Arrabri Ski Club 2021 4WD Weekends.
Session 4. Advanced 4WD Weekend.
Skill Level – Some 4WD Experience Required.
Family Adventure Weekend.
Arrive Friday Late Arvo / Night 19th November 2021.
Day Trips Saturday 20th and 21st November.
Cost- $150 covers both days per vehicle.
Some of Australia’s best 4-wheel drive tracks are found around Mount Hotham, a picturesque four-hour drive from Melbourne. Many of these tracks follow routes carved in by early cattlemen and gold prospectors who opened up what was then uncharted territory. The views on all the seasonal road-opening tracks will literally take your breath away.
The tracks we are doing in November are rated up to difficult in dry conditions. This is a copy of the “difficult” rating extracted from the Beyond Hotham brochure.
Significant Low Range 4WD with standard 4WD ground clearance. Should have 4WD driver training.
Expected terrain & track conditions
Tracks with some steep and/or rocky/slippery/sandy sections. May have shallow water crossings.
Suitable for medium clearance vehicles with dual range and all terrain or road tyres.
Driver training experience
Recommended that drivers have experience or 4WD training. Recommended to be done in groups of vehicles.
Will be more difficult in wet conditions.
However, if the weather turns bad you will need to be prepared for far harder conditions. You will need to understand your vehicle and have it prepared properly. It is also important to know your level of experience and drive in accordance with it. We will help you complete each section and ensure you are safe and have maximum fun.
Your vehicle will need to be well prepared. That is, it needs to be in good running order. The engine will be working harder than normal and you will be going slower than normal. Know your vehicle. Know where the tow points are and what their capacity is in case you get stuck. Be sure your tyres are in good condition and that your spare is fully inflated. Soft tyres handle rough conditions better than firm tyres. I would suggest that you air down to about 18-24 psi depending on your own preferences.
Understand your 4WD system. Know how to engage 4WD and engage and disengage low range.
Carry your own recovery gear! You need snatch strap and rated D shackles is an absolute minimum. Don’t rely on other people’s good nature to supply your recovery equipment. It is considered poor etiquette within the 4wd fraternity. If you have traction aids such as Maxtrax please bring them along as a little bit of rain can change everything. I would suggest that everyone bring along their snow chains as these can be an invaluable aid in the mud as well as in the snow. A shovel or mattock can also be handy.
A 12volt air pump is almost an essential 4wd accessory. Please consider investing in one if you don’t already have one together with a tyre repair kit.
I will be carrying a chainsaw. Hopefully we won’t need it but if someone else has one, a backup would be good.
You will be doing about 250 Km on dirt roads and 4WD tracks. I suggest that you arrive at Hotham with sufficient fuel to do 400 km in normal driving so it is essential that you top up with fuel before coming up the mountain or you carry a spare jerry can of fuel. Fuel is available at Bright, Omeo and Dargo.
Last year, most of us ended up emptying our spare jerry cans into our vehicles to get us to Bright or Omeo on the Sunday.
I have 3 handheld units and an in-car unit. If anyone has a 80 channel, could they please bring it along. 40 channel radios are not really suitable.
We are in the Alpine. Make sure you have clothing suitable for any conditions from snow to sleet to torrential rain to mud to dust and hot conditions.
We will be doing exploring over uneven terrain. We may be doing recovery work on the tracks. Make sure you have good solid footwear.
The club will be providing a simple BBQ lunch each day. This may be plenty for some and not enough for others. I’m sure we will have plenty but please respect we will be catering for an average appetite for this level of activity. If in doubt please bring extra snacks.
Bring enough water or other beverages for each day.
A simple BBQ lunch will be provided and we will be stopping for boiling the billy. Bring whatever snacks you desire to get you through the day. Remember you will be driving for about 5-6 hours each day in conditions that will require a reasonable amount of concentration and even a fair bit of effort.
Note- If you don’t eat meat and salads, please bring your own food.
Unless the gods are unkind to us, we should have some magnificent scenery. Perfect opportunity to add to your album or Facebook page.
ITINERARY FOR WEEKEND
This is the proposed Itinerary for our Arrabri Ski Club Advanced Level 4WD weekend. Remember the club will be providing BBQ lunches and beverages both days included in the $150 per vehicle charge.
We are using this weekend and the other 4WD trips to help promote some of our summer activities up here in the Great Alpine National Park and surrounding state forests.
The accommodation costs are the standard summer rates Adults $35 per night, $20 Kids (17-6) and Under 5 Free. We are looking at having up to 30 vehicles for the trip, so please book early to avoid disappointment. These trips are very popular due to the low price providing a very cheap action-packed family weekend away.
Day 1 Saturday
Trip briefing in lodge lounge room at 8.30am.
Leave lodge around 8.45AM and head to the Dargo High Plains turnoff and follow until we get to the Blue Rag Range Track on right. From here we will essentially be in low range 4wd until we return. Make sure your camera is up and running for what is claimed as “One of the most iconic tracks in all of the High Country, Blue Rag Range Track is a visual spectacle that can create some nervous moments for drivers attempting to scale its heights.”
After lunch we will continue along King Spur Track down to Mayfords on the Dargo River. A time for a bit of a play or even a fish before returning back to the main Hotham Road.
Diner Saturday night – Use the lodges commercial kitchen or BBQ or eat out at The General Store which most of us usually do, a short walk from Arrabri Ski Club.
Day 2 Sunday
Trip briefing in lodge lounge room at 8.30am.
Leave lodge around 8.45AM turning off towards Dargo on the Dargo Rd. Head along the Dargo Rd for a while and stopping at some great vantage points to capture the incredible alpine vista including heading to King Spur Track where we will make a turn and stop at Lankey Plain. Here we will find a nice spot for morning tea whilst enjoying great views looking out over the Dargo Valley back towards Mt Hotham.
After morning tea, we’ll continue on the Dargo Road before turning right and heading for Grant and following McMillans Track, past Grant Cemetery and detour right into the ghost town of Grant. Take a walk to some of mines, trace the outline of some old streets and learn about life in this rough frontier town, once home to around 3000 people.
Further on you’ll encounter another forgotten cemetery and reach a breathtaking expanse of the river flats – once known as Talbotville and now another Crooked River ghost town. From here we’ll set up for lunch and enjoy exploring the nearby mines and abandoned towns upstream from our lunch base camp.
The next stage includes over 24 river crossings and leads to Kingwell Bridge, a stunning old timber-trussed structure that stands out in a river valley that seems to wind on forever. Wind south past Black Snake Creek towards Waterford, where we will finally hit the iconic Dargo Pub for refreshments and the group selfie with the Dargo pub in the background.
After the pub, we will head back on the Hotham-Dargo Road until the end and then hang a right turn to take us back to Hotham.
From here you can then return to the lodge for an extra night to relax or head off back home to Melbourne. Note – If you live in the South East Suburbs you might even leave the group at Dargo and head back home via Gippsland.
To Book – Call 1800 651 451 or use the link below for our bookings page and book in online.
To book accommodation with Arrabri Ski Club please use this link to our online booking system. Cost is only $35 per night per adult, $20 kids (17-6) and 5 and under free.
Accommodation on Hotham: Arrabri Ski Club
DISCLAIMER: “Arrabri Ski Club Inc”, “Trip Leaders” (the “Organisers”) are not responsible for your safety. Outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. By signing up for our “4WD Trips”, you agree to release “Arrabri Ski Club Inc” and its “Organisers” from any responsibility, liability or claim in law or in equity. If you DON’T agree to these terms, DO NOT JOIN this Trip. “Arrabri Ski Club Inc” doesn’t certify or verify the expertise of the “Trip Leaders” and “Organisers”. All “Trip Leaders” and “Organisers” in “Arrabri Ski Club Inc” are volunteers. They are not accredited in motor vehicle recovery, techniques nor holds themselves out to be such an accredited person. You are responsible for your own safety and vehicle safety. Trips and dates as subject to change based on local conditions.