As winter descends, snow settles atop the Victorian stretch of the Great Dividing Range, making some of the best panoramas in Australia all the more enchanting.
The Victorian Alps cover a vast area of plummeting river valleys gouged from rugged mountain terrain, with peaks reaching 1900 metres above sea level. As winter grips the area, there are widespread road closures, meaning a little research is required for those planning a visit.
There’s scarcely an area within the whole region that isn’t worth the journey, be it a corkscrewing drive up a mountainside, a brooding pine forest or a mountain hut caked in snow that sends the imagination running wild. But for the adventurous spirit, the best thing to do is get as high as you possibly can and take in a snowy mountain vista and a lungful of the cleanest air in the state.
While it’s closed for most of the winter (generally from mid-June, well into spring) if you get in early, the Blue Rag Range Track has jaw-dropping views. This is a very hard course suitable for experienced drivers only in winter months, and the weather is extremely unforgiving at this altitude – stay informed of forecasts and pack accordingly. You should also be in a convoy in winter.
This remote track encompasses some of the best off-roading aspects in Australia: a mix of terrain and an undulating track affording clear, high-altitude views for miles. The track requires vigilance due to precarious drops on either side of the course during the main climb to Mount Blue Rag.
The reward at the end of the eight-kilometre push up Mount Blue Rag (reaching 1700 metres above sea level) is a stunning panorama over the escarpments of the Cobblers, Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo, Mount Feathertop and the valleys to the south, with rolling scenery on all horizons.
Check out Caravanning Australia Winter 2019 for important safety tips for alpine driving.