high country tracks advice

High country track plan Dec 2012.

can anyone advise if these are the easiest tracks im also contacting vic parks to get more info any help would be great.

Currently we have 4 camper trailers of varying styles going from semi off road to full off road.
1. Starting at Myrtleford we are heading along Buffalo river rd, Rose river, Upper rose river, Cherry tree, Burnt top track, camping at Pineapple flat campground.
2. From Pineapple we head to Wonnangatta via King basin rd, Muesli spur track, Speculation rd, a short part top end of Zeka spur track, Wonnangatta track to the station.
3. From Wonnangatta to Dargo via Wonnangatta track, Hart spur track, Tea tree spur track, Race course track, Mc Millan, grant rd, Dargo high plains rd.
4. From Dargo to Tom Groggin via Jones rd, Bullumwaal mount baldhead rd, Brookville rd, Great alpine rd, Benambra rd, Limestone rd, Mount misery rd, Misery trail, Davies plain track

many thanks for reading Dave
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Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:27

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:27
Dave to start I think it best if you got a better map or dare I be a touch cheeky & suggest learn how to read one. (Muesli Spur & the track from Speculation to Wonnangatta have been closed for nearly 35 years ;-) If you are reading off the 1:25,000 topo maps then the dotted black lines indicate walking tracks, some of which may have been 4x4 tracks in the past, some old fire breaks & others just old bridle trails or walking routes. For planning, the Rooftop series of maps are the best for the High Country & include notes on difficult sections particually handy if towing.
Touring with a trailer over unfamiliar routes in the Vic High Country can be tricky if not dangerous at times particually if it rains. Obviously you will be restricted by your least capable vehicle, trailer & driver. To recommend a route for your group, what is the least capable towing rig you have, how much time do you have & are the team experienced at towing in steep slippery terrain?
Cheers Craig..................
AnswerID: 466482

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:16

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:16
Dave looking closer at your proposed route, day 1 is pretty good except you will need to take Basin Track to Burnt Top as Cherry tree is permanently closed at Bennies. Check in November on the Parks track closure website to ensure Basin Track has re-opened as it was closed last season due to storm damage but should have been repaired by now.

Day 2 as previously mentioned will need to be changed with the best option heading up the Staircase from King Hut accross to Lake Cobbler. Continue on the Lake Cobbler/Abbeyard track taking William's loggong road detour if having any trouble on the steeper grades. Turn right & take the East Buffalo Rd past Riley's Hut then the Wonnangatta Track into the Valley.

Day 3. If you have had no trouble to this point then your route to Dargo is acheivable but as mentioned Hart spur is very steep & not suitable for towing if cars are under powered or have insufficient clearance. If people are having issues or the rivers are right up then head back out the Wonnangatta Track taking the Selwyn Track & Canyon Logging Rd to Tee Tree Range.

Day 4 is a very big one. The Misery trail could give you some trouble in a couple of spots as can the Davies Plain track when wet. A faster alternative would be the Beloka & Mt Hope Rds to Tom Groggin Track which of course the crossing will depend on the river depth.
Have fun.
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 740584

Follow Up By: freetime - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:54

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:54
HI Craig,

thanks for pointing out the Muesli problems ive checked and yes you are right not that i doubted you and i wont be upgrading my oztop ver 2.1 and its 2004 version and has Muesli as a 4wd track lol, thanks so much for the info by the looks of things ill have to split day 4 up a bit hell its only time.
Which would you say is the more worthwhile scenic route beloka or davies plain many thanks for all your advice.

FollowupID: 740589

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 15:04

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 15:04
Davies Plain by far.
FollowupID: 740596

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 15:39

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 15:39
Hullo Dave

Even though I have relatively recently travelled on many of the tracks you have mentioned, I would say that, with far more experience, Crackles is right on the money!

What I would share with you is that, IMHO, dragging CTs around in the HC is a bit problematic at times and certainly on some of the tracks you mention, particularly if it is/has been wet.

I have had a number of unfortunate experiences with meeting 4WDs with CTs on tracks that are far too narrow and that have few, if any, passing opportunities. If you are both towing CTs, or worse still, wider Jayco type vans, and you are both in even small convoys, it can produce stalemates and frayed tempers. For example, Jones Road from the Dargo River to the Gidley Tk I/S is steep, narrow, with deep drop offs on the LHS when ascending and at times very slippery, especially if just graded.

Last year in Dec, the Mount Misery Trail, while passable, needed many stops for clearing fallen trees and the Davies Plains Tk was still closed.


FollowupID: 740601

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Oct 04, 2011 at 18:28

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2011 at 18:28
Just spoke with the Whitfield ranger yesterday who informed me that Basin track will not open in November due to water damage. They have repair work programed hoping to open it by Christmas. Other alternatives to Pineapple Flat are Wild Horse Gap track or around the long way via Buckland Spur which both are a touch steeper.
Cheers Craig..................
FollowupID: 740882

Reply By: Teejay - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:56

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:56
Hi Dave,

I too was a little confused with some of the route. Are you going up King Billy Track to the Howitt Road? Zeka Spur just goes from the Howitt Road into Wonnangatta so if I understand your route you'll be driving the whole track.

Your exit from the station would be: Hart Spur Track, Mt Hart Track then turn right at the helipad into Tea Tree Range Track, Racecourse Track, then McMillan etc. This is a reasonable route to Dargo if towing.

What will be towing the 4 campers?

I would leave any semi off-road trailers at home. I reckon it's difficult enough towing campers in the steep terrain of the High Country let alone having one break on you. All the best with the trip. I look forward to spending some time in Wonnangatta this summer too. I might see you there.

AnswerID: 466483

Follow Up By: freetime - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 12:05

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 12:05
Hi guys thanks for the info ill get some rooftop maps i have been working off hema highcountry book and oztopo ver 2.1 so as far as i knew was working off fairly current information.

Our least able camper is coverted toyota utility other than that the rest of us have fairly strong campers all vehicles nissan patrols toyota landcruisers all with mtz and min 2" lifts

Tj thanks for the info from the station that was basically the route im planning on taking, only mentioned zeka cause it crosses a small top section off the main track.

Many thanks Dave
FollowupID: 740580

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 12:07

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 12:07
TJ there was a track that ran from King Hut up the spur parrallel with the staircase then continued out to Catherine Saddle, following the upper reaches of the Wonnangatta river directly into the Station. Pity it was closed as I rode it on my mountain bike in the 90's & was a great way into the Valley. Apparently that was the route they hauled logs out to Mansfield back in the day.
As for Hart spur while it's the 2nd easiest way out of the valley, any standard height 4by towing a trailer with a long drawbar (eg: Kimberly) could have considerable difficulty getting over the erosion control ditches & that's as long as the river crossings are down by December too. I suppose that's the problem with towing in the HC. Too many variables on so many tracks for those who have never travelled the area before. At Mansfield we often see the tilt tray bring in half a dozen rolled or flooded cars after a wet weekend & is why I usually recommend base camping for those towing transiting on main logging roads.
Cheers Craig.....................
FollowupID: 740581

Follow Up By: Teejay - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:35

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:35
Hi Crackles,

I agree that Hart Spur is the second hardest but much better with a trailer than Herne Spur. As you say mate, "Too many variables on so many tracks" but even if you have traveled there. All this talk of the High Country is makin' me toey.

FollowupID: 740624

Follow Up By: freetime - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 09:26

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 09:26
HI all,,
thanks so much for the info and it has been well taken on board, ive done a little in the high country and have seen the tilt trays bring out the victims when we went from dargo to hotham heights and last thing anyone needs is to be on one.
Ill chat with friends envolved im only worried about one of the ct a converted toyota utility not a lot of clearance. Im currently re doing the route to crackles way good name for a track lol.
will let you know how i go maybe we can catch up and shout a beer.

truly many thanks again
FollowupID: 740663

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