Victorian Alps - Australia
Victorian Alps & High Country - Australia
Victorian High Country & the Alpine National Park
have an excellent range of High Country books, maps and guides on our Victorian click
here for details
Australian 4x4 Travel runs tag along tours to the High Country see to the right for details
the north eastern
section of Victoria, The Victorian High
Country covers a vaste area of
deep river valleys winding through rugged mountain country and form the
southern end of the Great Dividing Range.
Peaks reach up to
1900 meters above sea level and, during the winter months, most of the
area above 1200 meters is blanketed in snow creating a winter
playground for snow skiers and for other winter sports.
brings with it the warmer weather and, as the snow melts, it is
replaces by spring flowers, green grass and once again the opening of
the bush tracks, so popular in the summer months with bush
four wheel drivers and campers,
and the rivers and streams again
attract the recreational fisherman. The area becomes equally
popular with horse riders who have untold areas that they can
As with the Australian deserts, The High Country can be
an inhospitable place for the ill-prepared, particularly in the higher
regions. It is not unknown to have extremes between warm
weather and wintery snow blizzards. Together with this
growth in some areas present the bush fire hazard, often
Nevertheless the whole region presents a vaste array of
stunning scenery. a wide variety of flora and fauna
and leaves its visitors, many of whom return year after year,
long lasting, happy memories.
There are four wheel drive routes throughout much of the High Country
with a popular trip starting in
Mansfield, Victoria, and ends on the Victorian / New South Wales
border at Tom Groggin, just south of Thredbo, having wound its way
through the Alpine National Park.
is also a popular track from Marysville, to the south west of
Mansfield, that first travels through the Yarra Ranges National Park,
then the south western regions of the Alpine National Park before
joining this track in the Wonnangatta Valley, near Dargo.
is also a route from Bairnsdale to the south, in the beautiful East
Gippsland lakes district, that joins up at Dargo as well.
of the tracks have been created for management of the forests and Alpine National Park and for fire
control and not for four wheel drives. They are left open for
recreational use and those using them must remember to leave them as
they found them and to head warning signs and respect track closures.
a track is closed it is closed for a reason, those who ignore the
warnings will place themselves and their passengers at risk.
is also worth noting that if a track was in good condition last year it
may not be this year for a whole range of reasons. It is always a good
idea to check with the locals before proceeding into remote areas.
This trip covers a distance of around 420 km and takes in spectacular
comprising mountains, rivers and historic sights. There are also many
camping sites along the way.
whole area could easily keep you busy for 10 days, two weeks, or more. On this trip, as
the track does cross several access roads to various towns, there are
opportunities to cut the trip short.
There will be many
stretches where it is slow going and there is a little over 200 km for
the longest distance without fuel supplies.
Whilst much of
the trip is through easy 4wd country there are stages that are
definitely not for the beginner. If you are inexperienced there are
several 4wd tag along tours operators that will guide you through the
area in safety. That is their job and they do it well.
Mansfield, north east of Melbourne and
to the west of the Alpine National Park, is Ned Kelly country and is a
main gateway into the mountains. Whilst it is mainly an agricultural
town it also plays host to thousands of tourists as it is on
access road to Mt Buller to its east.
offers all facilities and is an ideal place to stock up on fuel and
provisions. Leaving town head for Mt Buller to the east.
30 kilometers from Mansfield. at Mirimbah, turnoff towards Mount
Stirling. At Telephone Box Junction there is the Circuit Track that
leads to the summit which is walking or 4wd access only. There is also
a much sought after landmark in the area, Craig's Hut which was
originally built when the film Man From Snowy River was made, with its
sensational scenic backdrop.
Heading out along the Circuit Track
the going gets tougher as you pass through Howqua Gap and
along the edge of the mountain. Several kilometers past Howqua Gap the
route takes the Bindaree Creek Track as it heads down the mountain to
the Howqua River which is crossed a few km's further.
several very good camp sites in the area but once over the river there
is an ideal camping ground on the Bindaree Hut river flats.
is a lovely spot with good trout fishing for those into it.
Although Bindaree Hut is only about 70km from Mansfield the average
driver would have taken two or more hours so far. Stopping to look at
the scenery could easily make this a day trip so far, an early
indication of why this trip could take a week or longer.
crossing 16 Mile Creek, whilst traveling on 16 Mile Track the 16 Mile
Road is eventually reached. Just after getting onto 16 Mile Road there
is a turnoff to Bluff Hut, which is on a cattle property leased by the
Stoney family. The hut is used by the family when they are in
area but visitors are welcome and the view is well worth stopping for.
Bluff Hut, a little further on there is a track leading off the main
track that will take you to views that you shouldn't miss. They stretch
As the trip heads for Dargo there are several fairly
steep climbs and descents with river and creek crossings and, of
course, lots more views.
If you have time on your hands
there is a reasonable track, Brocks Road, leading down to the Jamieson
River. But then are are many other tracks as well that lead to equally
pleasant places. Perhaps you should plan to be here for a month or so!
Of great historical significance is Wonnangatta Valley and was known as
the Lost Valley of The Alps.
discovered in 1860 by a gold prospector called Howitt, the cattle
station lease of Wonnagatta Station was taken up. It was at Wonnagatta
Homestead the then manager of the station, James Barclay, and the
homestead's chef, John Bamford, were murdered, crimes that have never
There is little remaining of the old homestead after
being accidentally set alight in 1957.
past the homestead towards Eaglevale, on the Wombat Range Track, there
is a good chance of coming across some washouts on the track and very
tight bends so exercise extreme caution. There are plenty of excellent
camp sites along the way, many on the river bank.
to Dargo there are some more creek crossings until the main road, which
is bitumen, is reached about 5km out of the village of Dargo.
Dargo there is the main road to Omeo, via Mt Hotham, for the traveler
who would like a break from four wheel driving for a while, or the 4wd
track, which runs parallel to the Dargo River for a while before
climbing up to Mt Steve via The Farm.
At Mt Steve the route travels almost north along Birregun Track before
heading north east to Omeo.
Omeo travel north towards Mitta Mitta for about 4km and turn east onto
Benambra Road and on to, and through, the town of Benambra and passed
Omeo Lake towards Corryong. The road passes through timber logging
country and it is not uncommon to come across large logging trucks.
followed the Gibbo River for a while the road climbs fairly
rapidly towards Sassafras Gap, which is at the top of the Great
Dividing Range. As a detour the Dartmouth Track heads
to Lake Dartmouth. There is a decent camping area at Lake Dartmouth
within a close proximity to the Greens Creek Mining Area.
10km north of Sassafras Gap the Wheelers Creek Logging Road heads of to
the east towards the forests and Wheelers Creek Hut, which is a good
camp site. However about 2 km before Wheelers Creek Hut is Cattlemans
Track, which then leads to Shady Creek Lower Track heading towards
Gibson's Hut is another good camping area situated
next to a beautiful stream. From here the route follows a
of tracks to Tom Groggin traveling through spectacular mountain
country, Tom Groggin Station and eventually meeting the Murray River at
Dogmans Hut, and the Victorian, New South Wales border.
There is a reasonably shallow river crossing and then only a short
distance to the Alpine Way and the end of the journey.
From here it goes right across Alpine National Park south east,
and out of the park for a while, to Dargo.
From Dargo the trip turns north east and heads for Omeo, on the Omeo
Highway, and then on, back into the Alpine National Park to Sassafras
Gap, where the route swings east to Tom Groggin.
The trip is over rugged, mountainous, country and a well prepared,
well equipped, vehicle is essential.
The best time to do the trip is in the late spring to early autumn.
During the winter months much of the route is impassable due to the
snow falls and road closures.
It covers about 420 km with around 215 km being the longest distance
between fuel stops.
Park permits may be required
Looking forward to seeing you back here soon,
Mobile 0408 245 892
Come on a 4wd Tag Along Tour to the
Small groups, very informal and a lot of fun
Trips are run every January, Easter and November
click on the following link for more details