After travelling half way across the country, we were pretty excited to head into the Victorian High Country and find some amazing campgrounds, and great 4WD tracks. Our first real day off-road was doing some of the Mt Terrible 4WD tracks, and we had an absolute ball.
Where is Mt Terrible?
Mt Terrible is only 15km drive south of Jamieson, and around 260km North East of Melbourne, with a few different ways to get to it.
What are the 4WD tracks like?
Being on our own, in a vehicle that is supposed to continue taking us around the country for another 18 months or so, I was very keen to see how hard the 4WD tracks would actually be, and whether I’d be wanting to turn around and head back to camp.
As it turns out, nothing we did was overly difficult, but its rough, rocky, incredibly steep in upwards and downwards slopes and you need a vehicle with some decent tyres, a bit of clearance and a driver who knows what lines to take.
I’m told that this is one of the easier locations to get to in the Victorian High Country by 4WD, and we really enjoyed it.
In essence, the 4WD tracks are steep up or down, with some very rocky and scrabbly sections, and lots of humps to drive over where the water runs off. We didn’t encounter any massive ruts or holes, or obstacles that were overly difficult, but pick a bad line and you’d know about it.
What’s at the top of Mt Terrible?
Arriving at the top, you are met with a glorious view over the Victorian High Country, a beautifully restored Mt Terrible hut (in 2016) and there’s a telecommunications area slightly higher.
There’s plenty of room to park, a couple of nice picnic tables and a fire pit, and that’s about it.
What 4WD tracks go to Mt Terrible?
There’s a heap of different ways that you can get to Mt Terrible, and you can basically build your own path.
From the East, on Mansfield-Woods Point Road, you can head up the Poletti Track, which turns onto Mt Terrible Track and takes you right to the top. This is probably the easiest, and fastest way up and down.
You can also take the Moonlight Spur Track, onto Mount Terrible Track.
Alternatively, you can come from the West off Big River Road via Donald Track, or up Newmans Track, off Eildon-Jamieson Road.
You can also come from the North off Eildon-Jamieson Road, or Lakes Track.
If you are coming from the south, you can come along the Ryan Spur Track and Cornhill Road, which takes you all the way to Mount Matlock.
How did we get to and from Mt Terrible?
We left Jack Scotts Campground in the morning, heading north out of Woods Point, and turned onto Moonlight Spur Track, which Google suggested would be the fastest way up. This track starts off going through a couple of creeks, with the second one having a couple of rocks that could do damage with bad wheel placement, and then it goes up and down all the way to Mount Terrible Track.
It wasn’t overly difficult, but its steep with a few obstacles to be cautious of. We then turned right onto Mount Terrible Track, and took that all the way to the top. This part of the track is steep, but also very rocky, and quite rough.
Arriving at the top, we were keen to head towards Matlock, but looking at the maps, and realising it had taken near on two hours to get to the top of Mt Terrible, we decided to continue north along the Mount Terrible Track, and turn down Poletti Track, and back onto the Mansfield-Woods Point Road near Kevington, and take that track back to camp.
Our total trip was about 4.5 hours, including lunch at the top of Mt Terrible, and that’s enough with two young kids in the back. I’d have liked to do Matlock as well, but not if we were going to spend another 3 + hours in the car with the kids!
What do you need for this track?
In the scheme of things this track isn’t that remote, but I’d always recommend you take a PLB or satellite phone regardless. You have good reception in places on the way up, and its great at Mount Terrible, but useless in most other places.
You need decent tyres for this; a good set of light truck, all terrains would be the minimum in my opinion. Let your tyres down a decent amount to absorb the bumps and to give extra traction, but not so low that you do a sidewall on a rock. We ran 24 on the front and 28 on the rear, and it seemed to work well.
A bit of extra clearance wouldn’t go astray, and then just pick your lines carefully. If its wet, this track would be all kinds of fun.
Is it worth a visit to Mount Terrible?
The views on the way up, and at the top are nothing short of breath-taking, and I really enjoyed it. Parts of the track were quite slow, rough and tiring, but there was enough to keep you entertained and concentrating.
For a first 4WD track in the Victorian High Country, we all enjoyed it, and look forward to many more!