Camping and Hiking
The campsites found in this region range from well maintained sites with full facilities to secluded clearings with nothing for miles except bushland and native animals.
Closer to Mount Buller, the remote areas of the Delatite, Howqua, Goulburn, Broken and Jamieson rivers lead to some of the best, isolated locations for camping that you'll find anywhere in the world, whilst the more popular campsites include Sheepyard Flat.
Lake Eildon National Park offers a variety of settings from open bush on the northern side to dense vegetation on the southern and eastern sides. The Fraser Camping Grounds have large and very popular campsites with full facilities. South of the lake near Jerusalem Inlet, there is another smaller camping ground which is also very popular, as is the camping area along the Big River.
Suggestions are listed below, but for a full list of campsites, contact an accredited visitor information centre.
Mansfield and surrounds:
Sheepyard Flat near MansfieldThis popular natural camping spot is on the banks of the Howqua River. Reach Howqua Hills Historic Area from Mansfield via Merrijig and take the Howqua Track, a gravel road 3 kilometres past Merrijig on the Mount Buller Road. A 25 minute drive will bring you to Howqua Hills (Sheepyard Flat).
Stringybark Creek Camping Reserve near Mansfield
A pretty spot to stop when in Ned Kelly country, Stringybark Creek is 36 kilometres from Mansfield. To get there, take the Mansfield-Whitfield Road for 31 kilometres. Turn left down the Tatong-Tolmie Road and travel 9.5 kilometres to the campsite. Dogs are allowed at this campsite but must be kept under control.
Pineapple Flat near MansfieldA pleasant spot located on the King River. To get there from Mansfield via Mt Stirling, follow the Circuit Road, past the Number 3 Road intersection. The King Basin Road leads to Pineapple Flat, on the banks of the King River. This is an excellent place for trout fishing and there is a large camping area with toilet facilities. Four-wheel drive access only.
Eildon and Surrounds:
Jerusalem Creek near EildonSet amongst bush beside Lake Eildon off Jerusalem Creek Road. Facilities include fireplace and toilets.
Big River near EildonNatural bushland found beside the Big River, off Eildon-Jamieson Road. Facilities include fireplace and toilets.
Fraser Camping Area near EildonThis natural bush setting can be reached from UT Creek Road, off Skyline Road. Facilities include hot water, showers, toilets and fireplaces.
HIKING AND WALKING TRAILS
Mount Buller to Mt Stirling Trail
Length: 7 kilometres
Walk: 2.5 hours one way
Start: Mount Buller Ski Village
Finish: Mt Stirling
Nearby: Mount Buller
Permits/bookings: none required
Best time: October-April
The well-marked trail between the sister peaks winds through forests of Alpine Ash and snow gum to the summit of Mt Stirling (1,747m), where spectacular views take in the dramatic Crosscut Saw, Mount Buller and Mount Buffalo. Add a dash of popular culture to your walk by continuing on to nearby Craigs' Hut, a film set used in the making of 'The Man from Snowy River'. Mount Buller (1,807 metres) itself offers exciting walking and riding alternatives: take the short trail to the summit – or see why the region is a mountain biker’s favourite.
Alpine National Park
Length: 27 kilometres
Walk: 2 days
Start: Eight Mile Flat, Howqua River
Finish: Eight Mile Flat, Howqua River
Best Time: Summer, Autumn
From a pleasant grassy clearing beside the Howqua River, the track climbs steadily through dry open forest along Eight Mile Spur. The final stages of the ascent to the rugged natural ramparts of the Bluff are quite steep, but the rewards are soon evident. From the treeless 1,725 metre summit a spectacular alpine panorama unfolds, stretching to Mount Buller in the north and faraway Lake Eildon. The trail continues through alpine meadows, carpeted with brilliant wildflowers in early summer, to Bluff Hut and a sheltered campsite among the nearby snow gums. Next morning, descend along a 4WD road on Sixteen Mile Spur to the Howqua River, then follow the river valley past Ritchies Hut to the start of the trail at Eight Mile Flat. Commercial tour operators also run horse-riding trips to the Bluff.
All visitors, and especially walkers, should realise that weather conditions can change rapidly in alpine areas at any time of year. Snowfalls can be experienced at any time, so please be prepared with:
* warm clothing
* windproof and waterproof jacket
* gloves and hat
* strong footwear
* energy food and water
* compass and relevant topographical map
Further Information, please contact Parks Victoria on 13 19 63 (within Australia)
*Information thanks to Tourism Victoria