Hiking to the source of the Murray

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 12:21
ThreadID: 143513 Views:3462 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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I want to hike to the source of the murray river.
But I don't know much about the area. I only have a regular car, so cannot go on 4wd tracks. What is the closest point I can get by normal road?
And how far is the hike from there? Possible to do in 1 day?
I see there are some small tracks, so perhaps I could bring a mountain bike, and ride most of the way there from my car. When the terrain gets impassable, I'd hide it, or lock to a tree, and then hike the rest of the way. Sound feasible?

Also, I have heard that limestone creek is a much longer tributary - is it the furthest point from the murray mouth by river distance? If so, I'd be interested in checking that out too. Are there any other branches that are even longer? I'm curious about where is exactly is the furthest extent of the river system, but can't find a straight answer.
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Reply By: Rod N - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:14

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:14
Tom Groggin would be the closest 2WD access.
Do a search for Murray Source on this forum, there are a number of posts.
Here is one to start Source of the Murray
AnswerID: 640094

Follow Up By: NathanielPillar - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:37

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:37
Wow, that's like 20km.
How about the limestone road? By the limestone creek camping area? This looks much closer.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 at 05:34

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 at 05:34
My memory of the Limestone Creek road is that it would be too steep for a 2wd car. I remember some big climbs on some rather loose gravel. If it rained while you were there you wouldn't get out. The whole place is pretty rugged country. Riding it on a bike would be more exercise than I would enjoy. :-)
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 at 08:18

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 at 08:18
I drove to the Murray along the Limestone track about this time last year. It is only for 4wd vehicles. I rarely need to use low range 1st gear but found I needed it on a number of steep pinches on that track. It is not a particularly challenging track but definitely not 2wd.

As a former cyclist (pre knee replacements and age onset) I couldn't imagine riding the track. Some of the hills would be difficult to push a bike up let alone ride it.
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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mcc - Sunday, Apr 10, 2022 at 17:52

Sunday, Apr 10, 2022 at 17:52
I don't think starting from Tom Groggin would be a good idea - no matter which way you go from there it is a big hill. Up to Dead Horse Gap (towards Thredbo, east) is tar. To the west it is a really really steep fire trail then lots more ups and downs along a series of fire trails (something like 82kms with 2770m of climbing)

Coming from the North via 2wd you could start at Dead Horse Gap and walk/ride along fire trails - 42kms/650m climbing one way plus a bush bash at the end. I don't think I would believe Google Maps when says it would take 3hrs each way for the ride part. Most of it would be part of the Australian Alps Walking Trail (AAWT)

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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:45

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 13:45
Have you checked out these places nearby? Normal Rd is Barry Way - 2WD if dry but very slippery when wet. Start of Ingegoodbee Track is the fun 4WD to get to a supposedly locked gate and then walk in the last 5 km. Check out the maps on this site. With a bike, depends on your fitness, there are many steep hills.https://www.exploroz.com/places/52242/vic+forest-hill

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AnswerID: 640095

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 19:33

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 19:33
I'd call the ranger at Buchan to ask what the Coberars or Mc Farlaine tracks are like. They might be fine depending on what your car is. A trail bike is the best option from wherever is closest.
AnswerID: 640096

Reply By: Duncanm - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 19:44

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2022 at 19:44
As above the Limestone Road ( came in from Omeo/Benambra) and then onto the Cowombat flat track with take you to Cowombat flat, a nice spot very close to the start of the Murray, and where the northern end of the Vic/NSW border line starts.

I did this track some yrs ago with my son on mountain bikes, and not electric ones either. It was a very very tough ride and I was reasonably fit. It is 14km one way, sounds easy but some of the hills are very steep. Even had to walk a few of them. It’s a great spot. Saw a few wild horses. Plus you can also see remains of an old plane that crashed there a long time back. You can read up about it. We did it as a day trip and had our lunch at the river. Regards Duncan
AnswerID: 640097

Reply By: Annie c6 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2022 at 18:32

Saturday, Apr 09, 2022 at 18:32
Oh woaaw interesting discussion about hiking.
AnswerID: 640146

Reply By: Truedogz - Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 19:27

Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 19:27
Nathaniel the source of the Murray is very close to Cowombat Flat. It used to be accessible by 4wd but now only by foot (or bicycle?!).

On the Victorian side there are two tracks to get to it. The first is the Cowombat Track which comes off the Limestone Road. You can drive a very short distance down this track to a parking area then it is close to a 20 km hike, undulating but trending downhill. Cowombat Flat is one of the most beautiful places I have been and from there it is only a couple of ks to the 'source' of the Murray.

I have done it as a return trip in a day - which was forced upon me by an unexpected weather change. I cannot recommend it, the return leg is 20 km uphill, I was wrecked for days! Do it at least as an overnighter and take a tarp/hutchie with you in case of a storm. I would only do it in summer or early autumn. You certainly can get to the start of the track with a 2wd with decent clearance and quite possibly to the carpark too, but not certain of that.

The second walking track in is only 8km long but unfortunately comes off the Cobberas/Macfarlane tracks which I would describe as being reasonably difficult 4wd tracks with a number of hazards even for the experienced.

As to the longest branch I'd say it is the Darling-Condamine! But in the area you are talking about the Limestone Creek is longer from its junction than the Murray to its source. The Limestone Creek is crossed by the Limestone Road and you can certainly get there with a 2WD with decent clearance. If its wet all bets are off! Coming off the road is the Limestone Creek Track which leads to a camping area. Down to the camping area is easy 4WD but beyond are steep pinches as others have described. You could certainly hike from the track junction to the camping area and return in a few hours and have a nice lunch on the banks of the creek.

I can certainly recommend Cowombat Flat, just be prepared and be forewarned that it is a trek and not a day trip.
AnswerID: 640528

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