Stringers Knob Mottle Range
Grade: Easy. Two-wheel drive in dry weather only.
Distance: 81 kilometres
Duration: Easy half day
This route commences in Orbost, crosses the Snowy River and takes in the Rail Trestle Bridge, the longest in Victoria. It continues towards Buchan before veering off to Monument Track and Tower Track to Stringers Knob Historic Fire Tower. This experimental single pole fire tower was built in 1941 following disastrous bushfires two years before. The fire spotter's cabin is perched atop a 28-metre pole made of two massive logs (red iron bark and yellow stringy bark trees) spliced lengthwise. The route also takes in Mottle Range Flora Reserve, home to the only known naturally occurring stand of Spotted Gums, Eucalyptus maculata, in Victoria. After passing the East Gippsland Rail Trail and the former log checking station of Newmerella Picnic Ground, the route returns to Orbost.
Warnings: Log truck traffic. Watch out for cyclists.
Optional side trip: The road to Long Point has a steep descent requiring low range 4WD with high ground clearance. It is very difficult and should be undertaken by drivers with extensive four-wheel drive experience. It is unsuitable for trailers due to a limited turning area.
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