The Victorian High Country, with its rippling ranges that stretch to the horizon, is a truly unique 4WD destination that’s easier to explore with some key bits of kit.
Australia is not famous for its mountain ranges, but the High Country’s rocky peaks make a strong argument against that perception. With dips, rises, crests and all other kinds of changes in elevation on show across its rolling tracks, the High Country is a place where extra ground clearance is incredibly useful. Giving your 4x4 a lift kit by upgrading its suspension is a simple way to improve its approach, departure and ramp over angles, allowing you to overcome obstacles from the Snowy River to Billy Goats Bluff and beyond. Plus, a tailored suspension system will improve your 4x4’s fundamental driving characteristics, which is a welcome upgrade when you’re travelling over unpredictable tracks.
One of the biggest differences between driving on-road and driving off-road is the availability of traction. Traction can be hard to come by off-road, and when you lose traction, you can find yourself in a recovery situation (or worse). The High Country is filled with heady ascents and descents over scree-covered mountains, which is a recipe for spinning or disobedient tyres. To combat this, you should ensure your rig is fitted with a quality set of off-road tyres with an all-terrain or higher tread pattern. Light truck tyres have more aggressive tread patterns that can find traction in challenging terrain, while their thicker sidewalls are resistant to punctures and stakings that are not uncommon across Victoria’s alpine oasis.
Australia’s most in-demand off-road locations almost always share two characteristics: great scenery and the chance for technical four-wheel driving. The High Country is no exception – its tipsy-turvy tracks riddling its mountain ranges, posing tough questions that a driver must answer correctly to make it through unscathed. If you enjoy a challenge, then it makes sense to guard your 4x4 and keep everyone inside safer with vehicle protection. This includes underbody protection, as well as panel protection for the front, back and sides of your rig with the help of a bull bar, rear bar, side bars and steps.
4WD tracks come in all shapes and sizes, but a lot of the more adventurous tracks around the High Country require some technical nous – which includes knowing how to use a 4x4 winch. A winch is an incredible asset for overcoming difficult obstacles in a controlled, safe way when you’re in need of a recovery (or before you’ve even attempted that tricky section your mate just got stuck in). The tactical use of a winch and accessories like winch extension straps, tree trunk protectors, snatch blocks, recovery rings and more, can allow you to take on tougher tracks – and do it with ease.
Dual battery system
When you hear the word ‘remote’ when someone’s talking about a location, you think of cracked Outback plains and deserted islands with nothing in sight – not necessarily a forested clump of ranges a few hours out of Melbourne. Be warned, though; the Victorian High Country is a labyrinth of tracks that can feel surprisingly isolated when you’re in some of its lesser-known areas. The sheer number of tracks in the region mean you can disappear for days in complete anonymity, though to do so you’ll need to be self-sufficient. With an adequate dual battery system on board, you’ll be able to pack the fridge high, light up your campsite at night and power up a pile of appliances to keep you adventuring as long as you want.