Time: 4hr 12min
High above the Wonnangatta River Valley is the rocky escarpment of Eagles Crest. At its easternmost point is perched the Pinnacles Fire Lookout which commands views as far as the Gippsland Lakes on a clear day. Pack your camera, as this two-day four-wheel drive tour is a photographer's delight. Set out from Stratford and waste no time heading into the mountains, specifically Mt Budgee Budgee and the now redundant surveying trig point. The heart-stopping McDonald Gap Track takes you over the ridge along a spur, which steadily climbs the Eagles Crest. A couple of short steep pinches can provide a challenge if loose or wet. A helipad reveals great views of the valley below. Continue along the top of the escarpment past Mt Valentia to the Pinnacles Fire Lookout. Pause your journey to allow time to set off on the short but steep walk to the rocky outcrop that affords such spectacular views that a fire tower is rendered unnecessary.
Stratford is a charming village set on the Avon River which came into existence as a result of dairying, sheep, cattle and horse breeding in the district. Today it is characterised by pleasant rail cycleways, an Arts Trail, cute cafes, the excellent Apex park beside the river and a Shakespeare on the River Festival which celebrates its links with Stratford in Warwickshire, England.
Once you've fueled up with breakfast at one of the town's wonderful cafes, head north on Stockdale Road, then onto the Bairnsdale-Dargo Road towards Dargo.
After Cobbannah and Pretty Boy Hill Picnic Ground, you'll be able to turn off onto McDonald Gap Track, which takes you into Mount Budgee Budgee. There's a few steep sections, which make for a great 4wd adventure.
After you've taken in McDonald Gap Track, continue on Dargo Road through to Kingwill Bridge, where you'll find some great spots for morning tea and a leg stretch before continuing on.
Keep on Wonnangatta Road, through to Billy Goat Track and find your way to Eagles Crest.
From Eagles Crest, make your way back down Billy Goat Bluff Track to the Pinnacles Road, which leads you to the Fire Tower Lookout. Pause your journey to allow time to set off on the short but steep walk to the rocky outcrop that affords such spectacular views that a fire tower is rendered unnecessary.