• Length: 25.7km

  • Duration: 2 days

  • Grade: 4-5

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Eight Mile Flat

  • End: Eight Mile Flat

  • Location: Alpine National Park

  • Closest Town: Mansfield

  • Distance from CBD: 245km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.1983044

  • Longitude: 146.4285977

Keep the Trail Access info current...

2WD Access
Gravel Road
Steep Road
Public Toilets
Untreated Water
Camping Area
Campfire Pit

Select items to indicate conditions for access to the trail.

2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

Keep the Trail Features current...

Gravel Path
Rough Trail
Undefined Trail
Rock Scrambling
Exposed Ledges
Alpine Region
Steep Terrain
Bush Bashing
Overnight Campsites

Alpine National Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


The Bluff via Link Track is a 25.7km, grade 4-5 circuit hike, located in Alpine National Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 2 days to complete.

Hike Summary

The The Bluff via Link Track hike commences from a pleasant grassy clearing beside the Howqua River. The trail climbs steadily through dry open forest along Eight Mile Spur. The final stages of the ascent to the rugged natural ramparts of the Bluff are quite steep, but the rewards are soon evident. From the treeless 1,725 metre summit a spectacular alpine panorama unfolds, stretching to Mount Buller in the north and faraway Lake Eildon.

The trail continues through alpine meadows, carpeted with brilliant wildflowers in early summer, to Bluff Hut and a sheltered campsite among the nearby snow gums. Next morning, descend along a 4WD road on Sixteen Mile Spur for approximately two kilometres then locate a barely visible foot trail that descends along a steady spur to the Ritchies Hut on Howqua River.

From the hut, follow the river valley in a westerly direction to the start of the trail at Eight Mile Flat.  Along this final section of the hike you will have the option of following either the high or low track. Both are equally as enjoyable so pick the best track for the conditions. Low track requires several wide and often deep river crossings.

Day 1 (13km)

Camp at Bluff Hut. Water should be available at this location.

Day 2 (12.7km)

Return to the trail head. Water will be available at Ritchies Hut and at various points along the Howqua River.

Best time

Summer, Autumn

All hikers should realise that weather conditions can change rapidly in alpine areas at any time of year. Snowfalls can be experienced at any time, so please be prepared with:

  • warm clothing
  • windproof and waterproof jacket
  • gloves and hat
  • strong footwear
  • energy food and water
  • compass and relevant topographical map

About the region

The Alpine National Park is a national park located in the Central Highlands and Alpine regions of Victoria, Australia. The 646,000-hectare national park is located northeast of Melbourne. It is the largest National Park in Victoria, and covers much of the higher areas of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria, including Victoria's highest point, Mount Bogong at 1,986 metres and the associated subalpine woodland and grassland of the Bogong High Plains. The park's north-eastern boundary is along the border with New South Wales, where it abuts the Kosciuszko National Park.

Getting there

Travel to Mansfield from Melbourne (195km) and Take the Mount Buller Road for 20.6km, turn right onto Howqua Track and travel for 16.4 km to Sheepyard Flats. Drive through Sheepyard Flats and continue along Brocks Road for 13km to 8 Mile Flat. Turn left at the junction and continue to the carpark at the end of the track.

GPX File

Total distance: 25730 m
Max elevation: 1718 m
Min elevation: 565 m
Total climbing: 1800 m
Total descent: -1800 m
Download GPX File

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19 thoughts on “The Bluff via Link Track (25.7km)

    1. It is an amazing hike and certainly a challenge. You can very safely bet that all snakes in Victoria are deadly.

  1. Loved this hike! Did the circuit (Nov 17) in 10hrs as part of Hut2Hut training. The Bluff climb is brutal but the views from the top stunning! There are a couple of large trees down across the entrance to 14 mile spur making the trail head pretty obvious, but the rest of the trail is very narrow and difficult to see at times (particularly with rain laden Myrtle closing in on you!)

  2. This was one of the best and most intense hikes I’ve done. Echoing what others have said, the climb up 8 mile spur is brutal, unrelenting uphill the whole day. But it makes the view once you get up on top of the bluff that much more spectacular. We saw no reliable water source after 8 Mile Flat and carried about 4litres each for the day. There was a half full water tank at Bluff Hut when we went in March 2020. Plenty of camping near Bluff Hut and just up the road a short ways. The next day coming down 14 Mile Spur was fine, it was overgrown for much of it (but there were some pink markers, so maybe its been maintained since then) and finding the trail from the 4wd track was a bit tricky, some large tree trunks had been placed at the start of the trail, so keep a close eye on your GPS when you get to the zigzag section of the 4wd track. Once you get down to Ritchies Hut (another great hut/campsite) theres plenty of water in the river. Two options to get back to 8 Mile Flat are the high and low tracks, on a hot day the low track with all the river crossings might be quite pleasant – but slower going. The high track was very exposed and you’re walking along some quite steep cliffs, also looked like prime snake territory and we saw 3-4 snake sized lizards that really made us jump – so take care along this section! All in all a fantastic hike, I’d say the best one in 2020!

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