On the day we departed from Woods Point in the High Country, I was a bit apprehensive about what we’d find on Walhalla Road, especially as we were towing our hybrid camper trailer. I’d read that the road was OK, but you never know until you go, and after making the climb up to Matlock we set off.
For reference, we left in the middle of March, when there hadn’t been any substantial rain for some time.
Where is Walhalla Road, and where does it go?
Walhalla Road starts in Matlock, and heads all the way down to Walhalla, along the edge of the Thompson Dam. It goes through a number of small settlements, but no major towns, and certainly no shops.
What’s the road condition like?
On day one, we drove from Woods Point through Matlock and down to Merringtons Campground, where we made camp for the night and enjoyed a pretty amazing area. This part of the Walhalla Road is pretty good, and as long as you don’t meet anyone on the narrow sections it was fairly easy.
We stayed in low range for the first half with the camper on the back to aid with braking down the minor hills, and we couldn’t go much faster with the camper on the back, the pot holes in a few areas and the narrow width of road.
Overall, it’s a reasonable condition gravel road. There are some pretty average holes (and lots of them in sections), but its certainly not a 4WD track, and you’d be able to take a 2WD vehicle down here with a bit of clearance as long as the weather was OK.
Once you get down to towards Meringtons Campground the road starts to go up and down a bit more, and I stopped to go back into low range, purely because of the trailer.
After Meringtons Campground, the road condition was still good, but you’ll come to a fork where you can either take Walhalla Road, or head across the Thompson dam wall, and into Rawson. We took the Dam wall option despite wanting to go the Walhalla Road, because there’s signs up that say not suitable for caravans (which we can basically ignore), but it also said no vehicles more than 3 tonnes, and we are over that (just).
We did drive back to Walhalla and where the gravel road starts from the south, and despite being windy its all bitumen and easy enough. You’d still be pushing the friendship to have a full size van on these roads, but they do take big coaches in, so it is possible.
Check the road conditions and closures
If you are going to take Walhalla Road, I’d suggest you look the road closures up, and just check it is still open. Once the rain starts, or its winter, all bets are off as to what condition this road is in, and you need to make an educated decision based on your vehicle, risk and alternative pathways. It’s not the sort of track you want to be on when its freezing cold and ice is starting to form!
Would you take a full size van down here?
Nope. I certainly wouldn’t, although you probably could. There are sections where its quite narrow, and if you met another person you’d be in a world of pain trying to find somewhere to get past, or reversing back until you found a spot to do so.
The road condition would allow for it, but given the width and location, I wouldn’t recommend towing a full size van down.
Would we do it again?
Yep, without any real hesitation. We wanted to get down to Walhalla, and without driving a huge way around it was a sensible move. We really liked Meringtons Campground and got to see some pretty awesome country, so won’t complain!
It is certainly a much better option than the Jamieson-Licola Road, which was terrible around Mt Skene!