Loading...
ITINERARY2018-01-10T01:52:22+00:00

Project Description

VICTORIA’S ICONIC 96km, 7 DAY, GRADE 5 ALPINE TREK

As an independent and self-reliant walker, the Buller Huts Trail will allow you to experience some of Victoria’s most spectacular mountain summits. The suggested itinerary has been detailed below but please ensure that you conduct your own research regarding each section.

THIS IS A LONG AND CHALLENGING TREK, NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY

The trek’s summits include Mount Buller (1805m), The Bluff (1725m), Mount Eadley Stoney (1665m), Mount Lovick (1684m), Mount Magdala (1719m), Mount Howitt (1742m), Mount Buggery (1595m), Mount Speculation (1650m), Mount Koonika (1545m), The Monument (1570m) and Mount Stirling (1749m). There are also optional side trips to King Billy 1 (1690m), King Billy 2 (1685m) and Mount Cobbler (1628m).

Mount Buller to Eight Mile Flat

Day 1: Mount Buller to Eight Mile Flat (17.3km)

Approximate duration: 8-9 hours
Grade: 5 (Difficult)

Includes a long descent along a narrow trail down 4 Mile Spur with a crossing of the Howqua river at the foot of the Spur. The river can be fast flowing and deep following heavy rain or snow melt.

The Buller Huts Trail commences on Mount Buller, high in the Victorian Alps, at an altitude of just over 1660m and traverses some of Victoria’s most spectacular mountain summits. These include Mount Buller, The Bluff, Mount Eadley Stoney, Mount Lovick, Mount Magdala, Mount Howitt, Mount Buggery, Mount Speculation, Mount Koonika, The Monument and Mount Stirling.

Commencing on Athletes Walk, near the junction of Mount Buller and Summit Roads. Follow the walks until you reach the junction of Summit Road. Turn left and walk along Summit Road to the carpark. The Summit Nature Trail starts here. Follow the trail initially north west as it twists and turns to the summit of Mount Buller (1805m). Some walkers may prefer to commence the hike at the summit car park. Your preferred start point in the Mount Buller Alpine Resort is completely up to you really, where you start, you will end.

From the summit, retrace your steps to the first junction. Turn left at this point to continue along the Summit Nature Trail. Turning south west at the junction follow the Family ski run to the start of Four Mile Spur. The trail now descends along this often narrow spur for approximately 6.5km to the Hoqwua River below.

A short distance east from the Howqua river you will enter a large flat grassy area where you will locate Gardiners Hut (also known as Four Mile Hut). I have not included this hut on the huts overview page as this is a private hut which can be used for accommodation provided you obtain the key from the owners first. The hut is commonly used when search and rescue or other emergencies drive a need for accommodation in the area.

Turning east, follow the Howqua River a further 6.5km as it winds its way along the valley to Eight Mile Flat. An excellent camp site on the banks of the Howqua River.

Buller Huts Trail Day 1

If your itinerary permits, there is an optional side trip that commences at Eight Mile Flat and follows the Howqua River east to Ritchies Hut. While the sign at Eight Mile Flat indicates it is 6km one-way, I have actually recorded it at closer to 7.5km. Ritchies Hut is conveniently located on the Howqua River with adequate, open camping areas around the hut if you choose to stay overnight. My suggestion is to set up camp at Eight Mile Flat and take enough supplies to make this a return day hike.

Ritchies Hut Side Trip

Eight Mile Flat. An excellent camp site on the banks of the Howqua River with a relatively large clearing (an old hut site). This is a pleasant, level and grassy site with long-drop composting toilet and fire pits.

Eight Mile Flat Camping Area

Water is available from the Howqua River at Eight Mile Flat.

Eight Mile Flat to Bluff Hut

Day 2: Eight Mile Flat to Bluff Hut (12.5km)

Approximate duration: 9-10 hours
Grade: 5 (Difficult)

Includes a long, steep ascent along a narrow trail up 8 Mile Spur with steep and rocky scrambling/climbing required at the top of the spur in order to reach the Bluff.

From a pleasant grassy clearing beside the Howqua River, The trail now climbs steadily through dry open forest along Eight Mile Spur. The final stages of the ascent to the rugged natural ramparts of the Bluff are quite steep, but the rewards are soon evident. From the treeless 1,725 metre summit a spectacular alpine panorama unfolds, stretching to Mount Buller in the north and faraway Lake Eildon.

The trail continues through alpine meadows, carpeted with brilliant wildflowers in early summer, to Bluff Hut and a sheltered campsite among the nearby snow gums.

Buller Huts Trail Day 2

Bluff Hut has a large open area opposite the hut which is perfect for pitching your tent. There is also bush camping among snow gums within a few hundred metres of Bluff Hut. A composting toilet is also available adjacent to the large open area.

Bluff Hut Camping Area

Bluff Hut Toilet

Water is available from a rainwater tank attached to the hut but do not rely on this as the hut is accessible by 4WD and can often be dry.

Bluff Hut to Hells Window

Day 3: Bluff Hut to Hells Window (13.5km)

Approximate duration: 8-9 hours
Grade: 4-5 (Hard-Difficult)

Includes a long but relatively flat walk along 4WD tracks with a steep ascent of Mount Magdala via a rough and often rocky walking trail.

Follow Bluff Track east from Bluff hut over the summit of Mount Lovick (1684m) for approximately 5.6km to the junction of Cairn Creek Track. Turn north at this point and descend to Lovicks Hut.

Approximately 1.2km north of the hut the junction of Helicopter Spur will be reached. This is one of the steepest spurs in this region and quite a rewarding hike in its own right. Turn east at this point and continue along Bluff Track, past Picture Point (with spectacular views) then on to the junction of the Australian Alpine Walking Trail. Follow the trail in a north easterly direction towards Mount Magdala traversing one of the best sections of the long-distance Australian Alps Walking Track.

Descend past Hells Window to the saddle between Magdala and Big Hill where you will find an open grassy campsite amongst the snow gums.

Buller Huts Trail Day

If you are feeling energetic and want to bag a few extra peaks, there is an optional side trip, just beyond Picture Point, that heads south along a ridge line to the summits of King Billy No 1 and King Billy No 2. The short walk follows a section of the Australian Alpine Walking Track to to a small plateau and rock cairn at the summit. The return journey is approximately 3.6km so I would suggest leaving your packs behind.

King Billy No 1 & 2

The Hells Window campsite is located on a broad saddle east of Mount Magdala and west of Big Hill. This is a large flat and sheltered site amongst the snow gums, close to Hellfire Creek. There are no toilets available at this site.

Hellfire Creek Camping Area

Water is often available south of the campsite in the gully which is Hell Fire Creek. Descend along a faint trail, turning right on reaching the creek to access the most reliable source in the area. It is important to note that this creek is often not flowing during summer and should not be relied upon.

Hells Window to Speculation Road

Day 4: Hells Window to Speculation Road (13.6km)

Approximate duration: 6 hours
Grade: 4-5 (Hard-Difficult)

Includes a long and steady ascent of Mount Howitt followed by a rough and undulating traverse of the Cross Cut Saw. The section from Mount Buggery via Horrible Gap to Mount Speculation is challenging and requires rock scrambling on steep, loose and uneven terrain.

From the campsite continue along the trail, which heads north east, towards Mount Howitt. Take the time here to soak up the views across the Cross Cut Saw to the north before descending Mount Howitt to the junction of the Cross Cut Saw and Mount Howitt Walking Track. From this point head directly east to Macalister Springs and the Vallejo Gantner Hut.

Macalister Springs is a very reliable water source and worth a visit if you were unable to locate water the night before. Return via the same route to the junction of the Cross Cut Saw. The Crosscut Saw is a scramble along a narrow ridge and is not for those with a fear of heights. This traverse will lead you over the summit of Mount Buggery, through horrible Gap and to the broad summit of Mount Speculation. Continue over the summit, heading north east and descend to Speculation Road and a reliable water source and campsite at Camp Creek.

Buller Huts Trail Day 4

One campsite at Mount Speculation is located just near Camp Creek. There is also an additional site on the approach to Mount Speculation summit. Select your preferred site depending on the conditions as the one nearer to Speculation is slightly more exposed. Mount Speculation is renowned for being one of the finest campsites in the high country. There are no toilets available at this site.

Mount Speculation Camping Area

Water can be located at the head of the gully at Camp Creek which passes under Speculation Road.

Speculation Road to King Hut

Day 5: Speculation Road to King Hut (12.3km)

Approximate duration: 6 hours
Grade: 4 (Hard)

The section along Speculation Road is relatively easy going initially however, the descent along Muesli Spur, via the Staircase, follows a narrow walking trail which is steep, rocky and includes careful navigation on several steep and rocky sections.

Heading north north west continue along Speculation Road for approximately 7.2km and locate Muesli Spur to the west. The trail along the spur is reasonably well worn and should be easy to follow as it descends steeply towards the King River in the Valley below.

At the end of Muesli Spur you will again intersect Speculation Road. Turn left (almost straight ahead) at this point and follow Speculation Road then King Basin Road for approximately 1.4km until you reach King Hut and an open grassy campsite.

Buller Huts Trail Day 5

If your itinerary permits, there is an optional, 11km return, side trip that commences at the junction of Muesli Spur and leads you to the inspiring summit of Mount Cobbler. From Muesli Spur, continue north along Speculation Road/Lake Cobbler Track for approximately 1km before you will need to locate a foot trail that will lead you north across the plateau to the summit of Mount Cobbler.

I would recommend making this an overnight side-trip there is an excellent, flat open camping area (no water) approximately 1.5km before reaching the summit. My suggestion is to set up camp before climbing the summit. I would not recommend attempting the journey from Speculation Road, to Mount Cobbler and through to King Hut in one day as that would be close to 24km.

Mount Cobbler

The King Hut camping area is an excellent camp site on the banks of the King River. This is a large, level and grassy site with long-drop composting toilet and fire pits.

King Hut Camping Area

Water is available from the King River.

Day 6: King Hut to Craigs Hut (13.5km)

Approximate duration: 6 hours
Grade: 3-4 (Moderate-Hard)

Includes a long but relatively flat walk along a 4WD track with several (5) river crossings. The ascent along the McCormacks Trail spur is long and steady before reaching Craigs Hut.

Follow King Basin Road north west for approximately 6.4km and locate McCormacks Trail on the south side of the road. Follow the trail along a broad spur for 3.2km to the junction of Circuit Road. Turning left, follow the rod a short distance (200m) to continue your ascent along McCormacks Trail.

After approximately 1.7km you will again reach Circuit Road.Turn right at this point and follow the road for 1km where you will locate the Craigs Hut Walk on your left. Follow this trail to the top of the knoll and Craigs Hut. Here you will find grassy flats for camping, fire pits and toilet facilities.

Buller Huts Trail Day 6

An large, open camp site a short distance from Craig’s Hut, down Clear Hills Track. This is a pleasant, level and grassy site with long-drop composting toilet (near Craig’s Hut). There are no fire pits in this camp ground.

Craig's Hut Camping Area

Water is available from a rainwater tank near Craigs Hut but do not rely on this as the hut is accessible by 4WD and can often be dry.

Craigs Hut to Mount Buller

Day 7: Craigs Hut to Mount Buller (13.3km)

Approximate duration: 6 hours
Grade: 3-4 (Moderate-Hard)

The final section of the trail traverses a number of smaller peaks, saddles, spurs and ridges as it winds it’s way back to the Mount Buller Resort.

From Craigs hut, locate the Clear Hills Track and follow it in a south westerly direction towards the summit of Mount Stirling (1749m). There are a number of huts in the area of Mount Stirling providing emergency refuge to visitors. Bluff Spur Hut, west of the summit, was erected as a memorial to a pair of skiers who died of exposure on the mountain. Geelong Grammar School Hut, north east of the summit, is owned by Geelong Grammar School and is used during cross country skiing by students from the Timbertop campus.

Follow the Howqua Gap trail south from Mount Stirling and descend 2.1km along the ridge to a trail junction at Howqua Gap. Turn west and follow Corn Hill Track along Wooly Butt Spur past Howqua Gap Hut to Corn Hill Road. After a short distance, turn right onto the Wombat trail and follow this west to the junction of Stirling and Corn Hill Roads.

Continue along Stirling Road until you locate the first Village Circuit trail on your left. Alternatively you could follow the Split Rock trail which runs parallel to Stirling Road. Once on the Village Circuit trail, follow this along its length until you reach The Avenue. Turn right then a quick left before the car park and follow the trail back to Athletes Walk and the end of the circuit.

Buller Huts Trail Day 7

Water is available from the Mount Buller Resort.

Mount Buller Village Resort

GETTING TO THE TRAIL HEAD

From Melbourne, take the Hume Fwy/National Highway M31, C382, Goulburn Valley Hwy/B340, B300 and Mt Buller Rd/C320 to Summit Rd in Mount Buller. Continue on Summit Road Drive to the Buller Village. The recommended trail head is opposite Georges along Athletes Walk however you can start and finish the trek wherever you manage to park your vehicle. View in google Maps

BULLER HUTS TRAIL GPX FILE

Please visit www.trailhiking.com.au to access the GPX file for this trail. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree that its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

DOWNLOAD GPX FILE

MORE ABOUT THE BULLER HUTS TRAIL

5 Comments

  1. Luke 1 December 2017 at 21:05 - Reply

    Completed the Buller circuit in Nov 17, about 5-6 days. Buller to 8 mi, 8 mi to bluff hut, bluff hut to Mac springs, Mac springs to king hut via buggery and Spec- big day. King hut to woolly butt spur and rtn to Buller, great overview of this area, felt bad to walk back to an alpine resort after tranquility. Choose Koonika OR Spec and a bit of road bash after this. Low track on Howqua river is nice in summer, just not on maps.

    • admin 4 December 2017 at 13:46 - Reply

      Sounds like a great adventure Luke. If you have the time and inclination it would be awesome if you could write a trip report so that I can include it on the site for others to read. Cheers, Darren Edwards

  2. Mike Hale 28 March 2018 at 01:49 - Reply

    I did a version of this walk last November with my Daughter. It was amazing.
    I had an idea that after a hard final year of school with slightly less success than hoped for, that this walk would be a massive challenge and achievement that she could certainly “beat”.
    While this was true, it was only just true… The walk very nearly beat us.
    I wish that I had have paid more attention to how difficult the walk is, how physically prepared we should have been and just what Grade 5 actually means!

    In hindsight, one of the best experiences of my adult life, and despite that fact that I very nearly ‘broke’ my daughter, she feels the same and is trying to plan how we can do it again some day!

    Terrific walk

    If anybody wants a break down of the hike, any pictures, or highlights I would be most happy to write a little more.

    • Darren Edwards 28 March 2018 at 07:53 - Reply

      Sounds like you guys had an amazing, yet challenging adventure. I would really appreciate if you felt inclined to write up a trip report on your experience. I could include that, with pictures under the trip report page so that others can share in your experience. Cheers. Darren

  3. Elise Grover 10 April 2018 at 10:41 - Reply

    Anyone done this and the South Coast in Tassie? How do they compare in difficulty?

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.