MANSFIELD

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European settlers took up land along the Delatite River in 1839 and over the next 10 years or so, more large areas of land were farmed and where these properties all met is where Mansfield was established in 1851. Today, the town has a population of over 4000 and is about a 2.5 hour drive north east of Melbourne.

Mansfield is on the north-eastern side of Lake Eildon and on the main route to Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resorts, being about a 45 minute drive to Mt Buller. Mansfield has many accommodation and dining options and a variety of retail and services. It is also within easy reach of several towns around Lake Eildon and the alpine areas and popular mountain streams and bushwalking trails of this part of the High Country.

Renowned fishing streams such as the Howqua and Delatite Rivers are nearby and have many access points from the upper reaches to the open valleys as they feed into Lake Eildon. Some fishing areas are signposted with information and good access. Others are not signposted but have easy access, like along the Howqua River down near Frys Hut and Sheepyard Flat, where campgrounds along the river allow simple access to this picturesque trout water.

The Man From Snowy River movies were filmed in the district and the stunning scenery across the valley with the backdrop of the alps, including Mt Timbertop and Mt Buller, is a must see during any season. Up around Mt Stirling and the surrounding High Country are familiar scenes from the movies, including the most recognisable of them all, Craig’s Hut. This famous hut is accessible by gravel roads (these roads are closed beyond Telephone Box Junction (‘TBJ’) from June to October, sometimes later, depending on snow – contact 03 5777 6077 for details).  Detailed information about access to the hut and the Mt Stirling cross country skiing areas can be found here

In Winter, there are snow-capped peaks to enjoy that can be seen from most areas of the valley. Autumn is a real treat, with the highlight being golden poplars dotted throughout the farmland, roadsides and riverbanks, making exploring the district quite unforgettable.

Mansfield is also at one end of the 134km long Great Victorian Rail Trail which can be enjoyed in parts or as a whole, on foot, bicycle or horse. If starting the rail trail from Mansfield, only about 20km along the route the trail crosses a large expanse of Lake Eildon via the old railway bridge at Bonnie Doon.  The Mansfield Botanic Park is at the eastern end of the main street (High St) where a playground, toilets, BBQ and picnic areas can be found and lots of space to take a dog for a walk (this is an off leash park). There’s a pleasant walk through the Mullum Wetlands that starts at the Visitor Information Centre at the entry to Mansfield on the Melbourne side and is a 1.5km trail that is also one end of the Great Victorian Rail Trail.

Mansfield and the surrounding towns are home to popular, year round events and festivals, such as Targa High Country in Spring. Targa High Country sees over 150 rally cars tackle challenging tarmac stages on classic mountain roads around Lake Eildon, Mansfield and Mt Buller, with Targafest in Mansfield’s main street on the Saturday night. There’s also fishing, boating and mountain bike events and festivals, along with scenic touring routes beside rivers and Lake Eildon, with mountainous backdrops.