High Country of North East Victoria
Kosciuszko National Park
(Extended trip from the Easter trip)
Description: This extended trip continues from the Easter trip at Omeo and will traverse the High Country of north east Victoria and the Kosciusko National Park, from the end of Easter through to the Saturday following Anzac Day. It will offer some of the best four-wheel drive touring in the Victorian High Country, visiting the western side of the Kosciuszki National Park. The trip will take in stunning mountain scenery, historic cattlemen's huts, great camping destinations, beautiful autumnal colours of the poplars within the old gold mining areas, as well as the history and folklore of the High Country.
The route is based on a number of the treks in the recently published “4WD Treks of the High Country “by Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage, published by the same publisher as the Robert Pepper book of 20 Treks around Melbourne, which is currently being validated by our club.
The trip will commence in Omeo on Tuesday morning and travel through Benambra along Misery Road, then up and over Mount Misery at 1590m along the Misery Trail, onto the iconic Davies Plain Track. We are then within the Alpine National Park, travelling along beautiful snow plains, visiting a number of campsites, before arriving at Tom Groggin, on the Murray River at the Victorian/NSW border on the Alpine Way. The Davies Plain track is part of the Parks Victoria's Iconic 4WD Adventures and can be found at www.iconic4wd.com.au
From Tom Groggin, we ford the Murray River into NSW and head up the Alpine Way, through the Kosciusko National Park, to Geehi where we travel along the Geehi Walls Fire Trail visiting a number of historic Snowy Mountains huts and viewing the craggy western side of towering Main Range before returning to the Alpine Way and making our way to Corryong through Khancoban.
Depending on the weather and time availability , we may take a side trip to Thredbo and take the chairlift and the walking trail to Mount Kosciuszko, before heading up to Geehi.
From Corryong, we head south to Surveyors Gap and visit the memorial located on the Murray River, to where Jack Riley died, being the inspiration for Banjo’s Man from Snowy River. We then drive up to the summit of Mount Pinnibar at 1773m, not unlike the summit of Blue Rag, with a spectacular 360-degree view over the Kosciusko Main Range. Continuing south we drive up and over Mount Gibbo and Mount Hope before visiting the Mount Murphy Historic Area. We then make our way to Benambra, finishing at Omeo on Saturday afternoon.
The itinerary will be flexible to maximize the areas of interest we can visit within the 5 days of the trip and will be dependant on track conditions.
Weather: The trip will be undertaken in late Autumn within an alpine environment, so be prepared for cold and wet weather and even a light dusting of snow! Take appropriate clothing, footwear and weather protection and a warm sleeping bag !
Equipment: As a minimum, basic recovery gear including a rated snatch strap, dampener, rated shackles, gloves and a shovel is to be taken. Maxtrax or the like would be advantageous, a set of basic tools, vehicle spares and puncture repair kit are to be taken. A second spare tyre fitted to a rim would be beneficial in the event of side wall damage to a tyre. Vehicles to have low range capability, be in sound condition, UHF radio equipped, with good, high profile, all-terrain tyres and good ground clearance (200mm minimum). A snorkel is preferable for water crossings, which at the time of the year should be relatively shallow.
This trip is not suitable for camper trailers. Tents or swags only to be taken.
Trip Standard: Track classification - Difficult. According to the trek notes, the majority of the tracks will be easy and moderate in dry weather but some will be difficult so drivers must have the confidence and competency to tackle the difficult tracks, particularly in the event of wet weather that may make the moderate tracks difficult, recognizing that the trip is in late Autumn and in the Australian Alps. There will be a number of water crossings.
Fuel: A full fuel tank out of Omeo with refuelling not available until Khancoban. As we will be camping in a high-altitude alpine environment, diesel fuel is to have an additive to avoid a possible gelling of the fuel if temperatures drop below zero. Icebreaker is such an additive.
Distance: The total distance is approximately 400km
Duration: The trip is for 5 days finishing at Omeo on the Saturday afternoon 27 April , allowing either a return drive home that night or the next day by staying overnight at Omeo. Omeo to Melbourne is 400km.
Convoy limit: 8 vehicles
Meeting Arrangements: Meet at the bakery in Omeo on Tuesday 23 April at 9.00am. This starting time is flexible however depending on the participant's travel arrangements to Omeo.
Trip Leader: Graeme Allen – 0477 488 434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate to contact Graeme for any queries you may have.
POST TRIP REPORT
DAY 1 4 Vehicles. Departed Omeo 1030. Benambra- Limestone Rd. Limestone Ck Tk. Two steep, loose and scalloped sections, one nth of Limestone Ck camping area and one prior to McCarthys track. May require winching for both if coming from the north. McCarthys Tk after Poplars Camping Area. Davies Plain Tk. Charlie Creek Hut campsite at 4.30pm. Large, grassy and great campsite. DAY2 Davies Plain Tk, steep and rocky in sections , Davies Plain Hut for morning tea, Tom Groggin for lunch. Davies Plain Tk closes on 1 May. The Alpine Way to Geehi Flats Rest Area, Geehi Walls Fire Trail, easy climb up to Major Clews Hut. Good campground at 5.00pm DAY 3 Major Clews Fire Trail, Alpine Way, morning tea at Khancoban. 6km from Corryong, Upper Murray Rd, Bunroy Rd, Bunroy Creek Tk, lunch on Murray River, Indi River Tk, Bunroy Rd goes through Bunroy Station which is okay to Barlows Bk Tk which starts in paddock. No defined track initially, then when in forest, track is defined. Surveyors Creek Tk to Murray River. Jack Riley monument at end of track on Surveyors Ck. Blue Gum Ridge Tk, initially steep and loose, may require winching. Track has very steep sections up and down but trafficable once first steep climb encountered at north end. Camped on corner of Walkers Rd and Blue Gum Track at 5.30pm as running out of light. Better campsite on Walkers Road within next 30 minutes.DAY 4 Walkers Rd, Dead Finnish Tk, Dunstans Rd Gibsons Hut, all easy driving. Back onto Dunstans Rd as Shady Creek Lower Tk closed due bridge works. Cattlemans Ck Tk to Wheels Ck Hut. Back along Cattlemans Ck Tk to Shady Creek Upper Tk. Past Shady Ck ford, track becomes steep rising to Mt Pinnibar. Mt Gibbo Tk, steep and rocky, Mt Gibbo, Mt Anderson Rd steep and rocky, Hope Rd, Buckwong Tk to Buckwong Creek campground which is great on grassy, flat plain 4.30 camp.DAY 5 Back up Buckwong Creek Rd to Buckwong Tk. Mt Hope Rd, Beloka Rd, Benambra Limsestone rd to Omeo at 11.30 am. Total distance 850 km