Speculation Track (VIC) from Kings Hut to Craigs Hut

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 00:54
ThreadID: 19316 Views:4959 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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Hi all,

A question to those who frequent the Vic High Country.

Theres a track from just a few km south of King River Hut which links the Upper King Rd and Circuit Rd called (on Hema and CFA maps) Speculation. I have heard that it is pretty gnarly but its quite a shortcut to Craigs Hut from King River if it's okay, and the alternative is about a 20km trip from the look of it - of course if that 20km is done at 40kmh and the shortcut averages 10kmh there's not much difference is there?

The middle of the track in question is at S37° 06.8' E146° 33.7'.

Has anyone recently gone up it who can let me know what it's like? Particularly for reasonably standard fourbies.

Might come out from Cobblers Lake that way in a few weeks with a group and don't want to get half way up and caught out.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Dave
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:44

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:44
Dave,

I know that track. I have only come down from Lake Cobbler to King Hut,but there is no reason that you can't go up that way.

There is a tight bend to the right and then the area that is called the staircase. This is best travelled to the left side of the track keeping as close to the rock ledge as possible. Apart from that I can see no problem with going that way.

Have a good trip,

Wayne
AnswerID: 92747

Reply By: Well 55 - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 07:15

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 07:15
G'day Dave, the track you are talking about is a short cut back up to Circut road and is washed out a fair bit but still driveable with care and good wheel travel.

The last time I came down it with a small group of vehicles we had one lay on its side in one of the washouts, got it back on its wheels with narry a scratch, its a bit easier going up than down. Bit like the track across the river from Binderee Hut.
AnswerID: 92749

Reply By: jackablue - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:20

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:20
The staircase a week before xmas
link text

Cheers

Jackablue
AnswerID: 92758

Follow Up By: Member - Sparkie (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 10:50

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 10:50
Jackablue, did you have any problems doing that track??????

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
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FollowupID: 351649

Follow Up By: jackablue - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:07

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:07
I spoke to 3 people while down in the area & they all said don't go up there, it's alright to come down though. I had to have a look. I don't know what they were going on about?
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FollowupID: 351666

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:25

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:25
If its the track Im thinking of, we looked at in Nov, I wouldnt bother going near with a stocky..
But it isnt really that far on circuit road around.. we were going to camp at Craigs, then decided to try Kings, drove down there, it was packed, and drove back up there, inc stoppin for discussion and themos coffee at Kings while lookin round, whole trip was under an hour even with all the bolloxing around.
AnswerID: 92760

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:37

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:37
Then again, it would all depend on the recent weather.. Lots of tracks up there are rough, but dry as a nuns, so you get plenty of grip..

I think its one of them situations where you will have to suck it and see.
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FollowupID: 351633

Reply By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:53

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 09:53
Dave,
As you would know, tracks change heaps depending on the weather, traffic and grading/maintenance by N Parks staff.
I have been there and travelled that route several times (in fact every year since the late 90's) because it provides a good shortcut to Cobbler.
Also it all depends on different people's views and experience.
Last time I was there (last year) it was OK to travel and we had no problems.

When are you going to be there? I will be travelling that route again towards the end of January.

The staircase is also no problem, it is very rocky but because the ground is quite flat there are no tricky bits...

Will
AnswerID: 92765

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:26

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:26
Thanks everyone,

Ain't it grand when you can ask a question and get half a dozen answers in the morning.

The trip is planned for mid Feb and I'll make a decision when I see what vehicles and ability comes along.

If a Jackaroo got up it we should be okay. (Not denigrating Jackaroos....just what I wanted to see. No lift kit, simexes, etc.) On the other hand it's handy to know the travel time around the longer route too, thanks Truckster.

Any further info that comes along will be greatfully received.

Dave
AnswerID: 92773

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 01:03

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 01:03
Dave,
If you are going in mid Feb, then this answer may still be on time...
I have just returned from there (did it on 24 jan 2005) and did that track again, this time from Craigs hut down, the spaculation track. There is a washed out section but it was OK, everyone managed it OK.
As an example of the vehicles in this convoy:
GU Patrol (no problems), Landcruiser(no problems), LR Discovery (few scrapes but no problems), Suzuki Vitara (few scrapes but made it OK) LR Defenders (no problems), Even a Ford Explorer (one of the later models, few scraping noises but made it through).
Prado (no problems)
Jackaroos should do it OK.
Take your time to pick the right line and you'll be fine.
Will
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Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 01:11

Thursday, Jan 27, 2005 at 01:11
Dave,
As a follow up, also did the staircase and the Monument track, no problems for any of the vehicles in our convoy.
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FollowupID: 353904

Reply By: ferris - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:38

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 11:38
Dave,

I was up there just a week ago for the 2nd time in a year. Magnificent part of the world, which I would love to visit more often. If you are planning on taking the Speculation Track as a short cut - don't bother. If you are after an interesting drive with plenty to see, then Speculation is the way to go. I wouldn't regard the track as particularly difficult, just (very) slow and steady going. You will need to allow plenty of time.
Have a great trip.
Ferris
AnswerID: 92775

Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:22

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:22
Hi Dave

We travelled it about 3 weeks ago, no dramas. We had 6 people in the Jack.
Have a good trip
Crazie
AnswerID: 92789

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 19:04

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 19:04
Dave. I believe half your answers think you are talking about the Speculation track from King hut up the staircse to Cobbler when in fact you really mean the King Hut shortcut. This track crosses the river & heads directly to Craig's Hut & has a couple of very nasty rock ledges to negotiate. In the wet it is very difficult to all but the best & because it can get very dangerous an attempt was made some time ago to close it. Unless it's been recently dozed I don't think too many standard Jackaroos have been up there ;-)
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 92864

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 20:27

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 20:27
Thanks Craig.

The guy I was talking to about it said it had some really nasty ledges and wash aways to straddle in it. He had a landrover 101 drop one side in at one stage necessitating recovery - no damage though.

It sounded quite hard and I was hoping maybe some work had been done on it in the few years since he was up there.

You are right though. I am talking about the track from Kings Hut up onto Circuit Rd to get to Craigs Hut. It is a short track about 3km long linking two roads.

Any idea of the travel time around the long way, or which is the shortest long way to take?

Dave
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FollowupID: 351827

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 23:16

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 23:16
Roughly 35 to 40 minutes should get you up to Craig's Hut via Speculation logging rd then around the Circut rd & up Clears Hills track.
Other option is left on the Circut rd then right up the Monument track which is a little more challenging adding about 20 more minutes.
Cheers Craig.............
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FollowupID: 351850

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:00

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:00
Yep I was going to say the same thing. To get from King Hut to Craigs Hut you don't go on Speculation to Staircase (NE) - wrong way completely.

From King Hut you can take Speculation Road (SW ish) to Circut Road (opposite direction). And apart from the river crossing near King Hut you could take your Volvo its that easy.

The alternate shorter route is via King Hut Track. This is a bit more challenging. We were also up there on cup w/e last and came across a group towing camper trailers up this track. They had to turn back. In the wet it would be really tricky. That w/e (before the rain) we went up no worries. We had a stock Terrycan with us who also had no trouble.

If you send me an email to garyw(at)phg(dot)com(dot)au I have a 1:50,000 digital map I can send you and even the .plt file if you have ozieplorer

Gaz
AnswerID: 93042

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:26

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:26
too easy in the fairly stock navara last x-mas but in the wet i might rething especially on ht or even at tyres.

i was personally dissapointed after all the hubbub i heard before doing it and the ranger said she was going up this morning if we wanted to follow .

"peice of bleep "
AnswerID: 93135

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 12:44

Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 12:44
Hmmm.

This is getting confusing. I've just dragged out more maps.

The track i am talking about is listed on the NRE map and CFA map for the area as Speculation Tk.

Rooftop map has it listed as the staircase.

I'll keep researching.

Thanks guys,

Dave
AnswerID: 93230

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 17:25

Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 17:25
Oops no it doesn't Rooftop doesn't give it a name at all....

Dave
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FollowupID: 352254

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 17:57

Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 17:57
Okay,

I have uploaded a map to my webspace. Click here to view.

The problem may be that there are two tracks marked as being speculation tk.
[ View Image]
The one I was talking about is Tk A. I have been advised off forum that this is closed and carries a $400 fine.

Basically I would like to know the quickest route. A suggestion has been made above but I haven't had time to look at it. And I'm getting dirty looks from the handbrake who is trying to get me out the door to a 40th for one of her friends.

I'm going exploring tomorrow and may get over this way but really don't know. Myrtleford to Mansfield anyway...

AnswerID: 93266

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