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Monday, October 05, 2009

80th Anniversary of the Trail Ride to Bogong High Plains and the Australian Alps

The second organized Trail Ride to the Bogong High Plains and the Australian Alps took place between December 21 1929 and January 1 1930.

About 50 horseback riders participated, in two groups, travelling the 120 km course starting at Shannon Vale, on the Mitte Mitta Rd, and ending at Harrietville.

They travelled by train from Melbourne to Bainrsdale, then by car to Omeo and Shannon Vale to collect their horses and supplies.

Their route was along part of what was to evolve into the Bogong High Plains Rd, around the site of the present Rocky Valley Dam, a sidetrip up to the Mt Nelse Summit, then on to the Fainter Firetrack, a side trip to the summit of Mt McKay, then a stopover at the Tawonga Huts. They passed the crossing of the present-day Australian Alps Walking Track (near Tawonga Huts), then past Mt Cope, passing what was to become the Falls Creek Village in later decades. Then on to Mt Hotham, and along the Razorback Track, to the Mt Feathertop summit.

After that, they encamped at the former Bungalow Hut, near Feathertop, then desended the Bungalow Spur Track to Harrietville, the end of their ride.

They then said goodbye to their horses, went by car back to Bright, and picked up the train at Bright for the trip back to Melbourne.

Some 30 amazing photographs and descriptions of their expedition, with a route map, may be viewed at the National Library of Australia website,

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