A guide to 4WD tracks in the Victorian High Country
Victoria’s High Country is the place where many of our best four-wheel drivers earned their spurs. Its alpine destinations and tracks – Wonnangatta, the Davies High Plains, Blue Rag, Mount Terrible – are legendary and not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced.
It’s a region where making a mistake can be fatal, or at the very least, expensive. Steep climbs and descents, lumbering over large rocks and ledges, deep water crossings where a snorkel is mandatory; this is the place where you can expand your 4WD repertoire once you’ve practiced on something a little bit easier. It would be a good idea if you’re not completely confident to go with a friend, a 4WD club or sign up for a Hema Tag-along tour.
Throughout the High Country are thousands of kilometres of four-wheel drive tracks. The status and conditions of these tracks are constantly changing. Many tracks are subject to seasonal closure, especially in winter, and some may be permanently closed. For the latest details on seasonal road closures in national parks visit Parks Victoria.
Below is an overview of what to expect on the many 4WD tracks winding their way through the High Country.
Experience steep climbs, river crossings, and discover a lush valley filled with wildlife as well as the beauty and history of Wonnangatta Station.
Davies High Plains
This is an iconic 4WD route that leads through many of the best areas of the High Country and will test your skills with some of the most challenging and rugged tracks you’ll find in Australia.
Billy Goat Bluff
Billy Goat Bluff is one of the steepest tracks in the High Country, so be prepared. It should only be attempted by experienced four-wheel drivers and in safe weather conditions.
Blue Rag Range Track
Beginning in the iconic town of Dargo (don't miss stopping in at the Dargo Hotel and Dargo River Inn), the Blue Rag Range Track is one of the most popular tracks in all of the High Country. It's a visual spectacle that can create some nervous moments for drivers attempting to scale its epic heights. But you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over the High Country for your efforts.
Travel up the Ingeegoodbee track you will soon be in pure 4WD country. You're going to need to exercise every bit of your four-wheel driving experience on this run.
Benambra to Tom Groggin
The trek from Benambra to Tom Groggin goes through very steep 4WD-only country, so make sure you're properly equipped and prepared with our full track guide.
Sheepyard Flat to Jamieson
The 4WD track from Sheepyard Flat to Jamieson has steep climbs and interesting alternate routes. Make sure to stop at a couple of historical areas including Howqua Hills Historical Area, Fry’s Hut and the Mitchells Homestead ruins.
This track takes you from Jamieson to Woods Point in the heart of the High Country. This half-day trip requires low range and high clearance to negotiate. While skirting around the southern part of Lake Eildon, stop at the Goulburn and Jamieson rivers for trout fishing, canoeing and fossicking.
Stringybark Creek and Powers Lookout
The Stringybark Creek and Powers Lookout tracks are an easy drive from Mansfield that can be traversed by 2WD. The additional trek to Top Crossing Hut is for those who want to experience a rougher 4WD track.
Butcher Country Track
This trek will take you to the Butcher Country track by crossing rivers on several occasions, encountering steep climbs and confronting sharp descents.
Victorian High Country navigation and maps:
Preparing for the Victorian High Country
Journeys through the High Country are not only challenging, but also offer the chance to appreciate the spectacular scenery. The Alpine National Park is a must for any visiting the area, featuring plenty of outdoor activities including walking and mountain bike tracks, horse-riding trails and much more.
Don’t forget that as much of the driving is low range work, your fuel consumption will be much higher than normal. If you don’t have long range tanks, take along some jerry cans. For the same reason, don’t set yourself an unachievable itinerary — most of it is slow going. Allow plenty of time and remember it may take a whole day to travel as little as 50km.
You’ll need a high clearance vehicle with low range and be careful to keep your wheels on the high ground. If you have a soft roader, forget it, and it shouldn’t be necessary to point out that this is not camper trailer territory for the most part.
Remember that some tracks are closed off during winter (or impassable because of heavy snow — snow chains and anti-freeze required), and that summer can be hot and dusty, making spring and autumn the optimal choices.
Please be aware that some tracks may be signposted with warnings for users of road damage. As always, keep your options open when travelling, and seek an alternative route if the track deteriorates or the weather suddenly changes. Taking along a chainsaw to clear tracks of fallen timber is a good idea as well.
Some key gear to take along are a UHF radios, satellite communicator, recovery equipment, spare jerry cans and plenty of water.
For more information on how to plan your trip to the Victorian High Country article, head here.
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