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On Walkabout On: Mt. Bogong, Victoria – Part 1

Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria has a number of great mountains to hike such as Mt. Buller, Mt. Buffalo, Mt. Macedon, Mt. Hotham, or Mt. Feathertop.  However, the state’s highest mountain Mt. Bogong at 1986 meters (6,520 feet) is also no where near as visited as much as the various other peaks I listed in Victoria.  A lot of this has to do with Mt. Bogong’s remote location in the Australian Alps.

Reaching Mt. Bogong takes about a four hour drive from Melbourne up the Hume Highway before getting off on the Great Alpine Road.  About an hour drive up the Great Alpine Road is a turn off to Mt. Bogong via the Bright-Tawonga Road.  This road twists and turns up the mountains where a lookout on the summit of this road provides spectacular views of Mt. Bogong:

From here it was just a short drive back down the mountain and across the valley the valley to the campground that the trail head is located at:

The campground like many areas in the Australian Alps was just extremely scenic and would just be a lovely place to spend a weekend camping.  However, on this trip camping wasn’t on my agenda, just getting to the top of Mt. Bogong was.  The trailhead at the campground is actually the beginning of a four wheel drive road known as Mountain Creek Road that takes bushwalkers to the actual trailhead to the top of Mt. Bogong, which was 2 kilometers away:

Due to the amount of rain that had fallen recently I wasn’t about to try and drive to the trail head on this muddy road:

Once I started walking further up the road, it actually began to dry out pretty well:

There was also a river crossing along the road where fortunately Parks Victoria was kind enough to build a bridge for hikers to walk across:

There are a number of streams that flow from the slopes of Mt. Bogong that need to be crossed along the trail and it is just incredible how clean this water is:

I usually drink some of the clean water while hiking around Australia and the water at Mt. Bogong is about as refreshing as it gets.  After trudging through mud and water along the four wheel drive trail, I finally came upon the trailhead to Mt. Bogong, which is known as Staircase Spur:

Six kilometers to the top of the mountain doesn’t seem that far, but as I would find out this was a long six kilometers because Staircase Spur did live up to its name because it was literally all up hill from here.

The first part of the trail took me through a very dense forest of gum trees:

I just love the smell of eucalyptus and it was especially strong in this forest.  These trees were no where near as big as the monsterous mountain ash trees in southern Victoria, but they were still scenic none the less.  There was also a lot of wildflowers that carpeted the side of the mountain as well to add a splash of color to the surrounding scenery:

Besides the incredibly lush foliage there was also a number of birds I could see and here in the bush around me such as this kookabura:

As I continued my steady ascent up the mountain I eventually came to a large section of the forest that had been scorched by a bushfire two years prior:

The forest was actually recovering really well from the fires as the Australian bush typically does.  About two hours into the hike I came to one of the cabins on Mt. Bogong that is free of charge for hikers to use:

These huts that are spread around Australia’s Alps are really one of the great features of hiking in Australia due to the safety and convenience they provide for bushwalkers.  I wasn’t staying at the hut but I sure was going to use it to take a break at because  I was actually pretty tired by the time I reached this hut due to the fact I had literally been walking for two hours straight up.

I stayed at the hut for about 30 minutes eating my lunch before heading back up the trail again.  Past the hut the trail becomes quickly engulfed with these scenic snow gums:

The further up the mountain I hiked the more the snow gums began to thin out thus providing with my first views of the hike:

As I broke through the tree line I could see I still had a long ways to go as the high ridgeline of Mt. Bogong loomed in front me:

Next Posting: Mt. Bongong, Victoria – Part 2

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