From open grasslands to rugged mountainsides, from gentle riverbanks to cool forests, there is plenty to explore between Merrijig, Mirimbah and Mt Stirling. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive vehicle, bushwalking or on horseback, you can look forward to some of the best views in the High Country.
An icon of the region, Craig’s Hut has a remarkable history. Originally constructed as a movie set for The Man from Snowy River, the hut became a local landmark and a symbol of settler history. It burnt down in the 2006-2007 bushfires but was rebuilt by popular demand. The hut itself offers astonishing views across the High Country ranges, including Mt Cobbler and the so-called 'sleeping indian’. Craig’s Hut is an excellent destination for a driving tour (although you will mainly be travelling on dirt roads) and a great spot to stop for lunch if you’re bushwalking. Look for the interpretive panels inside, which detail local history, flora and fauna.
Four-wheel driving - first adventures
Whether you’re a seasoned four wheel driver or you’ve never left the bitumen, this part of the High Country offers a fantastic off-road experience. From rugged backcountry trails to old forestry tracks, there is a range of routes to suit all levels of ability. Look out for interesting local historic points like Pineapple Flat, home of the sharp-leaved pineapple grass, and Refrigerator Gap where legend has it that an old ’fridge once served as a makeshift post-box for timber workers and other locals. Or maybe it is just very, very cold there! To find out more, check out the Adventure Map or call the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre.
High Country on horseback
A rush of horses through the trees, A red shirt making play, A sound of stockwhips on the breeze, They vanish far away Banjo Patterson.
Horse and rider were once a familiar sight up here among the rugged mountain passes and snowy plains. The thick scrub covering these steep mountainsides was only accessible on foot or on horseback and the story of Cattlemen in the High Country is the story of cattle herds driven across the ranges by skilled and courageous men and women.
Horses are still an important part of life in the High Country and you can still join in a traditional cattle drive, held since the 1870s.
For a great day trip, start with breakfast at the Mirimbah Store, climb Mt Stirling and explore the forestry tracks. Get back down in time to see the kangaroos enjoying the grasses at Pinnacle Valley Resort, stay for a drink and dinner or watch the hills turn purple at sunset from the Hunt Club Hotel in Merrijig.
For an authentic High Country experience, try a trek on horseback.From an afternoon in the saddle to overnight rides, there are plenty of operators catering for everyone from seasoned riders to complete novices. Some of the rides stop at High Country huts.
High Country huts are part of the region’s rich heritage. These historic huts may not look impressive, but when it came to surviving the wild mountain weather, they literally meant the difference between life and death to cattlemen and women as well as bushwalkers. Some of the huts are named for the families of bushies who lived in them, like Lovick’s and Fry’s hut. High Country huts and their role in the history of the area were recently featured in Australian Geographic. For more information about High Country huts, including a map, drop in to the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre.
A perfect picnic
Stop in to one of the local delicatessens for locally grown gourmet produce and small goods. Add a High Country wine and you have the perfect picnic. Next question, where to enjoy it? There are plenty of delightful picnic spots on Mt Stirling. Spread a rug near Craig’s Hut and enjoy stunning views across Mt Cobbler. Or find a grassy dell in the shade of a Eucalypt. Mirimbah offers fabulous riverside picnicking. On a warm afternoon you can cool off in the Delatite River.
Want to know more?
Ready to plan your trip?
Find out more about a High Country holiday, speak to our team of dedicated locals for ideas, bookings and more.
Mansfield-Mt Buller High Country.
Reservations on 1800 039 049p>