Short Horse-Trekking Routes Along Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail
Not every country can boast of having a 5330km long horse trail, however, nor can many boast of having the time to complete such a venture.
So while a year-long epic thru-trek along the Bicentennial National Trail may be a while off yet, why not test your horse-packing mettle and enjoy the scenery for a week or so on the following ‘BNT short’.
DARGO TO THE BIG RIVER
Region: The Victorian High Country | Length: 221km | Days: 10- 16 | Surface: rocky, steep tracks, gravel fire-trails
*TO PACK: Tiger Balm, Electrolytes!
The sealed, steady climb from the Dargo river up into Grant gives you a chance to warm up the quads and glutes, giving them a little taste of the many trials to come. The next day, the trail drops down to the historic (and long gone) townsite of Talbotville, to make camp by the river at 280m.
The following day, you zig zag around and down the Crooked river, before heading up the gnarly Station Track and onto Wombat Spur track at 1000m. And up, down, up down, you go, yo-yoing your way against the grain of the Victorian High Country, visiting places that look just as romantic as they sound- the Wonangatta Valley, Lazarini Spur, Howitt High Plains, Moonlight Spur, Mt Terrible.
Indeed, this pattern of going from 250m in altitude to over 1000m, back to 200m is all in a day’s work for this stretch of the trail.
Each night, the BNT will have you camped by an idyllic river, cozied up in a valley tight as a hug, before hurling you sky-high the following morning. By evening, you will once again be spat back down to the next river, to make camp at a more reasonable altitude and guaranteed water source.
Those monstrous mountains you gaze at as you rest your weary bones over a mug of billy tea will be the very ones you’ll need to scale the following morning. But for now, there is the warm hum of cicadas, the distant rustle of deer and an overwhelming feeling to build a lil’ humpy and tuck yourself into this delightful river valley for good. The waters are pristine, the views magnificent and your thighs will burn like never before. Not one for the faint hearted!