Vic High Country Feedback

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:14
ThreadID: 54040 Views:2769 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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At age 62 and no longer interested in speed (in fact look for every opportunity to go slow without obstructing others), I would like to know from you experienced explorers where I will have the most difficulty negotiating the Vic high country in my 2dr 07 Wrangler as I am new to this caper and as I am semi-retired have the opportunity to explore mid week
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Reply By: Tony - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:20

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:20
With A/T tyres, I don't see you having any difficulty with the regularly used tracks.

Get the Roof Top map, it will be a good guide on where to go.
AnswerID: 284501

Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:23

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:23
Vehicle is more than capable, the only things that could be issues are the quality of standard tyres and the lack of fuel range.

However, the main thing to need to address is ensuing that you as the driver have the skills to negotiate the terrain safely.

I would suggest joining a 4x4 club to get the training and experience you need or you could do it through a commercial training provider.

Also, you may wish to consider a tag-a-long type trip for you first few trips to gain experience from others before setting out on your own.

AnswerID: 284502

Reply By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:28

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:28
I am not familiar with the Wrangler but it looks as if it's capable of tackling most things in the HC... HOWEVER....

Much of the HC is not for novices to 4WDing and even more of it is not for novices on their own. It is hard tough country with many very steep and rocky ascents and descents which can result in serious injury to persons and vehicle if things go wrong. I'm not trying to scaremonger but I do want to emphasise it's not country to be taken likely.

If you're a club type person I suggest you join a (family) 4WD club and do some treks with them - they grade treks according to experience and they'll have recovery gear and knowledge of the country.

If you're not a club type person buy some of the excellent High Country trip books available (Melbourne Map Centre) and follow their advice - a few Rooftop Maps would be worth getting too. NB. If the Rooftop map says "Steep" then it is!

You can also hang around this site and pick up info and probably tag along on some of the private trips people here organise from time-to-time.

It's a magnificent area (God's own country I think :) but do treat it with respect.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 284503

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:32

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 13:32
I should also point out that mobile phones will not work in most of the HC and UHF CB won't normally make more than a few kms, at best, unless you're on top of a hill. So unless you have HF radio of a sat phone you won't have any comms.
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:12

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:12
Mate- don't let your age be an issue. I'm 'barking at your heels' age-wise, and recently spent a week in the magnificent area. Drove on some good to very good tracks (for an avid 4WDer) and did not look like getting into bother. Admittedly there was 3 other vehicles.
Contact Wayne NSW on this site- he's a veteran of the area, and it would be handy to maybe go on a trip with his Tag-a-long company.
cheers
AnswerID: 284520

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:50

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:50
I can endorse using the company that wayne works for. He provides on the job training whilst your in transit and he definitely knows his stuff.
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Reply By: Moose - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:18

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:18
G'day David
If you're "new to this caper" I suggest you take it easy. As Mike said some of those track are bloody steep and would probably best not be tackled by a newbie on his own. You're generally a long way from help if you get into strife.
The Rooftop maps (available from ExplorOz) are excellent.
However there are lots of tracks that an inexperienced person would be able to enjoy without undue risk. Some of the locals more familiar with the area should be able to give you some guidance.
Cheers from the Moose
AnswerID: 284522

Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:58

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 14:58
Hi Davidp

Agree with most comments so far, I lead several trips with drivers
up to 80yo in HC over Xmas and I was more nervous than they were in case they accidently pushed the wrong pedal or whatever but all was well.

On the other hand, some classic mistakes were made by more gung ho drivers who didn't take the time to do simple things like check they were actually in 4wd.

The majority of tracks will be no problem at all but there are some
that will be an issue for a Wrangler.

Rather than ask "where" it will be a problem it is better to focus on when.

While you can drive most of the tracks now, as soon as it rains and they get wet then the tracks become very much harder and some will stop almost all cars, so I'd get out and start now.
Its very comforting then, to have low cost traction aids like chains
and the ability to lower/raise tyre pressures accordingly.

I'd just go out and start by touring around on the better roads like
Jameison to Licola and work up your experience.

Definately grab a set of rooftop maps (cheaper as a bulk buy) and
do consider a club that drives only mid week like the Idlers in Knox.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 284527

Reply By: Redback - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 15:38

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 15:38
Get the book from Cathy Savage and Craig Lewis called "Tracks of the High Country" great treks in this book for novice to experienced drivers.

Baz.
AnswerID: 284528

Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:00

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:00
Not sure if yu use a GPS and /or OziExplorer software but if you do you can download each of the treks (waypoints) that cathy and Craig have in their book.

Thiese waypoints plus the narrative in the book makes the treks very easy to follow


I can thoroughly recommend any of cathy and Craigs books
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 15:58

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 15:58
>> I am new to this caper and as I am semi-retired have the opportunity to explore mid week

Going out on your own is pretty much a no/no... what happens if something goes pearshaped while your out there, and it happens to very experienced people in well equipt trucks, let alone stockys..
I've lead many trips up there for clubs and have had chicks in stock pathfinders with AT's that have had no troubles at all crusing round.

My advice is to find someone to go out with on a few weekend trips to start with, learn your truck, learn how to recover, learn the important things before going out on your own.

Do you have any recovery gear? Shackles, winch, snatch, TT protector, UHF, etc?
AnswerID: 284532

Reply By: Member - Phil (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 17:25
Hello Davidp

Have a look at the Idlers 4wd Club of Victoria Inc., It is a 4wd club
for retired and semi-retired people.They only have club trips(Vic high country etc)duriing the week days,the monthly club meetings are held on a Wednesday morning at Blackburn.
Ring Allan Marshall on 97267949.

all the best

Phil
AnswerID: 284543

Reply By: prado-wolf - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:20

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:20
Hi David,

dont let these guys scare you off from going into the High country.
I am an unsocial person when it comes to Clubs and so far have done the HC since 6 years without any major problems.
Some common sense is ok , if it looks too steep , choose a different way and otherwise just enjoy this fantastic part of OZ.

If you go during the week , you have most places to yourself and dont have to put up with the dicks that just want to get up the steepest hill because it is just there to try.

Good luck
AnswerID: 284717

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 14:48

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 14:48
>dont let these guys scare you off from going into the High country.

No one is trying to do that, we're giving him advice based upon our experience.

>I am an unsocial person when it comes to Clubs

Me too and I almost always travel up there on my own, often for weeks at a time, but I do have morerecovery gear and comms than you could poke a stick at plus a fair few years experience of off road driving and survival.

>Some common sense is ok , if it looks too steep, choose a different way

This is the problem: common sense (specific to an environment) is a learned quality and David hasn't yet learned it. He doesn't know what is too steep at this point. He doesn't understand his vehicle and he doesn't understand the country and (I assume) doesn't have recovery gear or the knowledge of how to use it. To me that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The easiest, quickest and safest way is to learn from the experience of others hence the general advice on this thread to join a club - he doesn't have to stay in it for ever just do a few trips and absorb knowledge from others then he'll be more confident and have a better time in a more relaxed way.

Remember; a track which is OK in the dry can become totally impassible in the wet. I've been rained in on more than one occasion but I just do a bit more prospecting if that happens :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: prado-wolf - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 15:02

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 15:02
Hi Mike,

i could have put a bet on that someone would come back to exactly that bit of my post.
In general i can agree with most things you say but on this site , some incredible stupid replys are posted and even you will agree with me that not the whole HC is dangerous 4wd country.
pick you area and you can take a toyota camry in there so you dont need a fully equiped US military spec hummer to have a good time in the HC.
Comms gear yes , take a sat phone and you will be fine.

Don't scare people away , get them a chance to find out for themself and not everyone is an idiot so give the man some credit , if it looks too steep , it will be too steep.

What about the Wonnangatta via Abbey yard? Nice and easy and a perfect spot to enjoy the HC.

By the way , found some nice gold bits in the Mayford over X-mas.

Take care and enjoy
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:21
Hi PW

>some incredible stupid replys are posted

No comment :)

>you will agree with me that not the whole HC is dangerous 4wd country

I agree totally. My concern is that "newbies" may have difficulty making the decision about what is do-able and what is not (and experienced people sometimes get that wrong) and one frequently has to make that decision many times per day in the HC which is why I suggested the club or the trek books; at least they will both give people some kind of advice and guide whilst they gain a bit more knowledge.

>Comms gear yes

Well... eeemmm... probably... but as water is not usually an issue in the HC and distances are, relatively, small I wouldn't be too concerned about people venturing there with just UHF CB and, ideally, an EPIRB. Providing you're not injured you should be able to walk out from most places (take good boots!). However if you have young children with you that all changes.

>Don't scare people away

I sincerely hope I'm not but, rather, encouraging them to exercise some caution.

>By the way , found some nice gold bits in the Mayford over X-mas.

Good on yer! :) I haven't been able to get out much for the past six months or more but I'm hoping to get a couple of weeks in during March/April. (Shaker: want to catch up then?).

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Member - Davidp P (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 21:59

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 21:59
Thanks for the follow-up. I want to do the blue rag track in the dry prob late march wx permitting.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:45

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:45
Hi David

I haven't driven Blue Rag Track but the book "Victoria: off the beaten track" says (abbreviated) "Blue Rag Range is more demanding... rocky and quite steep in sections... judge its suitability early and turn back if there is an concern" and RR of Rooftop Maps describes it as a great drive in the dry.

Sounds like it may be useful for you to do some easier tracks first but others, who have driven it, will advise I'm sure.

Mike Harding


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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:58

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:58
David,

Blue Rag would have to be one of the challenging tracks that can be done in that part of the Vic High Country.

To drive up one of the rocky out crops is hard enough but to reverse back down, with out someone to guide you, it would be character building.

The view from the trig point is great but not that easy to get to by yourself and doing it for the first time. I have people that walked the last 200mt rather than drive it.

For your first trip in to that part of the country I would strongly suggest that you go with someone that has been there before.

Wayne

AnswerID: 284960

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