Marco Voss with Tienes and Marie Wilbers in a Landcruiser
The group ready for the day's adventure. Note the way
they have carefully hidden the Jeep (...or are they just
On Friday night the lodge was opened at 6.00pm and the process
of turning on water gas and electricity was well and truly
completed before the first participating vehicle drove past the
lodge. They slowed down, looked at the Jeep, scratched their heads
and moved on only to return a few minutes later and approach the
lodge rather tentatively. They found, as did other trip
participants, that there was a Jeep involved in the trip and
(gasp!) it belonged to the trip leader. Thus started some good
natured bantering (?) about the jeep (which they carefully
concealed for the group photo! )The catch cry for the weekend
became....There's only one Jeep......THANK GOD!!
After warming the vehicles, Saturday's drive commenced with a
drive down the mountain to the Ring Road via the corn hill ski
trail. Although the track was rough, 4WD was not required and this
proved to be the tedious part of the weekend's driving. The first
4WD track came as we left the Ring Road and ascending Mt. Stirling
via the Howqua Gap Hut. The trip leader had a nervous moment as he
rounded the first steep corner on the Jeep's first 4WD trip and
was confronted with some very large rocks! Some doubts were
expressed at the ability of the Jeep to tackle such large rocks
without damage (the Limited is lower than the Cherokee Sport).
Fears were unfounded and I think there was some grudging
admiration as the Jeep comfortably climbed the mountain.
The next major obstacle was a large drop-off coming down from
the top of Mt. Stirling (it is easier to go down these than to try
to climb up!). By picking a careful track down, the Jeep again
made it quite comfortably. Another Cherokee came along (a Sport)
and charged straight down with the odd bumping and grinding noise.
This Jeep was well protected though, it had the obligatory company
logo indicating its invulnerability (company cars are always
faster!). Later encounters with this Jeep indicated that the
vehicle has only two speeds....stationary...and flat out!
Morning tea was consumed whilst exploring Craig's Hut (below
left - made for the Man From Snowy River) before heading down to
King River Hut for lunch. When the trip leader left his Jeep
(unlocked!) to get a drink from the river he came back to find all
seats in the Jeep occupied and the bonnet up with the motor
receiving close scrutiny.
The trip along the King River involved a number of river
crossing, but with the water level low there were no dramas. The
tedious drive back up to Mt. Buller was followed by a walk up to
the summit. Some of the more adventurous found a short cut! (above
right). The evening meal was shared buffet style with all
participants contributing to the feast.
Sunday morning involved a shorter drive down to Bindaree Hut
with a stop at Bindaree Falls where some of the boys found a
bypass to the bridge. (Some of the female members of the group
were not to be outdone! They had to play with the Toys too!) Lunch
at Bindaree hut still left ample time for "playing" and a group
ably (mis)led by Mike Howson tackled the short cut up from
Bindaree. (see below)
Looks like fun doesn't
Back to the lodge with only a little damage to pride
and vehicles. (Locking diffs on all vehicles attempting
In fine weather the only problem areas are coming down from the
top of Mt Stirling towards Craig's hut where a little care is
needed in picking the right line (except those with company
cars!), and the short cut from Bindaree Hut which is really only
for the serious 4wheelers with lots of experience. Monument track
is also a track to be avoided by the novice. It can be done, but
many have come unstuck trying!
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