Mansfield is a gracious town of wide streets and historic buildings. Situated on Fords Creek in a valley at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, it has become a resort town and popular winter base for skiers headed to Mount Buller and Mount Stirling. The beautiful and dramatic local scenery attracted filmmakers who used the surrounding countryside as the setting for the two Man From Snowy River films (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).
Some Bailey caravanning buddies, Ian & Jane and Liam & Jackie, were heading up to Mansfield for a few days, so we thought “lets join them”. We booked into the High Country Holiday Park for four nights which is situated right in town (maplink) – walk to the pub for dinner.
Day 1 – Mt Stirling
December 7th, 2021
We headed off to check out some of the areas around Mt Stirling, taking the Circuit Road, stopping off at Craig’s Hut and Bindaree Falls along the way (maplink).
The high country in Victoria has lots of “huts” which were originally built by the mountain cattlemen in the last century. They now are primarily used by bush walkers and cross country skiers for overnight shelter.
Craig’s Hut is a bit different as it was built for a film set used in the 1982 movie Man from Snowy River (check out Wikipedia). The hut was destroyed by bushfires rebuilt in 1993. It was then subsequently destroyed again by bushfires in 2006 and rebuilt in 2008. The hut is only accessible by 4wd, along the Clear Hill Track (you can see why in the video below) or you can take the 1.7km walking track from the Circuit Rd.
Drive to the entrance gate to Mt Buller (at the Mirimbah Store) and turn left on the Mt Stirling access road. Then continue along the Circuit Rd until you meet the Clear Hills Track (maplink). NOTE – Clear Hills Track is 4WD only!
Here’s the 4WD Clear Hills Track …
Leaving Craig’s Hut we then travelled back along the Circuit Rd and headed to Bindaree Falls for lunch. This is a beautiful location with an easy walk from the picnic area to the falls. Truly wonderful water fall and totally worth a visit.
The falls can be accessed in a standard vehicle (route from Craig’s Hut)
On the way back out along the Circuit Road toward Telegraph Junction we encountered really heavy rain as well as B-Double gravel trucks along the way as you can see in the video below…
Day 2 – heading northward toward the King Valley
December 8th, 2021
Heading out again, on our 2nd day in Mansfield, to check out the King Valley area taking in Power’s Lookout, Paradise Falls and Lake William Hovell (maplink).
The lookout is situated on the road from Mansfield to Whitfield, taking a right turn and travelling about 10kms of good quality dirt road (maplink).
The rocky escarpment high above the King Valley was the hideout of Harry Power, a notorious but ‘gentlemanly’ bushranger of the 1860s. There are two lookout points providing sweeping views of the surrounding mountain and valley landscape (we only visited the 1st lookout). There were plenty of lovely wild flowers around the car park area.
These falls require a fairly strenuous walk of about 1km (return) but the end result was worth it. There are 2 falls cascading down into a magnificent chasm. The centre piece from the viewing platform may actually be a really cool rock, defying gravity, in the middle of the stream below the falls.
Here’s a short video of one of the twin water falls…
Lake William Hovell
We ventured out to Lake William Hovell to check it out, on the return trip to Mansfield. It was an OK but not fabulous detour. The highlight was the dam spillway was in full fight and I spotted a beautiful Peregrine Falcon in the branches of a tree by the Lake.
Day 3 – Jamieson
December 9th, 2021
The original plan was to travel up to Mt Buller, to check it out in summertime, BUT we found out at the Mansfield Tourist Info Centre that it was 3 degrees up there and shrouded in fog. So; change of plans and we headed off to Jamieson (40kms from Mansfield) to have a look around. Lunch at the Jamieson Brewery was great.
It was a dull and dreary day, so no photos were taken. It was a nice final day though, spent in the company of our 4 Bailey mates.
- Accommodation – High Country Holiday Park (website). A small but very nice CP
- Cost per night – $38.00 (@ 9-Dec-2020)
- Facilities – Look basic from the outside but have been updated inside – very clean & tidy
- CP Location – 1 Ultimo St, Mansfield VIC (maplink) – 5 minute walk into town
- Our rating/score – 8/10
- Was it a nice town to visit? – yes
- Activities & places of interest – plenty to do – good if you have a 4WD
- Tourist info centre? – 175 High St, Mansfield (website)
- Would we return? – definitely
- Overall Score – 8/10
- Summing up – This was a great place to visit and many thanks to Ian & Jane for inviting us along. Ian is a wonderful tour guide and it was thanks to him that we found some of these beautiful locations. This short trip also shows that it’s great to get away with a group as there’s always someone to add value to your experience, either with knowledge of the place you’re visiting or just spending happy hour together at the end of the day. 😁