Welcome, Festival Program and Ride Guide

Download a PDF printable version.


  1. Welcome to the HCWCF
  2. Friday Night: Registration & Welcome Drinks at Bright Brewery
  3. Saturday: Mt Buffalo Women’s Ride
  4. Ride Checklist
  5. Saturday: Lycra Lunch Party @ Punka Pub
  6. Saturday: Dinner @ Bright Brewery
  7. Other Activities
  8. Merchandise
  9. 7 Peaks
  10. Sponsors & Partners


Welcome to the HCWCF

Thank you for registering for the inaugural High Country Women’s Cycling Festival!   Based out of Bright in Victoria’s High Country, this event is a celebration of women’s cycling with a focus on fun, fitness, friendship and of course, bike riding, in a unique alpine environment.    The Festival aims to bring women together to ride, eat, drink and party over 3 days.

The concept was developed by Michelle and Clare, two women with a passion for sharing their cycling experiences and bringing cyclists, and in particular women, together to ride.  The Festival is a natural extension of the 7 Peaks 100 Women’s Stories and we hope to inspire, encourage and support more women to ride and to experience the beauty of Victoria’s Alpine Region by bike.   

We thank all of our passionate local and government sponsors and partners who have helped us get this inaugural event up and running and hope you have a wonderful weekend, making new friends and enjoying this beautiful region on and off the bike!  

We look forward to meeting you in Bright on the 20th of April!  

Clare and Michelle


Friday 20 April:  Registration at the Bright Brewery

Date: Friday 20th April

Time: 5:30 - 9:00pm

Location: Bright Brewery - 121 Great Alpine Rd, Bright VIC 3741

The Festival kicks off at Bright Brewery on Friday evening.  Come along and find our HCWCF Registration Tent beside the brewery where Clare, Michelle and a couple of our friendly volunteers will be located to complete your registration.

You will receive a Rider Registration Pack, containing:


❏      HCWCF Musette & RoadSafe NE bidon

❏      Rider ID Wristband. This must be worn throughout the Festival.  It helps us identify you in case of an accident and gains you entry to the Festival events.  It is waterproof and has your Registration Number on it.

❏      Rider ID Bike Sticker with your Registration Number on it to go on your bike

❏      Token for Welcome Drink at Bright Brewery

❏      Winners Bar to take with you on the Saturday Buffalo Ride to help fuel your ride

❏      Merchandise with thanks to our sponsors and partners


At registration, we will ask you a couple of questions, including confirming your lunch order for the following day (details below).

Once you’ve picked up your Rego Pack, head in to the bar to collect your free drink.

Relax, meet other riders…..chat to our Ride Leaders.  Bright Brewery have a seasonal menu with plenty of options - a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and mingle with the other riders.



Located next to the Bright Brewery will be the HCWCF Expo Stalls - our partners from VicRoads, RoadSafe NE, Fondo, Dink Designs, Bicycle Network & Falls Creek will be setup from 5:30pm with some of their products and info about their events.


FAQ: I’m unable to attend registration during the specified time. When can I register?

If you are arriving later in Bright or are unable to attend registration, you can attend registration the following morning from 0630-0700 hrs, but please email us to let us know: info@hcwcf.com.au and include in your email your selected lunch item.


Saturday 21 April: Mt Buffalo Women’s Ride

Date: Saturday 21st April

Time: 7:15am Rider Briefing

Location: Bright Brewery - 121 Great Alpine Rd, Bright VIC 3741


We meet back at the Brewery on the Saturday morning ready for the inaugural Mt Buffalo Women’s Ride!

  1. Be at the Bright Brewery no later than 7:15am for the Rider Briefing.
  2. Ensure you are wearing your wristband & that your seatpost sticker is attached to your bike.
  3. The Rider Briefing will be led by Clare & Michelle at 7:15am
  4. Participants will self-organise into groups of 15-20 cyclists to depart at 3 minute intervals - with the faster riders first, followed by slower cyclists and finally those only planning on cycling to Rollasons Falls mid-way turnaround point.  This staggered start is to ensure safety, particularly at the start of the ride.
  5. The first rider group will depart at 7:30am
  6. There will be 6 Ride Leaders, interspersed amongst the cyclists.  Ride Leaders will be introduced during the briefing and will be identifiable with HCWCF or Fondo kit.
  7. The final rider group will depart at approximately 8:00am
  8. There is a water-station at Rolllasons Falls (approx. 8km from start of climb) where there will be water, bananas & lollies.  Any rider reaching this Rest Stop after 11am, will be asked to descend.
  9. A tail Ride Leader and tail-car will be behind all cyclists.  There will also be a vehicle to assist with mechanical issues, if required. If you have a mechanical you cannot fix, please call HCWCF Emergency number.
  10. When you reach Mt Buffalo Chalet - rug-up to keep warm (you can chill off very quickly at the top of a mountain) then check out the view, take a photo, high-five our Welcome Crew
  11. When you are ready, commence the descent.
  12. The official finish line is the Punka Pub, 13 Nicholson St Porepunkah.  Turn left at the large roundabout off Mt Buffalo Rd and follow the Great Alpine Rd over the bridge and turn right at the large timber sign: POREPUNKAH.  Please follow normal road rules when turning right off the Great Alpine Rd; indicate your intentions clearly and in plenty of time. 
  13. Lunch will be provided at the Punka Pub (see section below regarding Lunch)
  14. Find your own way back to your accommodation / vehicle.  For a relaxed ride, you can take the Rail Trail to Bright from the Punka Pub.


You can read about the Mt Buffalo climb on the Ride High Country Website: https://www.ridehighcountry.com.au/listing/7-peaks-ride-mount-buffalo-mount-buffalo/

Q. If I’m a fast rider, what should I do between the ride and the lunch?

You could either relax at the top of the climb and cheer in the other riders, descend and relax at the Punka Pub or return to your accommodation and come back to the Pub later for lunch.  It may depend a bit on the weather!  But don’t forget to wear lycra for a chance to win some great prizes at Fashions on the Field!


Q. How do I know which way to go?

From Bright to Porepunkah follow the Great Alpine Rd, until the Porepunkah roundabout, where you take the second exit onto Mt Buffalo Rd, signposted Mt Buffalo.  Follow the Mt Buffalo Rd to the Mt Buffalo Park entry, where the climb begins.  After approx. 8km of climbing, where the road flattens (false flat for 2km) you will reach Rollasons Falls Picnic Area on right hand side.  There is a Rest Stop here and halfway turnaround point.  Continue climbing for approx. 10km to The Gap (end of climb), a short downhill and then take the left signposted The Chalet.  Here you will find a Rest Stop, toilets, clothes drop and views that take your breath away!


Descent: follow the same route down as the ascent.  When you reach the Porepunkah roundabout, take first exit signposted Wangaratta (Great Alpine Rd).  The road crosses the river and you will see a large brown timber sign saying Porepunkah on the right.  Take care turning right here.  Follow the road into the village of Porepunkah, where the finish line and Welcome crew await!  Awesome effort!


Remember: Safety is our First Priority

●      Standard road rules apply at all times during the event.

●      Ride as near as possible to the left side of the road.

●      On the ascent and descent, please single up, to ensure a safe passing distance for other riders and cars.

●      Make sure you signal with your arms/hands if turning, stopping or pulling off to the side of the road. Verbally communicate all changes in your direction, or moving state, to other cyclists.

●      There will be some signage to alert cars of the Event and reduce speed in certain sections, however the roads are not closed so there will still be cars and other vehicles.

●      We have Ride Leaders to help you, motivate & encourage.  Many of them have cycled Mt Buffalo previously so can help you along the way.

●      Take care on the descent! Keep left for faster riders.  Keep alert, scanning for wildlife.

●      The descent is a winding mountain road - cars sometimes creep very close to the centre white line. Make sure you keep well over to the left hand side.

●      Do not ride on the wrong side of the road.


In case of an Incident:

If you have an emergency (e.g. mechanical incident / crash / medical incident):

●      If appropriate, safely move yourself and your bike off the road

●      Make yourself known to one of our Ride Leaders or HCWCF Vehicles if nearby

●      Alternatively, phone our HCWCF Emergency Number: 0419 264062 or 0411 362 644

Buffalo Women’s Ride - Rider Checklist

Here is a list of items that you will need for the ride as well as a few other things to consider.  We want to make sure you are fully prepared so that you can be safe and comfortable for the ride.  Keep in mind that Mount Buffalo is at around 1700m altitude - the weather can be cold at the top and highly variable in the mountains.


Compulsory Items:

❏      Ride ID Wristband on your wrist

❏      Attach your Rider ID Bike Sticker to your seat post

❏      Bike helmet

❏      Rear red flasher light (fully charged)

❏      Rain/Wind jacket

❏      Puncture repair kit - spare tube and tyre levers (our Ride Leaders will be there to assist you if needed but you need to carry your own equipment)

❏      2 Water bottles filled

❏      Spare food (Winners bar will be provided in your Rider Registration Pack)

❏      HCWCF Emergency Number: 0419 264 062 (Michelle) or 0411 362 644 (Clare)

❏      Bright comfortable clothing for cycling - remember, there’s prizes for ‘Fashions on the Field’ awarded at the lunch!


Recommended Items:

❏      Get your bike serviced prior to the ride - pay attention to gears and brakes

❏      Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated

❏      White front lights

❏      Mobile phone

❏      Gloves - short &/or long

❏      Arm warmers, leg warmers in cold weather

❏      headband/beanie in cold weather

❏      Base layer of clothing

❏      Multi-tool or allen key

❏      Sunglasses

❏      Sunscreen

❏      Money / eftpos or credit card (the coffee cart at Buffalo Gorge, should be operating!)

❏      Pocket / cafe style lock

❏      Smartphone or GPS cycle-computer to log your ride for the 7 Peaks Ride (see below)

❏      Ensure your ambulance cover is up to date

❏      Items for clothes drop (see below)


Clothes Drop Facility We will have rudimentary clothes drop tubs at the start labelled “Buffalo” or “Punka Pub”.  Your clothes will be available for collection at the top of Buffalo and the Pub depending which tub you place them in.  We cannot guarantee security of your items & suggest you label them.



The Women’s Buffalo Ride, takes you into one of the most beautiful National Parks in Australia.  We ask you to respect this pristine environment, and help us pedal gently on this fragile environment.   We understand that you will, at times, be feeling tired during the Ride.  However, being too tired is not an excuse for disposing of any rubbish incorrectly.  There will be large rubbish bins at the Rest Stops - Rollasons Falls and Buffalo Gorge, where you can dispose of any wrappers/ banana peels, etc.

If you find yourself with rubbish whilst on the road, please hang onto it by tucking securely into back pockets or into leg of knicks, until you reach the Rest Stops.  Your cooperation and respect of this national park, is essential to reducing any impact on the environment, and to ensure the event continues in subsequent years.  Thankyou! 


Saturday 21 April: Lycra Lunch Party at Punka Pub

Date: Saturday 21st April

Time: 12 - 2pm for Lunch, 1:30pm for Fashions on the Field Prizes & Presentation

Location: Punka Pub, 13 Nicholson St, Porepunkah Vic 3740


The official finish line for the Buffalo Women’s Ride is Punka Pub.  Ride just past the pub and turn right towards the bike racks and there will be a bit of ‘bling’ as background for your ‘bragging rights pics’!

Bike parking will be available on the bike racks on the grassland opposite.  If you are concerned about security, consider a pocket/cafe style lock for your bike.

Lunch will be available when you arrive, anytime from 12-2pm and includes a main meal.  When you arrive, show your wristband to the staff and ask for the dish you selected the day before.   Drinks are at bar prices.

Please note: due to our high numbers for the Festival, the pub will only be serving lunch to those with a HCWCF pass - not the general public however the bar will still be open to friends/family/supporters for drinks.


Lycra “Fashions on the Field”

At 1:30pm we will have the official “Lycra Fashions on the Field” presentation!  We have some fabulous prizes with thanks to our sponsors and partners - to the value of over $2000. So this is event is not to be missed!   Be in it to win it - think bright, think coordinated, think crazy, think matchy-matchy, think ‘groups’, think fun!  We look forward to seeing you there in your best lycra!


Punka Pub HCWCF Lunch Menu

Please select your choice & provide this to our HCWCF Volunteers at Registration. Note the dishes can be adapted to suit a range of dietary requirements.

Poke Bowl                             Soy cured Salmon, brown rice, quinoa, cucumber ribbons, carrot ribbons, spring onions, fried shallots, avocado (V, GF, D)

Coconut Chicken                 Poached chicken, grilled eggplant, mint, kaffir lime, roasted peanuts, spring onions, toasted coconut, cherry tomatoes, cornichons  (V, VE, GF, D)

Stir Fry Beef                          Stir Fry Beef, snow peas, spring onion, bok choy, beanshoots, red capsicum, ginger and cashews in a teriyaki and soy sauce, with vermicelli noodles (V, VE, GF, D)

Pappardelle                          Pappardelle pasta, cherry tomatoes, chorizo, pesto, Napoli sauce (V)

Dietary Variations Available:   *V - Vegetarian, VE – Vegan, GF – Gluten Free, D – Dairy Free


Saturday 21 April: Celebration Dinner

 Date: Saturday 21st April

Time: 7pm

Location: Bright Brewery - 121 Great Alpine Rd, Bright VIC 3741


Get your apres velo fashion on and kick back at Bright Brewery with a celebratory glass of something delicious, a local produce inspired 2-course dinner/glass of wine, and enjoy some ‘bike-yarns’ from guest speakers.

The event will be in a heated marquee adjacent to the Brewery - but we suggest you bring some warm clothes just in case.

Seating will be on a first-in basis - due to the nature of the event we cannot ‘reserve’ seats for groups of friends so we suggest you get there early to save yourself a seat


Other Events

Check out the Program page of our HCWCF website.


Let’s get social

We would love it if you could share the HCWCF weekend across your social media platforms. 

Facebook: @highcountrywomenscyclingfestival

Instagram: @highcountrywomenscyclefest    #hcwcf2018  #buffalowomensride

And don’t forget to reach out to our HCWCF partners:

 #visitvictoria #vicroads #lovebright #brightbrewery #roadsafecycling #bicyclenetwork #fondocycling #fallscreek #altafitness #ridehighcountry #dinkdesign #cyclepathbright #brightbootcamp #trekaustralia #winnersbars #velodepot #punkapub 



We’ve worked with Champion System Australia to develop HCWCF Rider Jerseys that come in a pink and blue base colour. Jerseys can be purchased online via the following link: https://aucustom.champ-sys.com/teamstore/?HCWCF

You can select pink/blue and the style/fit of the jersey. We’ll have a few sample sizes to try on at the HCWCF Expo and the website will be open for orders for about 2 weeks post event.



7 Peaks Ride

Victoria’s 7 Peaks Ride is an at-your-own pace cycling challenge which runs from October 2017 to April 2018, taking you up winding mountain roads, around steep turns and past spectacular views right to the top of seven Victorian Alpine Resorts.

Mount Buffalo is one of the 7 Peaks, and by completing the Mt Buffalo Women’s Ride on Saturday 21st of April, you will not only tick off 1 of the 7 Peaks, but are also eligible to enter the Major Prize Draw that forms part of the 7 Peaks Ride series.

The Major Prize is a trip for 2 to see the 2018 Tour de France with Wide Open Road Cycle Tours, run by HCWCF organiser, Clare Holdsworth.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to head to Europe to ride some of the world’s iconic peaks as well as immerse yourself in the food, wine and culture of France.  The prize includes two spots on the already sold-out Nice to the Alps 15 day cycle tour and return airfares from Australia for two! 

The 7 Peaks Digital Passport will be the proof of your cycling toughness. Once you have completed your peaks and logged them with our 7 Peaks App, or submitted your stamped paper passport, you will go into the draw to win the major prize.  You gain one entry per peak climbed.

It doesn't count (well, officially speaking) unless you're registered for your digital passport. Make sure you're all signed up and know how to log your ride before you clip in!  Register online: https://www.ridehighcountry.com.au/7-peaks/register/


Thanks to our Sponsors & Partners