Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

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Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Staceykate » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 2:01 pm

Hi All,

Since hopefully another month or two and the summer heat will be gone, we are looking at a hike at Mount Stirling early April/ late March. My husband and his buddy is into taking photos of the milky way - so a mountain at night is a need at least one night.

A loop at Mount Stirling from Telegraph Box Junction seems like an easy 2 day / 1 night trip - but any suggestions to make this longer?
Was looking at TBJ - Bluff Spur hut (around 11km) If coming from Melbourne in the morning this seems like a good length.
Bluff Spur hut back to TBJ seems short (4ish km? ) - we could drive home easy this day but 4km is so short!

Ideally an extra night and maybe 8km on the last day would be nicer.

We aren't keen on much road walking... and hubby is pretty good at navigation, so it doesn't need to be overly well marked. I'll be the only girl - with 3 boys in their 20s and 30s. We've done Feathertop loop (incl Diamantina) before and are fairly fit.

Any suggestions to add to this? Or adjust? There doesn't seem to be a whole lot about it on the forumn and I don't know if that's because its too short or because it's not a nice walk :lol:

We will have 2 cars so a short car shuffle is ok... but no 2 hour shuffles or anything, that would just kill me! We need to do the whole trip in 3 days (incl. coming from Melbourne and returning to Melbourne - we are all in the west of Melbourne)

Thank you!!
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby bernieq » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 3:50 pm

Staceykate wrote:I don't know if that's because its too short or because it's not a nice walk
Good question - I haven't been to Mt Stirling for many decades - xcountry skiing then; it was very busy & I assume it still is. Mt Howitt (particularly the plain) would be a good site (in the right weather) but maybe too much walking (from Upper Howqua camp - further around the Circuit Rd from TBJ) to meet your schedule.

Staceykate wrote:My husband and his buddy is into taking photos of the milky way - so a mountain at night is a need
Mountains tend to have a lot of moisture in the air, if not clouds above. I would think you'd be looking for dry air in addition to minimal light pollution so should think Little Desert or Murray Sunset are likely to be better for astronomical photography.

You could drive up to Dimboola & walk to Yellowgum camp 1st day. Then to Mallee camp 2nd day. Back to car (optional 5km car shuffle) & home 3rd day.

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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Staceykate » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 5:15 pm

Thanks!

They took pretty decent pictures at Mt Feathertop - it's a side point to a walk, not the main reason for the walk, but at least one of the nights being up fairly high and not in a low lying valley would be good.

I'll have a look at Mt Howitt!
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby badd0g » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 5:16 pm

Have done 2 night/3 day walk there a while ago. TBJ to GGS via Bluff Spur Hut, then from here there are 2 options - out to Craig's Hut as a day walk returning via GGS or King Spur Hut and out the next morning. Or Craig's as an overnighter, back to GGS and out to TBJ on day 3. I'd go with option 2 as that will give you two night with clear view of the sky for photography.
It's predominantly 4wd track from GGS to the Monument intersection (with some sections of single track that run parallel) along Clear Hills track but then there is the Monument walking track almost all the way to Craig's.
About 20kms all tolled.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 6:23 pm

The usual loop at Mt. Stirling on foot or on XC skis is TBJ/ King Saddle Shelter/Machinery Shed/ The Cricket Pitch/ King Spur Hut a.k.a Hut No. 36 ( Possible camp site there with water tanks and a drop loo)/ GGS Hut/ Summit/ Bluff spur Hut/ TBJ.
I often also visit Mt. No. 3 refuge hut. It is a rough vehicular track up there and it is not appropriate for a 2 WD city sedan with street tyres.
You could always hike up there using the Razorback ski trail and camp at the said hut.
Week nights in Autumn at Mt. No. 3 refuge hut are often quiet ,cool and peaceful. It is also a great place for snow camping and XC ski touring in winter esp. if you come in from Carter's road and avoid the winter ski resort entry fee.
Snow can and does occur in April up there.
Returning to TBJ via the River Spur rather than straight down the Bluff Spur Track can be enjoyable . You will see different scenery but the last 4 kms are back to TBJ along the Circuit road. In winter on snow shoes this was a solid day out a number of years ago.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Avatar » Sun 06 Feb, 2022 10:48 pm

Great place for snow camping. But when the roads are open you'll be sharing, as I found on a one night trip there in early December several years ago, with convoys of dust billowing 4WDs going over the summit area, noisy school groups (may occupy Bluff Spur Hut area), shooters discharging weapons and with large dogs (King Saddle area), horse riders (Razorback area) and their horse poo elsewhere, and mountain bikers. I found head nets useful and many ants on the obvious campsites in the summit area. In the end I found a nice vacant hut (which BTW in winter I have found fully occupied by a group of 10 without tents) and enjoyed a quiet evening, but on this trip it was the destination, not the journey that made it.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 9:29 am

Green season at Mt. Stirling esp. weekends are best avoided since the above listed types of recreational visitors are not always floating my boat , so to speak. In White season it is very peaceful and after a good low dump of snow it is an excellent place to snow camp and XC ski tour.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Hiking Exped » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 1:08 pm

Hi Stacykate,

I spend an awful lot of time on Stirling as I live not far away and it’s great for a quick easy overnight high up with views or something a little more extended.

Ideally you need to avoid weekends as it is very busy green season with day walkers, 4x4 and mountain bikers.

If you wish to make it a little longer and more enjoyable consider parking up on Buller, (box corner). Take the mountain bike/hiking track down into the Delatite valley and up the other side to the circuit road gate. There is water on the way, it’s an easy track with lots of bird life, animals, flora, etc. (ignore the first 100m it’s the resorts tip area full of old huts, bikes, etc).

Then across circuit road and up river spur where you meet the ski trails. It’s an enjoyable walk to Bluff hut then I always go over Stirling and camp on the small spur north of the Dugout bowl on the side of the track near the junction to Geelong Grammar School hut. This is a lovely camp spot with amazing views and great for photography. Water is close by at the hut usually. It’s not that sheltered in very windy weather, but camping back at Bluff hut or down at Saltlick hut (just up from cricket pitch) are other options. Rarely people camping on the spur.

Plenty of early morning and nighttime photography options from camp.

Day two retrace steps to Bluff hut then follow the stonefly bike track down to Howqua Gap Hut. Watch for bikes, but it’s a lovely descent with again lots of nature and some nice views. I often hike up over Mt Winstanley in the morning and head back this way afternoon for a much more extended two days.

From Howqua hut head up the Corn Hill track. Superb views up there. Then down the mountain bike track and back to your car at Box corner.

The Delatite river track is another option to join all this started from Mirimbah picnic area. Log bridges cross the river many times.

Just ideas…

Enjoy
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Hiking Exped » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 1:12 pm

Sorry forgot to add a good second night camp spot to extend further is the No 3 refuge hut about 5km northwest of Mt Winstanley. Water usually in tank or springs to the north of hut. It’s just a modern small hut, but good camp area and ice and open for photography again.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 07 Feb, 2022 3:03 pm

A number of options further afield that come via access from the Circuit road in the Mt. Stirling vicinity include King hut via the Speculation road, Upper Howqua campsite via Bindaree road and Stanley Name walking track starting at Stanley Name Gap also on the Circuit road.
That will take you via Mt. Thorn either to the SNS saddle camp site or to the Upper Howqua campsite.
The Views from Red Rock Saddle of Mt. Magdala on a clear day are superb.
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Re: Mount Stirling - how to make it 2 nights?

Postby Staceykate » Mon 21 Feb, 2022 5:45 pm

These are all awesome ideas!! Thanks so much!
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