Vic High Country

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesMansfield
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance306.17 km
Minimum Days3
Average Speed30.17 km/hr
Driving Time10 hrs 8 mins
Article By: Member - Dave J (VIC)
Page Updated: 22 Mar 2016


Commencing in Mansfield this trip travels out the Howqua River and up into the Alpine National Park, you will travel up over the Bluff and across the Howitt Plain, through the Wonanngatta to Talbotville, explore Grant and Dargo, and the best ridge top drive in the state. On the way out via the Dargo High Plains Rd you can take a challenging but spectacular ridge top run out the Blue Rag Range to the Blue Rag Trig Point. The trig point at 1718m above sea level provides a 360 degree panorama of the country recently travelled and of Hotham, Feathertop and the Bogong complex.

The trip proceeds back along the ridge and up to St Bernhard Hospice and down the Alpine Way to it’s finish in Harrietville. This could be the beginning of another trip depending on where you are headed with Mount Beauty and Bright to explore and an abundance of wineries including some of the countries best between here and Wangaratta and Albury.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

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  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
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During the hotter summer months, the tracks can be very dry and dusty. During the colder and wetter months of Winter, the tracks may be slippery and treacherous in some places, especially after rain and care and patience must be taken.

There are over 1300 indigenous species including 43 eucalypts, 38 wattles and 96 orchids in this region. In Wonnangatta Valley for example, there are many exotic trees which still today produce crops in the appropriate season. The Valley provides blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, cherries, mushrooms and chestnuts which the visiting camper can enjoy.

This wide and varied vegetation does provide habitat for a diverse range of fauna. There are both native and introduced wildlife with the majority being nocturnal. This includes: wombats, kangaroos, wallabies as well as rats, possums, echidnas, platypus, and water rats. Some of the introduced species include sambar deer, rabbit, fox and wild dog. Birds include: crimson rosellas, kookaburras, king parrots, lyrebird and emus. You may also see wedge tailed eagles soaring high above crags and swooping across the valleys. Trout can be found swimming in the rivers and streams.


This area has some fascinating historical aspects. The route will take you through some of the high country that has become part of our mountain cattle heritage over the past 150 years. Unsolved murders and high country huts, cattle stations which were surely the most remote in North East Victoria, gold mining and aboriginal history abound. Some sites include information signboards to tell the story, however you can enrich your trip experience by doing some pre-trip reading.


Much of the trip may be spent in low ratio and fuel consumption will be higher than you may think. Some vehicles with large tanks (Patrols, Cruisers, Prado’s) fuelling in Mansfield will make Dargo without need to carry fuel but if any of the many side trips you may like to do are to be taken then those with small tanks (70-80 litre) should consider carrying at least 20 to 40 litres.

Lower vehicles may have clearance issues on some tracks but full size four wheel drives will be fine although all vehicles should give thought to wheel placement. This is not soft roader country.

Communications is limited to HF and Satphones for 95% of this trip. GSM coverage is only available at Bluff Hut. For emergencies your nearest emergency medical assistance is by helicopter (weather permitting and if you have communication) so drive carefully. This area is trafficked more heavily on weekends.

Water is scarce at Bluff Hut but Lovick’s probably has a more reliable supply. Drinkable water can usually be readily obtained from the Wonnangatta, Wonnungarra or Crooked Rivers at many of the crossing points or camps. Carry enough for your camps at the higher altitude spots. Firewood is hard to obtain in some areas and its collection is restricted – contact Parks Victoria to clarify, but we believe it is limited to fallen timber only. There is not much of this close to camp sites. Gas stoves should be used where possible. A chainsaw and recovery gear should be carried, fallen timber frequently blocks tracks.

All food requirements before Dargo must be carried in and rubbish carried out. No dogs are permitted in the Alpine National Park.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
4cyl 43 litres4cyl 50 litres4cyl 61 litres
6cyl 47 litres6cyl 55 litres6cyl 54 litres
8cyl 47 litres8cyl 51 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Track Closures apply June – October. Parks Victoria can confirm track status open/closed.

Closest Climatic Station

Mount Buller
Distance from Trek Mid Point 22.69km SW
Mean Max. °C17.317.
Mean Min. °C8.
Mean Rain mm72.778.679.5103.8131.0147.1163.5150.4149.4142.8127.595.5
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Dargo Pub, Dargo


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What to See

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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Cattlemen’s huts, high altitude flora, spectacular views, historic sites & cemeteries, old mines and mining equipment and a few geocaches.

Showing 14 Places

Where to Stay

Download Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

Showing 10 Places


LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Mansfield to Merrijig17.83 kmE110° 13 min
Merrijig to Red Hill8.96 kmSE149° 11 min
Red Hill to Chimney Ruin7.89 kmSE145° 11 min
Chimney Ruin to Pickerings Hut0.59 kmE73° 1 min
Pickerings Hut to Tunnel Bend Flat1.67 kmNE56° 2 min
Tunnel Bend Flat to Gardiners (4 Mile) Hut1.67 kmE95° 3 min
Gardiners (4 Mile) Hut to Six Mile Hut0.45 kmSE152°
Six Mile Hut to Eight Mile Gap3.81 kmE95° 7 min
Eight Mile Gap to Refrigerator Gap10.17 kmSE139° 19 min
Refrigerator Gap to Bluff Hut4.34 kmE71° 8 min
Bluff Hut to Mount Lovicks6.8 kmE79° 20 min
Mount Lovicks to Lovick's Hut3.15 kmE74° 11 min
Lovick's Hut to Picture Point2.94 kmE81° 11 min
Picture Point to Scenic Lookout1.08 kmN12° 4 min
Scenic Lookout to Bluff Tk & King Billy Tk & Brocks Rd1.08 kmE79° 4 min
Bluff Tk & King Billy Tk & Brocks Rd to Peters Ck, King Billy Track3 kmSE150° 11 min
Peters Ck, King Billy Track to King Billy Tk (Collapsed Log Bridge)6.5 kmE93° 29 min
King Billy Tk (Collapsed Log Bridge) to Howitt Hut1.39 kmNE30° 6 min
Howitt Hut to Zeka Spur Tk9.47 kmSE123° 18 min
Zeka Spur Tk to Half Way Camp7.97 kmN356° 15 min
Half Way Camp to Dry River, Wonnangatta (Campsite)6.37 kmNE65° 17 min
Dry River, Wonnangatta (Campsite) to Campsites along Wonnangatta River12.56 kmE97° 28 min
Campsites along Wonnangatta River to Duffys & HorsePaddock Camps3.3 kmSE126° 6 min
Duffys & HorsePaddock Camps to Wonnangatta Homestead Site0.9 kmSE146° 2 min
Wonnangatta Homestead Site to Wonnangatta River, Wonnangatta Tk0.66 kmW281° 2 min
Wonnangatta River, Wonnangatta Tk to Mount Cynthia8.18 kmSE117° 21 min
Mount Cynthia to Howittville18.67 kmSE141° 45 min
Howittville to Talbotville7.25 kmE99° 22 min
Talbotville to Good Hope Mine Boiler & Tunnel5.34 kmN12° 12 min
Good Hope Mine Boiler & Tunnel to Grant Historic Township10.65 kmE85° 37 min
Grant Historic Township to Jolly Sailor Mine8.41 kmSE115° 29 min
Jolly Sailor Mine to Peter The Swede3.08 kmNE48° 14 min
Peter The Swede to Cowa5.31 kmSE147° 16 min
Cowa to Dargo Pub11.9 kmSE139° 15 min
Dargo Pub to Dargo3.72 kmS175° 4 min
Dargo to Cowa0.07 kmN339° N/A
Cowa to Peter The Swede3.69 kmN356° 4 min
Peter The Swede to Mount Ewen11.9 kmNW319° 15 min
Mount Ewen to Gows Hotel Site8.04 kmN20° 9 min
Gows Hotel Site to Dargo High Plains16.57 kmN355° 15 min
Dargo High Plains to Start of Blue Rag Track11.58 kmN341° 11 min
Start of Blue Rag Track to Mount Blue Rag4.33 kmNW300° 5 min
Mount Blue Rag to Blue Rag Trig Point (Lookout)6.7 kmW257° 29 min
Blue Rag Trig Point (Lookout) to Mount Blue Rag0.07 kmS171° N/A
Mount Blue Rag to Start of Blue Rag Track0.07 kmN351° N/A
Start of Blue Rag Track to Mount Freezeout6.7 kmE77° 29 min
Mount Freezeout to Dargo High Plains Rd & Great Alpine Rd6.88 kmN341° 8 min
Dargo High Plains Rd & Great Alpine Rd to Harrietville4.1 kmNW332° 5 min
Mansfield to Harrietville306.17 km  10 hr 8 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.


Nearby ExplorOz Treks

Travel Journals

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