Victorian High Country ride - New Years Day 2013

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Victorian High Country ride - New Years Day 2013

Postby NickJ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:25 pm

I thought that 4mths between trip reports round here was a bit too long. We conquered the High Country over New Years 2012 with some of you guys last year, this year, we tried it on the bikes. The plan was, Licola, Mt Howitt, King Billy 2 + 1, Lovicks, Bluff, Bindaree and Craig's Huts. The reverse of last year's trip with the Pathy and camper.

We got as far as ascending the first section of King Billy 2 and had to retreat due to track conditions, along with rider fatigue. It was 36C during the day we were doing this.

Here's my trip report, hope you like it.

Well, a mate and I headed out as planned on New Years Day bound for Licola, Victoria - one of the gateways to Victoria's High Country.
I stopped at my local petrol station for a full tank of fuel, but whilst parked at a slightly odd angle, the brisk wind picked up the bike and topped it over.. Bugger, smashed right hand front panel. Image
On the way we picked up a friend - Bear with his 4wd. Topping up with fuel in Licola @ $1.77 per litre, lucky I only needed 3.5 litres!. Our normal price is $1.45 per litre.
The ride from Heyfield to Licola is great and takes in some great high speed bitumen curves and some fantastic scenery too...
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Once on the dirt road, we aired down the tyres and proceeded to our first night campsite, in Kelly's Lane. A nice little spot with a small flowing river close by. At this time of the day it was in the 35C +
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The temp at night was in the late 20s but by the morning had subsided to 5C and low cloud had set in. We were at 1350m above sea level so that was to be expected.
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Dinner, was a nice veal shank with pink peppercorn sauce and rice thanks to Bear. Not bad..
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In the morning I set off with a windcheater on under my jacket but without jacket liners, I also put my winter gloves on, Bear had to leave us and go back to work. Not far down the track, the sun peeked out of the low cloud and off came the windcheater and summer gloves went on. It ended up a warm 34C during the heat of the day but up at 1600m the breeze was nice and cool. We stopped at McMichael's Hut
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Kelly's Hut
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and Dimocks Lookout on the way for some spectacular views
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then went on to Howitt Hut
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Howitt Hut is one of the oldest huts in the Victorian High Country and although a little worse for wear, would still be a welcome shelter in the chilly snowing months,
After we left Howitt Hut, the track took a turn for the worse and is posted as "4wd vehicles"
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I was up here with my wife in our 4wd for New Years last year towing the camper trailer, so thought that we would be ok. But only some 10km down the track, the track surface was strewn with large rocks and small boulders. Gagan had dropped his GS1200 twice and I had layed the Varadero over once, so a little shook up and full of adrenalin, I suggested that we turn around and head for some easier tracks. We stopped a few minutes down the track by a nice rover crossing and cooked up some sausages in bread rolls for lunch, while watching a few vehicles go by the short shallow river crossing. After a full belly and something cold to drink, we headed off again in search of some easier tracks, feeling much better after the break. After a look at the map, we decided on Moroka Hut, but when we got there it was 450m walking track so we moved on the Horseyard Flat with a hut closeby. We pulled up at about 4:00pm and proceed to set up camp for the night.
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Later in the evening, 2 groups of 4wds turned up looking for a spot to stop. One group of 2 and one group of 10 cars. The group of 2 cars camped close to us and we had a great chat over dinner and the campfire, including some nice port they brought along.,
Early morning, Gagan woke me up at 7:15am for an early morning ride to the Pinacles Fire Tower - a short 20min ride up the track. The weather was so clear, you could see the mountains over 100km away! The firespotter was in his office and gave us a guided tour.
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We had shed our panniers and top boxes for the short ride. Gee the Varadero felt great without the weight on the back!!!
We had a look around and a chat to the fire spotter who was in attendance due to the high temperatures this week. He had some great stories to tell us.
We got back to camp and packed up our gear for the trip home. Our new found friends had boiled the kettle and greeted us with a coffee, very nice to know there are other people around like me.
.. Here's a couple more pics...
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Nick and Gagan
2004 Pathfinder TI, FWH, Front Lokka, 265/70-16 AT693 / 31" Bighorns, Pedders
2008 BT50 SDX. 31" Bighorns, front eLocker, ARB winch bar, ARB Canopy
1999 105 series Land Cruiser, front Lokka, FWH, Part-tome kit, ABR bar and winch, lift, Mickey Thompson ATZ
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NickJ
PCoA Administrator & VIC Rep
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:08 pm
Location: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - Town or City: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - State: Victoria
Location - Country: Australia

Re: Victorian High Country ride - New Years Day 2013

Postby CRW » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Hi Nick

Great report and photos, just goes to prove you dont need a 4wd to get into the high country and have a great time
Cheers
Carl
200 Series Land Cruiser TT V8 Diesel, and a few goodies towing a Complete Campsite Fraser
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CRW
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Location: Dural NSW
Location - Town or City: Dural NSW

Re: Victorian High Country ride - New Years Day 2013

Postby NickJ » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:59 pm

Bump!! Inspiration.
2004 Pathfinder TI, FWH, Front Lokka, 265/70-16 AT693 / 31" Bighorns, Pedders
2008 BT50 SDX. 31" Bighorns, front eLocker, ARB winch bar, ARB Canopy
1999 105 series Land Cruiser, front Lokka, FWH, Part-tome kit, ABR bar and winch, lift, Mickey Thompson ATZ
User avatar
NickJ
PCoA Administrator & VIC Rep
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:08 pm
Location: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - Town or City: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - State: Victoria
Location - Country: Australia

Re: Victorian High Country ride - New Years Day 2013

Postby NickJ » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:52 am

Trip memories!!
2004 Pathfinder TI, FWH, Front Lokka, 265/70-16 AT693 / 31" Bighorns, Pedders
2008 BT50 SDX. 31" Bighorns, front eLocker, ARB winch bar, ARB Canopy
1999 105 series Land Cruiser, front Lokka, FWH, Part-tome kit, ABR bar and winch, lift, Mickey Thompson ATZ
User avatar
NickJ
PCoA Administrator & VIC Rep
 
Posts: 1892
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:08 pm
Location: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - Town or City: Willow Grove - Victoria Closer to the High Country
Location - State: Victoria
Location - Country: Australia


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