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Alpine National Park...
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This spectacular Howitt and Helicopter Spur alpine hike visits both Mt Magdala and Mt Howitt traversing one of the best sections of the long-distance Australian Alps Walking Track. Helicopter Spur, the route used to reach the treeline, is one of the steepest and most challenging climbs in the region. Except for Helicopter Spur this walk follows generally good walking trails and offers magnificent views across the heart of the Victorian Alps.
Day 1 (10km)
Water is plentiful at the start point of this hike but it is essential that you carry enough ( I recommend 3 litres) to last through to the overnight camp at Hellfire Creek.
Day 2 (17km)
You will need to carry enough water (I recommend 4 litres) for all of this day, although the final few km are along the Howqua River.
If you are not comfortable driving on rough gravel tracks then it might be an idea to car pool.
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.
From Mansfield follow the Mt Buller Road for 32km to Mirimbah. Turn left and continue up the Mount Stirling Road for 9km to Telephone Box Junction. Keep right on Circuit Road and continue over Howqua Gap to the Bindaree turnoff (60km from Mansfield). Follow Bindaree Road down to the Howqua Valley. Turn left and after 200m you will arrive at the Upper Howqua Camping Area.
This is a challenging hike that should not be underestimated. Helicopter Spur is steep and rocky requiring exposed scrambling in places. Some people may find that ropes will be useful. Some navigational experience is required.
This hike requires that you have a sufficient level of equipment (in good working order), fitness and self-reliance. It is vital that you take personal responsibility for ensuring you are prepared! If you are not sure, contact the hike leader prior to the hike.
Max elevation: 1734 m
Min elevation: 840 m
Total climbing: 1711 m
Total descent: -1711 m