This Cruise started out as one where we were thinking about staying in some cabins that we’d passed on an earlier trip but, for various reasons, a number of fellow travellers had to pull out and that just left two of us once again. After a lot of pondering, we decided to go to the Far East to the Davies Plains instead and, as we were doing this Cruise the week after the Melbourne Cup long weekend, we thought it should also be fairly peaceful. However, that can never be guaranteed as you can’t predict how many foreigners are doing a border crossing to Victoria to experience the good life that is denied them in the land of the cockroaches. Those north of our borders can laugh all they want about Victoria, but it still has the best and most accessible 4WDrving and camping in Australia. As it turned out, there were plenty of others about.
Our first Cruise for 2017 closely mirrored the one that I posted a few weeks ago, but with some variations as we sought a few new places to camp and tracks to explore. On this Cruise we had five travellers, four of our old crew and a new member from 4WD Trip, from whence we hope to introduce new travellers to our Cruises and counter the diminishing numbers that we’ve experienced over the last few years. We met at Tyers and then travelled on to Bairnsdale for a fuel stop, and then headed north towards Buchan. We were warned that there was a Cattleman’s event happening at Buchan that weekend and to expect a lot of traffic, but the road turned out to be very quiet. Just before Buchan, we took the Timbarra Road to head north and then shortly after turned into Sunny Point Track which was the beginning of our Cruise.
It’s somewhat ironic that my last High Country post was about a trip that was ostensibly to the same area as this one, at the beginning anyway, as our trip leader for this Cruise wanted another look at Mt Pinnibar, so we headed east from Bruthen and then north to Buchan and ever upwards. Not far out of Gelantipy, we came across what is fairly common in country Victoria, cattle across the road, but this time it was a herd being driven from one pasture to the next along the road. It was an interesting start to the Cruise before we headed off the blacktop onto the dirt roads and more remote areas where typical rural views abound.
For this Cruise, we decided to undertake the mighty Deddick Trail in the Snowy River National Park that starts north of Orbost and ends at McKillops Bridge on the Snowy River (depending on which way you travel). It’s been on our ‘to do’ list for some time and this year we decided that it had to be done. The Deddick Trail has long been noted as a somewhat difficult and especially long trail that requires a number of days to complete. For that reason we decided to start at the southern end, as we left Melbourne early, giving us plenty of time to negotiate the track and, should time get tight, the return trip via the Gelantipy Road would be a lot faster.
Our April 2008 Cruise took us north-east to the Nunniong Plains, then to Benambra, the Mitta Mitta, Omeo and south to Marthavale, finally ending at Bairnsdale. All of our Cruises, for most travellers, technically start from various locations in Melbourne and finish once again in Melbourne. However, our start points are usually considered where we get the feeling that we’ve left the humdrum of civilisation and our finish point is pretty much where the feeling returns that civilisation is staring us in the face once again.