Wonnangatta Valley Drive
Grade: Medium to difficult
Best time: Summer or autumn (two days)
Wonnangatta is possibly the most well-known four-wheel driving destination in Victoria thanks to its epic tracks and an enigmatic murder mystery. Once a grazing property, Wonnangatta Station is now a national park that takes in a pristine river valley ringed by rugged snow-capped mountains.
The route: Stock up and start from the tiny former timber milling town of Licola on the Macalister River. Meander along the Wellington River and its pleasant stopping places, then climb Tamboritha Saddle past Bennison Lookout to Arbuckle Junction. Cross the extraordinary Snowy Plains Airstrip with its views of snow gums and alpine meadows plunging into deep valleys to the east and west. Before embarking on the long, winding descent into the Wonnangatta valley.
When you hit the valley floor you'll reach the old homestead site, where you can learn more about the double murder of the station manager and cook that was never solved after being discovered following the spring thaw of 1918. Wander through the old graveyard and invent your own theories. Pitch a tent at one of the valley's many bush camp sites.
If the weather's dry on your second day you'll experience some exhilarating ridge-top four-wheel driving over Cynthia Range. Mount Von Guerard offers a pleasant lunchtime diversion.
The main track eventually emerges at the Crooked River Road and on to Dargo, where you can refuel and stock up on supplies.
Myrtleford to Wonnangatta Homestead near Dargo
(via Dandongadale and Abbeyard)
Grade: Difficult (dry weather only)
Distance: 108 kilometres