Licola to Mansfield -Butcher Country Track
Date and time: 9.00am, Saturday 11th June to 4:00 Monday 13 June
Description: The Butcher Country Track trip has been an annual event on the club's calendar on the Queen's Birthday long weekend for many years until 2018 when Parks Victoria seasonally closed the Butcher Country track in May to protect the upper reaches of the track from further deterioration. The track is now open until the Queen's Birthday long weekend and is an iconic high country track commencing in the Macalister River valley and rising some 1200 metres over a track length of 32km to the Howitt High Plains
The trip will still start at the Cheynes Bridge camping area on the Macalister River some 20km before Licola. We will travel to Licola and then to the start of the Butcher Country track after 7 crossings of the Macalister River. We then travel up the Butcher Country track camping along the way on the Saturday night, before coming out onto the Howitt Plains, with lunch on the Sunday at the historic Howitt Hut. We then drop down to the headwaters of the Macalister River before again climbing up to the King Billy saddle and then along the Bluff track to Lovicks Hut stopping off at many viewing points of the surrounding high country. Our camp on Sunday night will be on an alpine clearing beyond Lovicks Hut to be able to enjoy the evening and morning views of the surrounding high country. On Monday, we will travel down, visiting Bluff Hut and Bindaree Hut via the 16 Mile Jeep track before coming out on the Circuit Road and heading back to Mansfield
There are many river crossings required on this trip which will make it interesting and challenging. These crossings can vary in depth depending on rainfall leading up to the weekend. Depending on the river levels, snorkels may be required for vehicle safety. The level of the river will be monitored leading up to the trip and any changes to the trip will be advised to participants.
A bush toilet with thunder box will be established at the Saturday and Sunday campsites.
The best map is the Rooftop's Jamieson - Licola Adventure Map.
Weather: The trip is in winter within the Victorian Alps so cold and wet weather with snowfalls ( if we are lucky) are possible. Bring appropriate, sleeping bag, clothing and footwear.
Equipment: Vehicles need to have low range 4WD capability with good all-terrain tyres, good ground clearance, be UHF radio equipped and have rated snatch points. Usual recovery gear is to be carried. Carrying a second spare tyre is advised.
Trip Standard: The trip is rated as hard as some sections will be be steep, narrow and rocky and other parts may be muddy with the potential for the track to be snow covered on the upper parts. Participants will have completed driver training and preferably, but not essentially, will have previously completed a medium weekend trip. The tracks are challenging but it is the challenge and scenery of the high country that makes it an iconic trip.
Fuel: A full fuel tank out of Heyfield. A fuel additive for diesel engines is required as snowfalls have occurred on previous trips. Torque Icebreaker concentrate is a popular product.
Distance: From Licola to Mansfield is approximately 200 Km of mainly low range driving.
Duration: 3 days
Convoy limit: 8 vehicles
Meeting arrangements: Meet at 9.00am at Licola. For those arriving Friday night we will be camping at the Cheynes Bridge camping area on the Macalister River some 20 km before Licola on the Heyfield Licola Road. We will aim to finish on Monday no later than 4:00 pm at Mansfield
Trip Leader: Graeme Allen on mobile 0477488434