Exiting Wonnangatta to the East with a camper

Submitted: Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 06:40
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I am planning a trip into Wonnangatta with a 200 Series Landcruiser on mud tyres towing a TVAN in a few weeks.

I will gown down into the valley on Zeka Spur track and plan to exit at the east end.

Does anyone know which is better for a trailer, Herne Spur track, Wombat Range track, or up to Harts spur track? Or should I go up to Water Spur track?

If it's wet, I'll delay or go out another way, but all of these tracks are quite steep from memory.

I have quite a bit of off road towing experience but I know from experience that these tracks are quite steep and I haven't towed up them before. I just wonder which is the best of a bad bunch.

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 06:54

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 06:54
Of the ones you have listed, Water Spur would be the better then Harts.

The one I use is West Buffalo/ Harry Shepherd Track when towing.
AnswerID: 506815

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 07:07

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 07:07
Thanks Tony that is my "Plan B" entry point if it's wet.

My main concern about Water spur from memory, and to be honest I didn't take too much notice at the time, is that it may not be as steep, but it is a much higher climb than the others. IS that right?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 08:19

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 08:19
I'd agree with Tony Boobook and like your plan B.

What I found with water spur is that it is more closed in and vegetated and less used and would gum up quick when wet , it still has several short steep sections and some tight parts.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 08:46

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 08:46
Thanks Robin and Tony.

My current thinking is go up Wombat, it is as steep as anything for a short section at the bottom, but after that it's less steep, and pretty straight. I could winch the first section or get snatched by a second 4wd that's not towing ( which I forgot to mention in the OP!!)

Otherwise Harts spur might be less steep, but a higher climb.

Any thoughts welcome.

???
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Reply By: Rob K (VIC) - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:07

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:07
Hi Boobook,
I was in Wonnangatta valley last weekend, came in from Crooked River end after doing Billy Goat Bluff (downhill), up Neats Tk, Cynthia Range Tk, Wombat Range Tk and down along Humffray River Tk to the old homestead and then out through Zeka Spur Tk the next day after overnight camp in Wonnangatta. I was in a party of three vehicles and not towing a camper trailer. As you seem to know, there are quite steep sections of track along the above route, particularly Wombat Range and Neats Tk as well as parts of Cynthia Range Tk. Personally I would not be planning a trip along this route with a camper as the track is overgrown in areas, narrow, steep in sections and can be very rocky; but that might just be my personal preference not to challenge myself to the limits. We all got through without a problem just in our vehicles though.

I haven't travelled Harts Spur Tk, Ti Tree Spur Tk and Race Course Tk but from a distance they looked wider and probably a better route to plan. Others might give you feedback on this route.

Zeka Spur Tk has a couple of very large tress across it just before you climb out of the Wonnangatta Valley and we were forced into a detour around them by going over the edge of the road and then back up to the road again. Trailer might drag going over road edge on both ends. Hopefully the trees will be gone by the time you come through. They were too large for my little chainsaw to deal with and would take quite a while to cut up and remove with a bigger saw anyway. Both were about a metre in diameter.

Hope the above is helpful in your planning and enjoy the scenery when you get there.

Cheers

Rob K
AnswerID: 506828

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:49

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:49
Hmm food for thought there Rob. Especially the info about Zeka Spur. That sounds like a problem. Might give Parks a call.

Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:13

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:13
Rob

Just a small aside if you do not mind. We were on Billy Goat and others in the area a week or so back. My short term memory is letting me down again.

Was there a tree across Billy Goat? I recall one that would stop anyone towing but cannot, for the life of me, recall which track it was on.

I do not want to detract from the main topic.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:53

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 09:53
There weren't any across Zeka on Friday, they must have been cleared.
Not sure about Billy Goat.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 10:58

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 10:58
Problem solved; I think that the downed tree is along Castle Hill Track.

I got the track log out for that day and from a my estimate the tree is across Castle Hill Track which was after Pinnacles Hut where we stopped for photos after Billy Goat.

I should have thought of Oziexplorer first. A but slow these days. But I have not set the time correctly so it's still an estimate.

Sorry to be a hassle.

Phil

Lovely close country up there!!!! Great for pinstriping that lovely polished Macquarie Street car. Joke!



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Follow Up By: Rob K (VIC) - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 15:03

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 15:03
Hi Phil,

The tree I was referring to in my post was on the Zeka Spur track heading out of Wonnangatta Valley. Boobook got through the area recently so I can only assume the track has been cleared. It was just past the turnoff to Dry River Walking Track and before the Wonnangatta 4WD Track to the NE.

Cheers

Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 15:39

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 15:39
No worries.

Phil
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Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 16:36

Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 16:36
Herne Spur is too steep to safely tow a trailer up.
Wombat is steep but doable. A 6 cylinder TD cruiser in our group was flat out in low 1st so had no reserve. Biggest issue is the track narrows in places while on the climb so if someone is coming down, particually with a trailer you may need to stop & restarting could be difficult. With a lead vehicle this could be avoided.
Hart Spur has some steep pinches but it's the huge erosion control ditches that could have the drawbar dragging if you don't have plenty of clearance./
Getting to Water Spur has a sharp creek crossing & another slippery decent when wet. It has the easiest grade of the 4 but possibly the worst surface.
Zeka in the wet can be plain dangerous at times when towing & being the only entry from that side to the valley may leave you with a dilema. If you can't handle the tree that's across the track at present then you should possibly look at some easier routes as big timber is continually falling these days post fires & people need to be able to cut them off or face back tracking.
Cheers Craig...............
AnswerID: 506842

Reply By: mick78 - Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 22:34

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 22:34
Hello Boobook, just winding if you have a update on your trip plans thank you
AnswerID: 508123

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 08:49

Monday, Apr 08, 2013 at 08:49
Mick, just got back last night. It was a great trip with mostly great weather. Wed morning to Sunday night.

As planned we went in down Zeka Spur after a magnificent detour on Kelly's lane near Arbuckle junction. I have never been along there past Kelly's and Mc Michaels huts before, but it has to be one of the most beautiful spots I have seen in the high country.

Zeka was much easier than I thought. No issues at all, even though there were a few damp spots and some small creeks across the road. Easy Peasy. Just had to watch the speed over the run offs. It took about 2 1/2 hours to the bottom including a quick lunch. There was another Tvan in the 'gatta, some nice trout too! It was real quiet too.

Our exit to the east was up Wombat Range track. The first 7 - 8 km was very steep up and the last 8 or so, was steep down.

Then we went down to Talbotville via Station track and Pioneer racecourse. Again a very steep track down for about 3km. Lots of big steep wash outs here with scraping of the towbar / a frame. You need to take it real slow over these.

From the valley to Talbotville took longer than I expected, it's further than I remember. I think that was about 4 1/2 hours inc lunch but I don't think the trailer held us up at all.

I was expecting a lot of problems, especially over those steep rises over rocky sections but generally it was like there was no trailer behind. I was impressed and relieved at how easy it was. I had a big smile and a fast beer when we stopped to camp....

The 200 diesel loved it. That low down torque just soaked it all up and I had to check that the camper was still there at times, it seemed so easy.

Lessons learned. I would invert my tow bar tongue to go over those big wash outs next time, and any camper doing the same would have to have good clearance, and a real good departure angle to make it. Check the Tvan departure angle, and I scraped the back once. Oh and while I would do Zeka if it was damp/ wet I would not contemplate any of the eastern tracks.

Thanks to everyone inc the Parks ranger for their advice. Great trip.




AnswerID: 508459

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