Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hut #4 - Whisky Creek


A short way along the river from Sawmill Hut is Whisky Creek Hut. Whisky Creek feels much more like a private hut rather than an emergency refuge, and has a fantastic ambience, complete with dart board!

 Complete with a sofa and an excellent fireplace, it's easy to imagine a bunch of friends spending time here relaxing... and hunting, judging by the odd casing on the ground.

Distance from Melbourne: 138km
Access Rating: Very Difficult. Driving in from Sawmill Hut would require a lift and big tyres, probably muddies. The other track in has steep, slippery ascents and descents with boulders creating a noticeable pinch 3/4 of the way up. In summary, it's winching country. The easy way is to park at Sawmill Hut and walk in.
Scratchy Rating: Via Sawmill Hut, scratchy but not excessively so. The other track is carved through solid blackberries, and with little traction in places that will see your rig slide one way or the other. This is definite scratchy territory.
What's there: Hut & river, but worth it just for that.

Coming in from Sawmill Hut - sludgey!
Access from Sawmill Hut
Coming in the other track is a whole different challenge!

Without a winch, I didn't even consider attempting this track. Honestly I don't think the Trailhawk would have made it without a lift and much more aggressive tyres, and perhaps not even then. We will never know :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hut #3 - Sawmill Hut

Deep in the Rubicon State Forest, in a desperate fight for survival against blackberries and time both, is Sawmill Hut. The first of three huts that were found on a hut hunting expedition I joined with Andy and Sharyn from the Victorian High Country Huts Association,  Sawmill Hut takes out the honours for being the most defiant hut, if not the most picturesque.

Backing on to the Royston River, the old sawmill site is a fascinating destination for a visit. The
remains of an old boiler and car lie embraced by the ever-encroaching blackberry bushes, hinting of the time when the site was a bustling little industry, back before it was all abandoned back to the bush.

Distance from Melbourne: 138km 
Access Rating: Medium 4WD. A/T tyres. Short climb after water crossing would be challenging if wet.
Scratchy Rating: You might want to find a good detailer.
What's there: River, old boiler & car, evidence of earlier logging activity, old drop thunderbox loo complete with fairy lights.

How scratchy, I hear you ask? Not toooooo scratchy. Not really.

Like the track in, the hut itself has probably seen better days. Though it would be better than standing out in a storm, you're not going to have to persuade anyone to use their tent rather than bunking down in the hut.

Don't be put off though, it was definitely worth the visit in its own right, as it was a stunning little spot in a rugged and overgrown sort of way. Even better, Hut #4 was just a short walk further down the track. Down the boggy, muddy, deeply rutted track...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016