Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

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Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 09 Mar, 2015 9:51 pm

I just got back from Mac. Springs on The March 2015 Labour day weekend.The weather was rather good indeed.Mac Springs were flowing but very slowly. There is a rainwater tank and a tap behind the loo with a view now. We made it from Mac. Springs to Mt Buggery and back in a day.
Mt Buggery was so full of lunch time walkers eating and resting , it didn't feel that remote. It was crawling with humans, like an ant hill that had been knocked over :-0.

The Mt Howitt car park was overflowing !At Mac. Springs People were lighting camp fires everywhere. It is a fuel stove only area.There was hardly a spare tent space anywhere in the camp grounds or on either approach tracks etc. Oh the horror........ I think the Mt. Howitt Carpark should be moved about 15 km further away from the Gantner hut!. It was like the Prom during peak season :-0

There were so many four Wheel drive hoons up there driving way too fast on the Howitt road. The Howitt road is very , very dusty and barely OK for 2 WD cars in some very rough sections at the moment.
It has been graded with a grader during the summer or so the ranger told me at Platypus camp site number 14 and it seems the monster off road 4WD bogans have hacked it up again. On the way home Seeing some of the 4WD crowd at Licola, they are much fatter and more bogan like. Us trekkers are slimmer, walk more up right , and will outlive them all I think.
Somebody had smashed the Bennison look out sign with their monster Tonka toy truck! . The Ranger had the remains in her vehicle . I had a good chat with her and let her know what else should be done at Mac. Springs to get people to stop stripping the place of firewood, making bonfires that are leaving charcoal scars everywhere, washing dishes in the springs themselves , leaving litter incl. whisky bottles etc. leaving the hut in a mess, using all the firewood inside the hut and then not replacing it , etc. I shall file these matter with my VNPA trip report too . I am with those camped at Stanley Name spur track junction on the Cross cut saw and the people who camped on the top ledge of the Howitt spur track just before the summit west , and just came into Mac. Springs for water. They had the best campsites and plenty of serenity .They had the right idea.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby GBW » Mon 09 Mar, 2015 10:03 pm

This month's edition of RACV Royal Auto magazine had a feature article on the area.

http://racvroyalauto.com.au/editions/mar15/
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 10 Mar, 2015 10:33 am

I went to get away from 'the knuckle draggers' and they seemed to follow me to one of the most remote camp sites with facilities one could think of . I am not a snob and I do like meeting other hikers when walking but there is a limit. Campsites 1-14 in the Wellington River valley on Friday night were not exactly vacant either.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby CaptainC » Mon 27 Apr, 2015 7:48 pm

On long weekends friends and I have taken to camping near the start of the Cross Cut or elsewhere on Howitt Plateau to get away from the crowds around Mac Springs. When it's not busy Mac Springs is a fantastic campsite.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 04 May, 2015 7:21 pm

Yes, I concur with you . I plan to hike from the Bluff to Mac Springs and back over the cup day long weekend. I have not walked that route before.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby Shirlbaz » Mon 14 Sep, 2015 3:51 pm

You seem to know that area around Mac Springs very well! I am in the planning stages for a walk on the AAWT from Walhalla to Hotham and would ideally like to leave a food drop from Brock's Rd where it crosses the AAWT near the King Billies. Do you know anything about this road? I will be leaving Walhalla on Nov 23, so hopefully all the roads in that area should be open; however, I have a horrible suspicion that Brocks Rd will be very much a 4WD nightmare. What do you think? Thanks
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby north-north-west » Mon 14 Sep, 2015 4:50 pm

OK, first up,where the AAWT comes down from the King Billies is Bluff Track, not Brocks Rd - unless you mean the junction at the southern end of KB2. Second, Bluff Track is very definitely 4WD territory. There are steep rocky sections, steep loose sections, steep slippery sections, muddy sections, blah blah blah. Going up Brocks Rd to the southern junction can be done in a 2WD vehicle once the road is open, but it would need to have higher clearance than a standard passenger car (I've done it in a 2WD Hilux, twice each way) and you would need to be very confident with your driving skills on rough unsealed roads.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 15 Sep, 2015 9:04 pm

In July 2015 from Sheep yard flat to well before 8 mile flat the surface of Brocks road was 4 wd only. I had to bail out of trying to take my 2 wd drive up to Refrigerator gap in the middle of winter. I am an experienced dirt road driver but if you rupture something in your vehicle out there then good luck !
I can't say how it will be in early November. I did take the car up to 8 mile flat in January one year but sometimes I wish I had a 4 wd just to get to the start of some of the best walks.
As a result I am not going up there this cup day weekend. We are going from Watchbed creek to Mountain creek along the AAWT instead.
Last edited by paidal_chalne_vala on Sat 19 Sep, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby Shirlbaz » Sat 19 Sep, 2015 11:22 am

Thank you both for your info on these roads. As you say, conditions may well be different in late November; however, we are not experienced 4WD'ers, so at this point in time I am thinking we will take your implied advice and give this area for a food drop on the AAWT a miss. Many thanks.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 19 Sep, 2015 10:25 pm

You can hike in from Sheepyard flat via 8 mile spur which starts at 8 mile flat or from The Upper Howqua in the green season , esp. when the dirt roads all re open for summer but that is time consuming. If I have the time next winter I might try it.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby Xplora » Mon 21 Sep, 2015 5:47 am

Brocks road is usually a much better option and it should be fine by November. I believe they did some work on the road past Bluff Hut. It was getting quite bad but should now be an easier run. I have taken inexperienced 4wders on Brocks road and they only had road tyres. It is quite safe unless it has been raining for a while and then it would only be one hill that has a bit of clay on it that would cause you problem. It would be best to call Mansfield Parks office prior to check track conditions and openings after winter. Sometimes the do not open roads straight away but those roads would have a priority. They do not always post these closures on the website either. A few years back in late November I rang Parks to find out if Speculation road to Camp creek was open. I had to leave a message and never heard back until 3 days later when we were at Myrtleford on the way. They told me it would be closed for most of the summer because too many trees were down. Lesson - give them a week to get back to you as they are often out checking tracks that time of the year.

I have to agree that Mac Springs in the summer holidays and those long weekends is getting out of control. It only takes a couple of good hills to sort out the bogans unless you can drive there. 5km from the carpark and an easy walk is too close for such a beautiful place.
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby PTC » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 6:13 pm

This is what the road past Lovicks Hut looked like before the tracks closed for the winter this year. It is always this rough even when they do clean it up. So make sure you have a good 4wd if coming in from that way. Otherwise the track coming in from the other side of King Billy (sorry don't remember the name off the top of my head) is still a 4wd track though a lot easier to drive along. Just a rough road.

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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 28 Sep, 2015 6:59 pm

I have planned another walk at Mac. springs this March . I hope the mongers are fewer in numbers. Yes a couple of tough hills and the mongers all stay away!! Parks Vic. should move the Howitt plains car park 10 kms further away from the trailhead!!
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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 15 Oct, 2015 9:41 pm

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Re: Mac. Springs Alpine N.P. March 6,7,8,9 2015

Postby Travis22 » Fri 16 Oct, 2015 10:01 am

Beautiful photos PCV. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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