4WD TOURING ROUTE
Wednesday 16th March, 2016
One of the aims of this trip was to check the accuracy of the 4WD Touring Route, however as we drove towards Broadford the sun shone and it became obvious that it was going to be a perfect day for a drive in the country. The group, consisting of nine people in five cars, met at 'Cliftons on High Cafe' in Main Street, Broadford, where some consumed a hearty breakfast and others were content with coffee.
It was dry in the Forest
Following the briefing we set off along the Hume highway heading north and after a short run turned right into Ennis Road. We aired down before turning on to Mountain Track, described in the trip notes as being steep and rocky – a pretty accurate description. The track required low range as it was steep in places with a loose surface covered with small and medium sized stones. Near the summit a group of larger rocks required careful wheel placement and it was there the call 'I'm stuck!' came from the trip leader. After a careful assessment of the track and some hole-filling with stones and rocks, Colin was able to manoeuvre his way over the tricky patch to the top, followed by the rest of the group.
Fire Tower on top of Mt Hickey
From there we drove to Freemans Camp, a very pleasant well-maintained camping spot, where we had morning tea. Back in our vehicles we followed Wheelers Track to the site of the ruins of an old wooden and corrugated iron building, a short walk down the slope opposite the intersection of Wheelers and Hefferens Tracks. After a brief stop to view the ruins and discuss their possible origins we headed further along the boundary of the state park to Freeman Road, Jenkins Rd and then onto Bills Track. The latter, with its many bog holes, which could become very challenging in wet weather, proved to be one of the more interesting tracks on the drive.
As we drove up Bridge Track it was interesting to note a number of very steep and challenging tracks on the hillside to the left. Colin spoke of his determination to one day return and take some of them on! From here we headed along Falls Creek Road, Brockwells Track and East Falls road to the Trawool Reservoir (aka Falls Creek Reservoir) where we stopped for lunch in the shade beside the track.
After lunch we made our way back towards Murchison Gap, stopping once whilst Heather and Colin checked out a possible side track only to find it was a dead-end and had to retrace their tracks to the top where the rest of the group were waiting to watch them perform a multi-point turn on the narrow track.
Views of the Goulburn River Valley
At Murchison Gap those of us who were continuing on the blacktop aired up before posing for a group photo, saying our farewells and heading homewards in different directions.
The group at Murchison Gap
Colin & Heather
Geoff & Peggy
Wayne & Ruthi
J-P & Trish