Howqua valley to Wongatta valley ??

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 15:46
ThreadID: 32864 Views:3291 Replies:5 FollowUps:10
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Hi all,
Just wondering, has any one done the drive from Sheepyard Flat (Howqua Valley) to Wongatta valley, via King Billy, Zeka Spur, tracks and then on to Dargo via the Wongatta rd way ???
If so my question is, I have a 100series 4.5lt petrol and am wondering whether I need to take extra fuel to get to Dargo. Also what grade of diffuculty would you rate the trek as I'll be travelling alone. Any other hints would be appreciated.
Thanks Ozzy
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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 16:02

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 16:02
fuel will be fine... travelling alone is fine with the right comms equip...
gets slippery in the wet...grade i would say is a 2 - 2½ our of 5...
AnswerID: 166902

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 18:22

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 18:22
2 to 2-1/2out of 5 in the dry. In places 3 to 4 in the wet. Rain makes a big difference to the high country tracks with many novices sliding off. For safety minimum all terrain tyres should be fitted. Have a great trip..............
Cheers Craig.
FollowupID: 421916

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 19:52

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 19:52
I should have made mention about the wet also...Thanks for adding that in Crackles....

And as far as novices go,, i rekon i would slide off of some of the tracks in the high country when it rains and i would class myself as
FollowupID: 421927

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY VIC) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 16:27

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 16:27
Was there last December and was not a problem at all..Lone drivers are ok as that is the way that i do my trips......There are two tracks from Sheepyard flats ,,either is ok to use as they both finish at the same place..Marvelous bunch of rocks will be on your left side as you are going up to the car park. From there it is all down hill to Wannangatta then it is up and down to Dargo.
Have a good trip,,,I would like to do it again but will have to wait for a while.
Good luck
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AnswerID: 166906

Reply By: clayts - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 22:10

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 22:10
I was there for the first time in January. Not sure what you would grade it as it was our first proper 4wd trip. You should do it easy on fuel we did it easily in the DID paj (only 90L tank) with one jerry ended with 1/2 tank.

Let you know we ended up turning around(25 point turn) on the Zeka (I think about 3/4 way down) as on one of the switch back turns was really rutted with 1ft high bolders and drop offs, some of the holes had been filled with loose rocks and didn't look good and wasn't prepared to do damage for the sake of it and ruin a great holiday.

With more experience (this was our first proper 4wd holiday and we were on our own) we probably could have got down but I wasn't sure what the track was like further on and definatly didn't want to get stuck in between with the wife and kids in the car. Saying that spoke to guy will'st coming down billy goat bluff track instead (which was great) who towed a camper trailer up the zeka the day B4. Made me feel a bit soft.

You'll love it's a very special place and I can't wait to go back.

AnswerID: 166947

Reply By: clayts - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 22:14

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 22:14
Also, we followed the trek note off this site which was pretty good other than a couple of the distances being out. A good guide though.

AnswerID: 166949

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 19:38

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 19:38
Hi Clayts,

What did I screw up? Can you remember? They were my trek notes.

Maybe a typo?

I'm not sure if I still have my original hand written ones any more.

FollowupID: 422062

Reply By: Ozzy - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 06:20

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 06:20
Thanks to every one for the advice, It confirms that we should be ok, can't wait to go.
AnswerID: 166971

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 19:48

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 19:48
Give your communications a serious think. For all bar about 5km along the Bluff there is no mobile phone coverage.

A UHF is useless as you can't even get repeaters for most of it - unless you are using it to talk to others in your group which you won't be.

You are in a very remote part of Victoria where every other weekend we have to extract bushwalkers, 4wders or trailbike riders.

Or as was the case the other day 50 bushwalking school girls by 4wd when the weather turned (15cm snow made hiking difficult) and one the day before by helicopter.

You could be on your own for days if it's mid week this late in the year.

Hire/borrow a Satphone. It might save your bacon. EPIRB's are alright if you have a lifethreatening emergency but might be viewed dimmly if you set it off because your alternator crapped itself and your really needed vehicle recovery.

If you aren't sure about a track have a good look first. Don't go up Hearnes Spur if the rivers are up (and the way it's raining outside at the moment they might be). If you aren't sure about a slope or the bit you can't see over the top always go a gear lower than you think you need. Better to go up a little slow than roll it when you try a late gear change. (Killed two Easter two years ago on Hearnes Spur)

Hope I don't talk to you in an official capacity. Might run into you on the track.

Oh and pay your Ambulance Subscription. A helicopter out of there costs about $10,000.

FollowupID: 422068

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 20:09

Friday, Apr 14, 2006 at 20:09
>If you aren't sure about a slope or the bit you can't see over the
>top always go a gear lower than you think you need. Better to
>go up a little slow than roll it when you try a late gear change.

I have a mantra for the High Country - "I don't want to get there quickly - I just want to get there"

If in doubt: low range one is _good_ - just go gently on the throttle and it will see you up or down the side of a mountain - literally :)

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 422072

Follow Up By: clayts - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 21:03

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 21:03

Can't exactly remember which ones but the bit from Bluff hut via King Billy, rings a bell the distance from lovick's hut site to the junction was a bit longer about 5 - 10km I think? I had writen on the trek note that I printed off but now have miss placed it (maybe the wife knows I'm planning another trip with the boys?), sorry I should have passed it on as soon as I got back.

Also, we may have missed a turn off some where and gone a long way if there is one but as we were coming across all of the your directions, lookouts & points in your trek note and there didn't appear any other way to go we weren't too concerned that we were going the correct way. I take my hat off to ya, Great work!

I have a great idea maybe we can go back and double check the distaces (any excuss to get back there).

Thanks! now I got the high country bug big time.
FollowupID: 422229

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 23:18

Saturday, Apr 15, 2006 at 23:18
I'll have a look at it. I may be able to work it out of my GPS plot. Sounds like there may be a typo.

I've got bad news about the bug you seem to be afflicted with - it's incurable.

FollowupID: 422251

Follow Up By: clayts - Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 08:57

Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 08:57
Is there a treatment for the symptoms as they are driving the wife mad?

FollowupID: 422280

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 09:35

Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 09:35
Yes there is.

Simply travel up there at every opportunity and, eventually, you will get it out of your system - please note this is not a short term treatment and may require you to stick at it for 60 or 70 years :)

otoh you could try and encourage your wife to come with you?

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 422294

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 15:05

Sunday, Apr 16, 2006 at 15:05

My wife has been afflicted with what I am told by experts in the field (other husbands & wives) is an incredibly rare condition that appears to be manifesting in it's rarest form - tolerance.

Seemingly, where the condition is usually acute and only lasts for a short period, my wife's mutation has developed into what is appearing to be the chronic long lasting incurable variety of the strain.

Having let me do a six week Canning Trip with the boys last year in May, leaving her at home with the kids (5 & 1 y/o at the time) our experts assured me that she would be cured of tolerance by the time I returned.

Most of the female experts were of the opinion that the condition would be cured within days of my departure, and showed no signs of the condition themselves. This was clearly indicated by utterings such as "There's no way my _____ would be going...." (insert name of male.) Strangely their husbands displayed jealousy that their wives were not as ill as mine, and talked of wishing that their partner would be struck down with this dangerous affliction at a moments notice.

For a short while their predictions of a cure seemed true, however after a few months symptoms began re-occuring and a two night fishing trip to Dartmouth was the first indication that the condition was dormant in her system, followed by a three night trip for cod opening.

In between there was a period of 4 weeks where she followed me where ever I went in the dust and flies with the kids in outback Sth Australia in a borrowed off road campertrailer, and came back with an addiction to the treatment for what you are complaining of - more touring. In an attempt to feed the addiction she started reading Campertrailer magazines and in February decided we needed to buy a Kanga Big Red OR Camper. The addiction was starting to get more serious.

For a little while it looked as though the addiction would cure her chronic tolerance, but it was not to be and in March I left, (to the horror of the experts who predicted side effects like the particularly nasty divorce,) for two weeks at Lake Gairdner in SA and Googs Track with (EO Member) Luxoluk and Pete. (Luxoluk's wife also suffers from chronic tolerance! We are looking at forming a "Living with Tolerance" support group - meetings to be held regularly where ever we feel like.)

Even today the affliction show's no sign of cure, and next weekend the addiction and affliction will be similarly treated with a dose of Davies Plain. This four day treatment may involve cold, snow and rain if the scientists at the BOM are correct and could seriously test the ability of Tolerance.

But I'm fairly certain by now that the strain of the bug that my lovely wife has is completely incurable. At least I hope so, as the side effect divorce is supposed to be extremely expensive.

FollowupID: 422328

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