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Macalister river track

Discussion in 'Tracks Discussion' started by bush buddy, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    Wondering if anyone could provide some info on Macalister river track? Hoping to head out towards Licola and do Black Soil track, Macalister River track, Butcher Country and Caledonia River track. Any info re these tracks and river levels would be much appreciated.
  2. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    The tracks will be fine, bit rocky and steep in areas, drop tyres to around 20psi.There are Bypass tracks on the Butcher Country track where its quite rocky, Track is steepish dropping from Butcher down to Caledonia track..

    River levels will be fine too.. Unless it's been pouring down days before.


    GSPVUCKO New Member

    Great bit of country! GSPVUCKO
  4. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    Thanks Swaggie, will let you know how we go.
  5. barcher

    barcher Well-Known Member

    Your plan sounds like my plan.
  6. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    No worries mate, take easy and enjoy the area.
  7. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    When are you heading there barcher? May see you along the way.
  8. Travis22

    Travis22 New Member

    'Steepish' is one way to describe it..

    The Butcher > Caledonia link track is among the steepest tracks in the high country.

    As a whole your looking to do some of the more difficult tracks in the high country in very steep terrain. Butcher Country isnt half as bad as it was pre the 2006-7 fires as some sections have been realigned etc. and significant grading has been done since but again exercise plenty of caution out there.

    Some beautiful camping on the Caledonia River, IMO id advise a loop starting down black soil gully tk, macallister river track, butcher country track (in its entirety) briefly on Howitt Rd to Calidonia River tk and up Dingo Hill and out.

    Personally depending on the time you have i would do these tracks whole, not using the link track as you'll miss some fantastic driving on both tracks. (Butcher / Caledonia).

    Limited camping along the Macallister River section, nothing really on Butch Country except up the top around Howitt Rd, Mac Springs carpark, Howitt Hut etc. Good camps down along the Caledonia River tk, and plenty of camping once your up Dingo Hill into Kellys Lane etc.

    We'll be going in tomorrow.

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  9. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    Thanks for the advice Trav. Its been a while since we were there last so always good to get an update on track conditions I guess. We did Dingo hill, Butcher country link, butcher country etc 2 yrs ago but there was a tree down on Caledonia river track. May see you out there, there will be 3 in our group a silver GU, white GQ and my 76 series. Cheers Andre.
  10. Travis22

    Travis22 New Member

    Excellent Andre, sorry didnt realize you already know the area.

    Its one of the best parts of the region for sure. River levels last weekend were down, im not expecting any problems there. Tables on the BOM website show nothing has changed during the week, some rivers have held steady and some have dropped a little more.

  11. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    That sounds great, thanks for the update Trav.
  12. barcher

    barcher Well-Known Member

    Caledonia river track, camping on the river then up the link road to butcher country track then out to howitt road has to be one of the best drives we've been on. The dry roads made it easy. Well maybe there was a few fun (spooky) bits. Certainly worth going back and doing all the tracks with a bit more time.
  13. Daniel13

    Daniel13 New Member

    Hey barcher, I am looking at heading out that way tomorrow but never been and am so unsure of the area. I have gps to help me guide the way. I am looking at doing some real intermediate tracks with possibly a river/creek crossing or 2 with nothing too hecktik as I do not have a snorkel or huge tyres.
    Could you recommend those tracks you said for an intermediate 4x4 driver?
    Or recommend any other tracks for that matter?

  14. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Hi Travis

    Maybe because I've been there quite a few times I don't think much of it, but it's always been in fairly good nick, have never ever looked like winching, slid or felt uncomfortable on it even when it's been damp, just wondering what facts you have for such a big statement.

    Everytime I use Butcher Country Track coming from Zeka or coming up to Zeka I always drop down and look at Caledonia Track and back up again no probs.

    There maybe a bit of loose shale but no rock ledges or big ruts etc...

  15. barcher

    barcher Well-Known Member

    Dan, go for it. Lots of low range driving all pretty easy on dry tracks. The creek crossings down on the Caledonia are not much than hub high. The grader has been on the link road so it's a bit soft.
  16. Daniel13

    Daniel13 New Member

    Cool. Thanx heaps for the reply will see how we go.

  17. Travis22

    Travis22 New Member

    Sorry to disagree Swaggie (that I'd made a big statement without basis) but I have to stand by my original reply which was posted not just for the OP (who I dont know) but any other potentially new comer to the 4x4ing and camping world who might search out the thread for advice on the area and IMO as a whole the Butcher Country / Caledonia area has been in the passed (namely pre 2006) one of the tougher and more exposed areas of the ANP and over time with any luck it will revert back to some of its former glory.

    In my opinion calling the Butcher country link track 'steepish' to potentially someone with little off-road experience isn't providing them with a very good or accurate picture at all and maybe I'm a little over cautious but I've been getting out there for half of my life now, travel mostly solo up to 20-30 weekends in a good year and ive seen first hand what happens to others when they go 300m over the edge on a 60deg mountain side and certainly even made a few silly mistakes myself over the years (nothing on that scale) so while I'm pretty much self sufficient and happy to go anywhere in Aus solo I wouldn't play down the risks just because it's 'easy' to me.

  18. phs

    phs Well-Known Member

    last time I was there easter 2013. Butchercountry was forming some deep wash out holes, one of which I had to winch out of (pre rear locker that is.)

    Last time I travelled butcher link 09 it was not much chop had 2 cars with open centres and 31" ats and no one had to stop.

    Thow it was a 5 car party's and it was quite some time ago
  19. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    There's nothing wrong in being cautious, Everyone should be cautious even going to and from these areas can have very steep drop off's without being in 4wd,

    Rooftop maps call it Steep, I called it steepish and in good condition which has been backed up by another member that has said it's been graded, to be honest I've never ever seen anyone stuck on it, it's not classed in any map to be one of the steepest in Victoria like others.. Now on Rooftop maps it goes to Very Steep.... It doesn't class this track as that, that's why I asked you to clarify it, I wasnt being nasty and obviously you cannot as I expected.

    Most of Butcher Country isn't what it used to be, Bypass tracks around rocky ledghy areas... A lot easier .

    Now when is it someone else's responsibility if they choose a track and get stuck on, you can't cotton wool everything...... If your unsure walk the track first, I still use this method even today, same as rivers, walk it first, want to be lazy about it you might pay the price.

    I go down tracks all the time not knowing what's over the ridge or around the corner, why do I do it because I have confidence in my recovery gear and if any newbie needs the right advice that's it, then you'll have the confidence to go anywhere.

    I will be in Butchers in about 2 weeks. Just arrived back from East of Dargo.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  20. bush buddy

    bush buddy New Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. Trip was great. We ended up doing mount Margaret, Chromite mine, B1, Dingo hill, Caledonia river to Howitt rd then Burgoynes gap to Macallister gorge. Will try and put together a trip report. Cheers.

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