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Thread: Craig's Hut & More.

  1. #1
    Forum Enthusiast
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne

    Craig's Hut & More.

    Hi everyone,

    I post most of my reports on other forums now, but I thought I would show you this one from a few weeks back.

    I took my partner Jenny and our daughter Kristie for a trip into the Victorian High Country. It would be Kristie’s first venture into this part of the Vic Alps so I planned the trip to take in a few of the iconic sites.

    One thing Kristie wanted to see was Craig’s Hut so instead of taking the easy route in, I took the Howqua Gap and then Clear Hills track to it over Mt Stirling.
    The 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Stirling are quite spectacular, but the one thing that I wanted to see and in a way pay homage to, was a lone tree that sits a short distance from the mountains top.

    The Mt Stirling Summit Tree is unique, it is the only tree on the mountain’s 23 hectare grassy summit sitting well above the tree line. It is remarkable for its large size, (the circumference at the base of the tree is more than 3 metres) it’s altitude, (1725 mts) and it’s great age.
    Nobody knows for sure just how old it is, but when a 40 centimetre diametre branch broke off after the 2006/7 bushfires, that branch was dated at 485 years old!

    There are very few trees above 1700 metres on Mt Stirling, and those that survive are stunted by the cold and harsh weather conditions. By contrast, the Summit Tree is large and extremely hardy. In winter it can be completely buried in snow, the only sign of its presence being a snowy mound. In summer it thrives and often flowers.

    This ancient Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) has been recognised by the National Trusts Australia’s Register of Significant Trees.

    Even though it was now February there were still some wildflowers about, including this stunning Mountain Brachyscome.

    The beautiful trunks of the Alpine Snow Gum.

    When the Victorian National Parks Association made their application for the trees protection and recognition, they produced this short video. Click on large screen for best viewing.

    We all know this place, whether we have been there or not.

    Craig’s Hut is one of the most famous of the High Country huts. Located on the northern flanks of Mt Stirling, it offers stunning views of the ranges and is one of the region’s most photographed landmarks.
    First built as a set for The Man From Snowy River film in 1981-82, it was burnt down during the 2006 bushfires. All were aware of it’s popularity and significance so it was completely rebuilt and reopened in January 2008.

    I like everyone else love it’s stunning location, one thing that is obvious is that is not a real cattleman's hut. There is no way a real hut would have been built in such an exposed position as all the others are built for protection from the elements.

    From the nearby picnic area I took these last couple of pics, before we were on our way.

    I drove down the Monument Track and to Bindaree Falls on our way to the Howqua River.

    The falls are popular as you are able to walk in behind them, which is lovely and refreshing on a warm day and bloody chilly if your there at other times!

    Due to the micro climate that the falls produce, there are lovely fern and moss gardens tucked up against the cliffs walls that are beautiful in their own right.

    We had lunch at Bindaree Hut, the original builders of it in 1937 were Harry Norris, Fred Fry, Harry O'Brien and Joe McIlroy. They were paid to build it by the Mansfield Tourist Association to encourage bushwalkers to the area.

    From there we drove up the Sixteen Mile Track to Bluff Hut, why when people arrive at or visit such places do they park their cars right out the front of them. No pics this time of it as you couldn’t help but get someones car sitting right out the front of it, sort of ruined the ambience and visual amenity of the place.

    We then drove to a lovely spot beside the Howqua River where we set up camp. So serene and with its own deep water hole, which we spent a fair bit of the rest of the day in.

    Looking downstream from the water hole and then a pic of this gorgeous river looking upstream from it.

    Our camp.

    High on that ridge in that last photo, was the final place the sun shone before nightfall engulfed our camp.

    The stars above our camp that night and then that high ridge above our camp where the first rays of the sun shone the next day.

    We went for an early morning walk up river, walking through the water was awkward at times for although not particularly deep, the flowing water reflected the actual depth and position of it’s bottom differently than what it was. In away I was hoping for an action shot!!! but the girls made it through, mostly dry!

    Our camp that morning, and then Fry’s Hut which was our first stop as we made our way towards home.

    Frys Hut is a ridgy didge, real McCoy Bush Hut. Fred Fry was born in Mansfield in 1897, in the mid 1930s he built this hut/his home by himself using split timber and his own style of workmanship. He also built a number of other huts in the region that still stand today.
    He lived a solitary existence for many years surviving by prospecting and packing supplies for government agencies and fishermen, he died in 1971.

    The Howqua River not 10 metres from the hut and the next pic taken at a bend in the river a couple of hundred metres further down stream.

    From there we took the Howqua Hills Track and Steiners Road on our way to Jamieson. Along the way we stopped at the Running Creek Campground and had a quick dip in this lovely water hole on the Howqua River.

    We stopped at Jamieson for lunch, this was one of the many historic buildings that can be found there, many of them having interpretive boards explaining their significance.

    Whilst the girls prepared the tucker for lunch under the shelter, I took this pic looking up the Jamieson River.

    Before leaving town we walked down to the junction of the Jamieson and Goulburn Rivers.
    The first pic is looking up the Jamieson, the next looking up the Goulburn and the third looking down it as it makes it’s way to Eildon Dam.

    Our next stop was at the Pines Campground on the Big River for another swim.

    And then we stopped at the next camping area for one final swim before we headed for home.

    Wouldn’t be dead for quids, left Saturday home Sunday some spectacular scenery seen and places visited.

    Last edited by Big Col; 08-03-18 at 09:14 PM.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  2. #2
    Busy planning trips and mods... Red GU's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    What a great couple of days. Nice pics also.

    Dave and Fiona

  3. #3
    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Brisbane, Qld. Australia
    Another great Trip and awesome photos..... hopefully in a months time we will be experiencing some of those places

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  4. #4
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Great report. The last two weekends I have spent up the VHC.
    My Touring GU Patrol

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  5. #5
    Forum Enthusiast Spike69's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Gymea Bay
    Cracking photos Col, thanks for sharing. It's a special part of Australia isn't it. We've been heading there more often lately and have the Howqua river on our bucket list.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 2Lost's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Well done again Col. Great report and photos. I love it around those areas, more so when the crowds are not around

  7. #7
    Administrator pacs's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Bendigo Victoria
    Great little get away Col with some fantastic photos thanks for sharing
    Fishing for a good time starts with dropping in a line

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  8. #8
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Sth Sydney
    Some of the most beautiful country in the world. Plus Binderee falls lovely.
    The weather was on your side too.
    Adam aka Smokey

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  9. #9
    Junior Member GXL4X4's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Yea Victoria
    Great rite up col as all ways and great pictures


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  10. #10
    Forum Enthusiast
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne
    Thanks all,

    It was a great couple of days, might post a few more reports soon.

    Regards Col.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

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