Zeka Spur track condition.

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 13:28
ThreadID: 131404 Views:5939 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Hi all. I am wanting to take the wife and kids into the Wonnangatta Valley this Saturday for 4 days camping and was after some advice on track conditions in the area. I'm from gippsland so was wanting to head off early, have lunch at Howitt hut and then drop into the valley down Zeka Spur. I have never been down Zeka Spur and have read some mixed advise on how hard this track is to descend/ascend. Some say it's very steep with massive rutted areas and will need plenty of clearance while others say you could near do it in two wheel drive these days. Of course it obviously depends on how much traffic has been through there as to what condition it is in. We are expecting a bit of rain leading up to Saturday and have read this track can be quite slippery (Clay sections) also. I have a fair amount of experience in the high country and have spent a fair amount of time camping in the Caledonia river, licola - Maroka, Dargo - Eaglevale areas but for one reason or another have never been to the Wonnangatta. I have a pov pack 105 series Landcruiser with a good 2 inch lift, good A/T tiers, no diff locks but have a winch and won't be towing a trailer. Just after some thoughts from anyone who has been up there over Xmas holidays as to how you would rate the toughness of this track as I don't want to scare the family too much and will be traveling alone.
Cheers in advance
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 17:34

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 17:34
G'day Aaron. From the Howitt end Zeka starts as an old washed out logging track with tight switch backs, bit rocky but an easy drive. Just before the Half way camp it drops steeply for 500m then steady with a couple of ups for the remainder. Now for most high clearance cars with an experienced driver I'd rate as intermediate however on a bad day after heavy rain it can turn nasty for those less skilled due to several slippery clay sections. Forecast is for 10 to 20mm of rain Friday. (Not an issue for those with decent tread)
If you've driven Caledonia it's not as steep as that. Most that get into trouble are usually towing following trek notes or a recomendation from a mate that drove it in the dry.
AnswerID: 595197

Follow Up By: AaronBarrel - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:02

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:02
G'day Crackles. Thanks for taking the time to reply with a clear description and rating of the Track. As stated I have done Caledonia from all directions e.g Dingo, Butcher and Howitt end so if Zeka is comparable to or less steep than Butcher and Dingo Hill, then that gives me the confidence to head on in down Zeka.
Thanks again for the response.
FollowupID: 863854

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:12

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:12
Along the lines of what crackles is saying, I haven't been down there this year but last year towed my camper down. It is not really steep at all and similar to much of the country you mention around Licola. It isn't a hard drive and certainly a lot easier then the approaches on the eastern side of Wonnangatta.

The only real issue is that the bottom half does tend to get a little slippery when wet. If your AT's are in good nick then you will be fine, based on your experience as outlined.

I always call the ranger if in doubt, they are a great help. I am pretty sure that Zeka spur comes under the Dargo office.03 5140 1243, but it may be the Heyfield office 03 5139 7777

FollowupID: 863855

Follow Up By: AaronBarrel - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:27

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:27
Hi Boobook. Yes my AT's are in great condition and are quite an aggressive pattern so they should be of no concern, hopefully:) I might give the ranger a call this week for a quick chat about current conditions, I didn't realise they were that accomodating. Thanks. Aaron
FollowupID: 863856

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:51

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 18:51
They are generally very good. You may have to leave a message for when they return to the office, especially when it is busy. Call 'em first thing.
Often I get chatting to them and ask them if they fish and where they would go. ( Shaws Creek near Kellys Lane in spring was a hot tip). BTW go this way to Zeka Spur. Beautiful.
They are a great source of info for when tracks were last graded, the condition, good camp spots. impassable tracks, etc. Best service that Parks offer.
I make it a habit to call them for any area that I am unfamiliar with in the parks. Same numbers for DSE or whoever they are this week.
FollowupID: 863858

Follow Up By: AaronBarrel - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 20:12

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 20:12
Ok great, I will definitely start utilising their service, always best to get it straight from the horses mouth.
Have done Kelly's lane a couple of times before and is lovely up the top there, spent a night around the fire a couple of years ago and watched half a foot of snow fall, it was fantastic. I will keep the fishing tip in the memory bank for future trips when I have more time.
Thanks so much for the information.
FollowupID: 863861

Reply By: Rob K (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 09:08

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 09:08

If you've done Butcher Country, Dingo Hill Trk going in and out of Caledonia River then Zeka Spur will not pose a problem for you unless if it gets wet. As others have suggested, check conditions for the weekend (with rain forecast) as there are sections of clayey surface. The Zeka Spur approach to Wonnangatta Valley is easier than coming in from the east (Dargo end). Head for the camp sites near the river once you get to the bottom of Zeka and as you start travelling along the river flood plain. You'll see a few tracks heading off to the left so go have a look as you head towards the old homestead. Some nice sheltered spots with drop toilets can be found there although there is plenty of open space camp sites closer to the old homestead with toilets as well.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Cheers Rob K
AnswerID: 595222

Follow Up By: AaronBarrel - Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 11:14

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 11:14
Hi Rob
I have spoken to Ranger at Heyfield this morning and as yourself, Crackles and Boobook have advised, I should have no problems doing Zeka if I have done the Caledonia area. They advised that there are no issues with the track that they are aware of and should be all good after the forecast rain with my vehicle. I now know my first point of call next time I have a query regarding anything up in the High Country.
Ill head straight for the tracks leading to the sheltered river side as those type of spots are my preferred places to Camp.
Thanks Rob for your input
FollowupID: 863885

Reply By: AaronBarrel - Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 07:51

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 07:51
Hi Guys.

Just wanted to follow up on how we went on our trip to Wonnangatta going in and out using Zeka Spur track. As advised the track isn’t super steep at all, it has a couple of steeper sections with some rock ledges, these ledges would be the only real place we lost traction climbing back up. Also some steepish clay sections that would get slippery when wet. The switch backs were fine in the 100 series which has a good turning circle, would be a bit tight with a trailer but there were plenty of camp trailers down there so obviously no worries. It was dry going in and coming out so caused no problems at all, just slow and rough. We averaged 12.5Kmh going down and 13.5Kmh coming back out across the 21 Km length of track from memory. We had a great time in the Valley and had wonderful weather, what a great place to spend 4 days!!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to my post, it was of great help and well advised.

AnswerID: 595525

Reply By: hanscaspersz - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:50

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:50
Just been up there last weekend in a stock Hilux, in perfect conditions. If you take your time, its no problem at all.

In the wet, depending on how wet, could be another thing though, but you would kust have to take a bit more time about things - I guess.
AnswerID: 597541

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