Bright History

The area around was first discovered by Europeans settlers and explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824. They named the area the Ovens River and the actual township was called Morse's Creek. As the town became more established it was renamed ‘Bright’ after the British politician John Bright in 1866.

Unfortunately during the early settlement of the area the local indigenous were either killed or forced out of the area. The lands were cleared for farming with mutton and beef becoming the main food.

Gold fever struck the area in the 1850’s with a large number of hopeful prospectors making their way to the Buckland River in search of the easy alluvial gold pickings. As the easy pickings dwindled a new wave of Chinese prospectors arrived to work the claims deserted by previous miners. This lead to tension between the Chinese and Anglo-European miners which eventually escalated into the Buckland Riot of 1857 and resulted in a large number of deaths.

The railway line into Bright was completed in 1890 and provided a new means of transport to the area and along with it new business. Farm produce and services became easier to transport and the communities around Mount Buffalo and Bright were more accessible. The line closed in 1980’s and in the late 1990’s it was converted into the popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.

Today the area has evolved in a popular lifestyle region with many popular wineries, restaurants, adventure tours and attractions. The township of Bright has a number of popular festivals and celebrations each year and there is an excellent selection of local accommodation available. The ski fields are only a short drive away as are a number of historic towns and regional attractions.