The Bright Autumn Festival is a ten-day celebration of the changing of the seasons and the explosion of colours and flavours that accompany it. The festival, on from April 27 to May 6, brings together a programme of events dedicated to the autumnal produce of the High Country's valleys and the alpine scenery as the trees change from green to vivid gold and amber.
Are you nuts about nuts? Then the Wandiligong Nut Festival is your opportunity to join in with the growers celebrating the harvest. On April 28 you can wander their market stalls picking up new-season nuts, fruit, wines, oils and other treats. It's the only nut festival in Australia, and the smell of the ultimate autumn nut — the chestnut — fills the air as it roasts on open cookers. Not sure what to do with your Wandi nut haul? The festival also hosts talks on how to peel and cook chestnuts, how to make chestnut hummus and pancakes, and lots of other nut-related topics.
Any good road tripper knows you need souvenirs for family, friends and your fine self. For that, the Wandiligong Autumn Craft and Produce Market has got you covered. Open every day of the festival between 10am and 4pm, it showcases locally grown produce and handcrafted goods — think hand-dyed scarves, cushions, blankets, handmade cards and jewellery, along with edible souvenirs (which somehow never seem to make it home?) like homemade jams, preserves and fudges.
For a real country experience, get along to the Gala Day on Saturday, May 5, when the streets of Bright are closed for one of the region's biggest community festivals, or wander 17 of the area's usually private gardens, which are opened up from April 27 to May 6 so you can appreciate their autumnal aesthetic.
To plan your trip to the Bright Autumn Festival and the High Country region beyond, head to the Wander Victoria website and explore what's on this season.