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Victorian High Country - Butcher Country Track/Wonnangatta Valley

  • 29 Oct 2022
  • 9:00 AM
  • 1 Nov 2022
  • 3:00 PM
  • Alpine National Park out of Licola
  • 0

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ICONIC VICTORIAN HIGH COUNTRY TRACKS AND VIEWS

BUTCHER COUNTRY TRACK/WONNANGATTA VALLEY

Date and time:  9:00am, Saturday 29th Ocober to 3.00pm,Tuesday 1 November 2022

Description:   We will leave from the Cheynes Bridge campground  on the Macalister River, located 20km before Licola, travelling  through Licola to the start of the Butcher Country Track after 7 crossings of the Macalister River. 

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 and, as such,  a trip was to be run once again at this years Queen's Birthday long weekend but was cancelled due to snow and has now been incorporated into this annual high country Cup Day long weekend.The track 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

We will camp along  the track on the Saturday night before coming  out onto the Howitt High Plains where we will have lunch on the Sunday at the historic Howitt Hut. We then drop down to the beautiful  and remote Wonnangatta  Valley via the Zeka Spur Track with camping on the Sunday night near the site of the Wonnangatta  Homestead. Some refer to it as Victoria's Shangri-La with its remote valley landscape, dotted with English trees from a by-gone era.  That afternoon we will visit the homestead site and nearby cemetery and hear of the history of the valley and of the Bryce family  that farmed the valley and made it their home from the mid 1800's.

On Monday we then  travel down further the valley before heading up a steep Herne Spur  Track onto the Wombat Range Track before again dropping down to Eaglevale and cross the Wonnangatta River. We then travel up the iconic Billy Goat Track to the Pinnacles lookout, which has a superb  view of the high country from the fire tower.  On the Monday night we camp on the snowplain at the junction of the Moroka Road and Doolans Plain Track.

On the Tuesday we travel along the Tamboritha Road before dropping down into low range down along  the B1 and Chromite Mine tracks, crossing the Wellington River before climbing again up to  the Burgoyne Track, then  returning to the Cheynes Bridge campground where our trip will finish.

The best maps are  the Rooftop's Jamieson - Licola Adventure Map and the Dargo-Wonnangatta Adventure Map.

Trip Standard: The trip is rated as hard as some sections of the  tracks  will be be steep, narrow, rutted or  rocky,  other parts may be muddy with bog holes to negotiate and there are a number of water crossings.  Participants must  have completed RRCV 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.  Don't hesitate to discuss with the  Trip Leader if you are unsure, but would like to join this trip.

Weather: Alpine environment, potentially cold and wet. Review the alpine weather forecast leading up to the trip to ensure you have the appropriate clothing, footwear and camping gear 

Equipment:  Below are the required vehicle requirements.  If you are not sure if you vehicle is suitable for the  trip, please discuss with the Trip leader.

Well-maintained low range capable  4WD vehicle  with high clearance (minimum 2-inch lift above standard) and have rated recovery points front and rear.  Tyres must be of light truck construction,  All Terrain type with deep tread and minimum 60 profile (No road tyres).  A second spare tyre is  strongly recommended.  Vehicles must have a snorkel fitted and carry a tarp to secure to the front in case of higher-than-expected water levels and must be UHF radio equipped .  Standard recovery gear including dampener, rated snatch strap and shackles and a shovel must be carried.  

No camper trailers, pets or firearms.

Fuel: A full fuel tank out of Heyfield.  Fuel availability at Licola is marginal.  If snow or cold weather is forecast for the weekend then a  fuel additive for diesel engines to stop gelling of the diesel  is required as snowfalls have occurred on previous Cup Day long weekend trips. Torque Icebreaker concentrate is one such product.

Distance:   Cheynes Bridge campground is 225 km from Melbourne. The trip distance is approximately  280 km,  mainly low range.

Duration: 4 days

Convoy limit:  8 vehicles

Passengers & non-member participation: If you wish to bring a passenger that is not a partner or your child,  they must be registered as Temporary Members to join the trip. See our website for details.
Temporary (Guest) Membership

Temporary Members are NOT allowed to drive with out speaking to the Trip Leader first. This is to ensure that the driver and vehicle are sufficiently prepared for the trip.

Meeting arrangements:  We will meet at the Cheynes Bridge campground on the Heyfield- Licola Road at 9.00am for a trip briefing.  The Trip Leader, and no doubt others from the club,  will be be camping at the campground on the Friday night.

Trip Leader: Graeme Allen on 0477488434 or graeme.allen86@gmail.com. 

Please contact the  Trip Leader if you are unsure of any of the requirements for this trip.

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