Great Southern Land: Add these to your 4WD adventure list
Victoria has more to offer than you might expect. Add these getaways to your offorad adventure itinerary.
Rubicon Valley Historic Area
Nestled within the majestic Rubicon State Forest lies the Rubicon Valley Historic Area. The region exhibits remnants of a bygone era; home to both timber harvesting and Victoria's first hydro-electricity power scheme.
It's a leisurely two and half hour drive north east from Melbourne along the Maroondah Highway. The journey via Healesville meanders through Narbethong's mill sites and farming land of Buxton and Taggerty.
The area is dominated by thick mountain ash forest amongst pockets of temperate rainforest. Along with some of Australia's premier trout
rivers, the region provides excellent opportunities for camping, bushwalking, picnicking, mountain biking, trail bike riding and of course 4WDing.
LOCATION: Rubicon Valley Historic Area. Kendalls A Campsite
FACILITIES: Pit toilets are provided; rubbish must be taken with you. Fires are permitted and water is easily accessible from the river. Be sure to take the necessary precautions if you plan on drinking it. Dogs are welcome.
ACCESS TO THE CAMPSITES: Dry weather 2WD access to the campground but 4WD in the surrounding area.
THINGS TO KNOW: Within a short drive of camp are Snobs Creek Falls, Morris Lookout, Mt Torbrek summit, Rubicon Power Station and the Siphon Trestle Bridge.
For more information contact the Department of Environment Land, Water & Planning,
Located beside the Macallister River is the tiny village of Licola, gateway to the Gippsland High Country. Owned entirely by the Lions Club of Victoria, it's the only privately owned town in the state! The ever popular Dargo and pub are only a relatively short drive away,
Licola provides a little slice of serenity appealing to a more laid back approach to recreating; having no mains power in town does help.
Approximately three hours east of Melbourne, Licola offers an amazing array of quiet camp spots and 4WD tracks including the spectacular Mt Wellington. On par with Blue Rag Range track, Mt Wellington track takes you high above the tree line and rewards you with some of the most spectacular views in the country.
LOCATION: Licola. Muttonwood Campground
FACILITIES: Muttonwood is one of 13 campsites dotted along the Wellington River on Tamboritha Road. Pit toilets are provided at most sites; rubbish must be taken with you. Fires are permitted in the designated areas and river access is plentiful. Unfortunately dogs are not permitted.
ACCESS TO THE CAMPSITES: 2WD access to most campgrounds, some require 4WD.
THINGS TO KNOW: Take in the views from Mt Wellington, Taylors Lookout, Millers Hut, The Sentinels and Lake Tali Karng.
For more information contact Parks Victoria, www.parks.vic.gov.au
Gold was first discovered in the Buckland Valley in 1853. The historic area was the site of the racially fuelled Buckland Riot of 1857 where many lives were lost.
The valley is surrounded by the steep slopes of the Mt Buffalo and Alpine National Parks. The nearest town for fuel and supplies is Porepunkah on the Great Alpine Road. Four hours from Melbourne up the Hume Freeway, a long weekend is needed at the very least to truly immerse yourself in the surroundings.
Camping is spread over a 40km stretch of river, with options of informal and formal camping areas.
Be aware of the conditions and be cautious on extreme fire rated days as there is only one entry and exit point in the valley.
If you need a moment back in civilisation, the Bright Brewery is conveniently located only 20 minutes up the road!
LOCATION: Buckland Valley. Ah Youngs Camping Area
FACILITIES: Camping is permitted between the gravel road and the Buckland River beginning 6km upstream of the Buckland Bridge. Fires are permitted and barbecue facilities are provided. Dogs are allowed
ACCESS TO THE CAMPSITES: 2WD access to formal camp grounds, bush camps require 4WD.
THINGS TO KNOW: Check out Sinclairs swimming hole and Buckland Valley Cemetery Chinese Gold Miners Memorial, or try your hand at prospecting for gold. For more information contact the Department of Environment Land, Water & Planning, www.delwp.vic.gov.au