Mount Feather Top

Mount Feathertop: A 360-Degree View from the Australian Alps


From 1920 feet, Mount Feather Top offers a front-row view of Bright and the surrounding towns.

The Australian alpine region is named for the typical climate and vegetation of the Alpine area, and although distant from Europe, it offers similarities that walkers can enjoy along a multitude of trails in what is one of the largest reserves Victoria State Forestry.

This is a tourist area par excellence, close to one of the most picturesque towns in the state: Bright.

Bright is well known for its proximity to Mount Hotham, an alpine resort area for snow skiing and other winter sports. At the base of its mountain, Bright is full of varied cafes and restaurants from which you can walk to the flower festivals that are organized for visitors in spring.

And it is that the flora of the area is perennial, and diverse. Full of colors and fragrances that impregnate the fresh and pure mountain breeze, flora that when walking is found along all the paths of the route that we have to travel.

Mount Feather Top


After driving about 4 hours from Melbourne, some have spent the night in Harriet Ville and others in Smocko at a camping site. Everything to be able to rest after a hectic week of work and having driven a few hours.

the morning of the hikers It usually begins as soon as the sun rises with the chirping of birds that break the silence of the night.

The fresh air of the morning, the sound of the river near where I have parked the car in Smocko is a good setting to enjoy a delicious hot chocolate, and a breakfast to take energy.

Our starting point is at the top of Hotham, where we leave the cars to start the walk.

The air feels thin, and the first steps up the mountain take a bit of effort, having to adjust your breathing to the difference in oxygen levels at altitude.

We say goodbye to the buildings of the ski resort and the visitor center, to descend to Diamantina Hut, where the visitor registration book and the location map of the area are located.

The path along the crest of the mountain is winding and full of stones. Despite being in summer, the temperature at 9am is about 9 degrees Celsius, with a strong breeze that forces us to still keep our coats on.

Mount Feather Top

We are not strangers in the mountains.

This route is popular with hikers, and Mount Feather Top is a favorite destination for the views it offers. So we meet many walkers on the trail, who in the usual Australian accent offer you a ¨Good Day¨ and share a short phrase of encouragement or a quick conversation about how the weather is today.

The truth is that one of the benefits of hiking is to be able to lower the social defenses that we sometimes keep up because of stress.

From time to time we make a stop, the first to leave the jackets inside the backpacks that now make us sweat more than necessary.

Guides on this tour make occasional stops to comment on the local geography and history of the name of one of the nearby trails, given in memory of a rescuer who died in winter while trying to help a lost skier.

The route is winding with some ups and downs, but nothing extremely complicated. After about 4 hours walking we arrive at what will be our camp for one night. A clearing in the middle of the forest with open spaces between the treetops.

After having lunch and leaving the tents set up, we lighten the load with light backpacks to carry only the camel back type water containers, some protection against the rain (because the weather can change quickly in the area), and a snack.

At 3 pm we restart the route to Mount Feathertop which still eludes us an hour and a half on the way.

Mount Feather Top

After a lighter walk, we find ourselves at a crossroads from where we can see the mountain refuge called Federation Hut to the left, where from a distance we see some mountaineers already installed in their tents. To the right of the crossroads, the ascent begins: a kilometer and a half of a steep and non-stop incline towards the top of the mountain.

Mount Feather Top

Certainly the altitude and incline are challenging for endurance. However, step by step and without rest is the only way to reach the top of the mountain.

Flowers of all colors line the path, filling the air filtered by the millions of trees in the surrounding meadows with their scent. The difference in air quality is remarkable.

Mount Feather Top

After a last effort, the top opens to our eyes, with a great prize. A 360-degree view of pure green that, like waves of the sea paralyzed in time, is lost in the distance of the horizon.

Some hiker has not been able to avoid sarcasm, and has left us a feather trapped in the rocks at the top, because in English Feather Top means "feathered top".

Mount Feather Top

The way back to the camp has a mandatory stop to stock up on enough water to cook at the camp, and rehydrate both at night and the next morning.

The spring is something special, it is a crack in the mountain, which even in summer offers cold and filtered water all year round. Water that filters through the rocks collected both by the dew and the rain through every slot it finds on its way down to the valley.

It is crystal clear water with a natural flavor that no bottler or artificial filter could emulate.

A starry night, a moment of reflection about our place in the universe.

The night falls slowly in the summer, and it is not until after 8 pm that the sun is lost among the mountains. Those last hours of light are ideal to gather in a circle and enjoy a hot meal between a pleasant conversation full of anecdotes and recipes from dehydrated foods Full of flavor and low in weight.

Mount Feather Top

Night falls, the breeze has stopped, and what was glimpsed would be a cold night; It has given us the perfect weather for a pleasant camping night, with a completely clear sky.

And there is no feeling that compares to being able to look with naked eyes at the infinity of the universe full of stars and constellations. There is no visual pollution in any way, there is no city light to obstruct the obligatory retro inspection that makes you feel looking at such an immensity in the distance of the cosmos, from a small blue planet called Earth.

It is simply overwhelming to even be able to look at the Milky Way that, like cotton candy, crosses the celestial vault from side to side.

The silent night begins to dissipate in the light breeze that begins at dawn. Just a few rays sneak through the trees and the birds begin to chirp. It's time to stretch out and enjoy a hot drink and something to eat to fuel your body.

Only a few hours separate us from civilization, we have to walk the same path that brought us to this little piece of paradise.

The route is the same, except for a last detour that I have made so that from a hill near Mount Hotham I can enjoy a view of the valley that protects Bright, HarrietVille and other towns from the elements. It is a magnificent view, ideal to say goodbye to this walk, which I hope to be able to repeat soon with one of my children.

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