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On Walkabout Around: Mt. Stirling, Victoria

From the Mt. Buller area there are a number of four wheel drive trails I have taken my Jeep on that really provides some stunning views of the beautiful Victorian Alps.  I have taken the four wheel drive road from Mt. Buller that takes visitor to the beautiful campground at Sheepyard Flat along Howqua Creek.  Further down this road from the campground is the trail head to the hike up the massive plateau known as The Bluff that is absolutely an excellent day out hiking. However by continuing passed The Bluff the four wheel drive road actually becomes a circuit around the imposing Mt. Buller:

Alpine National Park Map

All along this road there are a variety of views of the scenic Mt. Buller which begins with views of this great mountain from the South:

Mt. Buller Backdrop
Mt. Buller rises above the tree tops in the distance.

Stunning Mt. Buller
A closer look at the 1,707 meter (5600 ft) summit of Mt. Buller.

Also along the road are a number of other great views of the rugged Victorian Alps:

The Rugged Victorian Alps

Along one of the spurs off the main four wheel drive road to Mt. Stirling is a road that descends steeply into a valley where there is a short trial to the Bindaree Falls:

Start of Bindaree Falls Hike

The bush here was quite overgrown when I visited and the trail in need of some definite maintenance:

Bindaree Falls Trail

However, these conditions shouldn’t be too surprising considering how remote this area is.  When I got to the falls there really wasn’t much to see as there was just a trickle of water coming down the side of the rock outcropping:

Bindaree Falls

There is a small natural cave here so I could definitely see at one time this place being used as a camp site for the Aborigines whenever they foraged deep into the Victorian Alps.

If you haven’t noticed from the prior pictures, these mountains were hit with a severe bushfire back in 2006, but the forest continues to grow and recover with signs of life continuing to sprout out everywhere:

Ferns Growing At Bindaree Falls

As the road goes further past The Bluff it actually loops back around Mt. Stirling which is famous for its Man From Snowy River fame.

Mt. Stirling In the Distance
The 1,749 meter (5,738 ft) summit of Mt. Stirling in the distance.

As Mt. Stirling got closer and closer as we continued down the road, The Bluff behind us became less and less imposing:

The Bluff in the Victorian Alps
The Bluff can be seen in the distance.

As I approached the slopes of Mt. Stirling the bushland was once again greatly burned due to the bushfires from two years prior, but still clearly the vegetation was making a come back.

Charred Gum Trees

The drive along the slopes of Mt. Stirling just has some spectacular scenery to include one of the most rugged hikes in the Victorian Alps which is to Mt. Howitt and the hiking across the Cross Cut Saw:

The Rugged Peaks of the Crosscut Saw

Out in the very far northern distance I could even make out Mt. Buffalo:

Mt. Buffalo in the Distance

Another prominent peak that can be seen is Mt. Cobbler:

Mt. Cobbler from A Distance

Here is a closer look at the summit of this scenic, but isolated mountain deep in the Victorian Alps:

Close Up of Mt. Cobbler

Along the road I came to the turn off to the Mt. Stirling summit and the road was sealed due to some work they were doing restoring the area so I didn’t have a chance to get to the top of the mountain, and instead would just have to make do with a picture of its summit from a far:

Approach to Mt. Stirling

By now my wife and I had completely looped around Mt. Buller and were on the North side of the mountain which provided some great views of this peak:

Mt. Buller From A Distance

From the North side I could even make out the Mt. Buller Ski Village on top the mountain.  During the summer time it is hard to believe this place gets enough snow during the winter to support skiing, but it does:

Mt. Buller Ski Resort

All in all if you have a four wheel drive vehicle or even a vehicle which just a little ground clearance this trip around the mountain is a good day out.  Just make sure you bring some food and water in case you get stuck and definitely bring a good map to ensure you don’t get lost.  It is important to use common sense when driving or hiking in the Australian high country.

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