Range Rover Club Trip - Caledonia/Butcher Country - 23 & 24th March, 2002
Mark, Liam and Mark
Many others from the club
This was the trip were I learnt no matter how much hassle it is setting up a tent, it is infinitely more comfortable than sleeping in a car!
Our meeting place was at Licola at 9:00am, so we all set out on Friday night after work. We drove to a lovely spot south of Licola called Cheney's Bridge where we slept the night in the car. Very uncomfortable, especially when you have a 6 year old kicking you in the head all night!
As we had arrived quite late at night, we had no idea what the area looked like, so we did a quick explore around in the morning light, had some breakfast and then made our way into Licola to the meeting place.
After introductions and pre-trip discussions, we drove up Tamboritha Road towards Arbuckle Junction. We stopped at Benisons Lookout where we could see Lake Tarli Karng, a walk we must do some day!
Morning Tea was at Dimmock's Lookout, which has quite spectacular views into Bryce's Gorge.
We were soon driving down Caledonia Track, which has had significant track works, and I'm told is a much easier track then in it's earlier days. Evidence of the old track and it's quite steep sections where visible from the many switchbacks the track now has as it descends down to the river below.
There was nowhere along this track to stop for lunch, so we stopped on the track for lunch near one of the crossings.
We passed a few others 4WDing in the area, and even came across a mountain biker in the middle of nowhere on his own!
Our campsite was a excellent spot near the end of the track at a bend in the river, where it ran along a rock wall. There was some quite deep holes in the river which a number of people made the most of with a swim.
After packing up camp, we headed up the Caledonia Link Track, quite a reasonably steep bit of track which gave some trouble to a few of the group and some enjoyment to the others.
We had our morning tea at a helipad, and Liam managed to catch himself a grasshopper. We were soon on Butcher Country Track, which took us past a rocky escarpment with some very nice views, if it was a little scary with the track so near the edge!
Lunch was at a bend on the MacAlister River where Butcher Country Track ended. This would also be a quite nice campsite, with the river cascading over some rock faces. We were all too soon herded up by the sound of the cowbell long before Liam could get his feet too wet, and we made our along the river on the aptly named Macclister River Track, making many river crossings and seeing many great campsites.
We drove out along Black Soil Gully Track and Bull Plain Rd, had afternoon tea by the Bridge over the MacAlister, where we also had a demonstration of wheel changing with a Hi-Lift jack. A shortcut along a short 4WD track to miss one of the switchbacks of the bitumen road was the end of the off-roading for the weekend, and we drove through some very picturesque valleys into Licola, where we made our goodbyes, thanked John for a fantastic weekend and headed on home.
|Track Name||Surface||Travel Time||Average Speed|
|Home to Cheynes Bridge||Sealed||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Cheynes Bridge to Licola||Sealed||50 minutes||60Km/hr|
|Tambaritha Rd (Licola to Arbuckle Junction)||Gravel 2WD||1 hour||50Km/Hr|
|Howitt Rd (Arbuckle Junction to Caledonia Tk||Gravel 2WD||35 minutes||50Km/hr|
|Caledonia Tk to Link Tk||4WD||1 hour 45 minutes||10Km/hr to 15Km/hr|
|Caledonia Link Tk||4WD with Steep Ascents||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Butcher Country Tk||4WD along ridge rops and descents - great views||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Unknown||4WD along Maccalister River - good campsites||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Glencairn Rd||Gravel 2WD - windy||Not recorded||Not recorded|