Victoria’s High Country has experienced a 40 per cent rise in cyclists touring the region in just 12 months, cementing the North East as one of the world’s top trail cycling destinations.
This represents an extra 40,000 cyclists coming the region since Victoria’s state government invested $12 million into the North East Cycling Optimisation Project.
The first year of the project shows that the region is on track to double cycling visitors – to 200,000 a year – by 2022, driven by a $4 million marketing campaign to highlight the region’s renowned cycling routes and scenery.
The campaign included a blitz with billboards across Melbourne, an airport advertising takeover and targeted television promotions throughout the Tour de France in July.
In total, cycling tourism contributed $81 million to the region’s visitor economy last year – an increase of $31 million in the 12 months.
The High Country boasts the two longest off-road rail trails in Victoria – the Great Victorian Rail Trail and Murray to Mountains Rail Trail – which connect with towns including Yea, Mansfield, Wangaratta, Rutherglen, Beechworth, Myrtleford and Bright.
The High Country Rail Trail runs from Wodonga and follows along the shores of Lake Hume to Old Tallangatta.