9th Annual Gathering


Someone on earth has way too much time on their hands as I found out at the gathering at Sheepyard Flats on Saturday night's announcements.
The last thing on the agenda according to Davidman was the preasentation of an Australian post envelope that apparently rocked up at his work and just happened to be addressed to GRUMPY, anyway it was well thought out whoever you are and along with a month of letters in October with one bread tie in most of them, you have far too much time on your hands but thanks anyway.



Well-Known Member
Liza and I had a ball, great weekend with some good laughs around the fire and fantastic to catch up with friends and meet a few more from the earth family. Some of you guys are sick;) and in need of therapyo_O:p
Special thankyou to the committee for all their hard work and thanks to all the companies that donated prizes, especially the frylyt's :D
Off to see Peter (1st Class Auto Electrics ) on Wednesday:)

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum and relatively new to 4x4, about 12 months in and done a few trips.
I was very surprised when I noticed this trip posting on the weekend as it is somewhere I was planning on visiting, if only I'd discovered the forum earlier.

Anyway...... a friend of mine has just purchased his first 4WD and has asked me to take him out which I am happy to do but only on some easy runs which brings me to the reason I'm posting in this thread. I would like to take him from Shipyard flats through to either Jamison or Howqua but unsure if it is beyond a newbie. From there we would venture back to Melbourne via Woods Point just to give him a taste of whats out there to be discovered. Any info would be much appreciated.


Finally got to a VIC meet. Had an absolute ball and got to put some faces to names that iv chatted to over the years, also great to catch up with some familiar faces for some great laughs and good times.

Big thanks to the committee for all their hard work and really looking forward to the big #10 next year and hopefully meet more of you awesome earth folk.

Cheers from SA.


4x4 Earth Contributer
Sorry I couldn't make it. My car was having a sleep over at the mechanics place. I'm sure nobody had a good time!


Active Member
Thanks to everybody who organised the event. had a brillant time. kids alrdy nagging to go to next years meet


Here is the video of the Duck Race that stops the National. A great family event with over one hundred people lining the Howqua River to view the race.

The going was very heavy, with a lot of water on the track. Congratulations to the connections of Number 12. The strict regime of beach racing appeared to pay of, with a very strong finish, winning by about 47 lengths.

Chief Steward of the VDRC, David, strongly denied rumours of rife live baiting within the duck racing industry. The state government has refused to rule out an investigation.


4x4 Earth Contributer
Another good trip away, catch up with friends, good views, some easy days and some harder tracks as well.

Monday, took the Jamieson-Licola Rd on the way, view from a lookout point. A small patch of snow is visible on Mt Buller.

Arrived at camp about 2pm, camp locals at Sheepyard Flat.

Small trip out to Upper-Jamieson hut on Tuesday with Nick and Donna, Cookie and Michael, and Grumpy riding shotgun in the patrol.

Checked out Tunnel bend on the way back.

Wednesday saw Brian (GG) lead a trip out the Mitchell's Ck Canyon with DiscoMatt and Liza, and me. Nick and Donna caught up at the bottom of Mitchells Tk, and while searching for the way into the canyon, Glynn and his dad arrived as well.

We drove up a harder section at the back of the slate mine to reach the top. Very rocky but picking a good line we each got up.

From the slate mine down the Mitchell's flat is rather steep with a number of switchbacks, ok in the dry but clay sections would make a hard track in the wet. The walk into Mitchell's Canyon isn't signposted, DiscoMatt and Brian crossed the creek on one trail and later returned to say it was the way to go. Had previously seen Mitchell's Ck Canyon about 6 years ago, but this time couldn't remember which track to follow, well worth seeing again.

Thursday had a walk from Sheepyard to Fry's hut with Matt and Liza. An enjoyable walk along a well formed track next to the river.

Fry's hut

Friday was the main day of trips. My goal for this trip was to walk the bluff, attempted to see who was interested but found a problem being a 4wd forum, what's walking? Paul (4wdn) and Simmo were maybe's, after initially going to tag along on Brian's hut run, decided there were too many vehicles Paul said we'll go my way but add in 16 Mile Jeep Tk and Bindaree Falls.

16 Mile Jeep Tk has a few steep sections and is quite slippery when wet, being dry there were no issues, however there are a number of trees and cut logs blocking parts of the track, negotiating these in the dry is fine, but would not want to be on the track in the wet with them in the way, the lower clay sections is becoming quite rutted in areas as well. We had a brief stop at Pikes Flat, contemplated going up Corn Hill Logging Tk but continued on the main track to Bindaree Hut. The hut has barriers around it currently, with works to restore the chimney about to start (not sure what happened to it). Then continued onto Bindaree Falls.

While walking back to the cars, we passed what was the NSW contingent almost at the end of their trip to Sheepyard, noticed their cars were pointing towards Circuit Rd, figured they were going to Craig's Hut first, which turned out to be a good guess. Paul, Simmo and I turned around and took Bluff Link Rd back to the top of the 16 Mile Jeep Tk intersection, many trees have fallen across Bluff Link Rd, all cut for us luckily, but negotiating them slowed the speed down a fair bit, would have taken all day for the poor person that had to cut their way through. Lunch stop at the intersection then up Bluff Tk to Bluff Hut, the track has a couple steep sections but fairly easy, in the past there was a rough rocky patch close to the hut, but this is a lot better now.

Now time to walk the bluff. There is a formed walking tk up to near the first peak, most of the track is a set of steps cut out of the rocky ground, so its up all the way, once near the first peak (Mt Edley Stoney) the track disappears. Simmo stopped at this peak and I continued onto the higher peak while Paul went about half way I think. Walking to the far peak isn't particularly easy, negotiating rocky ground and trying not to slip on the grass in between (stay on the rocks as much as possible, much grippier). Some great views are to be had from here, if you intend to go to the far peak, take a bottle of drink (glad I did).
The 'track' beyond the first peak.

Heading back to Bluff Hut, I found it difficult to actually find the walking track again, I knew the general direction as you can see the vehicle track along the spur to Bluff Hut, figured I had gone too far once i was walking in the trees again, so changed direction and ended up on the walking track. Bit of first hand experience how easy it can be to become lost once away from formed tracks, no issue with the vehicle track as a reference, but a good reminder of how people go missing out there.

Once back at the hut, bit of a rest, we decided it was getting too late to go to Lovick's Hut, so back to camp we headed, cut up some firewood and loaded onto Simmo's roof rack on the way.

Friday night a few wanted to do some of the harder tracks in the area, the walk on Friday chewed up a fair bit of time driving wise so Saturday was to be a day of tracks for a change. Paul led the trip with Simmo passenger, DiscoMatt and Liza, me, Stevo (SA), Brian (SA), John (Cruising62) and Wayne (Swaggie) to make 7 vehicles. Too busy on the wheel to take photos. Luckily the rain overnight was short lived as the tracks wouldn't have been a good idea with a big downpour. Three chain track was up first, this was a quite rocky track, with steep sections and switchbacks in parts, it had been recently graded though so not as rocky as before, onto Dungeon Gully Tk, parts of this track have rutted sections along the flat, still being relatively dry we could straddle these parts to take the easy lines, further on the track splits, the easy or the hard way. We go left and once around the corner a view of the track in the distance is 'very steep' at its final ascent up the mountain. Paul is up and comments traction is good, DMatt next, then me, I can feel the lsd kick in on a couple parts and the foot gets closer and closer to the floor as it gets steeper and steeper and then I'm at the top. Believe Brian had to take two shots in his open diff cruiser (failed locker) and the rest make it. The descent is still steep but with gravity there's no trouble, we cross the river at the bottom into Running Ck camp and stop for lunch. Simes Tk is next, a number of steep sections and one section with clay that is wet although not too bad thankfully, a couple had to have a second go with a bit more momentum, we hit Mitchells Tk and make our way back to camp. In truly wet conditions I would strongly advise to avoid any of these tracks as it would become a day of winching and track damage, a number of steep clay sections throughout this route.

Saturday night/Sunday morning the forecast downpour finally arrived. It would be silly to drive the tracks, the patrol was making noises from the front driveline on steep descents the day before (yet to diagnose, hubs are ok, have to pull more apart yet...found the front sway bar link loose when home but doesn't match the symptoms) and everything is soaked. Majority of people including myself call it and pack up camp Sunday and head home.

Some people played up unfortunately, hope they can learn better behaviour in future, think they forget this is meant to be a family friendly trip. Thanks to the organisers, those that ran drives, sponsors and attendees, was a great trip.


Well-Known Member
Some people played up unfortunately, hope they can learn better behaviour in future, think they forget this is meant to be a family friendly trip. Thanks to the organisers, those that ran drives, sponsors and attendees, was a great trip.

I know a few had a few drinks and that was after hours but as far as I know it was a trouble free event and no one played up! All kids had a great time and everyone was very well behaved.


Active Member
Great pics! A very comprehensive report that. Well done!
if I could thou, can I just add one foot note?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I don't wish to be dragged into a keyboard war, that's not my intention, but "playing up" i think is a matter of perspective.
It was, is and always will be Most definitely a family friendly event.
Personally, My 2 boys and myself had a ball,
I would hate to think anyone considering attending their first ever gathering next year for the 10th at otooles, Baulks after reading (with all due respect) one throw away line.

Grey Ghost

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well, being one for long detailed trip reports, we pulled in Monday thinking we were first in, only to discover Nickj and Donna in camp already:). got ourselves set up and waited for the hordes to arrive.
After a day or so of therapeutic relaxing we thought we'd do a run out to Mitchell's Canyon and the Slate mine. Headed out on Howqua Hills trk to Mitchells trk, tracks were dry and in good nick early in the week and not overly challenging, however due to the steepness I'd be thinking twice after the late week rain we had :eek:.
Due to a small technical stuff I no longer have any photos of the slate mine or the Canyon (which, by the way is well worth tne trip out too).
On the Friday I decided to do the Pete Cox Memorial Hut Run, to show some of the crew some of the iconic huts in the area.
Yep, 'nuther idea which sounded good at the time.....
Got about 2 hrs from camp on Cairn Creek Trk and low and behold, funny noise from under bonnet, quick xtop to inspect and on thing leading to another I stuffed the radiator to the extent I was no longer confident it would hold up to a day's 4wding. Unfortunately at this point I pulled the pin and we headed back to camp on the trips longest wood run. :mad:
All in all however, the trip was a great sucess for everybody and we all got to meet some new faces and reaquaint with some old ones, as well as showing our SA counterparts what real hills look like.
Thanks again to all who came and I was proud of how well it turned out again.
Your Esteemed Glorious trip leader GG :D;)


4x4 Earth Contributer
We had a great time again this year at this family friendly event.

I was working in the USA on the week leading up to the gathering so it was looking like we would be a no-show for this one. That's until some great friends stepped in and offered an amazing amount of help.

Monday prior to the event our camper trailer was collected from our house and towed up by a mate.
The same mate with the help of a couple of others then set everything up for us at camp.
This enabled my wife and kids to travel up on their own on the Thursday (with another friend). They had a wonderful time on Thursday/Friday/Saturday and I was able to join on Saturday afternoon. We had planned to stay until Monday, but the rain got the better of us so we headed back to town on Sunday arvo.

If my wife, who doesn't really like camping (and hates 4wding), is comfortable to head into camp on her own with the kids then I think that is testament to everyone involved and the family friendly nature of the event.

Thanks to everyone there. It was great to catch up with some familiar faces and meet some new folks.

Catch you at the next one.


What a great weekend away, or should I say week, everyone had a ball and good times were had by all to the best of my knowledge
Many trips were driven by those in the mood and discovering new places was again on the agenda, The Event was well attended by the Vics, Sth Aussies and New Sth Welshmen and some made a real event of it on the way to the 9th Annual Gathering.
The rain once again came to the party too and some found themselves packing up a little wet for which we blame Coxy for bringing it with him.
The Duck race was once again a great success and for those few at the finishing line with wet parts we thank you, to the many sponsors it was great to have you on board again for the great prizes and to the new sponsors too, thankyou.
Many people won something and I feel this probably topped off their weekend, not that you deserved to win, (Just need to learn how to rig the Raffles so as I can take something worthwhile home instead of someone else's rubbish. Cheers to the Organisers too.


Well-Known Member
Yes Grumpy what a week it was!
Thank you to all the Earthers, Sponsors and fellow committee members especially Davidman that always goes beyond the call of duty every year.
Great to see old friends and new interstaters that came down for the first time this year. You all made it a magic event. As said by Grumpy at presentation night our 10th anniversary will be at our first home O'Tooles next year so keep an eye out on the forum as it will be something not to miss.
Ten years is a big effort and I have had the pleasure to meet many new friends for life that enjoy our great high country.
Well its back to work for me next week :(
Take care have a great and safe Christmas and New year and we will see you all out on the tracks or at O'Tooles next year.


Well-Known Member
All good Grumpy, we managed to have a good win in the raffle, new lights are on and wired:D
We managed to take all our rubbish home so that's not to hard, if you can get it in to take it, it should be even easier to get the rubbish home because we had no drinks and very little food left...
We even managed to get Grumpy's empty bottle of Bailies home, not sure how Liza ended up with the Bailies bottle in her chair:confused::rolleyes::)