Craig’s Hut is one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit. On Good Friday 2017, we visited this special place and even camped there overnight.
Perched high atop a ridge in the Victorian high country, Craig’s Hut is an iconic photographic location. We even have a framed Ken Duncan Panograph of this place. Originally built for the movie The Man From Snowy River, the hut has been rebuilt after being destroyed by bush fires.
We stopped off in Mansfield for lunch before starting the drive towards the Hut. The countryside is beautiful, close to Mount Buller where in the wintertime thousands of people ski. The Hut itself is situated on Mount Stirling.
While we have an all-wheel-drive, we weren’t game enough to traverse the 4WD only track, having read a couple of reviews from people who didn’t choose well. So we parked at the start of the walking trail, approximately 1.7 kilometres from the Hut. Of course, with the hut on the top of the mountain, it was all uphill from here – with all of our camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, blow up mattress, bottles of wine). It was a pretty grueling walk but one with some spectacular glimpses of the Victorian high country.
Upon arriving at the level area at the top of the mountain, you couldn’t help but feel that you were in a special part of the world.
We set up our little campsite off to the side of the Hut but well out the way of all the people taking photos. We didn’t realise until the next morning that if you come in by road, there’s a ‘no camping’ sign just near where we were situated. We could fortunately plead ignorance having walked in from the other direction.
The sunset threw amazing pastel colours across the sky – although it could have been a little more spectacular with some cloud, admittedly. I got the drone up briefly. I felt I had to, having just carried it up that hill!
As night fell, the temperature dropped quickly. Standing outside in the cold however, you couldn’t help marvel at the millions of stars above. The sky was so dark that you could see the Milky Way with your bare eyes.
Overnight it was absolutely freezing. So cold in fact that when I got up in the middle of the night and zipped open the tent, a sheet of ice slid off.
Sunrise was just after 6am and there was no need to set an alarm. Right on six o’clock, the procession of 4WDs began and by the time the sun came up there must have been 50 people there taking photos – and there were three drones up in the air. Unfortunately the cold weather drained my phone battery so I couldn’t get my drone up in the sky.
This is a special place and is one of the most breathtaking locations I’ve ever been to. And not just breathtaking because of the walk!