|The Bogong High Plains Road|
Route: Mount Beauty, Bogong Village, Falls Creek, Bogong High Plains, Langfords West Camping Area.
Today 1500m of altitude is gained. The first 30km is a gradual climb to Falls Creek along a windy sealed road. I noted two short downhill sections only. The rest is up, up, up.
|A typical segment of the 30km climb||Bogong Village, half-way to Falls Creek|
There are a few places of interest along the way. Clover Arboretum (about 9km from Mt Beauty) has picnic tables and toilets. A little further along are small hydroelectric dams across the Kiewa River (east wing). Bogong Village is the half-way mark in terms of distance, though not in altitude. It has a general store and post office and is situated just above a man made lake.
Falls Creek is a ski resort but has a supermarket which is open 6 days a week all year round. I did not find it a pleasant place in December. There is too much concrete and no shade. A better lunch alternative is to push right to the top and dine in style at Rocky Valley Storage.
Other picnic facilities are more accessible. Even on a sunny day in the middle of summer it can get cold here, particularly when windy. The Bogong High Plains Road, which starts at Falls Creek, was unsealed when I did the tour, but should be fully sealed by June 2009 (see here for updates). I found it in reasonable condition most of the time, particularly along the flat sections. There is something special about being on the high plains, with views of Mt Hotham, Mt Buffalo and beyond, historic alpine huts and crisp mountain air. The detour to Wallace's Hut is worthwhile; some people even camp here. The track to the hut is good enough to cycle along if care is taken.
Langfords West Camping Area is not as romantic as Wallace's Hut but it has pit toilets and running water (serviced by an aqueduct). Once camp is established, a quick trip to Mt Cope (1837m) for sunset is a fitting end to the day. The walking track to the summit begins from Bogong High Plains Road, 1km north of Langfords. From the road, it is 3.5km to the summit and back, taking me 40 minutes to walk at a brisk pace. The climb is not strenuous though. I have heard reports that the mountain has high iron composition and that magnetic compasses are therefore unreliable. I did not take a compass to verify the claim.
|View of Mt Hotham from Mt Cope|
If one wants to press on a little further, there is a camping ground at Raspberry Hill, 2km past Langford West. This is a nicer campsite with reasonable views but less privacy from the road. However, unlike Langford West there is no running water, so it is advisable to fill up with water from Langford West before reaching Raspberry Hill.
© 2008 Robert Taggart. Last updated 19 November 2008.