SUMMER DAYTRIPPERS: Cool and clean, even without the snow

A breathtaking view in the Alpine National Park.
A breathtaking view in the Alpine National Park.
The water is clear at Falls Creek.

The water is clear at Falls Creek.

Mount Beauty lives up to the hype — and its name.

Mount Beauty lives up to the hype — and its name.

IT’S the clean and green season at Falls Creek this summer with hiking, biking and water sports taking centre stage.
The alpine resort is revved up for visitors seeking a cool change from 40 degree-plus summer scorchers. 
It is often 10 degrees or more cooler in the mountains compared with the valleys below.
Falls Creek is a 90-minute drive from Albury-Wodonga through the scenic Kiewa Valley passing through the towns of Dederang, Tawonga, Tawonga South and Mount Beauty. 
Just before Mount Beauty, stop and enjoy the great views of Mount Bogong, Victoria’ s highest mountain that towers 1986 metres above sea level.
Stock up on picnic goodies at Mount Beauty before heading up the winding road to Falls Creek — Skafferi at Svarmisk has great deli produce and house-made Scandinavian-inspired dishes.
Bogong village about 20 minutes from Mount Beauty is a hidden gem off the Bogong High Plains Road, with a great lake and gardens.
Twenty-six houses, originally built for Kiewa hydro-electric scheme workers, sit on the side of the valley overlooking Lake Guy that is surrounded by beautiful European seasonal gardens and the Alpine National Park.
It is a great spot for a picnic or morning or afternoon tea stop and canoes and paddle boats can be hired.
Then follow the road to Falls Creek that was first known by graziers as Horseshoe Creek because so many horses got bogged and lost their shoes.
It was renamed Falls Creek by the old Country Roads Board during a road survey for the State Electricity Commission  in 1938. 
The first building in the Falls Creek area was a weather recording station for the SEC about 1946-47.
Mr and Mrs St Elmo Beveridge lived in this hut and in 1949 they built a rope tow where the Summit Chair is now situated.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Daily top five activity recommendations

After you have checked out Falls Creek village, head up to the Rocky Valley Lake.

This is Australia’s highest significant dam, located just over 1600 metres above sea level.
It is within walking distance of the village and great for a dip and fishing.
For a bird’s eye view of the alpine area, drive to Mount Mackay, Australia’s highest public road. 
On a clear day you can see for hundreds of kilometres beyond Mount Bogong and Mount Feathertop
There are lots of walks in the area including the Packhorse Heritage Trail, a path once used by cattlemen and surveyors.
One of the oldest huts on the Bogong High Plains, Wallace’s Hut is within easy access of Falls Creek Alpine Resort.
The historic cattlemen’s hut is surrounded by centuries-old snow gums and is great for photos.
Take a seat at the picnic table or roll out a blanket on a grassy patch in the shade of a tree. 
Wallace’s Heritage Trail (6 kilometres return) gives visitors a taste of the area’s rich heritage and natural wonders as you wander across grassy alpine meadows, through snow gums and heath valleys with stunning views across the Mitta Valley toward the Kosciuzko range. 
If driving from Falls Creek, follow the Bogong High Plains Road for about 10-15 minutes until signposts for the Wallace Hut trail car park.
Cycling is big at Falls Creek, catering for everyone on two wheels from recreational pedallers to hill climbing devotees with meandering trails and dramatic mountain curves and steep altitude.
Two new cross-country mountain bike trails have been opened. 
Bikes can be hired in the village.
Falls Creek is perfect for a day trip.