Gippsland High Country Tours
Ecotours and Walking in the High Country and East Gippsland Regions of Victoria


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  • For the serious adventurer, these overnight backpacking bushwalks are an opportunity to immerse yourself in mountainous Wilderness and experience solitude and challenge.

  • Carry a full backpack into remote Wilderness Areas where no vehicle access is possible.

  • Group size is limited to 6 participants led by 2 experienced local bushwalking guides keen to share their love and knowledge of the mountains. You need to be fit and have a keen sense of adventure.


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Photo: Diana Cross

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Photo: Diana Cross

Photos, comments, stories and poems

Tali Karng Bushwalk
Graded: MODERATELY DIFFICULT (also Moderate option)

Wilderness Bushwalk (Backpacking)
Pack Weight 16-18kg

5 nights camping

For Adventurous walkers only!

This is an overnight backpacking bushwalk walking and camping away from vehicle support in rugged Alpine regions.

Tali Karng is a deep natural Lake, hidden away between fold of mountains at the head of the Wellington River.

This part of the Alpine National Park offers some challenging Wilderness Walking set in magnificent High Country scenery.

This walk explores the beautiful snowgum forests and open grassy plains of the Wellington Plateau before descending steeply to Tali Karng. We respect the wishes of the local indigenous community and do not camp at the lake.  Tali Karng is sacred to the Gunai Kurnai people and despite their strong connections to this country they do not visit the lake and ask visitors not to camp there overnight. 

Instead we camp on the ridge above and enjoy the lake by day with lots of quiet time on the lake shore. Surrounded by mountains explore, relax or enjoy a lazy swim taking in the serenity and very special atmosphere of the lake.
Reluctantly leaving Tali Karng we continue on down the Valley of Destruction to an overnight camp in the Wellington River Valley.  Our final leg follows the river downstream with over a dozen river crossings and passing delightful quiet pools as well as places where the river tumbles and gurgles over the rocks and pebbles. 
 
In addition you will walk through a forest of towering Alpine Ash, enjoy rock outcrops for views and delightful campsites amongst charismatic trees.
Moderate option carries backpacks on days 2 and 5 only, visiting the lake as a day walk and returns via the Wellington Plains not the river valley.

Maximum of 6 participants only.

This wilderness bushwalk is scheduled only when there is sufficient interest and demand.

Contact us to register your interest and to be notified of the next departure date.

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reedy creek

You need to be fit enough to carry a full backpack every day in steep rugged terrain, often without tracks.  There are not many places you can go walking at Easter and be unlikely to see other walkers, but Reedy Creek offers you this possiblity.

This wilderness bushwalk is scheduled only when there is sufficient interest and demand.

Contact us to register your interest and to be notified of the next departure date.

Photos and comments


4 day Reedy Creek Chasm Bushwalk
Graded: MODERATELY DIFFICULT

Wilderness Bushwalk, Pack Weight 15-18kg

3 nights camping

For adventurous walkers only!

Sit and gaze over rugged Wilderness one day and the next traverse the steep trackless terrain to discover Reedy Creek Chasm itself.  Then finish up with a quiet wander across a delightful sub-alpine plain on the last day.  Challenge, solitude, a sense of renewal and all to be found hiking in a glorious High County setting.

This bushwalk explores the little-known Buchan Headwaters Wilderness in the Alpine National Park.  With no major peaks to boast, this area sees few bushwalkers, however the chasm on Reedy Creek is a remarkable place and well worth the effort required. Here in this small but deep and narrow chasm, gaze skyward at the cliffs above and remark at the variety of ferns waving their fronds gently in the breeze.

 

reedy creek

 


6 Day Cobberas and Cowombat Flat Adventure
Graded: MODERATELY DIFFICULT

Wilderness Bushwalk (pack weight 15-18kg).
4 nights camping, 1 night accommodation.

For adventurous walkers only!

This is the most scenic of my bushwalks as we hike across the "spine" of the Cobberas Range , the second highest mountain range in Victoria .

Ascending Mt. Cobberas 1 at 1838m, you are rewarded with some of the finest 360 degree mountain views to be found anywhere. This is Wilderness walking at it's best.


one man
   

snowgums

This wilderness bushwalk is scheduled only when there is sufficient interest and demand.

Contact us to register your interest and to be notified of the next departure date.



Remote from civilisation, this sub-alpine Wilderness features rugged rocky peaks, splendid snowgum woodland and sub-alpine meadows with our only company being native wildlife and brumbies.

Reaching Cowombat Flat, the headwaters of the Murray River , we set up camp and explore the flat and surrounds. Here the mighty Murray River dividing Victoria from NSW, is barely a metre wide.

A leisurely pace throughout this bushwalk ensures ample time to appreciate the Wilderness, experience the true solitude and soak up the atmosphere.

Photos, Comments, Stories & Poems


Too Difficult??

For day walks without packs go to Walking Ecotours

For short easy walks go to Easy Ecotours


Comments, Stories & Photos (Tali Karng Bushwalk)

The Lake Tali Karng expedition     

We were knee-less by the time we got down to Tali Karng,
We’d zig-zagged down the steepest spur to reach the hidden lake,
And all of us, whate’er our age, with walking sticks or not,
Found legs had turned to jelly—they’d had more than they could take.

We were breath-less when next morning we went back up to the top,
There was no other option so we simply staggered up,
But this was well rewarded with a rest in autumn sun,
And camp among the snow gums with a fire to cheer us up.

We were staggering the third day just to get our backpacks on
We’d filled those wine-cask bladders full [with water, I must say!]
And then we found a wall of scrub that wasn’t on the map
So back we tracked and changed our plans and had a pack-free day.

We were cruisin’ on the last day as we traced our steps back out,
‘cept for two who shall be nameless who went AWOL at a T!!!
We looked back o’er the mountains in the glow of setting sun,
And feasted in the dairy at a lovely B and B.

Diana Cross (SA)

Two unforgettable experiences – Forlorn Hope Plain & Lake Tali Karng

“Words are inadequate to explain or express the feelings, but here goes-  Wonder, joy, exhilaration, excitement, achievement, despair (when the pack had to be left behind –Tali Karng) bone weariness and an overwhelming sense of “YES”!!

The food was satisfying, abundant and enjoyable.  Tom was a clown and contributed enormously to the sense of fun and adventure.  Jenny (as usual) a tower of strength and support and encouragement and wonder woman!!. The place was indescribably beautiful – re-emerging in areas totally destroyed by fire with incredible vigour, colour and enthusiasm.  I do wish I could grow Black Sallees in Queensland!!

Both Forlorn Hope Plain and Lake Tali Karng were unforgettable experiences.

Thank you Sheina for the photo – I don’t mind being encumbered, I just feel photos don’t really capture the feeling, though the one you sent I will treasure.  And Diana (probably off again soon, if not already trekking again) Thank you for the opportunity to show the “grannies” that their Nan actually walked these places.  Shirley I hope to catch up with you sometime in the Flinders Ranges!

And Jenny – thank you – I will do it again!”  

Y. Lickerman (Qld)

"My fourth Gippsland High Country Tours trip. No disappointment here - wobbly knees and deepened laughter lines. Another 5 days of good-for-the-spirit Alpine walking"
Shirley (S.A.)

"How can you describe a walk that leaves us knee-less on our first day, breathless (from climbing uphill) on the second day, direction-less (from scrub bashing) on the third day and care-less on the last day? Fabulous because of the company, the laughs and the gorgeous autumn weather."
Diana (S.A.)

"Another life ambition achieved"
Janie (Melbourne)

"The rock climb to the breathtaking view from the Sentinel was the highlight of the trip for me"
Marelyn (Vic)

"What an achievement - an adventure, unforgettable"
Yo (Qld)


Lake Tali Karng
Picturesque tentsite

 

More information on Tali Karng Bushwalk

Lake Tali Karng
Just one of the challenges

Lake Tali Karng
Photo: Diana Cross


Photos & Comments (Reedy Creek Chasm)



Reedy Creek

“Not for the faint-hearted”  
John (Vic)

“Quite an achievement! My highlights- the challenge, the environment and your knowledge.  Thanks heaps Jenny”
Kim (Vic)

“Some rugged walking in interesting country. I particularly enjoyed the long day walk down to the Reedy Creek Chasm” 
Roger (NSW)


Reedy Creek

   
More information on Reedy Creek Chasm Bushwalk


Comment, Stories & Photos (Cobberas & Cowombat Flat Bushwalk)

lunch
Bushwalkers lunch on a remote Alpine Peak

“The trip was perfect. The country rugged, the Wilderness pristine, the leadership unsurpassed. Jenny you have found your calling in life as your knowledge and enthusiasm for the area is outstanding. I’ll be back!!”
Sharon (Qld)

“Thanks for a really great trip – everything I had hoped for- Challenging walking, spectacular views, wildflowers galore, birds and mostly great weather.”
David (Vic)

“Jenny told me about the Cobberas 6 years ago on a trip to Mt Feathertop – took a while to get here but it was a wonderful experience. Everything is done with great professionalism, cheerfulness and a big smile.”
Ron (Melbourne)


twisted snowgums
final adjsutment
Walking through twisted snowgums
Final pack adjustment before walking off into the mist

Cobberas Wilderness and Cowombat Flat Adventure

Would you like to straddle the Great Dividing Range, have one foot in VIC and one in NSW, see the first border Cairn, the infant Murray River, breathe alpine air and sleep where wild horses run? Are you interested in this high country dreaming?

Loaded with essentials, food and water, I swing my pack onto my back staggering slightly.  We, Ron, James, Doug, Jasmin, Jenny, Tom, Hans, Paula and me (Belinda), set off from The Playground to Cobberas 1 (1838m). In simmering heat, we climb. Over rocks, between rocks, over and under fallen trees, some burnt, some fallen with the weight of snow. Through tall grasses past their prime, now folded and fallen, trip wires for the unwary. Post-2003 fires, snow gums sprout with kid-glove leaves, others with silver-grey spiralling around their branches, velvet, soft, tactile sensations.

On and up, terracotta and burnt sienna rocks turned grey with exposure. Some coated with green and grey lichen. Still air, humid, we need a breeze, pleeze, sweat, puff, sweat, puff, and sweat. Hans and Paula carry extra water for us. They will return home. We stash our packs against a tree, (I wonder will we find them again?) and hike to the summit of Cobberas 1.  Some climb to the top where a small book is kept to sign off on the achievement.  Hans confidently sits on top, Jasmin and Doug too.  Since Hans says he is sitting on a rock not wider than a saddle, I decline the invitation to join them.  Photos instead… what a panorama Middle Peak, Cleft Peak, Moscow Peak, Cobberas 2 and The Pilot in New South Wales. Then down…

Miraculously (to me anyway) we find our packs and farewell Hans and Paula.  Paula has a massage booked.  Secretly I want to join her.  Instead I heave my pack and set off. Almost all the snow gums are bent and leaning, with grey, chalk and lead trunks, their skins rippled, flaked, mottled or stripped, timeless. This land awes me. We make our way to a grassy campsite at 1700m. The soft evening light and long shadows begin. We cool and catch our breath, set up our tents. Tom, Doug and Jasmin go to find water, they have energy to spare at the end of this day. Tom finds a gumleaf to funnel the tiny stream into a canister. While others are busy, I fiddle in my tent and admire the view. Jenny creates one of her bush dinners. We wait, eager, expectant. It is more than delicious.  Why does everything taste so good in the bush? Jenny, James, Ron and Tom hear horses during the night. We are the intruders. Poo mountains mark the stallion terrain and fresh poo is evident. Mercifully, it does not stick to your boots, or smell!

Next morning, the air is crisp. It warms to a still day.  We leave dewy tents to dry and hike to Middle Peak. We scramble up near vertical, then bum-slide down over long grass; exhilarating, I love it! Beyond, the rocky outcrops of Cleft Peak rise. I find a large cave and wonder if it was once shelter, and for whom? After gazing, lazing and grazing we return to pack up camp and move on.  On the way to our next camp, Tom and I straddle the Great Dividing Range. We have long legs. We spot wild horses and a foal.  As we head down to camp, the horses take flight, galloping, tails streaming. The land rises all around, and as the light fades, mist rolls in, rolls on, and more rolls in. The ground is soon wet as is the air. It is eerily quiet.

The morning is cool and clear. Ravens call mournfully, their black feathers glossy in the bright light. We climb to Moscow Peak then along the top of the Range. I scramble up rock faces, bum-slide down, clamber round boulders, speed over grassy saddles, pick a weaving path through rocks hidden in grasses to Cobberas 2.  I look back to Cleft Peak, distant and stately.  We stop for more lazing and grazing. Storms threaten, we elect to have two nights on Cowombat Flat.  This means another long, contouring, steep descent.  Down and round we go.  Over rocks, fallen trees, hidden holes, criss-cross branches, tall grasses, through head high snow gum regrowth with soft leather leaves, past sun-baking copperhead snakes.  We contour the side of the hill, going left, left, and left. I long for a right turn; one leg is getting longer. This is tricky hiking, untracked, meandering and steep. I put my toe in a hole on the downside, my hiking stick in another, and fall, turning gracefully, an arc in the air with the weight of my pack sending me head first downhill.  I am an upturned turtle, head down hill, and legs in the air. Tom helps me vertical, we laugh, and I am not hurt. Finally, we are on Cowombat Flat. This is a natural clearing, a big open generous space.  It is windy and cool. I tie down my tent as never before, anticipating storms. The wind drops, my tent looks ridiculous strapped to the ground. After dinner physical tiredness hits and I fall into my tent to punch out the zzzzzs.

Dew again overnight.  We hike to Forrest Hill, the headwaters of the Murray and the first border Cairn beyond. At the Murray source we find a canister of notes – previous visitors names and journeys are read out.  The river here is gentle, insignificant, flowing over mossy clover shimmering in the sun. We move away from the river, over grassy verges, up rocky hills, past burned trees and stumps, find brumby tracks, down to the river again, watch for tiger snakes. A wallaby with joey, rust red, bounds away.  Thunderstorms threaten; the air is thick and warm. We spot a yellow tent at Cowombat Flat, descend and cross the river to the ruins of a farmhouse.  I gaze at the rocky ruins and imagine the past – building with rock, split logs and earth, a tough life? Drizzle begins, dampening clothes, not spirits. We hike to the junction of the Pilot, Murray and Copperhead rivers.  Fish jump at twigs I throw in the water.  Jenny and I have a “bark race” down the river.  One piece gets stuck; race over.  I stretch this last day in the wilderness quiet, reluctant to let daylight go.  Yet night falls anyway.  Thunder rolls close, then distant.  Lightning flashes.  We sit round a fire with another satisfying dinner. The storm rolls on to New South Wales. It rains and I am warm and dry in my tent.

We pack for the long walk out.  It is a wide gravel track, hot, gruelling and rough underfoot. Up, of course, from Cowombat Flat. Wild horses run close by, stop, look at us with their long faces, turn and gallop on.  Hans meets us with lunch – fresh bread, fruit, ham, and chicken roll. I feel civilisation is too close.  After lunch, we hike to the Landcruiser.  It is the beginning of re-entry.  Gravel roads turn to bitumen, and Omeo. We stay at the Golden Age Hotel. It lives its name.  I wake at 5 a.m. Omeo is quiet.  Hills roll on greenly.  I walk around town.  The air is crisp before the day warms.  We leave.  The Cobberas Wilderness recedes in fact, yet resonates in memory.
B. Heyward (Vic)

Cobberas Highlights

I was lured to the call of the Victorian Alps wilderness by the trip notes and the promise of snow, having read a past passenger’s description of last year’s walk.  Would I be so lucky?  As a Queenslander, snow is an experience of far away places. 

Day 1 and my fellow walker Judy and I arrived early at our departure point.  My first impression of the group was that they were bright and cheery for first thing in the morning.  Always a good sign!  We introduced ourselves to Jenny, Tom and Hans who would be our charges for the next five days.  We loaded up, “The Playgrounds” our destination and drop off point.  The scenery on the way was diverse, from rolling grassy hills to heavily wooded forests.  For me there was the expectation of what lay ahead.

At The Playgrounds, we readjusted our packs to include our share of the food and tent.  The final test on minimal packing for a five day walk. We were off this time, Cobberas 1 our destination.  The walk was a steady climb, Hans put his long legs to good use and sprinted up ahead.  What a relief to shed our packs and explore the dizzy heights of Cobberas No 1 at approx 1800metres. 

At the end of our first day well satisfied with our efforts, we donned our warm gear in anticipation for the coming cold night.  Being a Queenslander I had forgotten about the layered method and kept sneaking back to the tent for yet another layer.  The next night I was prepared!  Hot food and a campfire were heaven at the end of our first day.  We settled down for some good campfire chat and to find our a little of each of us.  After a few hours of “frank fireside discussion” we had solved world problems and found out Tom best worked “on his back”.  I thought I has ensured of an interesting time ahead however Tom’s work ethic concerned me somewhat.  As was our compass bearer and carrier of some of the provisions, I would have to watch him closely.

Day 2 greeted us being in the cloud line, the temperature being no far above zero.  Could this be the beginning of snow?  The cloud and fog cleared into a beautiful day and we set off to explore Cleft Peak.  What a wonderful feeling to be above the cloud line.  And so we went on, each day as enjoyable as the last.  We enjoyed such splendours as Moscow Peak, Cobberas No 2, then down to Cowombat Flat to find fresh mountain spring water.

Our anxieties over the lack of water due to the dry summer had subsided.  We enjoyed the beauty of free roaming brumbies inquiring of us at a safe distance and their territorial snorts echoing into the night.  My fears of Tom’s work ethic were unfounded as he was a whiz with the compass.  Jenny’s enthusiasm and knowledge for the area was inspirational and I wished the trip could go on forever.  The snow didn’t appear, but perfect weather did.  From experiences of the previous year in one of those far away places, I know that the joy of snow lasts only until your feet get wet.  I wasn’t disappointed.  To sum up the trip – the wilderness was pristine, the views unmatched and the company a delight.  Overall a perfect holiday.
S. Thrupp (Qld)

Wilderness Walking

This was a great adventure, challenging at times, but very manageable.  The scenery was fantastic, wildflowers were out and even the Alpine mist on Day was beautiful.  Thanks to Jenny for her knowledge of the bush, plants and animals and history of the area.  We were able to enjoy the serenity of the area and to appreciate where we were – in the Wilderness of Victoria.  On the drive out we passed our start point and I thought, well if I had been told to, I would readily do it all again.
Anne (NT)

The Cobberas walk was a wonderful experience for me.  I loved the feelings of being so far from areas of human impact and seeing the wilderness in beautiful autumn weather.  Coming across wildlife like a Boobook Owl, a Peregrine Falcon, a Wedge-tail Eagle and Brumbies galloping down a hill were memories I will treasure.

Jenny and Trevor, as well as being good company made the trip more interesting as they knew so much about the local area and it’s birds and animals.

Inspired by so much natural beauty and the feeling of peace it gave me, I have decided to move house from the centre of Sydney to somewhere further out with a bit more bush.  Back in the city, I still have that to resolve however, a couple of well placed hail stones through the roof means my plans will be sooner rather than later.
A. Forsyth (NSW) 

More information on Cobberas & Cowombat Flat Adventure


HOME PAGE | LATEST NEWS & SPECIALS | PROGRAM/CALENDAR | EASY ECOTOURS | WALKING ECOTOURS
WILDERNESS BUSHWALKS | OUTBACK & INTERSTATE |WILDLIFE RESEARCH| BIRDS & BIRDWATCHING | PRIVATE TOURS & GROUPS
MEET OUR GUIDES | YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED | PHOTO GALLERY AND COMMENTS | STORIES AND POEMS | CONTACT US | LINKS

  Gippsland High Country Tours
Gippsland High Country Tours  
PO Box 69,Bruthen, Victoria 3885 AUSTRALIA
 
Phone: (03) 5157 5556 (International 61 3 5157 5556)
Fax: (03) 5157 5539 (International 61 3 5157 5539)
Email: info@gippslandhighcountrytours.com.au
www.gippslandhighcountrytours.com.au
 

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