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  • #1 by mr.straman on 07 May 2017
  • Queens Birthday Weekend Dargo to Buckland Valley Friday 9th- Monday 12th June 2017

    Hi all,

    Just gauging interest for a possible trip next month on Queens Birthday weekend.

    It was such an awesome trip to the high country over Anzac weekend that i'm keen to get up there again before the weather completely turns.

    I have asked Crackles his opinion and he has advised there are some road closures that happen the week after the long weekend so Queens Birthday would be the ideal chance to go.  He has also advised that it will be pretty slippery up there given the rain fall we have had and the rivers will be up compared to the last trip so good tread and recovery gear will be a must.

    I am in no way experienced enough to lead a trip so this will be more of a joint venture unless some more experienced cars want to step up and lead.  Camping will more than likely be decided each day based on our location so being self sufficient food and camping wise will be required.

    There is already two or three cars confirmed as keen.

    I would like to go in from Dargo side and hit Billy Goats Bluff track and then head back across to the Buckland Valley doing Blue Rag Track and then some of the tracks that were covered during the last trip...Mt Murray, Mt. Selwyn etc but I am open to suggestion.
  • #2 by Neil Watts on 07 May 2017
  • Sounds good but already committed to that weekend.
  • #3 by Nicksfj on 07 May 2017
  • you already know I'm in mate hahah
  • #4 by swifty on 09 May 2017
  • Count me in :-)
  • #5 by MidLifeCruiser on 09 May 2017
  • Sounds like fun, but unfortunately I'm already booked up that weekend.
  • #6 by mr.straman on 14 May 2017
  • Hi all, so it looks like not a lot of takers for this trip, non the less I am still keen to get a mud fix before hibernating for the winter.

    Me and Jason are taking the Friday off work and will hopefully get away early maybe 9-10am.  We plan to head home on Monday.

    Here is a rough idea of what I had in mind but am open to suggestion.  I would really like to do Billy Goat Bluff track and Blue Rag track and that is about my only requirements for this adventure...And a beer at Dargo Hotel of course.

    Day 1
    I have been having a good study of the 2016 Hema and Vic 25k Topo maps and thought it might be cool to go in from Jamieson/ Licola stopping at the Jamieson brewery for supplies. We can head across to Arbuckle Junction, heading up Howitt Rd toward Zeka Spur and taking in some sights along the way, Hema maps show some waterfalls and an airstrip along Howitt Rd so might be worth checking out. We could do Zeka Spur Track and camp at Wonnangatta Station for the night.

    Day 2
    Start early and head along Wombat Range Track and following Cynthia Range Track to Grant historic mining area and the start of Billy Goats Bluff track.  Once we have conquered this beast we can head to Pinnacles Fire Tower lookout to take in the views.  We can camp in this area for the night.

    Day 3
    We can takes one of the tracks from Moroka Rd. across to Bairnsdale-Dargo Road and have lunch and a beer at Dargo Hotel.
    After lunch follow Dargo-High Plains Road toward Blue Rag.  We can camp in this area depending on the time.

    Im not entirely sure how long each day of driving will be and depending on the weather and what obstacles we encounter we may have to change plans but I guess that is all part of the adventure.  If others have suggestions and places/ destinations they want to see and do then we can work those into the trip as well.

    Let me know and I can load them into my tablet before we go.


    It will be wet up there so good tread is a must, stock tyres probably won't cut it.

    We will be camping along our route so quick set-up/ pack-up will be ideal.

    If anyone wants to have a chat pm me and i'll send my mobile number for those that don't already have it.

    Fuel
    I will be taking two jerry cans on top of my 150? litre onboard.  We can fill up at Jamieson before we head into the hills and probably fill again at Dargo on day 3.

    I'm looking forward to hitting the road!!
  • #7 by swifty on 14 May 2017
  • Sounds like a good plan, RDO booked already. I'll have to grab some jerry cans though for this trip, only have the one tank.
  • #8 by Nicksfj on 15 May 2017
  • Il try and have the Friday off with work but will depend on work il let yous know
  • #9 by mr.straman on 20 May 2017
  • Hey guys,

    My navigator/ Neighbour/ Jason has raised a good logistical point about day 1 plan...

    Maybe going in from Jamieson/ Licola is too big a journey if we want to get to Wonnangatta to camp for the night.  We have to cover a fair distance and then take Zeka Spur track to get there and that might cause some delays.

    Better plan would be go in from Mansfield have a look at Craig's Hut, Bluff Hut and continue on to Zeka Spur then Wonnangatta.  On the Monday we can come out through Licola/ Jamieson as we will already be on that side after Dargo/ Billy Goats.

    Any thoughts let me know.

    For some reason I can't upload photos to the forum.  PM me your email and i'll send across a screenshot of the proposed map.
  • #10 by SAW. on 21 May 2017
  • Mansfield - Craig's Hut - Bluff Hut - King Billy - Zeka Spur - Wonnongatta is a big day, even if you start early in Mansfield. If you are starting in Melbourne then it is a monster day, not likely to get into Wonnongatta until very late at night. Have done this drive in one day many times, but without the Craig's Hut loop, & leaving Melbourne early usually sees us getting into Wonnongatta well after dark. If you get stuck behind slow traffic, which is highly likely one the Bluff Hut - Lovicks - King Billy section, as the track is currently very rough, it could be well after midnight.

    When doing this trip we would usually drive into Bluff Hut after work on the Thursday night. Leaving Melbourne around 7pm will see you at Bluff Hut around midnight, assuming you don't have any holdups.

    If you want to include Craig's Hut I would camp somewhere north of Mansfield Thursday night. This will cut a good 3-4 hours out of your Friday drive. You can then do;
    Craig's Hut
    Bindaree Falls (short walk, but you might not have time)
    Bindaree Hut
    16 Mile Jeep Track
    Bluff Hut
    Lovicks Hut
    King Billy
    Howitt Hut
    Zeka Spur
    Wonnongatta.
    Does not look like much on the map, but by the time you have a look around at the huts, stop for some views & photos, lunch, walks, etc, the time will disappear quickly.

    Your first itinerary is a lot more doable, although we tend to go into Licola from the South (through Warragul, Moe, etc), rather than through Jamieson. Have done Wonnongatta to Melbourne, or vice versa, in one day many times, & it is a good days drive, with sufficient time to look around & stretch your legs.

    I would recommend leaving at 8am at the latest, earlier if possible. 9-10 will see you getting into camp late, regardless of which option you go with.
  • #11 by mr.straman on 21 May 2017
  • Quote from: SAW.;160641
    Mansfield - Craig's Hut - Bluff Hut - King Billy - Zeka Spur - Wonnongatta is a big day, even if you start early in Mansfield. If you are starting in Melbourne then it is a monster day, not likely to get into Wonnongatta until very late at night. Have done this drive in one day many times, but without the Craig's Hut loop, & leaving Melbourne early usually sees us getting into Wonnongatta well after dark. If you get stuck behind slow traffic, which is highly likely one the Bluff Hut - Lovicks - King Billy section, as the track is currently very rough, it could be well after midnight.

    When doing this trip we would usually drive into Bluff Hut after work on the Thursday night. Leaving Melbourne around 7pm will see you at Bluff Hut around midnight, assuming you don't have any holdups.

    If you want to include Craig's Hut I would camp somewhere north of Mansfield Thursday night. This will cut a good 3-4 hours out of your Friday drive. You can then do;
    Craig's Hut
    Bindaree Falls (short walk, but you might not have time)
    Bindaree Hut
    16 Mile Jeep Track
    Bluff Hut
    Lovicks Hut
    King Billy
    Howitt Hut
    Zeka Spur
    Wonnongatta.
    Does not look like much on the map, but by the time you have a look around at the huts, stop for some views & photos, lunch, walks, etc, the time will disappear quickly.

    Your first itinerary is a lot more doable, although we tend to go into Licola from the South (through Warragul, Moe, etc), rather than through Jamieson. Have done Wonnongatta to Melbourne, or vice versa, in one day many times, & it is a good days drive, with sufficient time to look around & stretch your legs.

    I would recommend leaving at 8am at the latest, earlier if possible. 9-10 will see you getting into camp late, regardless of which option you go with.


    Good point Saw, I actually have only accounted for three days so far and we are going for 4 so accidentally have a day up our sleeve.  It might be better to camp somewhere around Bluff Hut on night one and get a bit more time in this area seeing the sights, falls etc.  Day 2 morning we can head to Wonnangatta and be in less of a rush to get there.
  • #12 by SAW. on 21 May 2017
  • Quote from: mr.straman;160643
    Good point Saw, I actually have only accounted for three days so far and we are going for 4 so accidentally have a day up our sleeve.  It might be better to camp somewhere around Bluff Hut on night one and get a bit more time in this area seeing the sights, falls etc.  Day 2 morning we can head to Wonnangatta and be in less of a rush to get there.

    Good plan. I wouldn't plan day 1 too much, just take your time, see the sights, & see where you end up. Lots of great camping through the area, although if you don't like the cold you might want to camp down in one of the valleys.
  • #13 by over run on 21 May 2017
  • Hi guys

    count me in

    I had such a great time over ANZAC long weekend, with the trip that was organised by Crackles, and am looking forward to more 4WDing with y'all

    Chris
  • #14 by mr.straman on 22 May 2017
  • Quote from: over run;160664
    Hi guys

    count me in

    I had such a great time over ANZAC long weekend, with the trip that was organised by Crackles, and am looking forward to more 4WDing with y'all

    Chris

    Awesome Chris. It's shaping up to be an epic trip.
  • #15 by over run on 04 Jun 2017
  • Hi guys

    are we still on for this weekend ?

    I’m still keen

    Chris
  • #16 by swifty on 04 Jun 2017
  • Hi guys

    are we still on for this weekend ?

    I’m still keen

    Chris

    Sort of. Some of us are still going, some aren't for there own reasons. I'm heading up there on Friday using the above itinerary...roughly.
  • #17 by over run on 05 Jun 2017
  • great -- I'm still on

    I won't be there until late Friday evening, so if possible could you give me an idea of where you'll be so that we can meet up

    Chris

  • #18 by swifty on 06 Jun 2017
  • Ok, rough plan so far is to meet at Pineapple flat camp ground on Friday. Camp there that night with maybe day treks out from there. I wouldn't mind seeing Blue Rag and a couple of other tracks/Places but am also planning to do some fishing and generally relax next to a fire. Happy to go with other peoples plans also.
  • #19 by victufmdr on 06 Jun 2017
  • I will be up that way  this weekend hopefully staying at black snake creek campsite Saturday night.
    We may cross paths over the weekend.

     :Driver:
  • #20 by over run on 08 Jun 2017
  • unfortunately my plans had to change as there's now no way I can make it Friday night -- will probably end up doing something else

    sorry to make it one less
  • #21 by Neil Watts on 19 Jun 2017
  • Did this trip go ahead, interested in how you went with it?
  • #22 by swifty on 19 Jun 2017
  • Yeah it went ahead. Myself and Nicksfj stayed at Pineapple Flat from the Friday thru till Monday. Some of the tracks we drove included Wild horse gap track, Weston track and Little Cobbler Track amongst many others. Drove in the snow, had a bit to drink around the campfire and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
  • #23 by swifty on 19 Jun 2017
  • #24 by Off Grid on 20 Jun 2017
  • You blokes could have at least dropped by and said "Hi" to my son and I at Junction Hut on the other side of the hill!
    No snow, but it was cold enough to send the local monkeys in search of a welder.
  • #25 by Crackles on 20 Jun 2017
  • Quote
    You blokes could have at least dropped by and said "Hi" to my son and I at Junction Hut
    I just past through the Aberfeldy area over the long weekend & couldn't get out of there quick enough. Was literally run off the road multiple times by all the bogans. NFI how to drive.
    Nice pics Swifty & good work putting the trip up. Pity it wasn't better supported especially with the brilliant weather.
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