Discover Victoria's High Country Huts
Exploring the High Country huts near Mansfield is possible with a camper trailer in tow.
The High Country tracks are reopening as the warmer weather removes the evidence of winter hibernation, the creeks flowing thanks to high altitude snow melts.
Mansfield is a great place to take a break and spending some dollars in High Country towns is a great way of supporting local economies hit hard by bushfires and other abnormalities. As Mount Buller looms tall in the distance, it’s good to fuel up for the final time before heading for the hills.
HIGH COUNTRY HUTS
Follow the Mount Buller Road and turn left onto Buttercup Road — which leads past a couple of great campsites — to reach Tomahawk Hut. Built by Forest Officer Arthur Dale in 1927 and rebuilt in 2007, the hut reflects what early Forest Commission Huts in the Alpine region were like.
The supplies left on the mantelpiece by fellow travellers are fantastic. It’s also a good opportunity to reduce tyre pressures to 24psi — camper tyres included — and lock into low range before crawling up No. 3 track.
Upon reaching 1500m at Mount No. 3, Refuge Hut 3 has a great campsite. Located 1.5km west of its original position, the hut was rebuilt by the North-Eastern Horse-Riding Club in 2008 with a communal fire pit and drop toilet.
From here, the No. 3 track is a simple drive to the junction with the Circuit Road. This 2WD road twists and turns, with some awesome 4WD tracks feeding off it. Clear Hills Track being one such track, which leads to Craigs Hut before continuing to Mount Stirling.
Unlike the other huts dotted around the High Country, Craigs Hut was used only as a movie set. Built in the 1980s for The Man from Snowy River movies, the current version of the hut didn’t appear in either movie! Version one was left to rot and version two was destroyed in bush fires. The current hut is version three and it’s the best-known mountain hut in Australia. While you can’t camp at Craigs Hut, there’s a flat clearing just before the hut turnoff with room for a group of campers.
CLIMBING THE BLUFF
While it is possible to continue along Clear Hills Track before tackling Monument Track, it isn’t advisable to tow a camper along this route. It’s better to retrace your steps to the Circuit Road and follow this to Bindaree Road at the junction with Monument Track.
Bindaree Road is suitable for 2WD vehicles, past Bindaree Falls to Bindaree Flat to a great campground on the Howqua River.
Access to the campground and hut at Bindaree Flat requires crossing the Howqua River. With a rock base and low water, it looks like a piece of cake, however, be aware when exiting the river. Many have bottomed out their hitch on the rock bed. The original vertical slab Bindaree Hut was built in 1914, with the current version made of broad leaf peppermint logs erected around 1937.
Bluff and Lovicks Huts are the next challenges. Climbing the mountain via Bluff Link Track is easy when dry, but slippery when wet. However, the drive to Bluff Hut is amazing. The views across the range to the Mount Buller are simply stunning.
The drive to Lovicks Hut is slow going along the ridgelines, across treeless plains then back among the twisted snow gums.
Camping at Sheepyard Flat is picture-perfect, so from Lovicks Hut drive back to the Bluff Link Road and head towards Brocks Road. You’ll catch glimpses of The Bluff as you descend before reaching Brocks Road.
Sheepyard Flat is a great place to relax on the banks of the Howqua River for a few days. The nearby Frys Hut is also a great camping option, with better access to the Howqua River. The hut was built by Fred Fry in the late 1930s using spilt timbers and he lived here until he died in 1971.
As you make your way back into Mansfield via the Howqua Track, it’s great to reflect on a fantastic few days spent exploring the Victorian High Country and remember just how lucky we are.
Region: Mount Stirling
Nearest town: Mansfield for fuel and supplies
When to go: A lot of the tracks are seasonally closed from Queens Birthday weekend in June until 1 N