1. 17 Feb 2014. Looking for Conversation, Sports Bar, Tech Talk and the rest of the Apre topics?
    You must now register and be logged-in to view these topics. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.

Off on a road trip to Perisher / Cooma - via Omeo etc - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by bobly, Apr 27, 2012.


    bobly Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone.

    Decided to take a week off from mid next week and drop into Jindy and Cooma to see if I can't get my touring boots etc.

    Decided to make the most of it and do the following.

    Day 1 - Melb to Swifts Creek and Omeo, stop somewhere around there for the night. (Prob Cobungra to check out my new second winter home)

    Day 2 - Glen Valley, Mitta Mitta - Tallangatta - Island Bend Park (Maybe hike up Mt Wills)

    Day 3 - Hiking

    Day 4 - Hiking and Boot search

    Day 5 - Back to Hotham area via Nariel Valley

    Day 6 - Hotham - Dargo and as close to home as I can get.

    Would be interested to hear any suggestions you have for places to check out on my travels. Or alternate routes. I'm in a 4x4 so have freedom, just nothing too crazy as I'm on my own.

    I'm considering taking an additional day and maybe heading up near Falls Creek. If the weather is good oh and while I'm near Perisher I'll do kosciusko summit etc.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

    Edit - Now considering going Benambra - Mount Hope Road - Tom Grogging Track but would def be interested in hearing others experience of this route. [​IMG]

    b [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    The track from Tom Groggin to Mt Pinnibar and then over to Nariel Valley is very good. Nice steep bits on the climb and nice views to the main range and Bogong. Take a map as there are few branch roads on the Nariel side of Pinnibar.

    If you go the Alpine Way it's worth driving the 10km or so off the road up to Olsens Lookout. The road has been closed for a while - not sure of latest status.

    Mt Elliot track on the Khancoban side of Corryong is a good short steep detour off the main road.

    Kunama New Member

    I would advice some caution if you're travelling on your own, the Groggin Pinnibar route is beautiful but I wouldnt want to be there waiting for someone to come by and assist. Comms are not that great in that area either.

    bobly Well-Known Member

    Yeah I was having a look today on google earth and some maps I have and it's probably just one grade above what I'd feel is advisable to do on my own. I quite like the look of Davies Plain though and roads all look pretty decent.

    Only problem is now I have 3 potential routes so I have to decide which one is the least interesting..... Omeo Highway, Nariel Valley or Davies Plain / Tom Groggin track.

    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    If you're worried about getting caught somewhere i'd say it would be further for help on the Davies Plain track than the Pinnibar Track.

    bobly Well-Known Member

    ^ more about the difficulty of the road. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Bogong Part of the Furniture

    The Davies Plain road rises to 1750 metres high and is above 1600 metres for quite a long distance. It's seriously remote, so if there is any chance of snow, Davies Plain will cop plenty.

    For these reasons it's sometimes closed for longer than the standard Queens Birthday to Cup Weekend time frame.

    bobly Well-Known Member

    Thanks bogong. There's also the river crossing at Tom Grogging to consider too I guess. Is there a bridge there I can use or do I have to use the ford??

    I'm happy for a bit of snow but checking the weather for next week and temps look marginal and there's a possibility for quite a bit of moisture.

    Will just have to monitor the situation and make a final decision closer to the time.


    currawong Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    the hotham dargo road is good, but another (equal not better) option is the Birregun road

    another quite different alternative would be to go from falls of hotham to myrtleford, then either lake buffalo-whitfield rd or rose river rd, mansfield then either via Licola or Woods Point to the Princes Hwy. There is also a supposed to be a reasonably good gravel road around the back of Mt Buffalo, from the Buckand River rd to join the above route at Lake Buffalo.

    Bogong Part of the Furniture

    I think you have to ford the Indi River to get from the Davies Plain Road to the Alpine Way.

    About 2 km downstream of the ford at Dogman's Hut, the Tom Groggin Station has a concrete bridge / floodway thingy that can be driven across without getting wet tyres 95% of the time, but it's on freehold land and I understand they don't let tourists use roads within their property.

    But remember, while Davies Plain isn't as well known, it's over 1700 metres high, just as big as the Dargo High Plains or the Snowy/Bennison/Howitt Plains and it's very remote with relatively few features. Since grazing was withdrawn, weeks pass without anyone going up there. Most of it is just below the treeline so without a GPS you will have no idea of exactly where you are.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013

    bobly Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, I was hoping the station would be open to vehicles using that bridge if the river was too high to cross, I'll give them a call and check to be on the safe side. It's not that I don't think my Delica can get across the ford it's more the potential for a crap load of rain this week that makes me nervous. Guess I'll take some extra fuel in case I have to turn back.

    I have GPS, offline maps, UHF/VHF radio etc, so getting lost shouldn't happen, just don't want to get bogged or stuck.

    Thanks for the suggestions Currawong, I've already done Woods Point, Licola, Tamboritha etc, so I think Dargo is still going to win out this time.

    The Davies Plain route looks so stunning if I don't do it this time, I'll definitely have to get up around there in spring.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    Bogong Part of the Furniture

    Last time I was at Tom Groggin, we had to walk right past the homestead and it's outbuildings as were accessing the Hermit Range. The station manager was polite but distant and while he didn't say "Get off my land" (which he had every right to do), he did his best to discourage us from hiking in the area and didn't appear to be fond of tourists of any sort.

    Phone the nearest DSE and/or PV office (perhaps Corryong? or Benambra?) to find out the condition of the Davies Plain Road and if you can drive over the Tom Groggin bridge thingy. It's sometimes hard to track down the local phone numbers as the bureaucracy likes everyone to go through their Melbourne call centre where the operators are pleasant but usually clueless about the sort of information that backcountry type people are looking for.

    BUT if you do get through to the local parks or forestry bureaucrats, they really know their stuff, or on the rare occasions they don't, they will put you on hold while they phone a hillbilly contact who knows the area intimately.

    P.S. Never even think about going near the Hermit Range, It looks like a 1 day hike on the map (we had planned to continue on to Mt Anderson), but to traverse the Hermit Range from near the Indi River to just below the summit of Pinnibar (along the original route of the Alpine Walking Track) took us three long days... Best described as a world of pain, exhaustion and misery. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    geez you like to talk it up Bogong. I agree Davies Plains is more remote than Pinnibar track but in either situation you always have the option of walking to help within a day or so. So as long as you take some food, a decent bag to sleep in, some warm clothes and a cigi lighter you will be fine. If you get stuck overnight you may get a few good stories out of the expereince.

    If you are with Telstra you get phone service on top of Pinnibar. Thats proper telstra service - not just the city one.
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    And either track requires you to ford the river at Tom Groggin. You need to drive through the camp ground to get to it. Back in about 2004 i access Pinnibar Track from Tom Groggin Station no worries but they do not keep these gates unlocked anymore.

    Bogong Part of the Furniture

    Well the Davies Plain Track is strictly for proper 4WD's. A Subie, jacked up ute or soft roader designed to deliver children to city schools might struggle on it as it's partly a dirt road without much gravel and it has huge puddles.

    Snow Blowey, I guess I've got more conservative and careful with advice since I became paranoid about legal liability. Despite having insurance, I'm nervous about ambulance chasing lawyers coming after me if anyone sprains a finger on one of my trips or even if any throwaway advice I give in an internet chat room proves to be a bit too 'cavalier'.
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    Risk perspective. you will be much more likely to die or be maimed travelling on the bitumen on the way to these places.

    Bob;y has a Delica. They are nice and high. Should have no problems. If the track is washed out anywhere all he needs to do is turn around and go the same way back to bitumen.