OFF ROAD ADVENTURES
Those who dare to take on our challenging mountainous terrain are rewarded with spectacular scenery and the experience of being in some of the rarest environment in the country – the Australian Alps. Alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers, soaring eagles and sensational ridgelines are just some of what makes the dirt tracks around Harrietville worth the adventure.
4WD & DIRT BIKING IN THE HIGH COUNTRY
Situated at the base of the iconic trails of the Alpine National Park, but with the creature comforts of two pubs, cafes and comfy accommodation, it's little wonder Harrietville has become a popular base for setting out on off-roading adventurers.
Tracks that venture into the Alpine National Park are generally closed between June and November when snow blankets the mountaintops and storms are frequent. However, forest roads in the lower elevations of the State Forests around Harrietville remain open.
Always check track conditions and weather warnings with the relevant land manager before heading out. Some useful links are:
- Parks Victoria
- Four Wheel Drive Victoria
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Importantly, always carry a topographical map, available for purchase from the Bright Visitor Information Centre.
OLD COACH ROAD
Heading up to Mount Hotham to explore the tracks of the Alpine National Park? Rev up the adventure by adding in a trip along The Old Coach Road.
This steep 2.8km track starts from an intersection on the Great Alpine Road, 550m southeast of the Mill Road turn-off. As the name suggests, The Old Coach Road was the original coach route to Mount Hotham prior to the construction of the Great Alpine Road. The coach route between Bright and Omeo opened in 1883.
From Harrietville, the track climbs up to a ridgeline, then follows it to rejoin the sealed Great Alpine Road. The track has a steep pinch at its northern end. The 2.8km drive compares with the 5.5km it takes the sealed road to reach the same point.
MOUNT MURRAY LOOP
The scenic Mount Murray in the Alpine National Park ascends to 1,634m above sea level to overlook the remote Selwyn Creek and the Blue Rag Range. Accessible only in summer and autumn, this off-road loop passes through some of Victoria's most spectacular country.
The lookout can be reached by driving down the Buckland Valley from Porepunkah and following the Buckland River Road past Beveridges Station. Take the next left onto Mount Murray North Track and follow it until you come to Twin Jeeps Track and turn left.
Follow it to Mount Murray Track South, which will take you to the lookout. Drive back along the Twins Road to Mount Saint Bernard on the Great Alpine Road and back to Harrietville.
BLUE RAG RANGE
ALPINE NATIONAL PARK
Blue Rag Range is possibly the most spectacular route you will ever explore in the High Country. At 1,600m elevation, the views across the Dargo High Plains and Mount Hotham are breathtaking. However, this difficult track with steep rocky sections demands respect. Two vehicles with experienced drivers are recommended.
To get there from the Great Alpine Road, turn onto Dargo High Plains Road. The turn-off to Blue Rag Range Track will be 11.4km along the road on your right. The track ends at Trig Point and the return journey is back along the same track.
This track is closed during the snow season, but adventurers should be prepared for wild weather and snow at anytime of year.
This rare and beautiful Alpine National Park protects some of Australia's highest mountains and pristine alpine environments. Many of the tracks deep in the park are for experienced four wheel drivers only, but there are a number of easier tacks that let you get away, enjoy beautiful views, and appreciate the quiet wonder of the alps.
While you're there, go in search of an historic mountain hut. The alpine areas are home to over 60 huts built as refuges for mountain cattlemen, skiers and hikers, and the road workers who maintained the first Alpine Road over the range. Pick up a detailed topographical map before heading up to the park and be sure to check current trail and weather conditions.
PREPARE FOR ANYTHING
From snow to bushfires, floods and gale-force winds, the weather in the High Country can be fierce and change rapidly. Always check conditions before venturing out, ensure your equipment is working and carry adequate food, water and warm clothing. Importantly, download the VicEmergency and the Emergency Plus apps to your phone.
Notify someone of your plans before you set out. Many parts of the High Country have poor or no mobile phone coverage. Emergency beacons and satellite devices are recommended.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Our region is sensitive to human presence. We are privileged to have endangered animals such as platypus, pygmy possums and alpine dingoes surviving in our environment. Your behaviour has a direct impact on our flora and fauna. When driving or riding, stay on formed roads and don't cut new lines. Protect our wildlife and the beauty of our environment by taking all rubbish with you.
Never light a fire on a Total Fire Ban day. When permitted to use fire, always extinguish your campfire completely before you leave. Enjoy our outdoors, and remember, leave no trace.
STAY WITH US
From country cottages, designer homes, cabins and B&B's, you'll find your perfect escape on the frontier of nature here in Harrietville.