What if it were possible to travel beyond the limits of a conventional road? To see what often remains unseen, and sleep beneath the stars and sky surrounded only by those you’ve chosen to share a space with. In a world where the digital lust exceeds our own ability to turn our minds off, tune-out and appreciate what it is to exist in a world of such perpetual beauty, the importance of being able to sit back, unwind, and return ourselves to our roots of living in isolation is paramount in maintaining a stable state of mind.
The choice then becomes a question of “where”? Rather than “when”? This is where being a Gippslandian overrules the claims of pride from any other region. Having covered almost every square inch of our beautiful Victorian state, it becomes immediately obvious that nowhere compares to the natural diversity and adventurous opportunities Gippsland provides. And so much of its beauty appears to be off the beaten track. We live in an area that’s one of nature’s greatest assets, and to leave it unexplored would be a moral crime.
Humans, by nature, appear to be drawn to mountains. It’s the postcard-esque scenery you’re presented with at every turn that just holds so much warmth and character. But as far as experiences go, there’s so much more on offer when you explore the range as opposed to just standing at its foot. Mount Wellington, in Licola’s northern region, is no exception to this. If anything, it holds itself as one of those that are not to be missed. From the lookout along Tamboritha Road, facing east towards the mountains, the outline of our destination, although visible, lacked any particular appeal when compared to the pinnacles standing high and mighty to its south.
The climb to the summit was slow going. As far as trails go, this definitely wasn’t one of the steepest, nor most aggressive ascents in the area, but the ferocity of the rocks and boulders obstructing the trail left us all in a slow crawl with low range engaged and the contents of our cabins thrown around with vehemence. The lower section of the track had the convoy engulfed in Rainbow Gums.
Their painted bark essentially creating a 3D Monet for us to pass through on our drive, before the sensation of exploring an alpine environment kicked in, and the flora became withered and withdrawn, showing all the signs of life fighting for survival in a perpetual battle against the elements. It was this final leg of the climb where the beauty truly stepped in. As the plant life receded, the world seemed to open up entirely. Where once we were engulfed by trees, we were now presented the awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama of the entire Victorian High Country. Each and every direction showcased a cascading sea of mountains, and although the wind was so powerful it nearly sent us to our own demise, it didn’t deter us from admiring the spectacle that is planet Earth.With the sun dissolving on the horizon, the vista had to be short lived. Snow was forecast to fall that night at altitudes 1,300m and above, and we were currently sitting atop a peak of 1,750m above sea level. Continuing to follow the trail led us to the infamous Millers Hut, one of the oldest in the High Country – definitely a suitable place of refuge for the snowstorm that had already begun to hit us. With 100m of LED string lights, a roaring fire and double camp-oven roasts slowly cooking and filling the warm smell of home within the walls, it was hard to comprehend how people spend hundreds of dollars on hotels when we have huts like these in our own backyard.