Since European settlers first came to the area, Mansfield has been the centre of the High Country. In fact, the original 'runs' or 'stations' converged at the roundabout in the centre of Mansfield, still a significant local landmark today. Gold was discovered in the region in the 1860s, leading to a booming economy. Many of the buildings you see in Mansfield and other High Country towns were built with proceeds from mining.
All that cash brought another sort of speculator. Bushrangers stole from the rich then relied on their excellent bushcraft to keep ahead of the law. They often hid in the impenetrable bush of the Wombat Ranges. Today, Mansfield is a pretty and prosperous place. With fabulous views across the Alpine ranges and plenty of rivers and lakes nearby, it is the perfect centre for a holiday in one of Victoria's most picturesque and fascinating destinations.
Notorious bushrangers operating in the area included Mad Dog Morgan, Ned Kelly and Harry Power. Legend paints Harry Powers as a gentleman bushranger who was polite to the ladies and never fired a shot in anger.
Ann Bon befriended him when he left Pentridge prison. In 1878, when Ned Kelly was already the most wanted criminal in Australia, he and his gang murdered three policemen. A monument commemorating the troopers still stands in Mansfield.
Wineries and long lunches
From fine dining to gourmet picnics, you'll find the High Country is also gourmet country - we don't feast on the views alone. Spend a long lunch or dinner trying some of the local specialities, like Wagyu beef, olives from the shores of Lake Eildon, smoked trout, asparagus, hand made jams, chutneys and baked goods. Finish off with a great coffee.
One of the most enjoyable experiences in and around Mansfield is wine touring. Our cool climate wines have distinctive flavours and pair beautifully with our locally produced gourmet fare. Try the combinations for yourself - many wineries have eateries attached.
Relax. You're in spa country
There's no better place to relax and recharge than in the crisp clean High Country air. Indulge yourself at oneof the many spas and retreats dotted all over the High Country, from thetop of Mt Buller, to secluded forest hideaways. Enjoy the latest treatments, the purest skin products and magnificent, mind-cleansing views.
Shopping with atmosphere
If you’re into the eclectic, the locally produced and handmade, then Mansfield shopping is for you. Along the main street you’ll find all the basics as well as proveder suppliers, country outfitters, funky gift shops and specialist sporting stores. But for a real taste of High Country shopping, don’t miss the local Bush Markets. Markets run on the Saturdays of Australia Day, Easter, Queen’s Birthday and Melbourne Cup long weekends. Most of the crafts, soaps, plants and foods on sale are either made or grown by the stallholders. A favourite is the CWA cakes stall. Worth a special trip.
There are lots of things for kids to do in town. Check out the mini skate park on Highett Street, next to the football/netball park and playground. Cool off at the outdoor swimming pool. Visit the Mansfield Zoo. Take a walk along the new Mansfield Mullum Wetlands walking trail, which begins at the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre. For very little children, the Reserve at Highett Street has playground equipment and wide open spaces.
The Mansfield Visitor InformationCentre is the best place to start your break. You’ll find the InformationCentre in the old railway station precinct in an award-winning, architect-designed building. The Mansfield Historical Society now occupies the former ticketing office and railway carriages nearby. The centre is a fascinating space that houses a gallery featuring local artwork, historic displays and installations such as interpretive totem poles and a local indigenous scarred tree. It is staffed with knowledgeable, friendly locals who are passionate about this region. Make sure you stop in for a look.
Mansfield Visitor Information Centre
1800 039 049 www.mansfield-mtbuller.com.au