchan Road (C620) – Buchan, Orbost
Wiseleigh286178 Sarsfield-Tambo Upper Road (C605) – Swan Reach
Lucknow305190 Princes Highway (A1) – Lakes Entrance, Orbost, Bairnsdale, Melbourne
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map NE Victoria" (PDF). Vic Roads. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Google Maps". 2009 Google – Map data 2009 MapData Sciences Pty Ltd, PSMA. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  3. ^ State Route 156 – Ovens Highway, Main Roads Victoria. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  4. ^ Mount Hotham, Wheel Chains
  5. ^ Travel Victoria, Great Alpine Road
  6. ^ Garden, Donald S (2002). "Spargo, William Benjamin (Bill) (1888–1959)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Great Alpine Road". Tourism Victoria. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Mt Hotham Section". 2009 Google – Map data 2009 MapData Sciences Pty Ltd, PSMA. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  9. ^ 8423 Omeo, Victoria, Topographic Map. National Topographic Map Series (1 ed.). Commonwealth of Australia. 1982.

External links[edit]

"Great Alpine Road – Tourism Victoria". Retrieved 21 July 2011.
"Australian Traveller". Retrieved 10 February 2009.
"Great Alpine Road - Visit Victoria (official tourism website)". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
"Sydney – Melbourne Touring". Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
"Victoria's Alpine High Country". Retrieved 10 February 2009.
"NRMA Motoring Services". Retrieved 10 February 2009.
"Discover East Gippsland". Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.