Nick's trip to Sheepyard Flat Easter '08

Nickj

5th Annual Victorian Gathering member
Well, I thought I should put pen to paper, or fingers to buttons as the case is.

After my wife suffering migranes all week and wasn't quite well enough to go away, my daughter and I headed off late on Saturday morning to my mates shop in Moe, which was where we were leaving from. We headed off shortly after 1:00pm for Sheepyard Flat, via Thompson Dam, Matlock, Woods Point, Jameison and Merijig. For those considering this trip, consider the highway option as the main road? from Thompson Dam wall to Matlock is nothing short of attrocious (spelling). Its about 40km of crappy, rocky, dusty gravel road that really leaves a lot to be desired. En route just near Kevington, we came across some skid marks just out of a corner which headed off the road and into the river. The result, was one newish Triton Ute back on its wheels in the river, with the water just on window height. It looked like it had issues coming out of the turn, slid around and rolled as it headed down the bank and into the river. After seeing the truck recovery vehicle, it happened in the early hours of the previous morning and all were well.

We took off for Sheepyard again and arrived around 5:30pm to set up the tent, our friend's friend arrived the day before to set up their 4wd camper. After a few drinks, some dinner and a chat about the world, we headed off for bed. After egs and bacon breakfast, we headed off to complete a round trip, taking in Bluff Hut, Mt Sterling, Craigs Hut, Bindaree falls and return to camp. This was certainly my longest single-day drive in the bush - although this was going to get longer, but one I would do again. The scenery was awesome, was also good to see the rebuilt Craigs Hut in person and look out from the top of Mt Sterling. We returned to camp at 6:30pm and after some contact by phone with my wife, we decided to pack up and head home that evening. We arrived home at 11:45pm!

You can get within 1.3km og Craig's Hut with a 2wd vehicle. You can drive right to Craig's Hut with a basic 4wd/AWD vehicle. Some of the tracks we took were for 4wd, clearance and low range vehicles only. In the wet, you would definitely require good A/T or M/T tyres to follow the same course that we did.
Some pics below.
bluffhut.jpg

The rebuilt Bluff hut
bullerfromsterling.jpg

The kids showing Mt Buller from Mt Sterling
kidsmtbuller.jpg

The kids jumping over Mt Buller
sterlingskitrail.jpg

Some of the track to the top of Mt Sterling was the Cross Country Ski Trail
craigs.jpg

The rebuilt Craig's Hut
bindaree.jpg

Bindaree Falls
Nick
 
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BUSHNUT

Well-Known Member
Hi Nickj,

I agree with your appraisal of the road to Matlock from the Thomson Dam-our taxes at work ! But if you reside down in Gippy , your only other choice other than the Highway is Licola, now that Cheynes Bridge is sort of open ,then onto Arbuckle Junction stay on the Howitt road, then King Billy track then Bluff trackhich you would have been on to get to Bluff Hut and then you take the right Bluff Link Road to go to Bindaree hut and Then onto the Falls- going left at the Bluff link Road gets you to SheepYard Flat and Frys Hut . The King Billy section is quite rocky in sections but it is majic country up there .

Another spot that is a nice camping spot is Pineapple flat which is down off Circuit Road north west of Craigs hut .

The road from Marysville down to Jamieson is one to take cautiously , in parts it hasn't been widened since the horse and cart days hasn't been, not the road to be on in the small hours of the morning .

Went past Bluff Hut when they were rebuilding it on the Labour Day weekend.

Good Pics, havent been up Craigs hut way for about 2 years, looks like they went by the plans at least as it was built for the movie "The Man From Snowy River"

Safe Travelling

Bushnut
 

gunsle

New Member
Great Pics

Great post, I'm heading up to Craigs Hut this weekend from Melbourne via Mansfield,
Not sure how I'll go with a set of old desert duellers but I'll give it a red hot go, we have upto 8 cars going, so there should be plenty of pulling power at least.

I'm only taking 1 of the 4 kids though.

Gunsle
 

BUSHNUT

Well-Known Member
Hi Gunsle,

The track up to Craigs Hut should be no real trouble even if your tyres are a little bit ordinary. The track from Craigs hut over Mt.Stirling is another matter, allright if the Grader has been over it recently. If it hasn't, dont attempt it without your mates, there can be some very rocky sections, a bit of rock hopping so ti speak, you have a patrol so vehicle wise it won't be a problem.

Whilst you are in the vicinity, Pineapple Flat is a great spot to camp and visit, then go up Westons Track to Refuge hut N0.3 , thats a great spot .

Yes it looks suspicious if you lose all four at the same time .
 
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gunsle

New Member
Yeah thanks BUSHNUT,
Never been up there before, but my mate that has organized the trip has done it a few times.
After giving my bro-in-law some curry about his brand new Hilux he's gone and bought a set of 35" Simex just for the trip so I don't think he'll be having too much trouble, he also has a nice new winch.
I don't think he wanted to be seen being pulled out by an old GQ.
I don't know the other cars but the organizer is in a Disco,Series II TD5.
We won't have a lot of time as it's just a day trip. But we'll have a poke around.
We meant to make a weekend of it but withwork commitments and the cold weather came into play with the little ones.

Thanks for the tip I'm keen to look around, how much of that stuff is closed during winter?
I have 6 weeks long service leave throughout July and some of August. So I was thinking of dragging the caravan up there somewhere nearby and having a bit of an explore for a few days maybe a week.
 

4X4

Moderator
Great pictures Nick,

I did a similar trip last December and was saddened to see the loss of Craig's, Bluff & Lovick's huts. Good to see theve been rebuilt. Bindaree Falls is well worth the visit. We stayed on the Friday night at Pineapple flat & stayed at Bindaree Hut on the Saturday night. Had the whole place to ourselfs, but it rained all night!

Q. Why is it called Pineapple Flat.

A. Because the grass that grows around there looks like little pineapple plants.
 

BUSHNUT

Well-Known Member
Hey Gunsle, Sheepyard Flat and Fred Frys Hut, it is not a bad spot, look for my thread on it under great camping spots if you are intent on taking a caravan up there . As long as you are able to secure it you should be okay . i don't know about caravaning up there around the time you propose, might start to get a bit cold, being the probable start to the snow season. Check with Manfield department of name change for track conditions and closures , most tracks are closed after Queens Birthday weekend . I would be heading somewhere a bit warmer like Hattah- Kulkyne National Park, you could do a few day trips from there into the Murray Sunset Country ( see my destinations thread on that ) or go further north to the Mungo National Park for a few days ( thread on that too )!

The old Hilux's are not a bad rig, generally need a couple of bags of cement over the back axel though to get the weight down on it .

Don't worry or apologise for the old GQ, she is a very capable machine, my prevoius one was a 1996 TI manual which is a very rare animal, had a great little diff lock on the back as standard .
 

Kirvin

New Member
Great pictures nick. Sounds like you and the crew had a great time.
Am looking forward to going up that way soon.....
 
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