Brief – Day 1
The day prior to the start of the tour – briefing session at 5:00pm at Merrijig High Country Hotel.
Day 1 – approximately 11.5km (moderate)
Time on track – approximately 6 hours including breaks, not including time spent on photography
Meet at the Merrijig High Country Hotel car park at 8:00am for an 8:15am departure.
Travel approximately 20 minutes to the start of the track. Part of the drive is on an unsealed road.
Start the day along a well defined track, heading uphill through a beautiful Alpine Ash forest with tall trees towering above you and wildflowers covering the ground during spring and summer. As you gain elevation you will notice the Alpine Ash give way to sub-alpine woodland of mostly Snow Gums, who’s beautiful deep colours are especially prominent during wet weather.
Up above the tree line, a lunch break at the summit of Mt Stirling is an opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted 360 degree views. With Mt Buller to one side, Mt Buffalo to the other and many more mountains and valleys in between it sure is a hard place to leave.
In the afternoon you will leave the wide cross country ski trails behind and hike along narrow walking tracks that wind up and down mountains all the way to Craig’s Hut, your final destination for the day. The scenery and the vegetation will be different to what you have experienced in the morning.
Upon arrival at Craig’s Hut, you will have an opportunity to explore the hut and its surrounds before setting up camp.
Your taste buds will be tantalised as the smells of dinner waft your way. Dinner is a joyous affair with everyone sitting around enjoying a sumptuous meal in a beautiful setting surrounded by majestic Snow Gums.
As the sun sets on another fantastic day in the High Country, grab a beverage of your choice and watch the sun create magic over Craig’s Hut, or on colder evenings, sit by the fire and reminisce on your day of adventures.
After sunset, you are welcome to catch some shut eye for a few hours rest or stay up and watch the stars come out. With the Milky Way core rising at about 11:30pm, we’ll get set up for the practical part of the workshop later in the evening – this is when you get to put into practice what you learned from the Briefing Session the night before. You’ll be guided through how to set yourself, your camera and your tripod up to capture the best nightscapes that you can. You’ll be shown how various camera settings can affect the image you get, as well as Tim’s personal process for setting up and capturing a shot.
We can spend a large part of the night shooting various angles of Craig’s Hut as we watch the Milky Way rise over the amazing High Country landscape. Eventually we’ll retire to our tents to rest before another amazing day of hiking and photography through the High Country.
Elevation at highest point: approx. 1750m ASL
Total ascent: approx. 680m
Total descent: approx. 480m