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TRAVELLERS BULLETIN- TOURING AUSTRALIA - VICTORIA
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Keep a check on road and track closures and conditions by looking at the following websites:
Victoria Online: www.vic.gov.au/emergencies-safety/alerts-warnings-hotlines/traffic-road-alerts.html
Parks Victoria: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Parks Victoria - Victorian National Park camping fees: http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/visiting-parks-and-forests/national-parks-camping-and-accommodation-fees
Parks Victoria - Changes to peak season camping ballots at some sites
Parks Victoria has changed the ballot system for a number of popular camping sites for peak periods. The change will benefit those planning their summer holidays in advance, as people will know instantly if they have been successful in securing a site, rather than having to wait 4-6 weeks for the ballot process to be finalised.
An advance booking system for peak periods will now apply for the following sites:
Croajingolong National Park (Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek) and Peachtree Creek Reserve. Advance bookings for camping between 27 December and 17 January will open on 1 August at 9am. There are no minimum or maximum stay periods.
Blanket Bay in the Great Otway National Park. Advance bookings for camping between 27 December and 17 January will open on 1 August at 9am. There is a 7 night maximum stay, and no minimum stay.
Corringle Foreshore Reserve. Advance bookings for the period between 27 December and 17 January open on 1 September at 9am. There are no minimum or maximum stay periods.
Bunga Arm (Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park). Advance bookings for camping between 27 December and 26 January will open on 1 October at 9am. There is a maximum booking period of three weeks.
There is now no minimum stay period during the summer peak period, which gives campers greater flexibility to plan their holiday. Those intending to make an advance booking are encouraged to visit the online booking site www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay so they can familiarise themselves with the system. Sites are expected to book out quickly so those interested in camping at these sites are encouraged to visit www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay as soon as possible from 9am on the day advance bookings open.
Grampians National Park Update - Wartook Road now open
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water announced recently that the Wartook Road (Mt Victory Road to the wall at Lake Wartook) has been reopened. This provides access for fishing, canoeing and picnicking once again at Lake Wartook. Please note that access to MacKenzie Falls, Smiths Mill Campground and Mt Difficult Road is still closed. For more information on the Lake Wartook area please contact GWM Water on 1300 659 961 or visit http://www.gwmwater.org.au/home.
Seasonal Road Closure Openings in Victoria's Forests and Parks
For information about road closures and changes of conditions go to www.parkweb.vic.gov.au.
Victoria – Seasonal Road Closures and Opening Dates
By the end of October, or November, many of the roads throughout Victoria’s National Parks should reopen. For a complete list of all roads/tracks and opening dates, check out the Parks Victoria web site:
Camping in NW Vic
The Caravan and camping facilities in the Yarriambiack Shire of western Victoria are all exceptional value for money with many sites only $10, while free camping is permitted at Lake Lascelles. The Mallee townships within the Shire are in close proximity to the Wyperfeld, Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray Sunset National Parks which are great spots for four wheelers to explore. To check out the campgrounds in the shire visit: http://yarriambiack.vic.gov.au/tourism/parks/.
Sunset National Park Accommodation
The old historic shearers quarters, located in the western section of the Sunset National Park, east of the Border Track and south of the Sturt Highway south-west of Mildura, makes for a great base when exploring this fabulous desert park this spring. There's good camping located here as well. To book the Shearers’ Quarters go to: http://www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/murray-sunset-national-park-shearers-quarters, or contact Parks Victoria, ph: 13 19 63.
Iconic Grampians Drive
Travel among the spectacular peaks and dramatic rock formations of Grampians National Park and enjoy great views, picturesque waterfalls, spectacular wildflower displays and interesting Aboriginal rock art sites. There’s some great camping as well. For more details go to: www.iconic4wd.com.au.
King River Hut is once again open for visitors
Parks Victoria in conjunction with the Victorian High Country Huts Association (VHCHA) and Mansfield Shire Council have opened the new King River Hut.
King River Hut, located approximately 43km east of Mansfield in the Alpine National Park, was identified as a key restoration project following its destruction due to an unattended fire within the hut in July 2008. It was recognised for its significant social values and was regularly used by local Mansfield grazing families including the Hearn’s, Ross’s, Gough’s and the McCormack’s.
This is the tenth hut to be rebuilt in the Alpine National Park over the last eight years recognising cultural associations and refuge needs of those huts lost to fire. There are over 80 huts in the Alpine National Park and many of the rebuilds have involved the partnership with the VHCHA.
“We were delighted to see such a good turnout at all of the working bees and without all of the volunteers from the VHCHA, interested family groups, a handful of enthusiastic locals, Mansfield Shire, Wangaratta 4WD Club and Four Wheel Drive Victoria, we would not have been able to complete the King River Hut restoration project,” said Mr Smith.
There's some great 4WDriving around here and lots of spots to camp!
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Four Wheel Drive Victoria: www.fwdvictoria.org.au
Driving Courses - Four Wheel Drive Victoria
A range of four wheel driving courses including Advanced Winter Driving, a Women’s 4x4 Course, a Sand Driving Course, along with an On Road Towing Course, First Aid Course, a Chainsaw Course and more, are planned for the next few months by 4WD Victoria. They are open to anyone. For cost and dates visit www.fwdvictoria.org.au.
Portland Dune Buggy Club
This 1800ha area of mainly tall bare dunes is a mecca for off-road enthusiasts. It's a quiet place where you can camp and enjoy the solitude and the wilderness of this wind swept section of coast. You must be a member of the club and 4-day membership is readily available. It's a top spot. Check out: www.portlanddunebuggyclub.com.au.
Kow Plains Homestead
Over the last couple of years the old Kow Plains homestead, just south of Cowangie in Victoria's Outback has been renovated. First settled in 1859 the homestead dates to 1879 and is a drop-log construction of local pine. It is one of the very few remaining buildings of this type, and an evocative remnant of settlement and life in one of the most remote and hostile parts of the state. The last time the homestead was occupied was in 1961. Check it out next time you are travelling the Mallee Highway west of Ouyen or visit: www.kowplains.com.
Hawthorn Bridge Campground Closed
The Hawthorn Bridge Campground on the Latrobe River Road in Neerim State Forest, east of Melbourne, is in danger of being permanently closed after yet another case of vandalism that saw the destruction of the toilet block ... again! Currently it is closed till further notice. Camping is not permitted at the nearby day visitor area, while the closest camp sites are located at Toorongo Falls and the Polars north and east of Noojee, respectively.
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Lake Victoria Station
Located in the west of NSW just north of the Victorian border the Lake Victoria Lodge has accommodation available for groups up to 14 people consisting of a four bedroom homestead and a three bedroom cottage. Go bird watching, bushwalking, fishing, yabbying or take the fully equipped BBQ/party boat and explore the creeks and waterways of the mighty Murray River. For more info, ph: 0427 502 664; http://www.murraydarlingriverholidays.com/.
Lock 9 Camping and Accommodation
While there’s some enjoyable camping along the Murray River in the vicinity of Lock 9 (just 10km north of Cullulleraine on the Sturt Highway) there’s also the Lock 9 Lodge for those looking for a bit more comfort. There’s great fishing, bird watching, canoeing or boating to enjoy. For more details, ph: 0427 502 664, or visit: www.murraydarlingriverholidays.com.
Stay at Stockyard - Stockyard Creek
Stay at Stockyard Stockyard Creek, the Stoney’s family pioneer homestead is located on 420 picturesque acres right beside the Alpine National Park close to Mansfield, just three hours from Melbourne. The original selectors’ Pioneer Homestead is basic and rustic, yet very comfortable with all the amenities you need, including a big stove, basic 24 volt lighting, a 240 Volt generator if required, toilets, showers and a gas barbeque for open-air cooking.
Accommodation (for up to 32 people) includes bunkrooms, some separate double rooms and plenty of places for swags. Guests may self-cater and bring their own linen and towels, or arrangements can be made for linen and/or meals to be provided. All in all it is a great spot for a 4WD club, family re-unions or other groups having a weekend get-together and you can explore the surrounding area. The famous Bluff Hut, built by the Stoney’s back in the 1940s is easily reached from here, as are dozen of other great spots in the mountains.
If you are not into 4wdriving, but prefer something on four legs, than you can even bring your own horses. You have exclusive use of the property for your stay. For more information contact Graeme or Wendy Stoney, ph: (03) 5777 5766, or visit their web site: http://stockyard.stoney.com.au/.
Murray River 4WD Fun
Specs lake is an 3600ha private property with 14km of Murray River frontage, just two hours drive from Adelaide. It comprises red gum studded river flats to stoney hills and sandy mallee scrub with low dunes. The property has a number of self drive trips, an extreme 4WD tour, some great riverside camping, the Loveday Tavern and a 4WD adventure park will challenge most people's idea of four wheel driving and fun. For more details visit: www.loveday4x4adventures.com.
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