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22 January 2021

Cotton On X Empty Esky: Exploring Bright, VIC

From hot air ballooning at sunrise to fresh-baked Cruffins at the Milawa Kitchen, picture-perfect Bright is a road trip worthy of your ‘gram feed.

Cotton On X Empty Esky:
Three days from Bright to King Valley, VIC

Hidden at the base of the Victorian Alps, the scenic town of Bright looks straight off a postcard. A road trip must, you’ll easily fill your days wandering the locally-owned shops or rock-hopping at the base of waterfalls. If food and wine is on your mind, the nearby towns of King Valley and Milawa have menus filled with locally grown produce, hand-crafted wine and pastries worthy of your ‘gram feed.

We headed to north-east Victoria with Empty Esky founders Erin and Elle, and friends Darcy and Lucy, to fill our eskies and experience all that Bright has to offer.

Day one

  • Snacks are packed and the playlist has been picked. Melbourne to Bright drive time: 3.5hrs.
  • First stop: Lunch (of course) at The Chicken Shop in Bright for seriously good fries.
  • Wouldn’t be a summer road trip without ice cream from Bright Ice Creamery.
  • A visit to Ladies Bath Falls for a swim in the crystal clear rock pools.
  • Lancemore Hotel, Milawa. The vineyard views are not to be missed (!!)
  • For dinner, it’s Asian fusion meets Aussie classics at Dock 5, Wangaratta.

“The Ladies Bath Falls in Bright were absolutely incredible. Just amazing.”

— Elle

Day two

  • Have you ever seen a sunrise from 2500ft? Hot air ballooning with GoldRush Ballooning is a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Get your caffeine fix overlooking the grape vines with a breakfast spread at Lancemore Hotel.
  • Post-breakfast, a morning swim is a must. Just wait until you see views from the pool.
  • For hand-crafted wine and fresh food picked straight from the garden, head to Brown Brothers. This family-owned winery produced their first bottle of wine in 1889 (!!)
  • Finish the night in style, glamping under the stars with a King Valley Glamping set up.

“My great grandfather started Brown Brothers back in 1885. It’s been a challenging year for many different reasons. Not having visitors has been the hardest part. We absolutely thrive having people come to site.”

— Emma Brown, Brown Brothers Winery

Day three

  • Book in breakfast at the Milawa Kitchen. With locally sourced ingredients and fresh-baked Cruffins, it’s the perfect way to start your day.
  • Explore Milawa’s finest foods with Pedal to Produce. From Milawa Cheese to Milawa Farm Gate Shop, you’ll be filling your bicycle baskets with goodies in no time.
  • Before you head home, stop in at the Sam Miranda King Valley winery. Be sure to enter via the subterranean tunnel for that extra wow-factor.

“We’ve had the most amazing time discovering the King Valley and Bright. If you’re looking for a getaway, we highly recommend the Victorian high country.”

— Erin

Cotton On is proud to partner with Empty Esky to help bushfire-affected communities get back on their feet.