Victorian High Country -
The Victorian High Country is a almost unique and very iconic
Australian 4wd destination, every 4wd driver has to do it sometime.
If you are interested in doing a Victorian High Country 4wd Tag Along
Tour then have a look at the trips that Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours
run to this region. Great fun, excellent value and in great company
with the trip led by John Cantrell who is an experienced tour guide and
who knows this area very well.
If you would like more details select the Tag Along button above then,
when on the Tag Along Tours page on this website, selct High Country
The Victorian High Country covers a vaste area of deep river valleys
winding through rugged mountain country and form the southern end of
the Great Dividing Range.
Peaks reach up to 1900 meters above sea level and, during the winter
months, most of the area above 1200 meters is blanketed in snow
creating a winter playground for snow skiers and for other winter
Spring brings with it the warmer weather and, as the snow melts, it is
replaces by spring flowers, green grass and once again the opening of
the bush tracks which are popular in the summer months with bush
walkers, four wheel drivers and campers alike.
The rivers and streams again attract the recreational fisherman and the
horse riders who have untold areas that they can explore.
As with the Australian deserts, The High Country can be an inhospitable
place for the ill-prepared, particularly in the higher regions. It is
not unknown to have extremes between warm summer weather and wintery
snow blizzards. Together with this the tree growth in some areas
present the bush fire hazard, often without warning.
Nevertheless the whole region presents a vaste array of stunning
scenery. a wide variety of flora and fauna and leaves its visitors,
many of whom return year after year, with long lasting, happy memories.
There are four wheel drive routes throughout much of the High Country
with a popular trip starting in Mansfield, Victoria, and ends on the
Victorian / New South Wales border at Tom Groggin, just south of
Thredbo, having wound its way through the Alpine National Park.
There is also a popular track from Marysville, to the south west of
Mansfield, that first travels through the Yarra Ranges National Park,
then the south western regions of the Alpine National Park before
joining this track in the Wonnangatta Valley, near Dargo.
There is also a route from Bairnsdale to the south, in the beautiful
East Gippsland lakes district, that also joins up at Dargo.
Most of the tracks have been created for management of the forests and
Alpine National Park and for fire control and not for four wheel
drives. They are left open for recreational use and those using
them must remember to leave them as they found them and to
head warning signs and respect track closures.
If a track is closed it is closed for a reason, those who ignore the
warnings will place themselves and their passengers at risk.
It is also worth noting that if a track was in good condition last
week, last month or last year it may not be in good condition now for a
whole range of reasons. It is always a good idea to check with the
locals before proceeding into remote areas.
This trip covers a distance of around 420 km and takes in spectacular
scenery comprising mountains, rivers and historic sights. There are
also many excellent camping sites along the way.
The whole area could easily keep you busy for 10 days, two weeks, or
more. On this trip, as the track does cross several access roads to
various towns, there are opportunities to cut the trip short.
There will be many stretches where it is slow going and there is a
little over 200 km for the longest distance without fuel supplies.
Whilst much of the trip is through relatively easy 4wd country there
are stages that are definitely not for the beginner. If you are
inexperienced there are several 4wd tag along tours operators that will
guide you through the area in safety, Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours
being one of the leading ones.
Mansfield, north east of Melbourne and to the west of the Alpine
National Park, is Ned Kelly country and is a main gateway into the
mountains. Whilst it is mainly an agricultural town it also plays host
to thousands of tourists as it is on the access road to Mt Buller to
Mansfield offers all facilities and is an ideal place to stock up on
fuel and provisions. Leaving town head for Mt Buller to the east.
About 30 kilometers from Mansfield. at Mirimbah, turnoff towards Mount
Stirling. At Telephone Box Junction there is the Circuit Track that
leads to the summit which is walking or 4wd access only.
There is also a much sought after landmark in the area, Craig's Hut
which was originally built when the film Man From Snowy River was made,
with its sensational scenic backdrop.
Heading out along the Circuit Track the going gets tougher as you pass
through Howqua Gap and travel along the edge of the mountain. Several
kilometers past Howqua Gap the route takes the Bindaree Creek Track as
it heads down the mountain to the Howqua River which is crossed a few
There are several very good camp sites in the area but once over the
river there is an ideal camping ground on the Bindaree Hut River Flats.
This is a lovely spot with good trout fishing for those into it.
Although Bindaree Hut is only about 70km from Mansfield the average
driver would have taken two or more hours so far. Stopping to look at
the scenery could easily make this a day trip so far, an early
indication of why this trip could take a week or longer.
Later crossing 16 Mile Creek, whilst traveling on 16 Mile Track the 16
Mile Road is eventually reached. Just after getting onto 16 Mile Road
there is a turnoff to Bluff Hut, which is on a cattle property leased
by the Stoney family. The hut is used by the family when they are in
the area but visitors are welcome and the view is well worth stopping
Near Bluff Hut, a little further on there is a track leading off the
main track that will take you to views that you shouldn't miss. They
As the trip heads for Dargo there are several fairly steep climbs and
descents with river and creek crossings and, of course, lots more views.
If you have time on your hands there is a reasonable track, Brocks
Road, leading down to the Jamieson River. But then are are many other
tracks as well that lead to equally pleasant places. Perhaps you should
plan to be here for a month or so!
Of great historical significance is Wonnangatta Valley and was known as
the Lost Valley of The Alps.
First discovered in 1860 by a gold prospector called Howitt, the cattle
station lease of Wonnagatta Station was taken up. It was at Wonnagatta
Homestead the then manager of the station, James Barclay, and the
homestead's chef, John Bamford, were murdered, crimes that have never
There is little remaining of the old homestead after being accidentally
set alight in 1957.
Continuing past the homestead towards Eaglevale, on the Wombat Range
Track, there is a good chance of coming across some washouts on the
track and very
tight bends so exercise extreme caution. There are plenty of excellent
camp sites along the way, many on the river bank.
From Eaglevale to Dargo there is an easy all weather track up until the
main road, which is bitumen, is reached about 5km outside of the
village of Dargo.
From Dargo there is the main road to Omeo, via Mt Hotham, for the
traveler who would like a break from four wheel driving for a while, or
the 4wd track, which runs parallel to the Dargo River for a while
before climbing up to Mt Steve via The Farm.
At Mt Steve the route travels almost north along Birregun Track before
heading north east to Omeo.
From Omeo travel north towards Mitta Mitta for about 4km and turn east
onto Benambra Road and on to, and through, the town of Benambra and
passed Omeo Lake towards Corryong. The road passes through timber
logging country and it is not uncommon to come across large logging
Having followed the Gibbo River for a while the road climbs fairly
rapidly towards Sassafras Gap, which is at the top of the Great
Dividing Range. As a detour the Dartmouth Track heads
westwards to Lake Dartmouth. There is a decent camping area at Lake
Dartmouth within a close proximity to the Greens Creek Mining Area.
About 10km north of Sassafras Gap the Wheelers Creek Logging Road heads
of to the east towards the forests and Wheelers Creek Hut, which is a
good camp site. However about 2 km before Wheelers Creek Hut is
Cattlemans Track, which then leads to Shady Creek Lower Track heading
towards Gibson's Hut.
Gibson's Hut is another good camping area situated next to a beautiful
stream. From here the route follows a series of tracks to Tom Groggin
traveling through spectacular mountain country, Tom Groggin
Station and eventually meeting the Murray River at Dogmans Hut, and the
Victorian, New South Wales border.
There is a reasonably shallow river crossing and then only a short
distance to the Alpine Way and the end of the journey.
From here it goes right across Alpine National Park south east, and out
of the park for a while, to Dargo.
From Dargo the trip turns north east and heads for Omeo, on the Omeo
Highway, and then on, back into the Alpine National Park to Sassafras
Gap, where the route swings east to Tom Groggin.
The trip is over rugged, mountainous, country and a well prepared, well
equipped, vehicle is essential.
The best time to do the trip is in the late spring to early autumn.
During the winter months much of the route is impassable due to the
snow falls and road closures.
The information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only.
If you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other
authorative advice and information. Travel in the High Country
can be very hazardous and should only be undertaken after lengthy and
careful planning. The owners of this website shall not be held
responsible for any damage or injury that you may experience during any
conventional vehicle or four wheel drive trip.
Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a guide only.
You must verify these details yourself using professional maps and/or
mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do not attempt to
access desert or other remote regions in an ill-prepared vehicle and
without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas as well as
the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and conditions.