• Length: 28.6km

  • Duration: 2 days

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Speculation and King Basin Roads

  • End: Speculation and King Basin Roads

  • Location: Alpine National Park

  • Closest Town: Mansfield

  • Distance from CBD: 278.5km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.08902452

  • Longitude: 146.5814352

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2WD Access
4WD Access
Gravel Road
Winding Road
Small Car Park
Untreated Water

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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...

Rough Trail
Undefined Trail
Alpine Region
Alpine Huts
Exposed Ledges
Rock Scrambling
Steep Terrain
River Crossings
Scenic Viewpoints
Untreated Water
Fishing Spots
Swimming Spots
Overnight Campsites

Alpine National Park...

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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


Mount Cobbler Plateau Circuit is a 28.6km, grade 4 circuit hike that is located in the Alpine National Park, Victoria. This hike should take approximately 2 days to complete.

Hike Summary

The Mount Cobbler Plateau Circuit hike commences at the junction of Speculation Road and King Basin Road and follows Speculation Road through numerous gullies before reaching the plateau and a trail junction. Turn left onto Little Cobbler Road and after around 800m you will reach the junction of Cobbler Lake Track. Follow this track for approximately 4km and you will reach Lake Cobbler and your camping ground for the night.

From Lake Cobbler there is a walking track to the nearby Dandongadale Falls, which drops 255 metres (837 ft) from the plateau and is the highest waterfall in Victoria. This is a short walk of approximately 2km return.

From Lake Cobbler, follow the Mount Cobbler Walking Track west for approximately 3km to a trail junction. Turning north (right) it is a short, moderate and steep 1.5km climb to the summit. From here you can enjoy amazing views of the surrounding peaks include Mount Typo to the north-east, Mount Koonika and Mount Speculation to the south-east, and Mount Stirling to the south-west.

After leaving the summit follow the trail back to the junction and continue heading south for approximately 5.5km until you again reach the junction of Little Cobbler Road and the Cobbler Lake Track. Follow Little Cobbler Road in a southerly direction. After about 700m you will reach the Speculation Road junction. The track on your right is the track you ascended via. Pass Speculation Road and keep heading south for another 450m and you will reach Muesli Spur Track on your right.

Descend along Speculation Road (described hike) or via Muesli Spur back to the trail head and your car.


Water can be procured near the trail head from the King River or Lake Cobbler at the end of day 1. Water should always be treated before drinking.

Be Prepared

This hike requires that you have a sufficient level of equipment (in good working order), fitness and self-reliance. We reserve the right for the hike leader to decline participants who are not adequately prepared at any time before the hike has commenced. We will be asking questions about your clothing, food, water and pack at the start of the hike so please do not turn up unprepared. 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.

About the region

Mount Cobbler is a mountain located in the Alpine National Park to the east of Mansfield in north-eastern Victoria, Australia. Its summit rises to 1,628 metres (5,341 ft) above sea level. The peak and surrounding Cobbler land system are composed of sedimentary rocks (conglomerate, red sandstone, silt-stone and shale), dating to the Lower Carboniferous period, some 359 to 318 million years ago.

Day 1: 14.5km

Day 2: 13.0km

Camping at the Start

Camping is available close to the trail head at the following locations.

  • Speculation Road: There is a small campsite along Speculation Road (possible 4WD) on the King River approximately 3.6km from Stirling Circuit Road.
  • King Hut: Camping area on the King River Track (4WD only). King Hut is perched on the western edge of the park, about 35 km east of Mount Stirling. The dramatic 4WD-access route follows the King River Track for 7 km from the junction with Speculation Rd, which is itself reached via a turn-off on Circuit Rd about 6 km east of the Craig's Hut turn-off. The hut itself is in excellent condition, having been recently rebuilt.
  • The overnight campsite can be found on an open saddle at the junction of the Mount Cobbler Walking Track and a foot trail heading north-south at the top of the plateau. This is a large camp site suitable for around 5-6 tents.

Getting there

From Mansfield, travel along Mount Buller Road for approximately 32km until you reach the toll gate at Mirimbah (you will need to pay an entry fee during winter). Once you've passed through the gates, turn left into Stirling Road (2WD) and keep going until you reach Telephone Box Junction (TBJ). Between Mirimbah and TBJ is approximately 8km of unsealed road. Turn right at the junction and follow the Stirling Circuit Road (2WD) for a further 16.5km where you will find Speculation Road (possible 4WD) on your right. Turn onto Speculation Road and travel 8.8km to the junction of King Basin (4WD) and Speculation Roads. This is the trail head.

During winter, vehicles are not permitted to go any further than TBJ, and all 2-wheel drives must carry chains when travelling to this point. The roads beyond TBJ open from Melbourne Cup weekend (first or second week of November). Call Parks Victoria to confirm that the road will be open as fallen trees may also cause road closure. In summer, all vehicles can continue further via The Circuit Road. The Circuit Road winds throughout the various sub-alpine and alpine forests around Mount Stirling. It is a gravel road but still accessible by 2-wheel drive vehicles.

GPX File

Total distance: 28604 m
Max elevation: 1590 m
Min elevation: 851 m
Total climbing: 1508 m
Total descent: -1508 m
Download GPX File

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33 thoughts on “Mount Cobbler Plateau Circuit (28.6km)

  1. Hi – can someone please confirm if the Speculation Road section after turning off Circuit Rd is flat and 2WD doable or 4WD only.

    1. I was there in 2016 and the road was suitable for 2WD provided you have reasonable clearance. My suggestion is to call parks Victoria for the current road condition

    2. Thanks Darren.
      I called them this morning and they said the roads in the region were not the best after recent rains, however they could not comment specifically on the section I was interested in.
      As an aside note, the Parks Vic person I spoke to also did not know that this circuit loop/hike existed as it was not on their map

    3. That’s a shame they couldn’t give you more info on the road. Not that surprised they didn’t know if the circuit loop as its one I made up

    4. Hi Darren,

      I’m interested in doing this hike. What typographical map would you recommend I use for this area?

  2. Hi Darren. A few of us are interested in doing this hike… I think majority are new to overnight hiking… Will it be suitable for not so experienced hikers? is the track easy to follow? Is there water on the way? Finally is there a good map that we can use? I’ve downloaded route throug Wikiloc but pretty sure will not have any reception… so it won’t be much help. Thanks

    1. Hi Aliona. I would recommend that you undertake this hike with experienced hikers only. The trail up the goat track is not that well defined, is steep and had a bit of rock scrambling. You can find water at Lake Cobbler as well as a small creek beyond that (before reaching the overnight camp). So you would need to fill up on day 1 and are not likely to find water again after the locations I mentioned. I dont know of any good maps other than the topo maps by SV Maps. From memory, they cover this area.

  3. I intended to do this walk last week but the road was closed. I’d like to suggest that you change the paragraph opening “During winter, vehicles are not permitted to go any further than TBJ” to include “The roads beyond TBJ open from the Melbourne Cup weekend (first or second week of November). Call the National Park to confirm that the road will be open as fallen trees may also cause road closure.”

    We walked up Mt Stirling instead which was nice enough.

    1. Hi Patrick. I have updated the description as per your suggestion. Thank you for this. I do recommend that all visitors to alpine or remote areas call parks Victoria during their pre-trip planning in order to ascertain whether or not roads are open as sometimes they are closed randomly (in all seasons) in order to carry out repairs.

  4. Hi, we are thinking about doing this but starting and ending from Lake Cobbler. I note that its a walk you made up. Some of it looks like its on track with other bits requiring navigation? or are there faint tracks to follow/navigate? If we started from lake Cobbler would King Hut be a good overnight spot? Water?

    1. That sounds like a good plan. I’m not sure if lake cobbler is accessible via 2wd but if you have a 4wd you will be fine. I’d suggest you never venture into the alps without good knowledge of navigation but you will find that most of this circuit follows faint trails. The trails are not all marked but you should be able to see them. Kin but would also make a great campsite as it is a large flat area close to a reliable water source. There are also flat areas closer to the actual trail of you can’t be bothered walking the extra distance to the hut

  5. Has anyone done this recently? Any updates to the previous advice? The link to the maps posted in 2017 doesn’t work anymore ( Keen to do this Easter weekend.

  6. Hi, Is it possible to hike to Mt Cobbler and back in one day if the circuit to the Lake is omitted ?
    The Emergency Services Victoria Map (the one that identifies all the current fires) is a good online source for a map that shows contours, walking and vehicular tracks. If I am looking at the correct area on the online map it names the track at the start of the walk Muesli Spur track (is that the goat track that Darren refers to in one of his comments ?). I have a reasonable level fitness, climbed Mt Feathertop and back via Bungalow Spur in one day Thanks for any advice, great photos.
    Cheers Gregg

    1. Hi Gregg, my apologies for the delayed reply. If you were to omit the lake circuit and hike up Muesli Spur (the goat track) then head directly to Mount Cobbler, the return hike, along the same route, would be approximately 20Km. So yes, this is possible to do in one day. I would recommend chacking that the area is open though as it may have been impacted by the current fires.

  7. Great hike
    I did it from the lake up the top then back to check out the fall.
    Very thankful to trailhiking as I needed to use the gps 2 or 3 times to find the track due to fallen trees
    Several fallen trees at the bottom of the climb just after the creek crossing
    The views are breathtaking to say the least and pocket earth you see where all the other peaks are.
    Really enjoyed
    Thanks Trail hiking

  8. Hiked this 4-5 December, up the steep Muesli spur, up and up and up and then some steeper up …. but nothing crazy in terms of dangerous rock scrambles – definitely would NOT want to come down there to save the knees. That said if you really don’t want to walk down the somehwat boring 4WD track back to the car park you could go up and down Muesli. Camp area at saddle is beautiful and really sheltered even when the wind picked up at the summit. Views from summit amazing – although I don’t think we went to Cobbler proper but stayed on littel Cobbler, looks like a lot of scrambling to get to Cobbler late in the evening or early morning? Water at lake was a bit full of flies, filled up at the stream a little past the lake on the way up to plateau instead. Def worth walking to the waterfall although you end up looking down at it into the valley and don’t get the full waterfall appreciation. Camping at lake would be fine but it’s car accessible so it doesn’t have a great hiking-in feel.

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