The last few days we have been in the Australian Alps and did some serious 4WD tracks through the Victorian High Country. The track we enjoyed the most was the difficult Blue Rag Range Track.
Would you expect high mountains with skiing resorts in Australia? We didn’t. But then, we heard of the Australian Alps also called Victorian High Country, a region just a few hours northeast of Melbourne. We also heard of a great off road adventure, the Blue Rag Range Track. The Victorian High Country is very busy in the winter season, when all the winter sports enthusiasts come here to enjoy downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding and many other winter sports.
In the summer it is a bit quieter. Most of the visitors come for the beautiful alpine nature. There are numerous possibilities for hikers or cyclists. With vast areas of national and state parks, there is a lot of space to discover off road adventures. Some of the tracks here are very remote and rated as very difficult.
The Blue Rag Range Track in the Victorian High Country
That’s exactly the adventure we are looking for. On the Internet we have already looked up some tracks that we want do drive. One of the tracks is the Blue Rag Range Track which is rated as very difficult.
Over the Great Alpine Road that crosses the Alps from North to South we reach the starting point of the track. We are standing in front of the sign of the track and can see that right from the start, the track is very steep. We already have to engage four wheel drive and also change to the low range gears. Now I really have to concentrate and be prepared for what is coming. Doing serious 4WD tracks can be dangerous and you need to be a good driver with off road experience to manage difficult tracks. My off road experience I gained during military services when I used to drive a 4WD truck and from our last Australia road trip.
Easily, we climb the steep ascent. The next part of the track is just stunning and follows the ridge of the Blue Rage Range. The views are breathtaking and on both sides of the track the land slopes steeply down into deep valleys. We can see the damage that has been caused by bushfires in 2007 and 2013. Many of the trees are burnt. Mount Blue Rag is the highest point of the track, and after this peak the track starts to descend.
In a very dense forest, the track starts to descent really steep and we have to drive very slowly to avoid slipping and loosing the grip. Reni is already afraid, that we will not manage to get back up the hill but I’m very confident, that we will manage that easily. The Track winds down very steep and some of the turns are so narrow, that we have difficulties to turn in one go. Down at the bottom of the valley, there is a really nice river and we can cool down after this breathtaking drive under high concentration.
There are also a few very small spots where we could camp but since there have been some thunderstorms close by last night, we do not want to risk to get stuck in this valley. In wet conditions, it would be very difficult to climb the steep passages of the track. Other risks are the bush fires caused by lightning. In the radio we heard of some bush fires caused by lightning last night in the north eastern part of the Alps. Therefore we decide not to stay and drive back out of the secluded valley again.
On the way back, the first part of the track is extremely steep and our car has to work very hard in the second gear of the low range. Slowly but safely we reach again the peak and from there we can again enjoy the ride on the ridge of Blue Rag Ranges until we reach the starting point of the track. Reni is very happy to be back on normal gravel road and I’m ready for the next track that is even more difficult and has even steeper ascents and descents.