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Thread: 2018 Victorian High Country Trip (2x Defenders & a 80's Cruiser)

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    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    2018 Victorian High Country Trip (2x Defenders & a 80's Cruiser)

    Extra Details of Trip:
    Tracklog of where we went:2018 Vic High Country Triplog
    Link to move photos: 2018 Vic High Country Google Photos or here: 2018 VHC Photos and Videos
    Total Distance:4278kms
    Fuel used: 630.12ltrs
    Economy: 14.7ltrs/100kms (Towing Trailer)
    Vehicles:
    '95 Landrover 110 Defender Tdi300 Wgn (mine/towing)
    '11 Landrover 130 Puma Defender DualCab Ute (towing)
    '97 Landcruiser 80's Wagon TD/IC (not towing)

    Maps of Where we went over the 2 weeks:



    [img][/img]


    On this trip there was supposed to be 3 vehicles leaving together, but due to other circumstances, they were not able to leave with us and said they would catch up with us in few days’ time, so we ended up leaving Home by ourselves @ 2.45am and made our way to our 1st stop - Goondiwindi for Breaky. When we hit the Western Fwy, I noticed that I was getting Speed Wobbles - Not a good Start to the Trip. Reached Goondiwindi in good
    time to refuel and have breaky at Maccies. From here we pushed onwards stopping @ Narrabri for morning Smoko. Pushed on to our 1st night’s camp - Parkes Showgrounds.
    Distance & Time: 1040 kms/11hrs 37min

    A Landy moment



    Up early to start Day2 and headed off, noticing a bit of a squeak/squeal coming from the front of the Landy. Stopped and couldn't find anything obvious. Noticed noise disappeared when I put my foot on the clutch but couldn't understand what it might be. We decided to push on and the noise seemed to disappear at Hwy speeds. Made good Time to get to Wagga Wagga where I was to find out what squeak was to be.... I started to get a
    bad vibration through the steering wheel when accelerating from start. I stopped to check what I thought it might be and I was correct in my thinking - a failing Rear Uni-Joint on the Front Drive Shaft Made a few calls to RACQ/NRMA and got the Mechanic out to inspect what I already knew. He removed the Front Shaft for me and said nothing could be done until Tuesday due to the Public Holidays... Luckily I had 2 spare Uni-joints on board and made a call to a good Landover Mate that I trusted and he took the time to help me as much as he could over the phone in the method of replacing the Uni-joint on the side of the road by myself. I also put out a SOS on the AULRO website that I greatly appreciated at the time, knowing that there were other Landy owners willing to help us out. After quite a few hours I managed to replace the Joint and headed off to our nights camp where I planned to regrease/refit the front drive shaft back to the Landy. Reached camp and decided to try and grease the uni but without success. Again, more phone calls to my mate and posts on the SOS Aulro Post and the decision was to refit the shaft the following day and drive for a bit and then try to see if we could then get grease into the uni-joint. A few hours later, the 2nd car/family of our group of 3 cars/families arrived in time for dinner/dinner and a quick catch-up before calling it for the night.
    Distance & Time: 304 kms/3hrs 40min
    This was to be my very 1st UJ change and on the side of the road too..... at least it was outside McDonalds - kids were happy




    Early rise to continue refitting the Front Shaft with one more unsuccessful time in trying to regrease the shaft. Fitted the front shaft and packed up and heading into town to buy a few Food & auto spares (grease, grease nipples, etc.). Hit the road and headed for Beechworth to meet with a fellow Landy Owner before continuing onwards to our next stop - Myrtleford where we refuelled and headed down Buffalo River Rd to our nights camp near our turnoff into the VHC - Manna Gums Campgrounds. This is also where the 3rd vehicle/family caught up with us to make our group whole again.
    Distance & Time: 260 kms/3hrs 48min
    Just checking my workmanship and to try and get some more grease into the UJ

    Nice little corner store

    Nice little creek behind the Town of Myrtleford

    Our RIG:



    A quick pack up and a quick look over the vehicle/trailer & lowered our tyre pressures down (25psi Front & 28psi rear) before we hit our 1st VHC track - Dandongadale-Buffalo Trk. This was to be an interesting start to our VHC Trip with the track graded as a ""M"" & ""D"" by hema. The 1st few hills had me wondering if I did the right thing in bringing the trailer along as the poor old Defender really noticed the extra weight behind it. It made it up all the rocky loose hills as long as I applied a bit more right foot before hitting the harder/loose parts. Out of our group of 3 vehicles, there was only 1 that wasn't towing a trailer and we made him take the lead just in case my Defender needed a helping hand to get to the top of some of these steeper sections of the track. We followed Dandongadale-Buffalo Trk then onto Dan Buffalo Divide Trk & onto Lake Cobbler Trk, then to a apparently a ""H"" rated track Abbeyard-Lake Cobbler Trk before joining up to Lake Cobbler Rd. This section of the road is where things went wrong for the lead vehicle. A couple of young Nissan Patrol drivers came flying around the corner way too fast and couldn't stop quick enough and slid into the mates 80's Cruiser. We stopped and checked out the damage and he exchanged vehicle details before they continued off - still at their high speed, obviously they hadn't learnt their lesson.... The damage wasn't too bad but would result in a new B/Bar and possible new bonnet/guard. We made it to Lake Cobbler to rest a bit and calm the nerves and grab a bite to eat before continuing our way to our night’s camp along King River/Hut. The road down into the King River Hut was slow going with the trailers on as it was quite rocky and loose. Made it to camp with daylight to spare, so the decision was to made to help make up for lost time was to head out and do the circuit drive to ""Craig’s Hut"" then back to camp via the loop to Pineapple Flat Camp and then along King River back to our camp.
    Distance & Time: 109 kms/5hrs 49min
    The Crew:

    Cobbler Lake


    Cobbler Lake


    One of the most photographed Huts in the VHC:





    The 2 Defenders..... What a difference in drivability in my old tdi300 when not towing.....


    Our Camp @ King River Hut:



    King River Hut:




    A bit of a late rise and a chat to some other locals that were also camping near us, it was decided that we would pack up and move on instead of staying another night. This was again to help us make up time. After talking to some of the locals, we decided to head to Bindaree Falls, then up Bluff Link Trk to Bluff Hut and onto Lovicks Hut for a late Lunch. From the conversations we had with some locals, we decided to give King Billy Track a go and hopefully camp at Howitts Hut where we would follow Zeka Spur Track down into the Wonnangatta Valley, thus getting ourselves back on schedule. This decision to drive along King Billy Track turned out not to be a good one. Half way along I heard a loud noise and felt a jarring from behind me. I stopped and my heart sank - a broken U-bolt on the LHS of the trailer. This was one of the items I did not have on board as they were all new not so long ago. Time and daylight was getting away from us and the thought of abandoning the trailer was entering my mind. It was then that I noticed the foot on the mates High lift Jack had some spaced holes that matched the trailer axle perfectly. All we needed was some long bolts. It was about this time that a local Ranger happened by and gave us some useful advice as to the easiest way out, if we could get out that is.... After he left we put our thinking caps on and the mate removed some of the long bolts from his Bulbar to use to attach the High-lift foot stand to the axle. A bit of mucking around and it finally all came nicely together but we were losing daylight quickly. Once we packed everything up we then had to manage to turn around and find a suitable spot to camp - which we did, a top spot on top of a mountain with a nice flat area, where we camped for the night and thinking how lucky we were....
    Distance & Time: 53 kms/4hrs 22min
    Bindaree Falls




    Landy's on Bluff Track


    Bluff Hut





    Surrounding Countryside:






    Lunch @ Lovick's Hut:





    And the Trouble Begins.....



    After repairs completed on the Trailer we had lost daylight and had to find a suitable campspot close by.... which we did




    After a beautiful night we woke to a windy morning where we again quickly packed up and headed off towards Mansfield via Brooks Rd. This was the smoothest way to get out and we made good time to get into Mansfield by lunchtime where we bought some trailer spare parts, topped up on food and fuel and then pushed onwards back around to Myrtleford to camp for the night but not before stopping in at Brown Brothers Winery for a bit of wine tasting and buying a couple of bottles for the road ahead. We ended up camping at Arderns Caravan Park with was a top spot and well-priced compared to every other park around the place. We finished off the night with some Wood Fire Pizzas before heading to bed.
    Distance & Time: 249 kms/5hrs 20min

    Woke to a beautiful Sunrise and perfect weather.... again


    Time to head back the way we came and down Brocks Rd which was to be the quickest and easiest way
    [/url]

    After restocking and refuelling in Mansfield, we called into the Brown Brothers HQ @ Milawa




    2nd time around in Myrtleford - Camp for the Night, tomorrow the High Country 2nd time around
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  2. #2
    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    A slow rise again and a bit of a look around town before heading out along Alpine Way and up the very windy mountain road, taking in the beautiful scenery as we drove along. We turned off onto the Dargo Plains Road and made our way down to the turnoff to Blue Rag Track. We un-hitched our trailers and headed off up Blue Rag Track to the Trig point for Lunch. Upon reaching the top we were pleasantly surprised to see some other Defender Drivers up there. Defender Heaven Apparently they had come from to the 70th Landover Anniversary at Cooma. Would have loved to been part of that but the timing just didn't suit our itinerary. After a bite to eat for lunch and again taking in the beautiful scenery, we headed back down to hitch the trailers up and find our nights camp along the Dargo River at Italian Flat Campgrounds. We were to stay here for 2 nights as surprisingly, we were back on schedule.
    Distance & Time: 165 kms/4hrs 06min

    The Drive up to the T/O to Dargo Plains Rd

    Falls Creek in the distance

    A bit of a concern!!!


    Un-hitching our Trailers before we make the accent up Blue Rag Track


    Photos along the Blue Rag Track







    Caught up with a few fellow Defender Owners who had come from the recent 70th Landrover Anniversary @ Cooma



    Couple of Videos along Blue Rag




    eventually made camp at Italian Flat Campgrounds along Dargo River



    Another usual early rise as we had a BIG day ahead. We headed off into Dargo for Coffee and a quick look around before making our way towards to Billy Goats Bluff Track. Along the way we had the pleasure of stopping off to chat to a few more Landy Owners that were camped along the nearby river. One of them was waiting on some spare parts for his Landy. Also, to our surprise, a Defender Couple that we had been following on FB (Unknown Milestone) were there also and we managed to have a good chat before time got the better of us and we had to head off. We reached the start of Billy Goats Bluff Track and made our way up. The Track was in pretty condition apparently but it was incredibly dusty, with some loose rocky sections - all making for a fun drive up to the top and a lunch break at the Pinnacle Firetower. After lunch, it was back down Billy Goats Bluff Track, passing a few cars along the way before we hit the bottom and then made our way back to the Crooked River and followed the river around to Talbotville campsite, which to my surprise was quite empty. With daylight again running out we headed up McMillan Track (interesting track if u meant any on coming vehicles!!). We turned right at the top and headed back through the old Historic town of Grant before heading back down the range and back to camp for the night.
    Distance & Time: 125 kms/5hrs 04min


    Pics of Dargo



    Again, caught up with some fellow Landy Owners camped along a beautiful river while they waited for some spare parts... Stopped for a bit of a chat along our way to Billy Goats Bluff



    Now, let the fun begin.... Billy Goats Bluff Track - here we come




    Lunch @ Pinnacles Lookout:

    The Walk to the Firetower




    And back down Billy Goat Bluffs Track


    The old Girl did performed well on Billies.....


    The old Hut at the old township of Grant:



    Today's destination was a bit unknown as to if we would get there, so we had another early rise and headed off to visit the Dog's Grave, then onto the township of Omeo where we spent some time going through the local history of the town. We pushed onwards to what I had hoped would be a good camp spot - along the Buenba Creek Campgrounds. This spot turned out to be a cracker..... A nice little creek and plenty of flat grassy area for the kids to kick the footy
    Distance & Time: 137 kms/3hrs 45min

    We had a easy drive until we got to Stockmans Spur Track... then the fun started again

    A bit of Speed required to ensure that I wouldn't be stopped by the wombat holes..... resulting in a bit of wheel lift too





    Dog's Grave and Hut






    Few Photos of Omeo:




    Camp for the night... along Buenba Creek.... a cracking campsite


    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

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    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Today was going to an interesting one, with trailers in tow we planned to head up to Mt Gibbo and then onto Mount Pinnibar then onto our camp spot for the next 2 nights - Tom Groggin campgrounds. Headed upwards and towards our next turn off - Mount Gibbo Track. This track was marked as ""D"" on HEMA which was a little concerning with trailers but we knew these ratings don't get updated too often. We stopped at the turnoff to get some firewood being starting our track along to Mount Gibbo. The track was pretty good but could see a few spots that might be of concern if u were coming from the other direction. We made it to Mount Gibbo without any issues and stopped for the usual photos before continuing onto Mt Pinnibar where we stopped for a while to rest and just take in the beautiful scenery once again. Once we were well rested, we made our way towards to Tom Groggin down along the Pinnibar Track. We could definitely see a few spots that would give u a nice little challenge if u were coming from the other direction. We reached our night’s camp spot in good timing which allowed us to relax and the kids to go for a nice cool swim in the River.
    Distance & Time: 61 kms/3hrs 24min


    The road to our next challenge - Mount Gibbo









    Mount Pinnibar Lookout





    Croc Country


    The road down to Tom Groggin Campgrounds


    Crossing the Murray River into NSW



    Camp @ Tom Groggin



    The plans for today were fairly relaxed with just a short drive to Thredbo to do the Mt Kosciuszko walk and then down to Jindabyne for Dinner and then back to Camp. We arrived at Thredbo at around lunchtime and went to pay the Chairlift Fee but only to be told that we would want to be quick to do the walk as the chairlift closes at 4pm and the walk takes around 4>6hrs. We decided to take the risk and headed up on the chair lift where we quickly got into our walking rhythm and headed off to try and get to the top and back before the chairlift closed at 4pm. We ended up doing the walk to the top in a little bit over 1.5hrs where we stopped to take a breather, do the usual photos before quickly having to don the wet weather gear for the approaching rain clouds. The top was very windy and cold and once we had enough we made our way back down to the top of the chairlift where we had enough time to stop for an expensive coffee before hoping back onto the chairlift and back down to the carpark. The decision was made that since we were reasonably close to Jindabyne that we might as well head down there for Dinner along the lake and then back to camp for the night - which we did, but not before an interesting drive home where we had to dodge the local Deers that came out of nowhere. Had one come out and just clip the back corner of my car - luckily no damage to the old girl made it back to camp at 7.30pm
    Distance & Time: 131 kms/2hrs 44min

    The Ski Fields of Threadbo


    Our journey up the chairlift to start our walk to the top of Mount Kosciuszko









    Ready for the change in weather


    Another thing ticked off the bucket list.... Now time for a nice warm Coffee


    Threadbo centre - a bit of a ghost town


    Well today was the day where we had to head homeward bound, so we packed up and headed to Khancoban, but not before doing one more side track - the little drive to check out some of the local huts - Geehi; Old Geehi; Keebles; Doc's and Major Claw's Huts. This turned out to be a beautiful drive and one to definitely to return to and spend more time taking in the slights. We pushed on to have lunch at Khancoban Lake and then onto our next destination - Yarrangobilly Caves. We took the scenic way along Swampy Plains Creek, taking in some of the local Dams and Mt Selwyn Ski Lodge before reaching our nights Camp - Long Plain Hut Campgrounds.
    Distance & Time: 163 kms/4hrs 04min
    Geehi Hut



    Keebles Hut


    [



    Doc's Hut




    Old Geehi Hut




    Major Claw Hut


    Lake Khancoben




    Bradley & O'Briens Hut


    Being Used by a local Horse Tour Company




    I think this is Tooma Dam






    Stopping off to get some Fire Wood


    Camp @ Long Plain Hut



    The Hut



    We packed and headed off to visit the Yarrangobilly Caves and the Thermal Pools. We arrived early before anything was open so we just had a relaxing time to look around before paying for our self-guided cave tour and then for a swim in the Thermal Pools. It was told that the water temp is a constant 27degrees. When we jumped in, it certainly did not feel like a warm 27degrees - it felt a lot colder than that. Anyhow, we had an enjoyable swim before it was time to head back on the road and to our next nights destination - Cowra Showgrounds which turned out to be quite a nice spot as well.
    Distance & Time: 317 kms/5hrs 09min

    Sunrise



    Yarrangobilly Caves & Thermal Pool










    Thermal Pools




    Camp for the Night @ Cowra Showgrounds



    Today was going to be a big day in the seat so we decided to go back home with trying to stay off the normal main H'ways. We headed to Molong - Wellington - Dunedoo - Coolah - Tambar Springs - Gunnedah - Manilla to our Final nights camp - Warialda near the QLD/NSW border.
    Distance & Time: 698 kms/8hrs 59min[/b]



    Woke to our 1st bit of rain and packed up and headed into town for breakfast. From here it was down the Bruxner Hwy and across the QLD/NSW border to Texas and then back onto the normal Hwys back to HOME
    Distance & Time: 466 kms/5hrs 38min
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  4. #4
    Junior Member Ditch's Avatar
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    Great trip report & photos, thanks for sharing. Think I passed you coming into Barraba on your way home, remember a couple of Landy`s towing trailers that look like the ones in the pics.
    "I would rather that my bones had been left to bleach in the desert than yielded an inch of ground I had gained at so much expence" - Charles Sturt 1845

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    Fantastic Rob,

    I've been wondering how you went with your trip, glad to see you had some typical beautiful Victorian weather when you were down here. Great country isn't it!

    Enjoyed reading about it all and that with just a few small hiccups you got through unscathed. Was it what you expected? What was your main hi light?

    Where would you have liked to spend more time?

    Regards from 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.

  6. #6
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    Looks like a great trip with a few ks travelled. Thanks for taking the time to share
    Swampy

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    Great report there Rob, looks like you had a good time.

  8. #8
    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
    Great trip report & photos, thanks for sharing. Think I passed you coming into Barraba on your way home, remember a couple of Landy`s towing trailers that look like the ones in the pics.
    Possibly.... I didn't see any other Landy owners towing other than us
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  9. #9
    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Col View Post
    Fantastic Rob,

    I've been wondering how you went with your trip, glad to see you had some typical beautiful Victorian weather when you were down here. Great country isn't it!

    Enjoyed reading about it all and that with just a few small hiccups you got through unscathed. Was it what you expected? What was your main hi light?

    Where would you have liked to spend more time?

    Regards from Col.
    Thanks Col....

    Yes, we had perfect weather and keen to get back down back down there. We heard that we missed out on seeing Snow by about week

    Highlights... well, hard to say as we saw plenty of places that caught our eyes.... The Drives up Billy Goats Bluff; Blue Rag; Mt Gibbo & Mt Pinnibar and the views that these places gave were breathe taking.....

    Would liked to have spent MORE time down in the VHC as a whole as there is so much to see and do + I would have liked to have spent a few days resting besides a nice running VHC river, but time just wasn't on our side.... but we will be back and hopefully with more time set aside for camping besides a nice river or creek relaxing with a little bit of fishing
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  10. #10
    Forum Enthusiast stew70's Avatar
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    Excellent write up and great pics. Despite a few issues sounds and looks like you had a fantastic trip. How does mate rate the little stockman pod trailer. Have looked at those a rew times for a tough light weight trailer.
    Why fish for bream ,when i can camp and chase cod!!:

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