Omeo to Bright with 23ft Van.

Submitted: Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 23:15
ThreadID: 76910 Views:6045 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Looking to go from Lakes Entrance (Vic) back to Qld in 2nd week of April via Omeo to Bright. We have a 23ft Traveller van (non off-road) and a 200 TD L/C. Not sure of the road with twists and turns and road condition (width). Would be interested in any comments or alternates.
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Reply By: Rossco 09 - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 07:52

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 07:52
Growing up, we took VAN's and Boat's that way (Bright-Harrietville-Hotham-Omeo) almost every year for holidays to Lakes Entrance. It's not really a problem.
AnswerID: 409036

Reply By: Member - Carl- Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 07:52

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 07:52
Good morning Chesty,

I think the second week of April is Easter Holidays and assuming this to be the case would say a definite NO to this trip.

We tow a 22.5 Kedron and a 200TD and did the Tallangatta to Omea with the caravan attached. The 34 kilometers north of Omea on this roas are the narrowest, I have seen outside the south island of NZ. We did it when it was quiet and I was holding by breath for many corners.

Then unhitched and did the Omea to Bright without the caravan. Omeo to Hotham is not a big deal and the 200 would pull it up OK. Slower than you would expect, remembering the exhaust temp sensor dramas, when extended towing up steep hills with 200's. This part of the road is good and smooth and the road is great. Not windy at all.

Hotham heights to Harrietville REALLY steep and considering you are decending, I would worry about brakes. If you have good brakes and check them before the trip, and adjust the controller, you can do it slowy.

The problem is that if you have a runaway or skid with bad road conditions, it is a very very long way down of the mountain.

I know my wife would be having her 5th, 6th and 7th child on the decend phase alone.

Considering the alternative route is a "long way round" (good name for a trip there), I can see why it look inviting. Hope this helps. Carl
AnswerID: 409037

Reply By: Duncanm - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 08:27

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 08:27
Another Option, but a lot longer and quite scenic

Omeo Benambra Colac Colac Tallangatta Bright

AnswerID: 409040

Reply By: wicket - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08
How about going from omeo up the bogong high plains road to falls creek and then on to Bright, all the roads are tarred and won't be a problem
AnswerID: 409072

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 14:07

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 14:07
I thought trailers and caravans were not allowed above Falls Creek? Check with the locals.

FollowupID: 679043

Reply By: Nifty1 - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:45

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:45
Contrary to some of the other responses, I would feel pretty confident in doing it. I suppose it depends on your own experience and confidence really. There is a short, but steep and windy and narrow section as you get closer to Harrietville (Meg's Pinch, I think it is called) but it will require only the usual driving care. I have towed a van over the route several times, although it was a much smaller rig. The scenery is great. I don't know how much time you have, but one option may be to leave the van in Omeo for a day and drive the new scenic route from Omeo to Hotham to just before Bright, then over to Bogong, up to Falls Creek, and on through Angler's Rest and back to Omeo. It has all been recently sealed and is a magnificent mountain drive, but will take most of the day. By the time you get back to Omeo you will have driven Meg's Pinch and know what it's like.
AnswerID: 409077

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 12:55

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 12:55
We went from Bright to Omeo with an 18 ft van 12 months ago. We met a couple of semis that were coming down from Hotham, so can't be too bad. The road is no worse than others except it is a bit steeper in a couple of sections.
AnswerID: 409085

Reply By: ian - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 13:48

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 13:48
you have received some odd advice on this thread.
It is a well formed, sealed, two lane highway.
Why wouldn't you do it? Just take your time.
AnswerID: 409093

Follow Up By: Bobjl - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 21:56

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 21:56
Never driven it but biked it many times last 8 years - my view is Omeo to Hotham all reasonable/pretty good going and no issues with the road surface , suggest towing big van on that leg fine.

From Hotham to Harrietville good bitumen and road width mostly ok but there is 30 or so K's that that I would refer to as quite narrow in spots. If all parties on the ball and driving with caution, then mostly passing traffic situations will be quite manageable.

I followed a Tanker for quite some k's last year on the bike going up the mountain to Hotham waiting for opportunity to overtake - it was tight for many k,s,. Obviously overtaking is a tad different to dealing with oncoming traffic.

As I rode from Hotham to Bright just a month ago I thought of towing my 24 footer both up and down the mountain and questioned myself as to the merits and thought it would be easy to get caught out, so if I was proceeding then would need to drive accordingly [that's just common sense] but would focus closely and try to anticipate a large oncoming vehicle around a tight corner and be prepared to have to get in tight or maybe back up a tad, but I need to say I have never seen that occur in my 6 trips, but then again I have been on two wheels.

Hotham to Harrietville is not overly steep in my view as compared with say the road from Thredbo down to Khancoban [which I would not take my van down]

As usual when we complete a difficult/challenging road it can be easy to feel all mighty and what say what was I worried about. Some of us are overly cautious and may worry unnecessarily, but it may help our performance.

I am in no real hurry to do that journey in the Van but suspect will get to do it in next few years probably in late summer early autumn. The vistas are just fantastic.

Trust my view adds some insight.

FollowupID: 679247

Reply By: Member - Carl- Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 15:25

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 15:25

I do not think other posters (with due respect) know what a 23 ft Traveller caravan is.That it weights 2.6 ton (approx) and on a windy day in the mountains can attract a good a mount of side wind.

Sure the road is sealed and on a clear sunny dry day life is fantastic. You get there however on a wet windy day during the easter holidays with all the traffic and you only have to make one mistake.

Semi trailers do this road but have better brakes than a LC200 and caravan, not to mention more experience on this road.

You need to plan for the worst situation that can occur and no one else is driving a similar car and towing a similar van to you, that has answered your question.
AnswerID: 409102

Follow Up By: squiz - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 18:11

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 18:11
I did the trip through Bright up over Mt Hotham and through Omeo just after
Christmas this year. With my 23ft Evernew. well over 3 ton.
Going up the last stage to Mt hotham, was first gear stuff for my 4.2 turbo
Patrol. About half way up a Patol in front of me pulled over with steam coming out.
He had no trailor. I just kept going. Rev the engine rather then lug it. Anyway
I could say it was an easy trip. But It made me nervous in a few places.
I stopped at the top of Hotham got out of the Patrol. My hands were shaking.
It was a good trip.
FollowupID: 679074

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Thursday, Mar 18, 2010 at 20:21

Thursday, Mar 18, 2010 at 20:21
Semis also have 18 gears, and also exhaust brakes sometimes combined with an engine brake(volvos had this feature I am sure)
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 679350

Reply By: Member - Jan B (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 20:25

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 20:25
Hi Chesty,
Just take note of the weather, if it rains that road can become very slippery,
last weekend it had big storms up that way and a lot of rubbish all over.
check with the road reports and omeo police station for news they are a great help.

Regards Jan & Peter
AnswerID: 409133

Reply By: chesty - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 20:53

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 20:53
Thanks to all for your comments/suggestions - certainly a mixed bag. I will be guided to a large degree by weather around the time but based on replies, am inclined to give it a go, slowly. Didn't think it was a straitforward trip but aren't they always the most memorable - hopefully for the right reasons. At least we have enough time if situation changes.
Thanks again.
AnswerID: 409142

Reply By: Rossco 09 - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 10:37

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010 at 10:37
...and then there was that 1 crazy winter when I decided to do it on a motorbike (Kwaka GPZ500). Unofficially I wasn't supposed to be riding it being on L's and all, but apart from being really cold it was amazing how much grip I had on the sections covered in ice. The ice was really rough from other traffic and pretty much resembled a bitumen surface.

...never again...
AnswerID: 409202

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