Craig’s Hut Photography & 4wd Tour February 17-18 2018

On the 17-18 February, we held our Craigs Hut Photography & 4wd Tour. This tour comprised of 4 vehicles– Toyota Landcruiser & 150 Prado, Ford Ranger, and a Mitsubishi Triton

After our meet and greet at BP Mansfield it was onto the Mansfield- Mt Buller Rd via Merrijig. Our first stop for the weekend was the former site of the Harrison Homestead from The Man From Snowy River Films. (Note the first two images below as a comparison that shows the landscape has barely changed in 35 years!)

Our first hut visit for the tour was Tomahawk Hut which is a beaut little log hut with a sloping corrugated roof – this hut was the scene of a high profile disappearance in 2011 that is till yet to be solved!

From there it was onto No 3 Track to traverse the rocky escarpment of Mt No 3. This is a very scenic drive that offers countless views of the High Country that extend out towards Merrijig
Morning Tea was had at No 3 Refuge Hut which is a rebuilt version of the original hut that was destroyed by the Great Divide Wildfire in 2006.

Continuing on we reached the bottom of No 3 Track and called into the Razorback Huts. It was then onto the Circuit Rd for our lunch stop at the Howqua Gap Huts. Here we met some fantastic volunteers that were manning a check point for the Hut 2 Hut Oscars 100 event which is a 100km walk/run loop starting and finishing at Mt Buller with check points at various locations along the way. The event raises funds for children living with autism which is absolutely awesome! Check out their website here

After lunch we began our climb up Howqua Gap Track towards the Mt Stirling summit. This is a great low range 4wd track that offers a bit of everything in ruts, rocks, washouts and the occasional steep pinch. Once at the 1742m summit, we all gathered at the trig marker and took in the sensational 360 degree views of the many peaks of the magnificent Vic High Country!

Clear Hills Track was next as we headed towards our camp for the evening. This section of the track between Mt Stirling and Monument Track was in pretty rough shape on this tour .We encountered large washouts and some pretty deep holes that required some careful wheel placement. One of the ladies on tour had never previously done any low range four wheel driving before. With a little bit of guidance she did a fantastic job negotiating her way through it!

Arriving at our camp for the evening at Craigs Hut, the tour group was greeted by a warming campfire and a cheese and biscuit platter prepared by the HCAT team.
The early evening was spent photographing the sensational sunset drenched Craigs Hut that has to be witnessed to truly appreciate! Back at camp the HCAT team had the campfire roast cooked and ready to be served. The night was spent around the fire surrounded by a trillion star covered sky whilst enjoying a few quiet drinks and a yarn or two!

Next morning we were all up at the crack of dawn so we could witness the sunrise at the hut. We were to experience a sensational sight with the colour of the landscape constantly changing as the sun slowly coming up over the ranges to soak the eastern side of the hut in sunlight – it was absolutely EPIC!

A hearty cooked breakfast was enjoyed by all prior to packing up camp. Our next destination was Lake Cobbler via King Hut. The track from King Hut up Speculation Road to Lake Cobbler is quite rocky and requires some careful wheel placement.
After lunch at Lake Cobbler it was off to our final destination of the tour – Dandongadale Falls – a 255m free fall (Victoria’s longest) from the Cobbler Plateau
This tour however we weren’t to witness the falls due to nearly a month of no rain – that being said the cliff face with no water flowing is still a very impressive sight!

A big thank you to everyone that was on this tour – you were a fantastic bunch of people that embraced every aspect of the trip and it was an absolute pleasure to experience the magic and beauty of the Victorian High Country with you!

Anthony & the HCAT Team
High Country Adventure Tours

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