• Length: 40.7km

  • Duration: 4 days

  • Grade: 5

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Mount Howitt Carpark

  • End: Mount Howitt Carpark

  • Location: Alpine National Park

  • Closest Town: Licola

  • Distance from CBD: 323km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.10921237

  • Longitude: 146.6816105

Keep the Trail Access info current...

4WD Access
Gravel Road
Steep Road
Winding Road
Large Car Park
Public Toilets
Accessible Parking

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...

Rough Trail
Undefined Trail
Alpine Region
Alpine Huts
Exposed Ledges
Rock Scrambling
Steep Terrain
Bush Bashing
River Crossings
Scenic Viewpoints
Untreated Water
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 Viking Circuit is a 40.7km, grade 5 circuit hike, located in Alpine National Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 4 days to complete.

Hike Summary

The ultimate Victorian High Country hike. The Viking Circuit takes in perhaps the greatest alpine scenery Victoria has to offer. The Viking Circuit is located in the Alpine National Park north east of Melbourne. The area is famous for the inspiration to the land-forms in Tomorrow When The War Began. With some inviting features such as The Crosscut Saw, Mount Buggary, Horrible gap, Mount Despair and The Viking this is not an easy hike.

Over 4 days you will cover close to 40km in distance which includes approximately 2,700m of accumulated vertical ascent. Oh yeah, and all that with a full pack.

The trail passes near Mount Howitt, before traversing the Crosscut Saw to Mount Speculation. It then continues through to Mount Despair and the Razor before ascending The Viking then down to the banks of the Wonnangatta River. The final day will see you ascend back up Wonnangatta Spur to your start point.

Alternatively you can do this hike in reverse which would see you start at the Mount Howitt Car Park in Victoria's Alpine National Park. It then goes down the Dry River Track to Wonnangatta Valley and then to the top of The Viking. It then passes over The Razor, Mount Despair, Mount Speculation, The Crosscut Saw, Mount Howitt and Macalister Springs. Then returns to Howitt Car park.

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

Drive to Licola and at the road junction near the bridge take the Tamboritha Road (don't cross the bridge). You will drive past bush camp sites before the road will turn into a dirt road. 48km from Licola you will reach the Arbuckle Junction, turn left and follow Howitt Road for another 37km to the Mount Howitt Carpark.


This walk is rated as difficult (Grade 4 and 5) and varies from well marked trails to lightly trekked wilderness. You will need to be fit, well prepared, possess excellent navigation skills. there is very little water along this trail so you will need to carry adequate supplies or have a good understanding of water procurement.

GPX File

Total distance: 40740 m
Max elevation: 1676 m
Min elevation: 643 m
Total climbing: 2669 m
Total descent: -2667 m
Download GPX File

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Summit of the Viking

Hikes Nearby

89 thoughts on “The Viking Circuit (40.7km)

    1. This time of year would be ideal due to the increased likelihood of water sources due to snow melt. My only concern would be the Wonnangatta river as this would be impassable after heavy rain or snow run off. We are heading up this way in November for this reason.

    2. The access road is usually closed until the end of October and sometimes longer. It is a long drive when the road is in poor condition so allow plenty of time to get there but you can camp at Howitt carpark to get an early start in the morning. Not a walk for beginners unless they are fit and guided by a competent person.

  1. I completed the trail over the weekend in 3 days.

    Day 1. Started out from Mt Howitt Car Park to Mt Speculation
    This is a tough hike, it also happen to be the easiest out of the 3 days. Water source is down at Camp Creek, 15 minutes walk from Mt Speculation.

    Day 2. Mount Speculation to Viking Saddle
    The track from Mt Speculation to Catherine saddle is no longer visible due to overgrowth. We aimed for Catherine Saddle direction and climbed down from the mountain’s ridges while bush bashing.

    Important note: There is a running creek at Viking Saddle. There’s mini trail that will take you there, and it only took 10 minutes. Although it is running water, please ensure to filter and purify it as there are animal faeces nearby.

    Day 3. Viking Saddle back to Mt Howitt Carpark
    The 3rd day only took us … 18 hours. We started out at 7am got to Wonnangatta River at 5pm. There were lots of bush bashing, and if it wasn’t for the GPS guidance provided by this site, surely we could not have made it. The hike from Wonnangatta River back to the carpark can be really tough in 30C degrees heat. So we were kinda lucky that the sun set at 8:30pm. Got back to the car at 1:30am

    As the author has mentioned, you’d need to possess excellent navigation skills, able to keep calm and the patience to bush bash your way through. It is definitely not my favourite Victoria’s hike, but the morning view on top of Mt Speculation of the mists below make it all worth while.

    Good luck and have fun 🙂

    1. Awesome feedback. Thank you Tien. Wow, day 3 was a massive day for you.

  2. Any update on the Viking Saddle to Wonnangatta River section as per tien nguyen’s comments on 1 February 2017? Heavy undergrowth and blackberries seem to rule this route out except for the most adventurous, or foolhardy.

    1. That section of the hike has always and will probably always be over grown simply due to the number of people who attempt this hike. It is only for experienced hikers (not necessarily foolhardy). It is the only route you can take to complete the circuit.

  3. Hi,

    Really interested in doing this circuit in Spring.

    Do you need a FWD to get to the carpark, or will a 2WD suffice?


    1. HI Martin, you dont necessarily need a 4WD to access the main carpark. The road is gravel and is rough in places so I would not recommend a car that is low or has low profile tyres.

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