Image: Max Currie
Why this Hike
This grade 5 hike over some of the most stunning parts of Alpine Victoria is one of the most difficult hikes in Australia. This trip into the depths of the Victorian High country is a challenging and strenuous adventure which has all the rewards to make it worth the walk.
Track Notes & Overview
4 Days, 3 Nights - 40.7KM
This grade 5 hike over some of the most stunning parts of Victoria is one of the most difficult hikes in Australia. The hike crosses Crosscut Saw and and over the top of Mt Speculation and The Viking before lowering down into the vally to cross the Wonnangatta river. This hike is perfect for very experienced hikers and navigators looking for a challenge.
The Days are as follows when starting from the Mount Howitt Carpark:
Day 1 - Mount Howitt Carpark to Mount Speculation (12.6KM)
Day 2 - Mount Speculation to Vikings Saddle (9KM)
Day 3 - Viking Saddle to Wonnangatta River (8.2KM)
Day 4 - Wonnangatta River to Howitt car park (11KM)
This hike is done in an alpine environment with unpredictable weather conditions and therfore one should pack for both extreme cold and heat.
There is limited phone reception so a PLB is a must. Remember to give your trip intentions to someone trusted who can call for help if you don't return.
Half of the hike is done on unmarked and often not present trail so one should only attempt this hike if they are a very confident navigator.
Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
This hike only has 4 spots to fill up water. These spots are:
North of Vallejo Gantner hut
Camp creek. A 500m walk north of the trail on the east side of Mt Speculation.
A creek 500m east of Viking Saddle
The Wonnangatta river
This hike traverses across 2.6km of elevation both up and down.
Trail description (starting from Mt Howitt Carpark):
The Mt Howitt walking track from Mt Howitt Carpark to Mt Howitt is very easy and in perfect condition.
The Australian Alps walking track between Mt Howitt and Mt speculation is not maintained and unmarked but is still easy to follow and in great condition.
The Australian Alps walking track between Mt Speculation and The Viking is harder to follow and in poor condition. Although this section is marked with yellow triangular markers.
There is no defined trail from The Viking to the Zeka track although there are signs of others walking through.
The Zeka track is an active 4x4 track in prestine condition.
The old Zeka track is an old 4x4 track that is completly overgrown but in sections there are signs of it once being there. This is the hardest part for navigation of the entire hike and will take even the fittest hiker a minimum of 4 hours.
Starting the hike
There are 3 carparks that can get you to the hike.
Mount Howitt carpark. This carpark is located on the southern most side of the walk and is very close to the circuit. This carpark can be accessed through Licola by any car but requires some very difficult driving and may not be possible in bad conditions. It can also be accessed through Mirtleford but this requires a 4x4.
Upper Howqua Campground. This is the most reliable entrance to the hike suitable for any car but reqires an extra 10km walk in and back out of the hike requireing an extra day or two.
Camp creek. This is the closest carpark to the circuit. Speculation road is no longer maintained and is a big gamble to wether it is possible to drive or not. This road is best for a 4x4 with a winch and a chainsaw.
*Please note, this is one of Victoria's most challanging hikes and should only be undertaken by the most expirenced of hikers.
Food for a Multi-Day Walk
Creating a menu for a hike can seem challenging at first especially if it is an multi-day hike. Your menu should be nutritious, delicious and lightweight which can limit some of the meals you can create.
Our recipe hub includes great suggestions for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and even dessert, covering all the ingredients you will need and how to make them.