All things that love the sun are out of doors; The sky rejoices in the morning’s birth;
A tale of tourism to a beautiful land.
Welcome, dear traveller, to a land of wonder and delight, where a new mid-century hotel awaits your sight! In the charming town of Bright, Victoria, our story unfolds, with tales of adventure and magic to be told.
A tale of tourism to a beautiful land.
Welcome, dear traveler, to a land of wonder and delight, where a new mid-century hotel awaits your sight! In the charming town of Bright, Victoria, our story unfolds, with tales of adventure and magic to be told.
The grass is bright with rain-drops;–on the moors. The hare is running races in her mirth;
Within the Alpine Peaks, river valleys and high plains of Bright and Surrounds are the boundaries where the traditional lands of the Dhudhuroa, Taungurung, Waywurru, Gunaikurnai and Jaithmathang meet. These Nations – each distinct in its culture, lore and spiritual connection to Country – lived side by side for tens of thousands of years.
For countless generations, to coincide with the annual bogong moth migration, First Nations people would travel to the alpine peaks to take part in ceremonies & feast on the nutritious moth. Many of the trails ascending the mountains today are the same sacred routes created by the First Peoples and travelled only by those who had been invited and initiated.
And with her feet she from the plashy earth Raises a mist; that, glittering in the sun,
Turn of the 20th Century
In 1890 the train line extended to Bright, bringing with it the region’s first tourists. Mount Buffalo was declared a National Park and city-dwellers sought that fresh mountain air! Along with continued mining, agriculture, and hydroelectricity; tourism was cemented as a significant industry.
Deciduous trees are planted on a grand scale and the town’s name is changed from Morses Creek to Bright, how fitting friends! We thank those visionaries who came before every dazzling Autumn season.
Nearby Mount Buffalo, with its powdery snowfall becomes Australia’s first ski resort in 1936. Mt Hotham was next, when Ski Clubs were established during the 40’s. Chalets proved to be the new peaceful – yet – exhilarating escape, and Mount Hotham Village flourished. By the 70’s, Bright is basking in an explosion of snow tourism. Darling, you’re practically in Switzerland!
I was a Traveler then upon the moor; I saw the hare that raced about with joy;
Meet our rich mid-century beginnings.
Originally the Ovens Valley Motor Inn, this low slung, low key, hidden jewel was built in 1986 by owners George and Patrizia Simone. Does that name ring a bell southerners? It should; Chef Patrizia remains at the forefront of shaping the culinary reputation of Northeast Victoria, championing local produce, classic cooking, and eating with the provender of the seasons.
Simones’ Restaurant was the first and longest standing restaurant in the region to hold a Chef’s Hat for 25 consecutive years. Patricia & George, hosted politicians, actors, footballers, and the most prominent Chefs of the time. Although, Patrizia’s cooking shone bright, the copper fireplace and rust shag pile carpet also snagged the occasional mention in the Age Good Food Guide!
“The OVMI holds some of my fondest memories. Professionally, my proudest moments as a Chef, and for George and I, our happiest times with family and friends. I hope these walls continue to bring people joy”. Patrizia Simone
I heard the woods and distant waters roar; Or heard them not, as happy as a boy:
Bright has gradually, gracefully emerged into a new era, front and centre as a much-loved destination for those wanting to escape the city, connect with nature and get adventurous. Two wheels often better than four, and with the transformation of the old rail line (which closed to trains in 1983) into the hugely popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Trail cycling, road cycling and mountain biking have surged in popularity, and Bright has stood ready to greet this surge with open arms.
Allured back to Bright in 2004 by its beauty and proximity to the snow, Shannon and Simeon Crawley made the Ovens Valley Motor Inn their home. They mastered the demands of raising 3 babies while operating the 24/7 roadside motel. They renovated, rebranded and developed the popular High Country Holidays Tours during these early days, which has welcomed over 50,000 visitors over a 18 year period, and they’ve poached eggs for just about all of them.
They were proudly inducted into the Victorian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2010.
Ever seeking a creative, innovative space to host their guests, Shannon and Simeon are now restoring the property with all the lavishing’s of a boutique hotel.
They are so pleased, tickled pink and positively brimming to present to you Hara House, Bright’s first Boutique Hotel.
The pleasant season did my heart employ:
A word from our chief visionary...
“I once heard someone say ‘You’re either born to be a hotelier or are not’.
The transformation to Hara House has been a dream come true, I’ve created a hotel that celebrates the property’s retro heyday whilst delivering a new and thrilling guest experience in Bright”.
- SHANNON CRAWLEY, CO-FOUNDER
My old remembrances when from me wholly; And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy.
Introducing Hara House...
Bright’s first boutique hotel.
In a land of vintage dreams,
Where mid-century charm reigns supreme, Our hotel in Bright is a sight to be seen,
With comfort and whimsy in equal esteem.
Fall down the rabbit hole of luxury at Bright’s newest mid-century marvel!
Indulge in a dreamy escape at Bright’s whimsical mid-century getaway!
Escape from the ordinary and indulge in a luxurious getaway at Bright’s newest mid-century hotel. Unwind in plush accommodations that exude style and sophistication.
From the sumptuous guest rooms to the world-class amenities, every detail is designed to take you on an unforgettable journey. Rekindle your own love story and escape the mundane as you get lost in the luxurious ambience, perfect for adventurers, foodies or luxury travellers – and everyone in between.
But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might Of joy in minds that can no further go,
Special First Guest Offer
Down the rabbit hole we go! Step up and be the first to take the leap into something extraordinary. Simply enter your details below to secure a place on our 2023 First Guest List* to unlock exclusive offers and magical perks!
As high as we have mounted in delight.
Be our guest.
Come. Stay. Enjoy.
We invite you to journey with us, through the rabbit hole of time, to a place where mid-century design reigns sublime. Our story is a journey of nostalgia and innovation, where old and new blend in perfect unison.
So join us, dear traveler, on this curious adventure, as we share the tale of our hotel’s magical splendor.
Let our story inspire and enchant you, as we welcome you to our world anew!