After our High Country adventures on the Haunted Stream Track, it was back to the main roads as we headed for Buchan. Once in Buchan we topped up with supplies and headed down to Jacksons Crossing of the Snowy River. At first, this was along a minor graded road, but soon we turned off onto Running Creek Road, a track that went steeply downhill for quite a long time.
The Snowy was running fast at the crossing and was higher than usual at this time of the year. This was due to a storm and huge dumping of rain that had closed many roads in the area only a few days before. Although the crossing was do-able, the area between the crossing and McKillops Bridge in the Snowy River National Park would have been very wet, muddy and slippery. Our time was now limited, so it was back up Running Creek Road and back to the graded road.
Soon we came back onto the main road once more, driving through the small townships of Gelantipy and another Seldom Seen. Soon after the latter we turned off onto the McKillops Bridge Road.
At first, this was a normal minor bitumen road, with the bitumen giving way to a good graded surface just before the Little River Falls. The group pulled over at the car park and headed along the walking track for approximately 400 metres to have a look at the falls.
These spectacular falls are the first of several on the Little River as it descends through the Little River Gorge 622 metres over 14 kilometres to join the Snowy River. This is the deepest gorge in Victoria. It is possible to follow another walking track for a view of the Gorge, but it was time we moved on to find a campsite for the night.
Although there were signs warning that the road past the falls was unsuitable for caravans and trucks, we still had no idea what we were getting into. As it turned out there is approximately 8 km to a turnoff and this section is very narrow, very high up with very little opportunity to manoeuvre past oncoming traffic. Even though it is a 2 wheel drive road, it is very, very scary and our fearless leader no longer felt so fearless – nor did anyone following behind.
Fortunately, it was late in the day and there was no oncoming traffic through this very narrow section. But there was a collective sigh of relief when we reached a turnoff onto a 4 wheel drive track which lead to a pleasant camping spot down near the Snowy River. The day was warm, so a swim in the river seemed like a good idea. During the evening a brushtail possum visited us and provided some entertainment for awhile.
Next morning the group continued onto McKillops Bridge some 7 kms away. The road was not so high now and seemed to be wider too, but again there were no other vehicles around.
The Bridge is an impressive structure, some 250 metres long, across the Snowy River. It consists of welded-steel trusses on tall one-piece reinforced-concrete piers.
The bridge has historical significance for the pastoral industry of Victoria. This was a stock crossing point for almost a century before the bridge was constructed. It was built by the Country Roads Board and completed in 1936, the experimentation and innovative techniques used in the construction of the bridge, resulted in it being at the leading edge of world technology.
This aesthetically pleasing structure set against a panoramic backdrop of mountain forest and magnificent alpine river gorge was a fitting conclusion to our diverse High Country adventure.
And you can see all of this adventure in our latest DVD Vistas to Valleys – High Country Adventures. It includes some favourite tracks, some challenging new tracks and all round good fun and adventure.