NOW: Dargo High Plains, Talbotville, Blue Rag and Hotham
When we sought advice from our Melbourne buddies about where to camp in the High Country they told us it didn’t really matter as there were great campsites everywhere. Well they were right! From Licola we travelled through Heyfield and Maffra and into Sale where the Police Station was once Her Majesty’s Prison and the river port was the most important part of town. A night in Sale to do the washing, restock the fridge and dinner at the Gippsland Hotel and then on to Dargo via Brigalong.
We arrived just in time for lunch at the Dargo Hotel but, be wary of the advice given by the barman. His face went really red when he told me Billy Goat Bluff Track was a snack – watch the face to sort the facts from the fantasy! He did also say there would be next to no one at Talbotville and that was true.
The road from Dargo through to the historic ruins of the Grant township was a doosie – steep up the tar in second gear and then steep and narrow down into the valley on the dirt in first low for 6 kilometres! Whew! I’m glad we didn’t meet anyone coming up but our camp at Talbotville was right by the river on a grassy flat with shady trees, a picnic table, a fire pit and the odd overnight camper.
From our base at Talbotville we headed into the hills via Brewery Creek and Ritchie Roads to the spectacular Blue Rag Range Track. After travelling along the spur line we reached the Blue Rag Trig Station where you can see Mt Hotham, Mt Cobbler and into the distance in every direction. This was an easy forest drive with some more difficult rocky climbs along the way.
We returned to Talbotville on the Dargo High Plains Road to find a group of other campers joining us for the night – people and cars just pop out from the bush!
As predicted it was raining the next morning but we’d planned a day relaxing and by 3.00pm the thunder and lightning had stopped and the front seemed to have passed through. So we lit a good fire to cook our roast pork dinner in the camp oven and THEN…….the wind came up! While we hung on to the annexe poles and the shower shed the wind picked up our camp chairs, threw them in the air and dropped them on the roast in the fire pit! My chair had always been called the ugly chair because it was brown and khaki in colour but it didn’t function at all with a V-neck back! So, when the wind comes up watch your chair even if it is ugly! The wind dropped quickly, the chairs were crispy but the roast was perfect!
As snow skiers we were interested to visit Mt Hotham via the Dargo High Plains Road where the temperature reached a high of just 7 degrees. We stopped at Lanky Plain Hut and the relatively modern Hotham Hut along the way.
In From Hotham we travelled along the Alpine Way through Bright and Porepunkah to our camp by the Buckland River. The abandoned Beveridges Station and old town site of Miners Right are also up the Buckland Valley.
We’ve been using the Boiling Billy Publications Guide to the High Country by Savage and Lewis which gives lots of information, history and an accurate trip guide to some most spectacular places.
NEXT: Jamieson and Easter at Granny’s Flat.
On the Emu Track
Cheryl and David.