Great Alpine Road Victoria

Submitted: Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 22:32
ThreadID: 110963 Views:3003 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
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A bit of advice needed please.
We have a 3.2 litre auto Ford ranger towing a 21ft Jayco Sterling and were wondering
what the Great alpine Road from the Princes Highway up to Tallangatta is like.
Would it be too big an ask for a big van?
we would like to see the south coast of NSW on our way back to WA and don't want to go through Melbourne.
My wife had a fall and is under doctors here in Sydney for another 6 weeks or so and we are due home in Busselton at Easter.
Any comments welcome
Rob J
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 22:59

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 22:59
If its the Alpine way you are talking about which goes through Thredbo , across Dead Horse gap and down to Tom Groggin and then to Kancoban , then there are signs at each end saying not suitable for caravans.

There are at least 2 hairpins that are very tight and up to 5 or so that are tight between Thredbo and Tom Groggin. From there on its not too bad and opens out into a normal road after Kancoban. However there is a stretch of cutting after Geehi walls which is quite narrow .

There is quite a bit of traffic especially on weekends with motorcycles,4WD and the like.
Anything is possible but wise or considerate to other motorists is another matter. Also the Alpine way is one of the steepest continuous down hill stretches in Australia as it goes from AFAIK the highest paved road point in OZ to the Murray in about 20Ks.

My suggestion would be to go to Cooma from Bega up Brown Mountain, which will be pretty much of a challenge to the cooling system anyway, then cut across to Tumut, as this is largely an open road with wide lanes and few hairpins, then down to the Hume.
Regards Philip A

AnswerID: 545257

Follow Up By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 06:39

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 06:39
Wrong Alpine road. The one he wants goes from Bairnsdale Vic. up through Omeo, Mt Hotham, Bright to Wangaratta.

A bit windy over Hotham but a nice drive.
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Reply By: Member - Allan L2 - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 06:36

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 06:36
Hi Rob,
The "Great Alpine Road" in fact goes from Bairnsdale to Wangaratta Via Mt Hotham. It does not pass through Tallangatta. Tallangatta is easily accessible by turning off at Myrtleford. It is a great drive & much easier than the "Alpine Way" You should no hassle towing. In fact it is a fairly busy road as it is the main access from Albury/ Wodonga to the Gippsland Lakes. Google Great Alpine Road for lots of info & map.
Cheers
Allan.
AnswerID: 545261

Follow Up By: Rob J8 - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 21:50

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 21:50
Thanks Allan L2 , the Great Alpine Road you have described is the one. We don't need to go to Tallangatta, just don't need the hassles of driving through parts of Melbourne we don't know.
Will Google and have a good look. Thanks again Rob J
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 08:28

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 08:28
The Omeo Hway runs from Omeo to near Tallangatta on the Murray Valley Hway if that's the one you mean. There are lots of narrow stretches and tight bends in the southern section. With care and courtesy you could do it.
AnswerID: 545265

Follow Up By: alhow - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:40

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:40
This would be the better option. Also I hear it is now bitumen all the way. You won't find the bends any worse than any other option and you don't have the steepness.
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:00

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:00
The Omeo Highway is now sealed all the way as you say but is definitely narrower. I live near by & drove it a fortnight ago. Yes you can tow a van on it, but the Great Alpine Road would be an easier run towing wise.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:21

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:21
Yes, the Omeo Hway will have you on the wrong side of blind bends. There are long stretches without centre marking and it seems too many drivers/riders out there take that to mean the whole road is theirs.

On the GAR the tightest stuff is between Harrietville and Hotham - about 30 ks of it. It's got centre markings.

I wouldn't pick any of these as quick ways back except on the motorbike.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:23

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:23
I think Rob some more map study is called for.

If you hit the Princes east of Melb coming south it's going to take you through Melb.
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Reply By: Erad - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:25

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:25
If you watch the TV series "What's Up Down Under", a group of caravans, most of them huge juggernauts, recently travelled the Great Alpine Road from Omeo to Bright. I am sure at least one of the towing vehicles was a Ranger or Mazda BT50. Even if not, they have adequate power, size and weight to be able to comfortably tow your van - provided that the driver doesn't do stupid things.

The Great Alpine Road is sealed all the way and although very winding and slow, is quite and acceptable road to tow a van on. You are talking of going from Omeo to Tallangatta. That is the Ovens Highway. It is unsealed for a significant part of the way, and winding, but trucjks use this road, so why not a caravan rig as well? Again, I would travel this road if I had to, but do it with care and keep to your own side of the road.
AnswerID: 545270

Follow Up By: alhow - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:49

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 09:49
The Ovens hwy was apparently sealed by the second quarter of 2014
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:06

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:06
alhow, I think you are referring to the Omeo Highway. The last section of it was sealed last year. The Ovens has been sealed before I can remember.
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Follow Up By: alhow - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:11

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 10:11
Yeah Allan, the Omeo hwy, thanks mate.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 at 10:00

Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 at 10:00
Hullo Rob
Like you, we avoid driving in Melbourne if at all possible and certainly when towing the van.
For a completely different option and if you don't necessarily want to see the Vic High Country, we use the ferry between Queenscliff and Sorrento. If you catch one of the first two services in the morning, the van is only $11. And you won't be the only ones with vans - quite popular.
While there is a bit of traffic on the Mornington Peninsula roads, it bypasses most of metropolitan Melbourne.
Cheers
Andrew
AnswerID: 545327

Follow Up By: Rob J8 - Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 at 21:37
Thanks so much for that info Andrew and Jen,

We knew about the ferry and were going to use it after we caught up with friends in Frankston, but they're overseas for quite a while so we needed another choice. we weren't sure if the Vic high country is quite as steep as the Snowies. we haven't spent much time in Vic as we usually stay in the warm country FNQLD but we mightn't be back over this way again so we better give the southern states a look.

Thanks again
Rob J
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Reply By: BT50XTR - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 10:10

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 10:10
Don't be so quick to avoid Melbourne. It's very easy to get through.

East to West - Monash Freeway and Westgate freeway - no turns required.
West to East - reverse the above
North down to east - Tullamarine Freeway, exit onto Monash.
North down to west - Western ring road off the Tullamarine freeway and onto the Westgate to Geelong.

Just avoid 7:30am to 10:00am and 4pm till 7pm and you're all good !

AnswerID: 545459

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