Victorian High Coubntry Trip

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 10:00
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My wife and I are planning a Victorian High Country trip for three weeks ex Sydney late November and the first two weeks of December. We have a well equipped 200 Series plus an off road camper and reasonable 4WD experience.
I am finding the maps and atlas of the area a bit confusing as there seem to be tracks all over the place. And at the moment I am having trouble assembling the Tek notes here into a single trip.
We plan to drive every second day once up there, with the other day sitting under a tree. Wonnangatta and Blue Rag are on the Do List, but I am wondering if anyone has done a similar tour and might suggest a High Country itinerary of, say 7-10 days.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Keith
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Reply By: bigden - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 10:28

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 10:28
there are plenty of good maps available and books full of high country trips on this site .
as for a trip, you could start fromMansfield, camp at sheepyard flat, travel up bluff track passed lovicks and bluff hut, down zeka spur into Wonnangatta. from there out along wombat range and thru crooked river/Talbotville to dargo. up the high plains road to blue rag and finish at harriettville or bright .
plenty of ways to expand on this trip but i might add i have never towed thru these areas ,but they are relatively easy tracks?
AnswerID: 589391

Follow Up By: Rob K (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:38

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:38
Hi Keith,

What sort of CT do you have as this might influence the places you can travel? If it's something like a TVan (short and good departure angles) then the tracks nominated by bigden are doable. If you have something longer like a KK or some of the other larger CT's then I would be recommending you don't travel some of the tracks mentioned by bigden (my personal view).

Base camping and day trips would be a much better plan for getting into places like Blue Rag. As bigden suggests, Sheepyard and Talbotville are relatively easy places to get into and you could look at Howitt Hut as well. Zeka Spur, Wombat Range, Tea Tree Trk are fun tracks to do but not ideal with a CT (agree with Rosco for these tracks).

I know other members have done these areas with the small CT + 200 LC without any issues. Hopefully they might have some thoughts as well.

Enjoy the area, its great country.

Cheers

Rob K
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 15:50

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 15:50
Hullo Keith
With respect to towing a C/T, it is worth noting that many of the tracks in this area are narrow with rocky sides and meeting on coming vehicles often requires vehicles to reverse, at times some distance, until a suitable place can be found to pass - eg, the Jeep Tk. This can be more than tricky if towing.
IMHO, it is better to base camp and do day trips - less hassle and stress on you as you can explore more freely knowing you can more easily back out, turn around and/or get unstuck.
Cheers
Andrew
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FollowupID: 857344

Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:44

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:44
G'day Keith

If you plan on towing a CT, you will be limited to day trips out from a base camp.
It's all marvellous country but a lot of the tracks are quite unsuitable for towing a trailer e.g. hairpin bends that require a 3 point turn to negotiate.
At least that's how it was on our last visit and I doubt it would have changed.

Do you have the facility to travel light sans CT? If so a hell of a lot more options will be available to you.
AnswerID: 589392

Reply By: Member - KeithB - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:55

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 12:55
We have an Ezytrail Eden (950Kg dry) which we took over the Simpson in April. The towing vehicle is lifted and locked with 33's and all of the recovery gear, which I'd prefer not to have to use.
Would appreciate any additional advice, particularly on no-go zones for trailers.
Keith
AnswerID: 589394

Follow Up By: Rob K (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 14:32

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 14:32
Keith,

With the CT you have I would be looking at base camping at Talbotville and doing all the touring in the surrounding area as day trips. From Talbotville you can easily do Blue Rag and Wonnangatta Valley as day trips. If you're up for a challenge you could do Billy Goat as well. Plenty of tracks to investigate around the Dargo area. You could also go and visit Dogs Grave. I assume you are planning on travelling alone?

Not knowing your level of 4WDing experience, if after having done Wonnangatta from Talbotville you think it feasible to drag the CT across the Cynthia Range and down Wombat Trk then you should be able to get up Zeka Spur Track and head towards Howitt Hut and then base camp there. From Howitt you have two choices:
1. You can head towards the Mansfield area via King Billy Trk and investigate the High Country huts like Bluff Hut, Lovicks Hut etc. mentioned by "bigden" as another day trip. Craig's Hut might be a bit too far for a return trip? King Billy to Lovicks Hut is rough in places and can be challenging even for a reasonably well set up 4WD with some decent rock steps to negotiate; or
2. Stay around the Howitt Hut area and do some of the interesting tracks north of Licola and visit the Caledonia River for instance. No shortage of challenging tracks around Licola as well, Butcher Country is a prime example.

The tracks around the high country are generally narrow and single vehicle width in many places so coming across other vehicles with a CT attached will not be fun for anyone. Quite a few can also be overgrown and not necessarily "duco friendly".

Hope this helps? I'm sure I'll generate some further "discussion" with the above comments so keep in mind it's only my perspective of what you're planning.

Cheers

Rob K
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 21:05

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 21:05
That would be my reco also Rob

Relatively easy run to Dargo and out to Talbotville to basecamp.
You won't explore all the day drive tracks from there in a week.

Reasons for this recomendation are that you can get to Dargo via even the coast highway.

Even the short dirt 2wd track down to Talbotville will get you excited.

Within a few km of Talbotville are some 50 river crossings and at that time of year some will be over 1m and you can asess these without danger by camping first at Talbotville.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 15:42

Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015 at 15:42
A lifted and locked 200 series , would easily tow a camper trailer on pretty much any track in the Highcountry , even Billy Goats Bluff , but I agree with the others , you would be better to set up a couple of base camps and do day trips .

Meeting up with other vehicles coming the other way , could be a PITA especially large convoys .

All the tracks suggested above are worth a look .

If you wanted to spend a couple of days in the Wonnangatta , towing the camper in there should not be a problem .

The Highcountry is all good , you can't really go wrong , your 200 series will handle it no problems , I doubt you will need to use your recovery gear , unless it rains .
AnswerID: 589399

Follow Up By: Dr Hook - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 00:04

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 00:04
Agree Jacko: Was up there in Feb/March this year, and even managed Mt Pinnobar track (quite cut up at the time - worse than Billygoat's bluff!) towing my hard-floor behind my 3.0litre CRD Patrol: {the only problem was dragging my jockey-wheel (swung up but still protruding below the drawbar) over rocks and it chewed out some rubber - still quite use-able tho'.}. Passing oncoming vehicles could be a pain but they should be able to give you room. Dr Hook
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Reply By: Kenell - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 14:11

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 14:11
Keith,
The responses you have evoked so far are very much in line with my thinking. Yes you "could" tow your trailer over much of the high country but I choose not to. We stop and prop and do the day wanders which are so much more enjoyable without having to worry about the ct. I have been doing it this way for 20 years. The Crooked River Rd that starts just south of Dargo has numerous camping options all with river frontage and access to any number of tracks that make great day trips. Incl, Blue Rag, Billy Goats, Wombat, Zeka, Wonnangatta and so on. Once you tire of that area you could slip across to Talbotville or even go thru the Wonnangatta to Buckland and prop there and do some more. Licola, Mansfield and Omeo also have great camping areas nearby that give access to numerous options. It is hard to say what sort of condition the tracks will be in when they open up in November but they are usually pretty good. I am told Billy Goats was dozed a few months ago and my wife's Lancer would just about do it now - alright slight exaggeration perhaps - but it is certainly very doable in a 200 series. The country is steep and subsequently the views are incredible.
Hope you have a great trip.
Ken
AnswerID: 589433

Reply By: Member - KeithB - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 14:24

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 14:24
Thanks everyone. Much appreciated. What a wonderful forum this is!
By the way, what UHF channel should I use in the High Country?
Keith
AnswerID: 589434

Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 16:49

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 16:49
Probably 40 ??
But more important is to scan continuously. That way you'll pick up any groups in your vicinity.
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Reply By: bigden - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 21:17

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 21:17
Keith
I posted the original itinerary because you said you wanted to move on every couple of days. There are just so many options available
Talbotville is a great base if that's what you want

Get yourself the book " high country 4wd and camping guide" from the shop at exploreoz. That will give you an idea of the many trips available

Dennis
AnswerID: 589442

Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Aug 20, 2015 at 09:24

Thursday, Aug 20, 2015 at 09:24
Not sure which maps you have but I would highly recommend the Rooftop maps as they have some great detail in the maps

cheers
AnswerID: 589452

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