This trek will take you to the Butcher Country track by crossing rivers on several occasions, encountering steep climbs and confronting sharp descents.
|Grading||Difficult. Low range and high clearance|
|149km Licola return; one-day endurance in moderate/heavy 4WD conditions required|
|Fuel & supplies||Licola|
|Best time of year||Spring and summer for camping and wildflowers|
|Warnings||These tracks are subject to closure between July and October. Take care when crossing the river on the Macalister River Track after heavy rainfall.|
|Fire bans||Sections of Alpine National Park will be closed during Code Red (Catastrophic) days|
|Important contacts||Licola Wilderness Village Ph (03) 5148 8791|
|Activities||4WD, Bushwalking, Hunting (restrictions apply), Skiing (winter), Swimming|
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Our Butcher Country Trek sets out from Licola along the Macalister River. Head northwest on the Glencairn Licola Road to Primrose Gap, then on to the Barkly River where there is a very pleasant campsite near the bridge. Follow Glencairn Licola Road to Bull Plain Road where the track runs into Black Soil Track, which drops down into the Macalister River.
Follow the Macalister River Track upstream, crossing the river on several occasions until you get to the Butcher Country Track. Take care with the river crossings; they could be deep and dangerous after rain.
The Butcher Country Track is a steep climb all the way to the Howitt Plains, where there is a camping area. From there, continue on and turn south onto Howitt Road, then turn west at Arbuckle Junction to return to Licola on the Tamboritha Road.
Licola Wilderness Village (Ph  5148 8791), Barkly River Camping Area, Howitt Hut Camping Area.
Things to do
If you want to enjoy one of the area's less visited gems, visit Bryce's Gorge on the upper reaches of Conglomerate Creek, a short way from Guys Hut. This spectacular gorge can be reached via a path that starts at the sliprails east of Guys Hut. The footpath takes you to the head of the gorge where you can see water from Conglomerate and Pieman creeks cascading over the lip of the gorge into the rocky abyss.
If you keep going down the Butcher Track as it turns into Zeka Spur Track, you can visit the tranquil resting place of the famous Wonnangatta Station and camp under the stars by the Wonnangatta River. Climb up into the escalating hills of Wonnangatta - Moroka National Park and enjoy the unspoilt vista before you.
Licola serves as a gateway to the rugged Avon Wilderness area, 39,650 hectares of trackless, quiet forests filled with shining gum, mountain ash and sub-alpine woodlands. Unlike other parks within the area, European exploration touched the Avon Wilderness very little. It has remained a beacon of solitude and natural beauty. Since being proclaimed in 1987, this woodland haven within the Alpine National Park has become a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing and enjoying the wilder side of nature.
Because of its relative remoteness, this area is recommended for prepared and experienced bushwalkers only. There are no facilities within the area, so hikers need to bring in their own supplies. There is a 45km walking track (it is not clearly marked and therefore only suitable for experienced bushwalkers) that meanders along Purgatory Spur and passes Mount Hump, The Sentinel and Millers cattlemen's hut. As long as hikers are prepared to accept the wilderness on its own terms, they are sure to enjoy this unique and stunning environment.