Approximately 180km east of Melbourne, you will find Baw Baw National Park and the old gold mining township of Walhalla where the Australian Alps Walking Track commences (or finishes). This whole area is a great location for some interesting and diverse day walks or some 1-3 day hikes. There are a number of places where you can join the Alps Track and explore the majestic forests, snowy woodlands and alpine heathlands, as well as the history of a bygone era.
The 1,100m climb up to Mt Erica provided an excellent example in my view of different vegetation bands changing with altitude. From the stands of Mountain Ash at the bottom one moves through several different layers including tree ferns, myrtle beech, grasslands near Mushroom Rocks and snow gum forests and low alpine scrub on the Baw Baw Plateau itself. The Plateau is an excellent small area of alpine bushland. The Mt. Erica carpark provides an easier option for those interested in a day walk.
Ross Walker, 2000.
The highest of Victoria’s mountains can be found in this part of the Alps. Venturing into this area is an exciting walking experience of which there are a variety of walks to choose from. Some of the more well known walking routes include:
- a half day heritage huts walk visiting Wallace and Cope huts on the Bogong High Plains
- the Razorback and Bungalow Spur to Mount Feathertop, and
- a trip to Mount Bogong via the Staircase Spur and Eskdale Spur from Mountain Creek near Tawonga South.
A very rewarding day walk is from the sheltered campsite at Macalister Springs to Mount Howitt. Macalister Springs is accessed from the Howitt Road north of Licola. From Macalister Springs it is approximately 3km to the summit. Once the summit of Mount Howitt is reached the views are spectacular and include Mount Buller and Mount Stirling, the Razor and Viking, Mount Buffalo and the peaks of the Bogong High Plains.
Located on the Snowy Mountains Highway, Kiandra is a fascinating place to explore walks on and near to the Alps Track. The area offers some excellent day walks that explore both cultural and natural heritage including:
- The Kiandra Heritage Trail – Starting at the Old Courthouse the trail follows a 1km loop revealing the history of Australia’s only true alpine gold mining township.
- Four Mile Hut – This walk is an easy day walk of 10km return that follows the Alps Track south from Kiandra . The hut is about 800m off the track situated on Four Mile Creek. (Use 1:25 000 Cabramurra map sheet for this walk)
- Gold Seekers Track – Heading west from Kiandra on the road to Cabramurra is a walking/cross-country skiing loop track of 3.1km that passes through sub-alpine woodland.
The Main Range as it suggests is where the largest section of true alpine country is to be found. Much of this area is treeless mountain peaks exceeding more than 2,000 metres altitude. Summer is an ideal time to explore the mountain tops, glorious wildflowers and glacial carved lakes found in this part of the Australian Alps. There are many possible walks both short and long including a must walk to the summit of Australia’s highest mountain – Mount Kosciuszko.
Short walks along or near the Alps Track:
- walkway to Mount Kosciuszko from Thredbo Village via the Crackenback chairlift
- Blue Lake walk from Charlotte Pass
A popular day or overnight walk (with car drop offs) commences at the northern end of the Alps Track at the Namadgi Visitor Centre. From here the Australian Alps Walking Track climbs up 4km to Mount Tennent providing panoramic views extending from Canberra in the north, the Brindabellas in the west to the Alps in the south.
From Mount Tennent you can continue a further 9km to Booroomba Rocks carpark or alternatively you could go on a further 4km to Honeysuckle campground.