ABOUT HOPS, HPA AND OUR FARMS

Not far from Melbourne, there’s a place where simple pleasures bubble to the surface. It’s next level compared to clean bed sheets. Fill every single one of your senses with spectacular High Country scenery and seasonal local produce. When we’re able to welcome brewers on farm again, it’s worth taking the time to see what else our growing region has to offer.

If you want to blend in with the locals, here’s a little advice on how to pack, what to expect on entry, and where you should eat, drink, stay and play if you’re planning to visit Rostrevor Hop Gardens or Buffalo River Valley in Victoria, Australia. 

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Rostrevor Hop Gardens & Buffalo River Valley

Our Victorian farms’ history dates all the way back to the Gold Rush. William Panlook was one of 40,000 Chinese who emigrated to Australia in search of a fortune, but he didn’t find it until he planted hops in the 1890s. The farms are now spread over 300 hectares capable of producing more than 700 metric tonnes of hops a year. They are located in Victoria’s High Country, 300km or a 3.5-hour drive from Melbourne. The conditions that make High Country the perfect place for growing hops also make the region a world-class tourism destination.

Melbourne

The coastal capital of Victoria is Australia’s mecca of all things trendy and tasty. Melbourne’s hidden spaces and iconic laneways offer up eclectic nightlife, sensational dining, a dynamic arts scene and more.

Eat

Wind your way through some delicious dining options in Victoria, from cheerful cafes and classic pubs to trending breweries and top-notch restaurants. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

Breakfast

Beechworth Bakery – all day breakfast at Australia’s best bakery.

Blackbird Café – a great little café by the river in Bright.

Blynzz Coffee – the perfect roast in a relaxing atmosphere at Beechworth.

Cumulus Inc – European-style dishes in Melbourne’s famous art and fashion district.

Ginger Baker – quality breakfasts and seasonal share plates from the local producers in Bright.

Hardware Societe – a café born in the laneways of Melbourne with a mission to redefine what breakfast and brunch can be.  

Higher Ground – innovative fare and speciality coffee in a Melbourne venue that’s not quite a café, not quite a restaurant.

Manchester Press – serving specialty coffee and bagels.

Lunch

Arboryan outdoor bar and eatery with an uninterrupted view of the yarra river in Melbourne.

Butchers Diner – a perfect no-frills venue where you can put away a burger made with aged beef or snack on skewers.

Fancy Hanks – Melbourne’s favourite American-style BBQ joint.

Granite Café – freshly made sandwiches in Beechworth.

Movida – a tapas bar that is singularly Spanish but iconically Melbourne. 

Ox and Hound – French fare in a cosy space at Beechworth.

Tomahawks – food, booze and good times in Bright.

Dinner

Dr Mauve Bar & LoungeAsian fusion in a shared space in the heart of Bright.  

Chin Chin – Thai-inspired dishes served in a loud and lively atmosphere in Melbourne.

Cookie – beer hall and eating house meets disco in Melbourne.

Elm Dining – a fine dining destination in Bright.

Empire Hotel – a welcoming space with a range of boutique beers and ciders in Beechworth.

Grossi Florentino – Italian cooking and genuine hospitality.

Imperial Hotel – modern Australian pub grub on a Melbourne rooftop.

The Old Factory – American style slow cooked meats in Myrtleford.

Pellegrini’s – doing it’s Nonno and Nonna thing in Melbourne for more than 50 years.

The Press Room – Spanish-inspired tapas featuring seasonal produce in Beechworth.

Provenance – award-winning food with a focus on seasonal awareness in the old Bank of Australasia in Beechworth.

Drink

Taste some of Australia’s most acclaimed beer, wine, cider and gin in one of the most spectacular places on earth. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

Boilermaker House – malt whisky and craft beer in Melbourne.

Bridge Road Brewers – beer from scratch served with fresh pretzels and pizza.

Bright Brewery – great value meals and mountain crafted beer.

Eldorado Road – a memorable wine experience in an intimate tasting room.

Fixation Brewing Co – a brewery dedicated to India Pale Ales.

The Local Taphouse – multi-award winning neighbourhood tavern celebrating the best in craft beer, local wine and spirits, and food in St Kilda.

Little Creatures – Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory…for beer.

Moon Dog Brewery – a tropical brewery bar paradise in Abbotsford.

Mountain Goat Brewery – a spacious bar in Richmond.

Reed and Co Distillery – a family owned and operated distillery in Bright with a neighbourhood bar vibe.

Siglo – a stunning cube of industrial steel, glass and neon with striking views of the city.  

Stomping Ground – a welcoming space in Collingwood inspired by the great beer halls of Europe.

Two Birds Brewery – Australia’s first female owned brewery in Spotswood.

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You don’t have to travel far to find amazing experiences in Victoria. There’s everything from artisan markets, world class museums and art galleries to wilderness journeys. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

Bright Adventure Company – abseil, rock climb, kayak or mountain bike in and around Bright.

Burke Museum – traditional didactic exhibitions combined with modern technology to provide a unique perspective on Beechworth’s place in Australian history.

Goldrush Ballooning – get a birds eye view of the patchwork of pastures, vineyards and hop fields along the King and Ovens River against the backdrop of Mt Buffalo and the High Country beyond.

Great Ocean Road – one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives.

Melbourne Zoo – a unique immersive experience that will inspire animal lovers of all ages.   

Mornington Peninsula – take things slow, enjoy a picnic, explore beautiful beaches, or share a walk with friends.

Mystic Mountain Bike Park – from beginner trails to double-black diamond downhills, this is one of the most diverse mountain bike parks in the country.

National Gallery Victoria – classic, contemporary, local and international art on the heart of Melbourne.

Phillip Island – rolling waves and wildlife.

Queen Victoria Market – a vibrant and bustling inner-city market where you can shop for local fruit and vegetables, gourmet food, clothing and souvenirs.  

Ride High Country – choose your own High Country adventure from breathtaking mountain trails to relaxing trail rides.

Yarra Valley – one of the world’s premier wine growing regions.

Stay

Turn your day trip into a relaxing stay and soak in the kaleidoscope of colour Victoria has to offer from a romantic hideaway, boutique home or eco-friendly retreat. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

Abalina Cottages – boutique accommodation at an affordable price in Bright.

Adelphi Hotel – the world’s premier dessert hotel in the Melbourne CBD.

Art Series Hotels – inspired by and dedicated to Australian contemporary artists in the Melbourne CBD.

Barrass’s John Bright Motor Inn – quiet, natural setting in Bright.

The Benev – wellness suites tucked away on top of the hill overlooking Beechworth.

Bright Colonial Motel – clean, bright rooms and welcoming spaces in Bright.

Big4 Bright – a variety of accommodation solutions on the banks of the beautiful Ovens River.

Lumley House – luxurious accommodation for groups of up to 11 people in the heart of Bright.

Ovolo Laneways – inspired by the hidden laneways in the surrounding Melbourne CBD.

QT Melbourne – industrial chic in the Melbourne CBD.

Rydges Melbourne – stylish yet affordable accommodation in the Melbourne CBD.

Treasury on Collins – heritage listed hotel in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre.

Pack

Hop harvest kicks off in March. The average temperature ranges from a minimum of 9°C to a maximum of 26°C, with around 4 days of rain totalling just 50mm. But Victoria is known for surprising unsuspecting brewers with four seasons in one day, so come prepared for anything by packing everything from a raincoat to a pair of budgie smugglers. You’ll also need a pair of sturdy closed-toed shoes if you’re visiting the farm. These will need to be thoroughly cleaned before entering the country and again before entering the farm. This process involves minor chemical and physical abrasion, so pack accordingly. Better yet, buy a pair of iconic Blundstone boots on entry. 

Entry

Remember to sort yourself out with the necessary paperwork prior to entry. The process is relatively quick and painless. Simply visit the Australian Department of Immigration website and follow the prompts. The maximum luggage allowance on domestic Australian flights is 23kg. But if you really want to bring us a carton of beer as thanks for our hospitality, you can purchase additional baggage in advance. Check your chosen airline’s website for more information on fees. While you’re at it, check your mobile’s international roaming allowance to avoid being hit with a big bill. And if you’re picking up a hire car, remember we drive on the left. This means you’ll want to look right, left, and right again before pulling into traffic, or crossing the road on foot for that matter. And buy travel insurance. The alternative isn’t worth the risk.