Howitt/Buller area route advice

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Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lauren123 » Tue 12 Apr, 2022 10:51 am

Hello :)
We are just looking for some advice, we are wanting to do an overnight hike in the Howitt/Buller area later next week. Preferably a circuit. 2 or 3 nights. I've read through previous posts but would love some help and advice!
A little bit of background info:
- We are beginners to overnight hikes having just done two others (Bogong, Beeripmo)
- But we do a lot of day hikes so reasonably fit
- Have 4WD so access not issue
Any advice welcomed! Thank you
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Xplora » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 6:59 am

Welcome to the forum Lauren. Without knowing more about you and the group it is difficult to provide advice that will be suitable. How are you with navigation? Do you have gear that will be suitable if conditions change?

My first thoughts would be to drive up to Howitt Plains and walk into Mac Springs then you can do the Crosscut. It is not a circuit but it is spectacular. Hard to get lost but it is exposed. April in the mountains can be a bit of everything weather wise and 4 days will probably see some rain and or cold weather. The drive up to Howitt plains can be long and may not suit if you are coming from the west of Vic. You can walk into Mac Springs from the King Billies following the AAWT. A day to Mac Springs and then a day to get over the Crosscut. Return the same and you have 3 nights or four days. In my opinion this would be among the best walking in Victoria so it may spoil you for other places.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 7:56 am

Xplorer has good advice. At Mac Springs the creek may be slow, so a recent report on this is advised. Another option is the Bogong High Plains, heaps of possibilities. It's a longer drive but the roads are better. There are also huts and the tracks are easy to follow. Take gear for cold weather on any trip above 1200 metres - I've had snow at Christmas.

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Howitt car park, 26 December
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Tyreless » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 10:50 am

Mac Springs and Camp Creek were both flowing well when I was there 24-25 February 2022.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lauren123 » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 2:33 pm

Xplora wrote:Welcome to the forum Lauren. Without knowing more about you and the group it is difficult to provide advice that will be suitable. How are you with navigation? Do you have gear that will be suitable if conditions change?

My first thoughts would be to drive up to Howitt Plains and walk into Mac Springs then you can do the Crosscut. It is not a circuit but it is spectacular. Hard to get lost but it is exposed. April in the mountains can be a bit of everything weather wise and 4 days will probably see some rain and or cold weather. The drive up to Howitt plains can be long and may not suit if you are coming from the west of Vic. You can walk into Mac Springs from the King Billies following the AAWT. A day to Mac Springs and then a day to get over the Crosscut. Return the same and you have 3 nights or four days. In my opinion this would be among the best walking in Victoria so it may spoil you for other places.


Thank you for your reply and for your welcome!

A bit more information about us - it will just be the two of us, myself and my husband. We are coming from western suburbs of Melbourne. I believe we are well set up for cold conditions (although we just have a 3 season tent) and I'm fairly confident in navigation abilities.

What you have suggested sounds great. We were thinking something along that route but we were unsure of whether it is best to come from Howitt Plains or Upper Howqua. I am also a bit unsure about the water source at Mt Spec?

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lauren123 » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 2:35 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Xplorer has good advice. At Mac Springs the creek may be slow, so a recent report on this is advised. Another option is the Bogong High Plains, heaps of possibilities. It's a longer drive but the roads are better. There are also huts and the tracks are easy to follow. Take gear for cold weather on any trip above 1200 metres - I've had snow at Christmas.

Howitt carpark.png


Thank you for your reply! We will pack our winter gear! Greta photo, hard to believe that's December!
We were in the Bogong High Plains in December and were initially going to go back there this time as we enjoyed it so much, but thought we would try somewhere different!
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lauren123 » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 2:36 pm

Tyreless wrote:Mac Springs and Camp Creek were both flowing well when I was there 24-25 February 2022.


Thank you! That's good to know.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 3:27 pm

A three season tent should be okay. Mac Springs has two campsites - near the hut with a nice view of the toilet, or on the ridge 10 minutes away, beautiful views. the latter is a bit exposed but if you get in the trees it should be okay. The prevailing winds are often from the west or north-west, so if your tent floats away it will be towards the car, saving time.

Where did you go at Christmas?
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:13 pm

Upper Howqua to the AAWT via either Helicopter Spur or the Howqua Feeder Track. Drop down via either Howqua Feeder if you go up Helicopter, or Stanleys Name if you go up the Feeder. Just get a good map before you go and check out threads here regarding those tracks.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Xplora » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:29 pm

Definitely better going to the King Billies from Western side of Melbourne. BOM are having some trouble forecasting at the moment and predictions change. Rain was forecast for Friday but now it is clear. Best to make the decision two days out but not further out. We are headed to Bogong tomorrow but only packing my lightest bag. Layers are more important in the mountains and our experience tells us what we should take or leave behind. You just have to build that experience base and nothing better to do that than doing that. Most people start with more and work out what they can leave behind but it carrying unnecessary stuff takes its toll.

I am sure you will be fine walking in across or around Magdalla. I like the top camp Lops has mentioned. Better views in the morning. The track up is obvious from the spring. No open fires either. The hut is nice and you can have a fire in it if your really need one. If you need to cut things a day shorter then base camp at Mac Springs and walk the Crosscut to Buggery and back in a day.

There is no water on the Crosscut but good water at Camp Creek below Spec. Fit and capable people will do the Crosscut (from Mac Springs) to Camp Creek with a full pack in 5 hours or less give or take and with a day pack it is easy to do there and back in a longish day.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Xplora » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:30 pm

NNW has indicated some good walks you should scope out. I would advise getting a feel for the area and then do these. Very much worthwhile. Lots of information here about both.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lauren123 » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 5:40 pm

Lophophaps wrote:A three season tent should be okay. Mac Springs has two campsites - near the hut with a nice view of the toilet, or on the ridge 10 minutes away, beautiful views. the latter is a bit exposed but if you get in the trees it should be okay. The prevailing winds are often from the west or north-west, so if your tent floats away it will be towards the car, saving time.

Where did you go at Christmas?


Haha! good to know thanks!
We did a few day walks around Bogong High Plains and then did a 2N hike going from Heathy Spur car park to Cleve Cole Hut via Big River Fire Track>Quartz Ridge>Mt Bogong (that was a big day!). Then second day Cleve Cole to Ropers Hut and back to Heathy Spur car park on the third day.

north-north-west wrote:Upper Howqua to the AAWT via either Helicopter Spur or the Howqua Feeder Track. Drop down via either Howqua Feeder if you go up Helicopter, or Stanleys Name if you go up the Feeder. Just get a good map before you go and check out threads here regarding those tracks.


Thanks for the reply! I've been reading some threads here about Helicopter Spur which has made me a bit wary of it!
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 13 Apr, 2022 6:24 pm

Heathy, Quartz Ridge and Cleve Cole is hard day. It's not far from the Howitt car park to Mac Springs, two hours or so. Given that and the long drive, consider stopping at one of the many lay-bys before the Wellington River bridge about 20 kilometres after Licola. This avoids 60 kilometres of dirt road in the dark, and it will be warmer lower. There are quite a few official and unofficial places left and right of the bitumen. The turnoff is just after Traralgon, Toongabbie, then north just before Cowwar, hitting the main road west of Lake Glenmaggie. If you reach Bairnsdale you have gone too far. Fill the car tank at a major town on the Princes Highway.

There's a campsite that may or may not have water on the south side of Howitt at the treeline, a good base for climbing Magdala. There should be water in the saddle before this.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 16 Apr, 2022 7:25 pm

Bogong Village/Bogong jack Saddle/Fainters/Tawonga Huts/Young's SEC hut /Cope Saddle Hut/ Pretty Valley Hut/Fainters/ Bogong Village.

or

King Hut/ Muesli spur/ Lake Cobbler/ Mt. Cobbler/ Mt.Spec./ Speculation road/ King Hut.
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Stew63 » Wed 20 Apr, 2022 6:29 pm

I'm heading up this Fri/Sat with my daughter. (Helicopter Spur/Howitt/CrosscutSaw). Might see you up there Lauren :D
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Re: Howitt/Buller area route advice

Postby Stew63 » Sun 24 Apr, 2022 9:05 pm

Dawn from our chilly campsite on the very summit of Mt Howitt this morning. My daughter got the cosy mid and I was relegated to the snorers tarp of shame :lol:

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