This cruise began at Heyfield and worked its way north to Dargo, Talbotville, Wonnangatta Station, Lake Cobbler and then Mansfield, in a sort of roundabout way. It was one of those cruises where we wanted to mix tracks that were familiar to us, with those that weren’t, hoping to find something new and interesting along the way. We certainly hadn’t been to Lake Cobbler before and we’d heard varying stories about the lake, so it was a good excuse for an eventual destination. I’m not sure why there was such a gap between 2005 and 2006, as I can’t recollect the bushfires being as severe in 2005, but we certainly hadn’t done anything for a year.
The huts of the High Country are many and varied, and are very much a part of Australian folklore, being so integral to the story of the Australian stockman. This was highlighted in the movie The Man From Snowy River that featured a hut located in the Victorian High Country (a totally mythical hut and built purely for the film) which, after the film crew had departed, became an icon and it’s mandated removal was challenged by an determined group of people from nearby Mansfield who wanted to preserve the hut and all that it represented. They succeeded and the hut subsequently became a major tourist venue. Unfortunately, Australian bushfires had more say in the hut’s survival than the Department of Environment and the original, as well as further rebuilt huts, were totally destroyed. The latest version is somewhat more fireproof and still draws the crowds.