It's country where making a mistake can be fatal, or at the very least, expensive. Steep climbs and descents, lumbering over large rocks and ledges, deep water crossings where a snorkel is mandatory; this is the place where you can expand your 4WD repertoire once you’ve practiced on something a little bit easier. It would be a good idea if you’re not completely confident to go with a friend, a 4WD club or sign up with one of the many tagalong tour operators in the area.
Throughout the High Country are thousands of kilometres of four-wheel drive tracks. The status and conditions of these tracks are constantly changing. Many tracks are subject to seasonal closure, especially in winter, and some may be permanently closed. For the latest details on seasonal road closures in national parks visit Parks Victoria.
This is one of the steepest tracks in the Victorian High Country, so be prepared. It should only be attempted by experienced 4WD enthusiasts.
One of the most iconic tracks in all of the High Country, Blue Rag Range Track is a visual spectacle that can create some nervous moments for drivers attempting to scale its heights.
Travel up the Ingeegoodbee and you will soon be in pure four-wheel driving country. You're going to need to exercise every bit of your four-wheel drive experience on this run.
The trek from Benambra to Tom Groggin goes through very steep 4WD-only country, so make sure you're properly equipped with our full track guide.
The 4WD track from Sheepyard Flat to Jamieson has steep climbs and interesting alternate routes. Make sure to stop at a couple of historical areas including Howqua Hills Historical Area, Frys Hut and the Mitchells Homestead ruins.
Taking you from Jamieson to Woods Point in the heart of the High Country, this half-day trip requires low range and high clearance to negotiate.
The Stringy Bark Creek and Powers Lookout tracks are a very easy drive from Mansfield that can be traversed by 2WD. The additional trek to Top Crossing Hut is for those who want to experience a rougher 4WD track.
Not only is the driving challenge, but the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. Don’t forget that as much of the driving is low range work, your fuel consumption will be much higher than normal, so if you don’t have long range tanks, take along some jerry cans. For the same reason, don’t set yourself an unreal itinerary – most of it is slow going. Allow plenty of time and remember it may take a whole day to travel as little as 50km. You’ll need a high clearance vehicle with low range, and be careful to keep your wheels on the high ground. If you have a soft roader, forget it, and it shouldn’t be necessary to point out that this is not camper trailer territory for the most part.
Image: Davies Plain Track, High Country
Remember that some tracks are closed off during winter (or impassable because of heavy snow- snow chains and anti-freeze required), and that summer can be hot and dusty, making spring and autumn the optimal choices.
Please be aware that some tracks may be signposted, warning of road damage. As always keep your options open when travelling, and seek an alternative route if the track deteriorates or the weather suddenly changes. Taking along a chainsaw to clear tracks of fallen timber is a good idea as well.
Image: Ingeegoodbee Track, High Country