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[Aussie Content] Victorian Alps Road Trip



  130i Road, 172 Track
Back in late November 2019, I enjoyed a 3-day jaunt around the Victorian alps with a few friends. We started with 2 Sydneysiders and 1 Melbournite and finished with 2 extra Mexicans for a good group of 5 on the final day.

DAY 1

Huw and I left Sydney around 5am, aiming for Albury by lunchtime. After a few car dramas with his RX-8 near Campbelltown, we kicked on and made it to Albury in 4:37 from C-town, in time for surprinsgly delicious late brekky at Cafe Musette. There we met Dan and his VE SS for and after a little tour of Albury, he lead us east to some good roads
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First was Granya Pass: a fast and flowing up and over Mount Granya, where the V8 Commo led the charge up the hill. Next was the back way to Bright through scenic farmland and via Running Creek Road: a tight little pass that the Clio gobbled up. Finally, we decided on the epic jaunt up and down Mount Buffalo, with a decent break at the top for photos and to allow the cars to cool. I forgot how long an relentless this road is, with a huge change in altitude, vegetaion type and scenery. Absolutely amazing! After Mt B it was down to Bright to retire at the brewery for the evening.

The route: https://goo.gl/maps/oHkZYBaewFBE8Z8o8

The photos:

McEarly Brekky following highway repairs to the Mazda:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Albury Station meet point:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Very good breakfast at Cafe Musette - would recommend!

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Tightening spark plugs, again...

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Pre-drive rinse:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Granya Pass

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Running Creek Road:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

49458905448_01f4191e79_b.jpg Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mount Buffalo at various points:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Bright for the night:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr
 
  130i Road, 172 Track
DAY 2

Bright loop then to Mansfield

After procuring breakfast for both the cars and ourselves, we set off for the famous Falls - Omeo - Hotham loop. First up, Mount Beauty - an absolutely incredible ribbon of twisting tarmac - virtually empty save for a few MAMILs. A quick flash past one of the lookouts and I recalled having actually driven this road (in reverse) at the OzRS Nats many moons ago.

We turned right on the Kiewa Valley Hwy and then again onto Bogong High Plains Rd, itslef a delicious piece of road, snaking its way up to Falls Creek Resort. Obligatory photos ensued before pressing on to one of my favourite bits: the continuation of BHP Rd all the way to Omeo Hwy. It begins at high altitude on the Falls plateau, where you feel as if you're darting across the Scottish moors on a narrow, Clio-friendly road. It then descends into bushland with a huge vertical descent down through the trees. Unfortunately we came upon a couple of touring bikes who refused to allow us to pass, but that just meant we would stop every 5 minutes and grab some more piccies.

Pushing on, we hurtled down Omeo Hwy in a smoky haze towards Anglers Rest, myself and the SS battling it out with very different approaches. We took turns to lead and it was a joy to watch each car do its thing. This road around the Anglers Rest area was simply incredible, with seemingly unending corners. At a rest point (deep breathes and palm-wiping was required after that many corners) a friendly local pulled over and told us not to go back as the fires were building. Luckily we were headed SE towards Omeo and the roads were clear from there onwards.

From Omeo, we turned onto very fast open roads past Dinner Plain, towards Hotham Heights and Mount Hotham, to what surely must be one of the most picturesque roads in Australia? The resort itself had a bit of traffic so we took it easy and stopped for multiple photo shoots. The run down Hotham towards Harrietville was very twisty and steep. The slow-moving 7 series we came upon happily let the Commodore pass but not the tiny blue car, so after forcing his hand a little I did get by and he tried to keep up - for the first corner. Dan in the SS then let me pass as his family sedan was so well suited to the downhill gradient and tight roads. Even so I had to ease off a few times to allow the brakes to cool, such is the descent!

A nice cruise into Bright for late lunch and then a cross-country jaunt to Mansfield for the night, arriving in time to find some accomodation and a watering hole on the main street. That night we were joined by another 2 Mexicans - a silver 172 and @Teki04 in his R26.

The route: (except we did Falls Creek to Anglers Rest, via Bogong High Plains Rd which it won't let me select...) https://goo.gl/maps/4BGPwZKvgMZ3373e7

The photos:

Brekky:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mount Beauty:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Falls Creek:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Rocky Valley Dam:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Bogong High Plains Rd (while waiting for the bikes...):

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Anglers Rest, resting:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Omeo:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Hotham Heights:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mount Hotham:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Hotham descent:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mansfield!

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr
 
  130i Road, 172 Track
Looks like a good trip. Was Holden way faster than the Clio like we all expect it to be?

I was quicker on the tight roads. The LSD and V8 grunt of the Commo meant it disappeared up the steeper, more open roads. Great fun chasing it and approaching each road with a vastly different driving style.
 
  Swift Sport
I was quicker on the tight roads. The LSD and V8 grunt of the Commo meant it disappeared up the steeper, more open roads. Great fun chasing it and approaching each road with a vastly different driving style.
Indeed. The David and Goliath battles are far more fun. Bit like the Improved Production race series you have over there.
 
  130i Road, 172 Track
Indeed. The David and Goliath battles are far more fun. Bit like the Improved Production race series you have over there.

Precisely! I'm currently racing an A45 AMG (mate's car) and we're up against V8 Commodores, Evos, M3s and all sorts of hot hatches. Great fun!
 

-Simon

ClioSport Club Member
  172-E92 M3-ZT V8
Looks like a great road trip with some amazing scenery. Great to see an RB clio - my favourite colour by far.
 
  130i Road, 172 Track
DAY 3

Mansfield, Buller, Eildon loop -> home to Sydney

Overnight we were joined by a couple of Renaultsport owners from Melbourne, @Teki04 and Alex. We quenched a few thirsts and hit they hay for an early night. Upon an early rise, the car park looked like a mid-noughties OzRS meet, which made me very happy. Fueled up from breakfast and petrol in town, we made the jaunt to Buller, knowing wet weather was forecast but keen to drive the famous Targa stage. We were stalled behind some a train of very slow moving Land Cruisers who refused to pull over, so we did the honourable thing and held back to create some space. We needn't have bothered though as they entire run up Buller was heavy fog, with visibility reduced to around 50m! Once at the village, we found we were above the clouds and enjoyed some panoramic views above the clouds. The run down was similarly sketchy, which was a shame as my memories from Targa 2018 at full speed were still pretty vivid!

We drove then towards Jamieson and peeled off to Jamieson-Eildon Road to relive perhaps the best Targa stage of High Country. I led the charge in the Clio and absolutely devoured the twisting tarmac through the dense bush. This road is seriously demanding, with little room for error but wow, is it fun! I pulled over after about 20 minutes as the brake pedal was getting a little long and my brain a bit fuzzy... we all jumped out and whooped with excitement for how good it was!

We pushed on for the remaining 20km or so and continued to enjoy the undulating bitumen and amazing scenery before finally arriving in Eildon. The RX-8 grabbed some more fuel and then we blasted up Skyline Road, another Targa stage before pulling over for some obligatory group shots set in front of an amazing view looking Noreast over Lake Eildon. Here I said my goodbyes and started the long journey back to Sydney, whilst the others kept going south towards Melbourne on more awesome backroads.

I was super impressed with all over the roads we drove. Great scenery, minimal police and traffic and endless corners! Can't wait for the next trip
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The route: https://goo.gl/maps/1pH1gSPwh4s5C9AP8

The photos:

Overnight Mexican intruders:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mid-noughties RENAULTsport's finest:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

The full crew at brekkie:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Fuel stop:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

PCOTY circa-2006:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Mount Buller, following slow ascent:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Halfway down Buller, foggeeeeeee:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Eildon-Jamieson Road. First stop after many KM of bliss. Brakes needed a cool down...

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Second pit stop for another breather...

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Skyline Road. Epic views:

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr

Crazy weather on the way home!

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Untitled by autofocus .net.au, on Flickr
 
Nice! Good to hear no issues with The Fuzz - my impression was they were all super-busy nicking people for doing 1mph over the limit on arrow-straight roads with zero traffic and nothing to hit :rolleyes:

The Clios look tiny compared to anything else, I had sort of forgotten how compact they actually are.
 
  130i Road, 172 Track
Nice! Good to hear no issues with The Fuzz - my impression was they were all super-busy nicking people for doing 1mph over the limit on arrow-straight roads with zero traffic and nothing to hit :rolleyes:

The Clios look tiny compared to anything else, I had sort of forgotten how compact they actually are.

Yeh we seemed to get lucky with the rozzers. They can be hit and miss. I heard of a classic car group heading the opposite direction to us (an event that was widely publicised on social media) and a cop had set up a camera in the bushes to catch people cutting solid white lines around corners. He was then stationed up the road pulling them over and issuing fines... how's that for improving road safety?

Lol - the first question that came to mind for me as well!

Cracking photos - nice mash-up of cars there. Australia is big on the rotary market from what I gather?

Quite a few rotaries around but mostly as the JDM car culture is so big here I think. It's definitely the most popular car scene
 
  2001 Clio 172
Just stumbled across this thread, there are certainly some amazing roads over the eastern side of Victoria, its got me keen to go on a similar road trip now!
 


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