Seasonal road closures

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Mon 07 Nov, 2016 6:11 am

sambar358 wrote:While it's easy just to blame deer hunters for this sort of thing.....the reality is in many areas that quite often it's someone else and most certainly during winter on the Dargo High Plains the cross country ski set and the snow tourists are the main culprits going in beyond the gate (which is usually closed but without a padlock fitted) and driving up to and beyond the snowline.


Yes it is a bit easy and I find myself falling into it often but that is because of what I have seen first hand. I do acknowledge there are other idiots doing the same and we came close to pinging some last winter. They were apparently not deer hunters as they did not have guns with them when searched by Police. Not enough evidence to prosecute for the intrusion but they were certainly idiots as they were towing a trailer for the motorbikes through deep snow until they got stuck. It must have taken a while to get out as we heard them go up in the dark and we only missed them by an of hour or so the next morning. I have seen with my own eyes though, deer hunters just below and above the snowline and past the locked gate areas after the gates have been busted. The gates are not at the snowline so there would be lots of deer on the other side of them before the snow. It is equally as hard to blame the snow tourist and XC skiers as the main source. The padlock to the Dargo gate is probably cut each year. I doubt the Alpine shire really cares anyway but that road gives access to many other tracks they will not repair. Once all the agencies get serious about enforcement and then collecting the cost of repairs to the road thing will change.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Mon 07 Nov, 2016 7:11 am

Xplora.....I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about agencies "not really caring" about seriously policing these road closures. I quite regularly used to come-across vehicles/bikes/quads in behind closure gates or find gates open with fresh wheel tracks heading in and have reported these often straight away when I had phone reception. Always used to get the same sort of response....."thanks for the call and we'll look into it" or "we've got a trail camera on that track and maybe we'll get a pic of them"......but nobody ever turned up to try and catch the perps in there. In the Dargo patch anyway PV seem over-reliant on monitoring tracks with cameras and don't seem to do any active patrols any more usually citing a lack of funds to get out there and spend some time policing their areas. Road closures are supposed to physically stop vehicles from accessing country where vehicles will damage tracks and vegetation whilst camera surveillance is merely a revenue collection tool if and when they can get a rego. number to follow up on.......if they ever even do !

Some closure gates get damaged and/or driven around every year and I'm sure Parks and DELWP have a good idea which ones and when......and most likely who's doing it as well. Getting a few keen Rangers or Police out and about patrolling these areas at key times may even get a few caught in the act. But to a large degree obeying a road closure just comes down to people doing the right thing.......the gate's shut and you can't go beyond that point in a vehicle.......and accepting that. These days a lot of people seem to lack that respect for authority and see road closures as being just an inconvenience to be negotiated around and really meant for someone else.....not them. While I'm backpack hunting in behind various closure gates it's quite common to be trudging-in over fresh wheel tracks or come-across recent camps that have been obviously vehicle-based. Last spring I had a couple of vehicles come in behind me and they all stopped for a friendly chat and even offered me a ride to where I was heading ! They were quite amused that I hadn't driven around the gate as they and many others obviously had......not hunters, just a couple of families heading down to the river to fish and camp. The weather was fine, the track was dry and they couldn't seem to see any reason not to drive in.....apart from the locked gate and the PV sign indicating why nearby of course. Maybe the PV trail camera got their rego numbers as they drove by it.....maybe they got a PIN fine for breaching the road closure......maybe not. I just rang Parks at Dargo and called it in.....got the usual "thanks for that, we'll look into it" and "we've got a camera on that track so maybe well get them on that"......maybe they did, maybe the didn't. When I called into Dargo Parks on the way home the Ranger told me that they hadn't come-up and nabbed these people in-the-act as they should have. A bit disappointing really.......but nothing new there ! Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby north-north-west » Wed 09 Nov, 2016 8:16 pm

sambar358 wrote:Xplora.....I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about agencies "not really caring" about seriously policing these road closures.

Mostly, yes. And yet . . .
. . . four or five years back I was in the Sheepyard Flat area one weekend doing a couple of daywalks (Eagle Peaks & Lickhole/Governer/Darling) and while driving out from the second noticed the gate into the hut and camping/picnic area at . . is it Frys Flat? . . . was open and a number of cars down there, so I drove in to have a look. Stuffed around for about fifteen minutes, took a few photos and just as I hopped in the car to drive off, two cop cars (two officers in each, all armed to the teeth) and a ranger turned up, and started questioning, taking details, and threatening to fine everyone in there. Apparently someone had illegally unlocked the gate a week early.

Managed to convince them I hadn't read the sign on the way in and had only gone in after seeing others there (true, surprisingly enough), but it took a lot of fast talking. Seemed one hell of an over-reaction to four cars and maybe ten people all up.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 09 Nov, 2016 8:27 pm

In the Grampians I went past an open gate to a nice campsite. The Ranger attended the next day, very friendly - I should not have been there. In fact we had met several years earlier when I advised him about a management issue. No big deal, will go as soon as we can, sorry, did not know. There was no sign. At SYF on a long weekend I saw two police on trail bikes, again friendly.

Maybe it depends on the PWS or police staffer. Maybe there was a hoon alert and people were edgy.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Thu 10 Nov, 2016 5:17 am

Parks in Mansfield do patrol in winter and there is a particular problem with people busting gates (and sorry Sambar) mostly for deer hunting. This I know to be true first hand. Our local plod is also very keen to catch those busting gates but it is a one man station so you have to be lucky to get him at the right time and in a position to attend. Parks staff encounter many dodgy people and there is a risk if these people are armed. Less risk of intimidation if some armed backup is with them and a show of force is something that stays in your mind as NNW can attest to. The word would get around and people may be less inclined to do the wrong thing. Some areas do not get the attention in winter as staff take holidays because it is quiet or the park is not accessible due to snow. It does take a bit of time to get to some of the gates to check them so I always shoot off a message when I find one open. They don't seem to get repaired until summer though.
BHP update - Alpine shire looking to a couple more weeks of BHP road closure but East Gippsland has told them to pull their finger out. Not sure who will win.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby als » Fri 11 Nov, 2016 11:11 am

I am planning on doing food drops for a section of the AAWT and was reading Mark F`s post from 3rd of November.

I want to drive from Mt Victor to Jamieson Licola Road along the Mt Selma Road and then South Road.Is this a 4wd track or is it doable in a 2wd ford territory?
thanks in advance
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby north-north-west » Fri 11 Nov, 2016 1:07 pm

als wrote:I want to drive from Mt Victor to Jamieson Licola Road along the Mt Selma Road and then South Road.Is this a 4wd track or is it doable in a 2wd ford territory?
thanks in advance


Road can be a bit rough, especially immediately after opening (and particularly given the wet winter up there), but as long as you have a bit more clearance than a conventional passenger car you should be OK. I've taken a 2wd Hilux along that route more than once.
Biggest issue might be treefalls.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby GBW » Fri 11 Nov, 2016 4:33 pm

als wrote:I am planning on doing food drops for a section of the AAWT and was reading Mark F`s post from 3rd of November.

I want to drive from Mt Victor to Jamieson Licola Road along the Mt Selma Road and then South Road.Is this a 4wd track or is it doable in a 2wd ford territory?
thanks in advance
Als


Was doable 18 months ago...shouldn't have any worries in a Ford Territory.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Fri 18 Nov, 2016 5:26 pm

Bogong High Plains is now open but Dargo High Plains road remains closed.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Mark F » Fri 18 Nov, 2016 8:47 pm

When I drove from Mt Victor to the Jamieson-Licola Road it was ok for 2wd vehicles, just take it steady - a bit of ground clearance is beneficial but a normal car will be fine. There were a couple of spots that need slow speed to work though sets of small pot holes (not car eaters).
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 7:32 am

Xplora wrote:Bogong High Plains is now open but Dargo High Plains road remains closed.


Hmmm.....I was up at Dinner Plain on Wednesday and spoke to a couple who'd come to there from the Latrobe Valley via Dargo and the DHP road. They said that the road was atrocious especially below Treasures and they had to use 4WD in their HuLux in a few sections....but according to them anyway the road wasn't closed/gated. Maybe it's been shut since Wednesday....but that'd be very unusual for this time of the year even if the road is badly cut-up and in need of some serious work.

I'll check with Parks at Dargo early this week as I need to get up there once the King Spur gate is open (Nov 30) to retrieve a gear/food dump that I have out on the Long Spur so I'll update this when I have a chat to one of the PV/DELWP staffers at Dargo. Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 7:32 am

sambar358 wrote:
Xplora wrote:Bogong High Plains is now open but Dargo High Plains road remains closed.


Hmmm.....I was up at Dinner Plain on Wednesday and spoke to a couple who'd come to there from the Latrobe Valley via Dargo and the DHP road. They said that the road was atrocious especially below Treasures and they had to use 4WD in their HuLux in a few sections....but according to them anyway the road wasn't closed/gated. Maybe it's been shut since Wednesday....but that'd be very unusual for this time of the year even if the road is badly cut-up and in need of some serious work.

I'll check with Parks at Dargo early this week as I need to get up there once the King Spur gate is open (normally Nov 30) to retrieve a gear/food dump that I have out on the Long Spur so I'll update this when I have a chat to one of the PV/DELWP staffers at Dargo. Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby surly 17 » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 8:08 am

The dargo high plains road was definitely closed when I came down Mount Hotham on Saturday.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 8:16 am

surly 17 wrote:The dargo high plains road was definitely closed when I came down Mount Hotham on Saturday.


Thanks for that Surly....I'll assuming the DHP boom gate was across at the DHP/Alpine Rd junction then if you noted the road closed when coming down from Hotham. That gate site is in a pretty secure location there and it'd be hard to do a drive-around I'd think. Maybe it was shut after last Wednesday when I was talking to the couple from the Valley at Diner Plain as they certainly didn't mention the DHP road being gated or closed and to me anyway they didn't appear to be the types that'd do a drive around with a closed gate anyway. Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby surly 17 » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 2:48 pm

Hi sambar, yes the gate was definitely closed I was only going at 10kmh it was also closed on the Friday when I went up it didn't look like you could drive around it, maybe it was opened last week after the bad weather cleared up.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Sun 20 Nov, 2016 4:19 am

VicRoads also listing DHP as closed but they are not always right. I suspect given the damage to the road and it is considered 2wd they may keep it closed until it is repaired. I have not been on BHP yet but spoke with a Parky who came over and said it was still terrible.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Mon 21 Nov, 2016 8:53 am

I've had a chat to the road works boss at the Alpine Shire in Bright today and have been informed that the Dargo High Plains Road is CLOSED until road-works due to start this week are completed which could be into early December. The boom gate at the DHP/Apline Rd intersection is closed......but not padlocked and on the Dargo side down near the Grant turn-off there is a "road closed" sign but no physical barrier or any indication of "where" it is closed. Seems that the road in it's current state (the worst is south of Treasures) is not suitable for 2WD's and 4WD's would-well need to engage 4WD on parts of the actual road !

Also spoke to a Parks Vic Ranger at Dargo for much the same info and she added that due to the DHP closure the planned opening of the King Spur gate to access the upper Dargo river area (usually Nov 30) could be delayed until the DHP roadworks are finished.....but any delay in this seasonal closure gate opening will be posted on the PV website. So a very wet winter, plenty of winter snow and further late snow and heavy rainfall have badly damaged what is usually a very good road.......and most of the damage it seems is outside the current winter closure area in legal-access country south of the Treasures closure gate. Anyone intending to use the Dargo High Plains road should confirm road conditions/closures by ringing the Alpine Shire at Bright on 03 57550555. Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Mark F » Sat 03 Dec, 2016 4:38 pm

A couple of notes on roads after returning from collecting a few food drops in the NE. I had to abandon my AAWT attempt due to a back problem.

Cowombat Flat Track is open to the normal locked barrier. I drove to the end and no trees down.

Limestone Creek Track is open to beyond the Limestone Creek camping area but closed somewhere north of there due to serious damage at Macs Creek. This from a sign at the start of the track.

Bogong High Plains Road is still closed at Trapyard Gap when coming up from the Omeo Highway.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 3:23 pm

Mark F wrote:Bogong High Plains Road is still closed at Trapyard Gap when coming up from the Omeo Highway.


BHP road has been open for just over 2 weeks. Speed restrictions apply and they have done a temporary repair. The road is falling apart and will probably not last too many more winters. I would be happy for it to go back to dirt either that the councils put some real money into it and do a proper job of sealing so it can be open all year round. You will notice a fine white gravel breaking up on the road and that was used because they thought it would not melt the snow as much as the coarser black. Falls Creek resort again having a say in it I would think (and have been told by someone very close to the situation).

Sorry to hear your planned trip had to be postponed Mark.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Mark F » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 3:51 pm

There was definitely a large sign stating the BHP road was closed at Trapyard Gap, at the junction with the Omeo Highway on Thursday morning. A pity the road crews don't deal with these things properly.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby north-north-west » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 6:11 pm

Mark F wrote:There was definitely a large sign stating the BHP road was closed at Trapyard Gap, at the junction with the Omeo Highway on Thursday morning. A pity the road crews don't deal with these things properly.


In the past, that sign has still been up as much as a month after the gate has been opened.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 6:21 pm

Mark F wrote:There was definitely a large sign stating the BHP road was closed at Trapyard Gap, at the junction with the Omeo Highway on Thursday morning. A pity the road crews don't deal with these things properly.


I have driven the road twice myself and the last was Friday but have to say I did not see any signs saying it was closed. Good to know someone is observant. I have the direct mobile number for the person responsible and will try to have a look tomorrow but if not it will be Tuesday when I go to Bright for the Falls to Hotham info session. There is a small black and white sign at the intersection and larger sign on the first bend. I would not put it past someone breaking the locks on the sign in an attempt to stop the volume of traffic this road now gets when open. It is classified as a National collision black spot all within 5 years of sealing. Of course it is only that because of motorbikes.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Thu 08 Dec, 2016 5:15 am

Mark F wrote:There was definitely a large sign stating the BHP road was closed at Trapyard Gap, at the junction with the Omeo Highway on Thursday morning. A pity the road crews don't deal with these things properly.


The signs were definitely not displayed but I noticed the old sign near the intersection may have lost its lock. I could have been put down as a joke or by a local sick of all the motorcycle traffic. I will let the council officer know next time I speak to her.
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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby sambar358 » Fri 09 Dec, 2016 6:50 am

I drove the Dargo High Plains road on December 1st and from the Dargo approach there was no signage at all indicating the DHP road was closed. My intention was to retrieve a gear dump out on the Long Spur which was done as Parks had opened the King Spur gate on time on November 30th. On the way up I was passed by 12 or so 4WD's coming down and a bunch of mountain bikers and talking to one 4WD group at Treasure's they stated that the boom gate at the DHP/Apline Road was up and there were no signage indicating the road was closed to all traffic. The DHP road is a mess......dry now but the 2 main damaged areas below Treasure's would still be a struggle to get thru in a car but OK in a 4WD. The rest of the road is badly rutted-up, rocks everywhere and trees roughly cut-off here and there......it appears that no road crew has done the usual drive-down to clear the road of debris as was the case in the past.

On Dec 1 there was no evidence of any work being done on the road at all despite what I'd been told by the Alpine Shire road crew boss......to repair the road properly would require some weeks of work I'd think and essentially it'd need a full grade-over and some major fills and repairs on half a dozen badly damaged sections. I certainly wouldn't consider driving a car from Dargo to the Great Alpine Road intersection while the road is like it is......in the 4WD it was bad enough and I was glad to hit the black-top and whip-over Hotham and down to Omeo ! Cheers

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Re: Seasonal road closures

Postby Xplora » Mon 29 May, 2017 9:12 am

Bogong High Plains road has been closed due to recent snow and with more expected Tuesday it may stay closed for a little while. Still a bit early to close it for the season but cold conditions will not encourage much melt.
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