Bogong High Plains region tracks

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: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby CraigVIC » Sun 19 Dec, 2021 5:39 pm

Sorry, I've been distracted by work and Xmas. Thanks for all the pictures and info, I'll report back when/if I get up there.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 28 Dec, 2021 5:53 pm

I'm back from bhp and bogong having done the walk as recommended, from the reservoir to long and t spur junction, then on to white Rock and, finally back to my car. It's pretty strenuous and I think if I did it again I'd find more time and add a night at Ropers at least. Grey Hills looked like the better walk from the glimpses I could see but by time I got there I was very happy to be on the fire trial to regain all the elevation lost to quartz spur. The first camp was bitterly cold but I didn't see a soul while I was there. I couldn't find an established site at white rock so I just set up in a copse of gums. It is far and away more impressive to approach bogong from this side as you really get to see it instead of popping out of the trees already on it's flanks as you do from mountain ck.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 7:35 am

Over Christmas-NY I walked on the Bogong High Plains, Big Hill Lookout to Harrietville.

From Mount Beauty I caught a taxi to Big Hill Lookout. Roly cost $75.
mtbeautytaxi@gmail.com
The road is 2WD, good condition. The creeks on the road below the lookout seem not to have reliable water – we did not stop. Big Hill Lookout has trees blocking most of the view. It's flat, sheltered and a bit rocky for tent pegs. It seems to have been a hydro facility, with concrete foundations that may have been for a tower. Does anyone know what was there?

About 15 minutes east, just before Ropers Track, there's what appears to be reliable water.

I went up Big Hill Fire Track. It took me 95 minutes from the lookout to the high point at the Big Hill Fire Tower junction, with a few trickles of water beside the road. At the tower junction there's a sign Road Closed for the track going south to The Springs, much rougher from here, but okay on foot. At The Springs I could not see any obvious water. At the Springs the track became much better, and this was so to a short way past Bogong Jack.

An alternative way to The Springs is via the West Kiewa Logging Road. These are the figures, Big Hill Fire Track and West Kiewa Logging Road.
Distance: BHFT 5.6 and WKLR 7.2 kilometres
Climbing: BHFT 330 and WKLR 430 metres
Angle: BHFT 95 and WKLR 145 metres/kilometre at the steepest places.
A shorter distance with less climbing at a lower angle seems best to me.

Big Hill Fire Track
https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=-36 ... i%20Aerial

West Kiewa Logging Road
https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=-36 ... i%20Aerial

After that it was a bit of a slog to Bogong Jack Hut, 5 kilometres, most climbing at 100 metres/kilometre. About 100 metres before Bogong Jack there's reliable water. The spot above the road was deep and not flowing much, with a shallow braided flow on the road. Below the road it was flowing, deep and silty. A small dam with an overflow pipe would be nice. There's a big clearing at Bogong Jack. The hut is in poor condition.

Water Bogong Jack S.jpg
Water near Bogong Jack. It's better than it looks, flowing well.


BJ water hole S.jpg
Pool on the road near Bogong Jack


From Bogong Jack the track goes gently up south-west to an elbow, then the 4WD track becomes a foot track, south-east as it climbs Fainter North, a nice angle. At about 1700 metres there are three soaks, should be there most of the time.

The trees stop near where the track goes south-west. A bit further is a good place to bag Fainter North. There's a steep foot track to just east of the summit of Fainter South.

From Little Plain the foot track to Tawonga Huts is wet and muddy in several places, with rock hopping across creeks. Mountain bike riders have visited, and must be very keen.

The main Tawonga Hut has dark panelling from Carter Holt, making it hard for graffiti to be written. This dark timber or dark paint is suggested for all huts that have graffiti.

About 400 metres before pole 333 is a big wet area. On the south-west side two snow poles have been placed to get across a deep section. Due to the lack of a firm base, gabions may be the answer for the Tawonga Huts pole line wet spots. Lack of Parks Victoria funding means that on this pole line and at a number of places between pole 267 and pole 460 there are poles down. There are also other wet sections, with stepping stones slowly sinking, or maybe the tide was in.

A few of the small SEC huts have doors that are suss, unhinged. The SEC Hut in Cope Saddle has safety rails on the wide road and no rail on the narrow bridge just above the pipe. Not good unless you like drowning in a pipe.

I went up Cope from pole 460, collecting water there. At about 1730 metres where the creek went eastish there was good water. Above that point head for the west and south-west flanks. My approach from the north-west is scrubby and slow. The Cope East Aqueduct is a wet crossing, so starting or ending at Cope Saddle appeals.

Big dead trees have fallen just north-west of Ryders Huts. The lovely flat camping area to the south-east has similar trees, and I would not camp there, too risky. I went into the trees on the edge of the clearing, much safer. Parks Victoria have advised that the feed hut does not have an asbestos lining.

Ryders timber 2 S.jpg
Fallen tree at Ryders Huts. There were other similar trees.


One of the Falls Hotham Alpine Crossing (FHAC) reports said that there were 17,000 nights for this trip each year. I counted entries in the Dibbins Hut log book, and over three years there were 15 parties. Two years or so was in lockdown, so say 15 parties a year. The consultants McGregor Coxall figure is out by 560 times. The log book box is too close to the unglazed window, and should be opposite the door to avoid the fungus on the pages. The window should be glazed, like the original hut before it was demolished for no good reason.

The Loch car park seems to be gone forever. At present it's a building site, possibly another dam for snow making. Does anyone know what is happening here, and where XC skiers bound for Derrick Hut will park in winter? Cars were parked about 500 metres up the road at The Cross. There were 30-40 cars parked at Diamantina Hut.

Loch Car Park S.jpg
Loch car park.


At the Diamantina Spur junction I went 10 minutes along that track, easy contour, to a lovely flat clearing with very pretty trees. This is the site for the Falls Hotham Alpine Crossing development, totally unwarranted and out of place. Enjoy this spot before it's destroyed.

Diamantina dawn trees S.jpg
Diamantina campsite dawn.


The tank at Federation Hut is nearly empty. I was advised that there's water on Tom Kneen Track and at the Bungalow site. A short way above Tobias Gap there's good water but it's shallow. Like Bogong Jack, a small dam with an overflow pipe would be nice, and would stop the track being muddy for 40 metres.

The Bungalow Spur car park has been levelled and has a good surface.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 8:33 am

Thanks for the report LOPS. You enjoy walking in an area that I also know well and enjoy returning to year after year. The Mt. Loch car park AFAIK according to some ski dot com dot au forum users , is being turned into a high volume car park. If you can believe it , a multi storey car park no less :-0. I cannot see how the construction will be completed by the end of March which is when most resort facility operators tend to plan things before any mid to late Autumn dumps of snow slow things down.
Next time try walking along the West Kiewa Logging road. You will avoid the slog up Big Hill just to descend into that saddle for no benefit commensurate with the energy expended. I think AGL still oversee what happens at the Big Hill Lookout car park. It may indeed still have some purpose for the Hydroelectricity production in the Kiewa river area.
I have been there in my car last summer in Jan. 2021 and saw some people BYO water and camp there for a night so as to get an early start in the area for their recreational activities. It is a tad cooler at night than Mt. Beauty is in summer.
For white season BC XC ski access to Bogong Jack Saddle I would still drive up to Big Hill Car park( take a chain saw in the boot of one's SUV or 4 x 4 just in case ) and slog it in along the West Kiewa logging road and ascend to The Spring saddle via the Spring Saddle track . There was water at a couple of points along the Spring Saddle Track when I was there in mid summer 2021.
I also walked up to Bogong Jack saddle from Bogong Village in Nov. 2021 so I have a recent lived experience of comparing the three routes to Bogong Jack Saddle all within the span of eleven months or so.

I hope that camp site at the Diamantina Spur/ High Knob Junction is not turned into 'Lego Land' crossed with " Club Med" but " killing the goose that lays the Golden egg " seems to sum up the FHAC redevelopment plan.
Putting in a " wheel chair friendly " ( sic) track up the Diamantina spur still won't make it much easier. It is a nutcracker !
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 8:15 pm

From the Big Hill Lookout to The Springs is as follows.
Big Hill Fire Track is 5.6 kilometres, 330 metres of climbing, steepest 95 metres/kilometre.
West Kiewa Logging Road is 7.2 kilometres, 430 metres of climbing, steepest 145 metres/kilometre.
The West Kiewa Logging Road has a number of small bumps and they add up to 30% more climbing than the Big Hill Fire Track.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby indented » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 7:13 am

Has anyone driven up the Granite Spur track recently that might be able to advise on the conditions? Have a 4WD with low range but it's a pretty small rig and I don't have a ton of experience with it yet...
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 7:43 am

That was my question too. Most Mt. Bogong Club Members manage to get their SUV/ AWD vehicles up to the Granite Flat Spur trail head/ intentions book car park. If you have a proper 4 x 4 car with Low Range gears then you will be fine. Put it in low range, low gear and keep the thing moving up the hill. There may be wash outs and uneven sections where the jeep track climbs up a bit more steeply. Pick the right line .
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby indented » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 8:19 am

Thanks PCV, will just have to head up there and give it a crack.
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Re: Bogong High Plains region tracks

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 8:35 am

I am looking at walking up at Mt. Bogong Next weekend. I might see some of you mob up there.
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