Snowy Plains

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Overview The remote area north of Licola in Gippsland has a variety of ski tours ranging from short, easy excursions around Lost Plain through to trips lasting over a week extending as far as The Bluff and Mt Cobbler.

Drive to Heyfield, a pleasant two pub town on the Gippsland Plains, 43 km north-west of Traralgon. Then head north along the Licola Road (C486) for 55 km past Lake Glenmaggie to the tiny settlement of Licola. The general store and caravan park are the last vestiges of civilisation. Continue north on the Tamboritha Road which initially follows the Macalister River before swinging east along the valley of the Wellington River. The sealed road ends 22 km past Licola and the road immediately begins climbing for 14 km to Tamboritha Saddle. From here the road undulates for 47 km as far north as the Mt Howitt car park. Beyond Mt Reynard the road is usually closed by a gate between the Queen’s Birthday and Cup weekends. However even the section before the gate rises to 1500 m, so tyre chains and a shovel are essential for even a brief visit.

Snowy Plains in General

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Access and Trip

In poor snow conditions, it is possible to drive as far north as the locked gate near Mt Reynard. Beyond here, it is possible to ski north to Mt Howitt and beyond. The route follows a series of plains averaging over 1600 m and navigation can be tricky, especially between The Bastard’s Neck and Vallejo Gantner Hut at Macalister Springs. For trips beyond Mac. Springs, see The Bluff - Mt Howitt section.

Routes

The only facilities for skiers are an information board and a 6 km ski loop at Lost Plain, 2 km before the major road junction at Mt Arbuckle. However it is easy to ski along roads and fire tracks through to the treeless Holmes Plain. Kelly’s Hut is 4 km from the Lost Plain carpark. From Kelly’s, McMichael’s Hut is 1.2 km to the south. 4 km north-west of Kelly’s Hut is Mt Reynard (1710 m), the southernmost 1700 metre mountain in Australia. The moderately steep slopes give way to an almost impossibly flat treeless summit plateau with impressive views in most directions.

GPS References

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Considerations

Both Kelly’s and McMichael’s huts provide rudimentary but adequate shelter but are not very pleasant to sleep in, a tent would be much more comfortable.

Mobile Phone Coverage

Last time I was up there, there was CDMA coverage from the tops of the plains.

Maps

Rooftop. Jamieson - Licola 1:50,000. 2nd edition 2005. VicMap. Tamboritha - Moroka. 1:50,000.1st edition, 1990. Bushmaps Victoria. Snowy Plains, Mt Kent and Lake Tali Karng.

Destination2

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Access and Trip

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Routes

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GPS References

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Considerations

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Mobile Phone Coverage

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Maps

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