Back from the bush

Submitted: Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 09:49
ThreadID: 30373 Views:1756 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Back from the high country. WOWSERS !!! what a magnificent neck of the woods that is.

Had the pleasure of catching up with Jimbo and his lovely better half Jen at Mansfield. Jimbo kindly arranged a guided one day introductory tour around the huts north of Mt Buller. Thanks for that Jim, much appreciated.

Then the serious stuff started. Zeroed the trip meter at Sheep Yard Flats and travelled 970 km between there and our exit at Tom Groggin. Probably about 200 km on formed roads, with the majority of the balance in low range. Excellent opportunity for some serious stuff in the dirt. A common day’s travel amounted to 50 km in 5 hours. Spent each camping night beside a beaut little creek. Made our trips to the Cape and outback seem like cruising down Queen St.

No mechanical problems encountered or recovery gear used …. bloody glad I had it there though. Slightly reduced the capacity of the LR tank and had the replace the valve attachment thingee on the Max Air … it had been playing up for a while and I reckon the standard type connector has improved the air flow.

I came away convinced it’s not the place for towing trailers, unless you’re prepared to set up a base camp somewhere and day trip to some of the tougher areas, but that would require a good deal of back tracking. Some of the hair-pin bends on the side of the mountains, requiring 3 point turns would have been more than a tad difficult with a trailer in tow (if not impossible). Not to mention meeting someone coming the other way.

Interesting encounter on Billy Goat Bluff track, which we descended due to our general direction. Very steep sections near the top with lots of loose gravel. Very steep sections near the bottom, but better surface. About 150 m below the helipad we encounter a bloke and his other half in a Forerunner towing a bloody great on road van !!!!! Suggested he unhitch at the helipad and have a squiz at the top section first.

Also very glad I ran MTR’s. The increased traction over AT’s was very noticeable.

Many thanks to all for their informative suggestions during our planning phase.


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Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:03

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:03
Isn't it terrific up there - you had a great trip. Love Billy Goats Bluff - scary eh?
AnswerID: 152739

Follow Up By: Rosco - Qld - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:41

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:41
Yep Ruth, Billy Goat was good ... but Blue Rag was bloody wild ... WHAT A RUSH !!!!

There appeared to be 3 of us in the truck as herself was beside herself ... ;-))

The 4 metre or so wide track with the 60 degree or so drop off on either side of the climb up to the Trig station was a blast. Especially the last bit at the top where we had to scramble up over rock ledges.

What the %$@# are we doing here says she. No worries says I, look at the track, it's well used. Well used says she ... all that means is there're other f**#$wits around as well as you!!

We went down to the end and spent a very pleasant evening by the creek. Beaut says she ... where do we go from here?? Well says I ... it's a dead end, so back where we came from .... then bolted!!!

Coulda sworn I showed her the map before .... :-D


FollowupID: 406490

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:40

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:40
I remember a similar conversation around our campfire. We had some people with us who had never 4wdriven before - boy did they get some lessons quickly. It was fantastic. Would have to be my best place (next to the SD). Can't really compere though.
FollowupID: 406546

Reply By: Ken - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:50

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:50
Rosco, glad to hear you enjoyed our beaut high country. I can tell you it has been a long fight to retain what we have today and the number of interstate visitors we see reinforces the value to 4WDing of the extensive Victorian track network of through routes, not just some scattered collection of dead end tracks.
Your experience at the lower end of Billy Goat is an unfortunate example of the popularity of the high country tracks and the lack of preparation and local knowledge of many of the visitors in the last few years.
I hold very strong views on the use of trailers in most of the high country and believe they have no place on the steep narow tracks.
Good thing you stopped them taking the caravan any further !
And yes before all you CT draggers jump in I know there is a big difference between a road van and a CT but whether you have the CT or a van jacknifed coming up on a steep narrow hairpin bend and a the same coming the other direction it is a recipe for chaos.

AnswerID: 152751

Reply By: rolande- Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:32

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:32
G'Day Rosco,

Glad you enjoyed the trip. When are you coming down to play in some real Otway's Mud, (before they close it all off)


AnswerID: 152824

Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 22:08

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 22:08
Read a lot about the High Country on here lately.

Gets my pulse up just reading about it.

Sounds right re Cape York etc being a walk in the park after doing it.

Can't wait to get there. I think....
AnswerID: 152829

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