The high range of mountains that stretch from the western end of The Bluff to Mt Howitt then north to Mt Cobbler contain some of the best alpine country in Victoria.
Long a popular hiking destination, its always tempting to want to walk from one end to the other. But the logistics of doing a car shuffle are complex – it’s a long drive between the Howqua and Lake Cobbler. There is an obvious circuit you can walk, with Mt Stirling being a good start and end point. But the Howqua and King valleys are deep and the scrub along the Stanley Name Spur can be brutal. While there are many variations that are possible, any way you do it will be a serious undertaking, requiring good stamina and navigation skills, experience in backcountry travel, and at least five or six days.
Now the ‘Buller huts trail’, which links these mountains into a seven day circuit, has been launched.
It is the brainchild of Darren Edwards, who has been running the (very useful) Trail Hiking website for some years.
Darren has basically drawn together existing tracks into a newly named walk (the ‘Buller huts hike’) and launched a website which details the trip. Although not an ‘official’ walk, he hopes it will become one of the iconic high country walking trails that exist in the Victorian Alps.
Anyone who knows this terrain will know it’s a difficult trip. Starting and finishing at Mt Buller, it descends to the Howqua Valley, then up Eight Mile Spur to The Bluff, along the high ridge country past Mt Lovick to Howitt, then the Crosscut Saw to Speculation, down to the King River Valley, over Mt Stirling and finally back to Buller (see the image below).
Darren describes it as a ‘grade 5’ (the hardest category) walk. He suggests you do it as a 96 kilometre seven day trip. His website has track notes for each day (significantly including suggestions on camp sites and where to get water). It is a self guided trip. You can download a GPX file for the trail.
While this trip is not new, and variations of this giant circuit have been walked for decades, having packaged it into an ‘iconic’ walk with detailed track notes, it is sure to get more people out on the trail, which is a good thing. In the same way that the walk from Falls Creek to Hotham is now being promoted as the ‘Falls-Hotham Alpine Crossing’ and hence getting more people to do the walk, the Buller circuit can be expected to encourage more people to tackle this major undertaking. The website is informative and user friendly. Hopefully it will inspire you to get out there and do this fantastic walk.
There is also a facebook page for the walk.
The following image of the walk comes from Darren’s website: