If you are looking for places to visit in Victoria or iconic Australian 4wd touring destinations, the Victorian High Country is up there with the best. The 4wding is exciting yet not too extreme, the free camping is amazing and there is something to see at every turn. Be it be a breathtaking view or a historic hut.
The Victorian High Country located in Victoria makes up part of the Australian Alps and the Alpine National Park. Bright, Mansfield, Jamison, Dargo, Snowy River National Park and the Yarra Ranges all border and make up the Victorian High Country.
Is it possible to do the Victorian High Country in a weekend?
Yes absolutely. You won’t see it all but you will get a good taste of what the High Country has to offer. When we visited the area, we started at Bright and went across to Dargo, where we enjoyed a cold beer. We eventually ended up in Mansfield, seeing as much as we could along the way.
Victorian High Country 4wding
Victorian High Country 4wding is not the hardest or most technical 4wding you will come across in Australia. However, it’s is definitely the steepest terrain I have driven. You will still need to have your wits about you.
When we explored the Victorian High Country, it was the end of summer. It was very dry and there had been little rain. Most of the tracks were reasonably maintained however in the wet they would become much more challenging.
Keep in mind the weather changes at the drop of a hat in the High Country and what was easy can become quite challenging very quickly. Throughout the winter there are a lot of track closures; the High Country 4wd tracks are closed from early June to late October. So be sure to check Parks Victoria before you go.
Victorian High Country 4wd tracks
• Blue Rag Range Track – This would have to be the most well-known Victorian High country 4×4 track. It will have you driving along a stunning ridge line and then puts you out at Blue Rag Trig point where the views are absolutely amazing.
• Basalt Track – The south end is very steep, definitely a low range 1st gear descent. You will get an awesome view of the valley and Talbotville Campground on the way down.
• Crooked River Track – You will cross the crystal clear Crooked River over 20 times. The crossings are pretty easy with a solid river rock bottom. This will depend on the weather of course, the deepest point we found in summer was around 3 foot.
• Billy Goat Bluff Track – Steep, steep and steeper. Wow! You will climb 1200m in 7km. As you drive along the knife-edge at the top of the ridge, it gives you a greater appreciation of what you have just accomplished. It puts you up at the Pinnacles, a working fire tower that will give you breathtaking 360-degree views.
• Howitt Plains – This is a pretty well-maintained road and gives you a chance to cover some kilometres reasonably quickly.
• King Billy Track – This is an easy descent into the valley. On the way down there are some pretty cool rock formations and at the bottom, you will cross King Billy Creek. It’s a great little spot to cool off in.
• Bluff Track – This is a nice drive across the Bluff ridgeline. While there are some short steep sections, overall it is a relatively easy drive. It will take you past two of the best Victorian High Country huts. Lovicks Hut and Bluff Hut. You will start to get views across to Mt Buller.
• Sixteen Mile Jeep Road – Down we go, this is a reasonably steep descent to the bottom where you will find the picturesque Sixteen Mile Creek. If you have time, stop and enjoy a swim here. From here it’s an easy climb out that will take you to Pikes Flat and Bindaree Hut and camp area.
• The Monument Track – The quick way to Craigs Hut. It is a steep low range climb with a few ruts and rock steps.
• Circuit Road – This is the way out if you don’t want to go via Mt Buller. It will take you past Razorback Hut, a great place for a last camp. At Telephone Box Junction, head down Mount Stirling Road and then you’re on your way back to civilisation.
Important: The main thing to keep in mind while 4wding in the high country is the temperature of your brakes. You will need to use low range for mechanical braking on most of the tracks otherwise you run the risk of your brakes overheating and becoming ineffective.
Victorian High Country Camping
Victorian High Country camping is truly spectacular. It would easily be some of Australia’s best FREE camping. There are many pristine grassy campsites like Talbotville Camp Area. Of course, you will also find some amazing camping spots at most of the huts in addition to, perfect spots at every turn. There are so many awesome free camping options it’s almost hard to pick one.
Phone reception: Up on most of the ridge lines you will find minimal phone signal (Telstra at least).
Creeks: Down in the valleys, there are crystal clear creeks.
Firewood: There is plenty of fallen timber for campfires.
Victorian High Country Huts
The High Country is full of Huts, scattered all over the place from down in the valleys to up on the ridges. They are all full of character and absolutely worth checking out. Some are pristine, while others are run down, but they all offer something unique.
Following our path through the High Country you will pass via:
Basalt Railway Carriage
Black Snake Creek Hut
Horseyard Flat Hut
Pikes Flat Hut
The Victorian High Country Huts have been around since the mid-1800’s. They were used by miners, loggers, fisherman and forest rangers. In the 2003 bushfires, a lot of the High Country Huts were destroyed and the Victorian High Country Huts Association was born. The VHCHA is a group of volunteers that rebuilt the damaged and destroyed huts. They now look after and maintain them.
If you are looking some of Australia’s best 4wd touring and camping, you will find it in the Victorian High country. There are so many 4wd tracks, with a mix of easy and hard tracks to suit everyone. With so much history, amazing views and all the iconic places, the Victorian High Country will not disappoint.