The Great Alpine Road 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. 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 main centres along the highway are:
The Great Alpine Road explores diverse landscapes of Victoria’s east, from villages nestled in valleys to vine-covered hills, and as the road ascends, gum forest and heathland of Victoria’s alpine region. The road then winds down through lush green hills and grazing fields to end at the Gippsland Lakes.
- Mount Buffalo National Park, a popular destination for rock climbing, mountain biking and canoeing to skiing and hang gliding
- Alpine National Park
- Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest navigable inland waterway system
- The historic town of Omeo, once the site of one of Victoria's richest goldfields
- The popular tourist town of Bright, located on the Ovens River and a base for wine touring and sampling local produce
- Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain alpine resorts, offering skiing and snowboarding in the winter months and fields of wildflowers during the summer months
- The folk art sculpture Mr. Stringy
- The 3,600 hectares (8,900 acres) Cassilis historic area. Once a thriving mining town, it contains gold-mining relics and a lonely cemetery.
- From the north-west end, take the Hume Freeway towards Melbourne or Sydney
- From the south-east end, the Princes Highway is a more coastal route between Melbourne and Sydney