Victoria High Country

ALPINE NATIONAL PARK

260 km east of Melbourne 5km NE of Licola, 15km north and west of Dargo

Best accessed from Licola via the Tamboritha Road, from High Plains Road via Dargo or from Crooked River Road via Waterford. This is Victorias largest national park - more than 646,000 hectares of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Australia, including mountain peaks, high plains, waterfalls, gorges and more than 1,100 native plant species. Many scenic walks and drives are available. One of the Parks most impressive features is Bryces Gorge, which is reached via a 7.5 km excellent family walking trail, providing good views of the gorge and also of two waterfalls along the route.

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MT BAW BAW

Access via Noojee

Mt Baw Baw is the closest alpine ski resort to Melbourne. Accommodation lodges, ski and toboggan hire, as well as a ski school, operate during winter. Cross country skiing and snow play are available at neigbouring Mt Saint Gwinear during the snow season. However, the Baw Baw National Parks blend of high country scenery, the Thomson and Aberfeldy river valleys, colourful wildflowers and walking trails provide visitors with a reason to visit all year round,

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High Country Adventure Trail


Heritage 

Map of Trail








The peace of GippsIands High Country was broken during the early 1860s with the discovery of gold.

The rush was short lived, but the legacy remains in the historic gold districts of the region and along Angus MacMillans 1864 track, created to link the scattered mining settlements.

Walhalla is GippsIands most evocative town, where the visitor can relive the era through exploration of many original and some recreated buildings. The Long Tunnel Mine operates regular tours and the delightful Walhalla Goldfields Railway operates on Its scenic course every, weekend and holiday.

The former gold towns of Grant , Talbotville, Winchester, Bulltown and Howittville are now only paddocks with remains of chimneys and footings evident.
The hills are dotted with cemeteries and unmarked graves as well as numerous mine shafts and ruins of equipment.

Most can be reached by 2WD vehicles. Just ask a local for directions. Watch for holes and disused mine shafts when walking in these areas.

The first grazing lease for cattle on the Dargo High Plains was issued in 1904. The Treasure family arrived in 1878 and still graze the high plains during summer. The activity has changed little In 130 years and John and Ben Treasure now offer visitors a chance to experience it through their High Plains Droving Tours.

If possible, take your time to wander this route, or promise yourself to return soon
to discover all that it has to offer.

Bushwalking 

The real beauty and atmosphere of the Victorian alps is best appreciated on foot. Short walks of several hours to multi day, trips which take In the highest peaks are available throughout the High Country, but are especialy popular on the Baw Baw Plateau,Snowy Plains, Howitt Plains, and in the Dargo area. Cattlemens huts and former gold sites add further interest to some of the trails.

Recommended day walks in Baw Baw National Park include Beech Gully Nature Walk or Mushrooms Rocks and in the Alpine National Park include Bryces Gorge or Mt Howitt .
Popular overnight walks include Lake Tali Karng and Moroka Gorge.

Long distance walkers are amply catered for.
The splendour of the Australian Alps Walking Track begins at Walhalla and passes through Baw National Park and the Alpine National Park before extending into NSW and the ACT.

You can walk short sections of it or undertake multi day trips. MacMillans Track was cut by explorer Angtus MacMillan between Woods Point and Omeo in 1864 to provide access to the gold mining sites. It is being progressively reopened.

Camping 

Unlimited bush camp sites are available along the Wellington River in the Alpine National Park or on the Barkly River in State Forests north of Licola. 


Other popular camping areas are located along Freestone Creek, north of Briagolong or on many of the mountain streams north of Dargo.
For even more privacy, seek out smaller campsites at places like Thomastown and Shaws Creek in the Alpine N.P. and at Aberfeldy River in Baw Baw N.P.
For those seeking more comfort, numerous private caravan and camping parks in the area are located in natural areas, many with beautiful river frontages.

School camps located near Licola and Lake Glenmaggie cater for larger groups.


Camping along the Wellington River.



Crossing the Wonnagatta River, Alpine National Park.

Tag-along 4WD tours are popular in Gippslands High Country.

Four Wheel Drive Touring 


Made famous through the movie "The Man From Snowy River", the spectacular alpine high countrv of Eastern Victoria must be one of the best regions in the world for 4WD touring.

Ranging from alpine ash forests to open, grassy, high plains where the mountain cattlemen graze their stock in the summer months, the rugged beauty of this region is awe inspiring.

There are remote valleys with crystal clear streams and river-flats ideal for camping, many of which are only, accessible by tough 4WD trails.

There is often a surprise just around corner. It may be a fallen tree a creek crossing , a super view, a goanna crossing the track another stuck on a steep hill or a beautiful campsite to explore.

Much of the area is protected in the Alpine National Park and in winter many tracks are inaccessable due to snow and seasonal track closures.

Briagalong

This quaint agricultural town only 15 minutes from thePrinces Highway specialises in the production of honey and fruit growing. 

The gold rush to the picturesque valley of the Freestone Creek gave birth to the village 1868.

Take the historic town walk, discover its local crafts market on the first Sundays of March, June, September and December, and be sure to explore Its many beautiful picnic spots just out of town on the Freestone and Valencia Creeks, especially, Blue Pools.

 

Blue Pools
Blue Pools at Briagolong

Dargo 


Only 75 minutes north of Sale on sealed roads. It nestles in the foothills before the climb to the legendary Dargo High Plains in a charming river valley filled with century old walnut trees.

A Walnut Festival is held every, Easter.

Known principally, for timber milling, the remnants of the heady gold era can be found in the nearby district.

Many mountain cattlemen have homes in the stock. breeding and agricultural district.
Cattle droving tours of the High Plains are available and various roads from the town provide ready access for 4WD touring, including the famous Wonnangatta Station.

Contact the Visitor Information Centre for details of organised tours for gold prospecting, 4WD and white water rafting in the area.

Other activities available include horse riding, cross country skiing, bushwalking, trout fishing (closed season applies) and mountain bike riding (Including the annual Dargo Hoot" in December).

All forms of accommodation are provided in the town. while camping spots with facilities can be found nearby.
Petrol and dining facilities are also available. Camping facilities and petrol are also available at nearby Waterford.

Erica 


Known as the Gateway to the Mountain River Region Ericas history. is steeped in the hardship of timber milling.

Although only one Mill still operates, the community is proudly showcases its heritage at the Bushmans Display located within the hotel/motel.
Erica was the highest point on the Moe to Walhalla railway, of which a section of the line now forms the Erica toThomson Rail Trail for walking, cycling and horse riding.

All forms of accommodation as well as dining and petrol are available

Thompson River near Erica
Thompson River near Erica

Heyfield

This town grew-up as a stopping place for diggers on their way to the gold fields. 

Today it is the ackknowledged entry town to Gippslands High Country. Its facilities make it a g good place to stock-up on provisions before heading into the hills.

All forms of accommodation are offered to the visitor including a spiritual health retreat.
Activities available from Heyfield include 4WD touring and horse riding tours, rafting trips, bushwalking, cross country skiing and fishing in the wealth of rivers and creeks of the district.

A variety of watersports can be enjoyed on nearby Lake Glenmaggie which was created in1923 when the the Glenmaggie township was flooded to store the waters of the Macalister River for irrigation purposes.

Petrol and dining are available in Heyfield.


Licola 

Located in the scenic Macalister River Valley, just below the junction of the Macalister and Wellington Rivers. Licola is a former timber town, from where early cattlemen drove their herds up into the northern plains and mountains for summer.

Its now a popular location for groups, bushwalkers, fishermen, campers and 4WD enthusiasts.
The general store sells all fuels and caters for the needs of campers.
The local rivers are well stocked with trout.
Trout season runs from the 1st Saturday in September to the 1st Monday in June.

Check fishing details with the Traralgon office of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Phone: 5172 2111.

Noojee 

Nestled on the high reaches of the Latrobe River, Noojee is very picturesque with its backdrop of river and wild native forest. 

The first white inhabitants were prospectors and tin miners in the mid 1860s, followed by farmers and timber workers.
The town has been destroyed by bushfire more than once, but miraculously the hotel has survived. Walks and horse riding, as well as proximity to the Mt Baw Baw ski field are the major tourism features of this hamlet.

Local highlights include its famous Trestle Bridge, Toorongo Falls and the Ada Tree.

Accommodation, dining and petrol are available.


Toorongo Falls near Noojee

Rawson 

This mountain town was the site for workers on the nearby Thomson Dam, the largest earth and rock fill dam in the Southern Hemisphere and is a popular base from which to explore the trails around Mt. St.Gwinear. 

The Thomson River is a heritage river and is one Victorias leading venues for river rafting.

Accommodation, a caravan park, dining and petrol are available.

Cross country skiing in Baw Baw National Park

Cross country skiing in Baw Baw National Park

Natural Attractions 

Whenever you look to the north in GippsIand, hazy blue peaks form a magnificent backdrop. 
Carpeted in wildflowers during summer and largely covered in snow during winter these mountains form the southern sections of Victorias legendary High Country.

They may look hauntly remote, but they are relatively easy to explore by 2WD from numerous points along the Princes Highway

Late afternoon light in the High Country

Late afternoon light in the High Country

Alpine National Park 

This is the largest and grandest of Victorias national parks. It links with Kosciusko National Park in NSW and Namadgi NP in ACT to form a chain of alpine and sub alpine reserves of great significance. 

Some of Victorias most spectacular and rugged alpine scenery is found in the Wonnangatta-Moroka section of the Alpine National Park.
The views from its peaks and lookouts are inspiring.

This is country that begs to be explored, and while cars can show you much of it, walking trails to its many natural treasures like LakeTali Karng (the hidden lake) or to Moroka Falls provide experiences that youll never forget.

However, its charms can equally be found at your feet, in the variety of plant life of the Park: delicate mosses, alpine herbfields, wildflowers and snow grass plains.

Baw Baw National Park

From the Snow Gum woodlands and snow grass plains of the Baw Baw Plateau to the forests of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys, Baw Baw National Park dominates the northern skyline of West GippsIand. 

During winter, cross country skiing trails from St. Gwinear and the Baw Baw Alpine Village offer fine and great skiing.
During summer, those same trails are transformed by wildflowers.

From the Mt Erica carpark visitors can take a short guided rainforest walk, or meander up the plateau past the intriguing Mushroom Rocks. Mt Baw Baw is renowned for its cross country skiing ski trail network.

Ten kms of trails are marked by poles with orange arrows. They range from the well defined and less demanding trail around the Baw Baw Alpine Village, to the trails which run to the St Gwinear car park via the Baw Baw Plateau and National Park, as well as a number of alternative ski trails which are installed for the ski season only.
All trails are patrolled on weekends and trail head fees apply In the Baw Baw Village.

Snow camping on the high plain
Snow camping on the high plain

Mt. Hedrick Scenic Reserve 

The dry. open forests of this reserve are dissected by the Avon River. They display a great diversity of wildflowers and its variable landform contains gorges, rocky escarpments and sew several high peaks. 

Day picnic and BBQ facilities are provided at Nicholson Rocks, The Channels carpark and Dermodys Camp which are also starting points for several walks.

The Channels Track runs through a rocky gorge, cut out of siltstone and sandstone by the Avon River.

Bushwalking, Australian Alps Walking Track
Bushwalking, Australian Alps Walking Track


Mitchell River National Park

Canoeing and rafting are popular activities on the Mitchell River, but this park is best known for the lush temperate rainforests of the Woolshed Creek Gorge and the Den of Nargun. 

The Gorges steep walls provide protection from the heat and drying winds. The amphitheatre provides very good views of the Gorge.

A 20 minute walk from the carpark to the Den of Nargun leads walkers through sub tropical flora river valley to the Den - a limestone cave important for its Aboriginal legend.