Brief – Day 1
The day prior to the start of the tour – briefing session at 6:00pm at Merrijig Motor Inn.
Day 1 – 11.6km (challenging – hard)
Time on track – approximately 9 hours including stops and breaks
Depart Merrijig at 6:30am from our meeting point at Merrijig Motor Inn car park (be at departure point 15 minutes prior).
Travel approximately 1 hour to the start of the track. Most of the drive is on an unsealed road.
Get ready to start walking at 8:00am.
Day 1 starts on Circuit Road, but only a short distance into the hike, we will turn on to a disused 4WD track that heads up Mt Thorn. This track, overgrown in places, will challenge us with couple of steep sections before it comes to an end in a lovely forest clearing. A short, well deserved break to refuel will be welcomed before we pick up a walking track that will lead us to the summit of Mt Thorn. This track is also overgrown, but little bit of bush bashing only adds to the adventure. As you get closer to the summit of Mt Thorn, the vegetation thins out and the views open up.
It will be somewhere along this section that we will settle down for lunch.
The track follows the ridge line over the Thorn Range where you will enjoy magnificent views of Mt Buller, The Bluff, Mt Magdala, Big Hill, Mt Howitt, the West side of The Crosscut Saw, Mt Buggary, Mt Speculation, Mt Koonika and Mt Cobbler before descending to another disused 4WD track. Time for another short break before embarking on the hardest section of the day, the assent to your overnight camp site. By now you will be exhausted, the only thing on your mind will be taking off the backpack and not having to put it back on again until the next morning, so it is important to take extra care.
On arrival at the camp site, we will set up tents, prepare dinner and relax with a view of the North side of Mt Howitt.
Elevation at highest point: approx. 1474m ASL
Total ascent: approx. 685m
Total descent: approx. 445m