Time: 8hr 29min
Wonnangatta is possibly the most well-known four-wheel driving destination in Victoria thanks to its epic tracks and an enigmatic murder mystery. Once a grazing property, Wonnangatta Station is now a national park that takes in a pristine river valley ringed by rugged snow-capped mountains. Stock up and start from the tiny former timber milling town of Licola on the Macalister River. Meander along the Wellington River and its pleasant stopping places, then climb Tamboritha Saddle past Bennison Lookout to Arbuckle Junction. When you hit the valley floor you'll reach the old homestead site, where you can learn more about the 1918 double murder of the station manager and cook that was never solved. Wander through the old graveyard and invent your own theories. Pitch a tent at one of the valley's many bush camp sites.
Please note that there may be seasonal road closures, check road conditions prior to travel.
Kick start your day in the stunning dairy town of Maffra. Grab breakfast before you hit the road to the glorious Alpine region in The Middle of Everywhere. Stop by the Maffra Visitor Centre for all your map needs.
Stock up and start from the tiny former timber milling town of Licola on the Macalister River. The Licola General Store is a great stopping point for your fuel, snacks and to stretch your legs before you head into the High Country.
Pieman's Creek meanders along a small forested plateau in the Bryces Gorge region of the Alpine National Park. The small creek reaches the edge of the plateau and makes a sheer plunge followed by several steep falls and cascades into the depths of the valley.
Get off at Howitt Plains for a bit of 4wd action on King Billy Track. This is a fairly easy track to manage, however high clearance is required with decent off road tyres. Depending on the season and traffic it can be dusty and chopped. It begins at the end of Howitt Rd and travels through to the Bluff track taking you past Lovicks Hut and on to Bluff Hut.
This is where the fun begins, hitting Zeka Spur Track, there are a lot of sharp rocks and some steep decents. Follow it down to join the Wonnangatta track then on to the Homestead ruins.
On the floor of the Wonnangatta Valley, you'll find the original remains of the Wonnangatta Station Homestead. Dating back to the 1860s the Homestead, was accidentally burnt down by bushwalkers in 1957. Some stockyards and the old cemetery, which has been restored to something resembling its original form, survive. The station and surrounding area are the site of the still-unsolved Wonnangatta murders which occurred in late 1917 and 1918.
Plenty of camping sites available at Wonnangatta, for an overnight stop.
For the next leg of your trip, head to Talbotville and the Grant Historic Area. Talbotville was another of Gippsland's small gold mining towns that sprang to life when gold was found in the Crooked River in 1860 but vanished when the gold ran out. About all that remains visible of the township are a few stonewalls and the old gold mines in the area.
Today Talbotville is a beautiful camping area bordered by the Crooked River with lush green grass even when the surrounding bush land is so dry and dusty. The Talbotville camping area has plenty of picnic tables and fireplaces with cooking plates and fresh water flowing in the Crooked River.
Discover one of Victoria's most remote communities, nestled in the foothills of the legendary Dargo High Plains. The town of Dargo, with a population of approximately 150 is the gateway to the Alpine National Park, Avon Wilderness Village and Mitchell River National Park.
The area is home to some of the state's best 4WD tracks, rafting, fishing and canoeing and is popular with those who love getting out and enjoying the bush. It is also an ideal destination for bushwalking, hiking and horse riding. Visit Wonangatta Station by 4WD, once Victoria's most remote cattle station. Dargo is also known for its groves of century old walnut trees that line the valley floor.
The Dargo River meanders its way through the town, making it a great day trip or starting point to discover the Victorian High Country.
Your visit isn't complete without a trip to the Dargo Hotel for a refreshing drink and some traditional pub grub.