Viking Circuit

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Viking Circuit

Postby Kazzy » Thu 17 Dec, 2020 2:38 pm

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had done Viking Circuit recently, and how affected by the bushfires it is. Thanks, Kaz
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Thu 17 Dec, 2020 4:01 pm

Hi Kazzy, went over the Viking along AAWT east to west at the start of Dec. No fire impacts or damage on the Viking circuit @ 2 and 3 Dec 20. As for water, didn't check Catherine or Viking saddle as we went from Barry saddle to top of Mt Spec, filling at Camp Creek -great flow and very reliable.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Kazzy » Thu 17 Dec, 2020 7:08 pm

Thank you so much for the update!
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 27 Dec, 2020 8:47 am

My Friend The G man did the Viking Circuit in Nov. 2019. The South Viking Spur down to the Wonangatta River is very overgrown and the trek took three times as long as planned to reach the river. Take extra water and be sure to have the route marked in advance on way points on the GPS every 100 M. or so .My Friend Carola hiked from Riley Creek Hut to Lake Cobbler recently. She had to filter water from a dirty puddle near the Viking. That is all they could find.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Boots Rapport » Sat 09 Jan, 2021 5:50 pm

Has anybody done the circuit counter clockwise? I guess with the South Viking Spur being so overgrown that might not be much fun.

I thought it might be a way to make the Zika Spur 4WD track a bit more enjoyable, especially if there's a lot of car traffic on it. Unless someone has an idea for how to avoid that stretch of road?
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 09 Jan, 2021 7:43 pm

Not done it, but Chapman says take a spur down to the Wonangatta west of Zeka Track, and Brookes' map has a track down the spur further west, that heads North East, then East from Near Mac Springs (just east of Devil's staircase) down to the river, then a few kms of walking beside the Wonnangatta with river crossings until you reach the Spur up to South Viking.
I've marked the Spurs on Brookes Map (you can see Brookes' path down from Mac Springs to the Wonnangatta (dark gray), Chapman's (light gray), and the Brookes' 'Good route' up to the South Viking (blue)
(The lines I've drawn are just to show the route, definitely not for navigation!)
There's another Spur in between these two that might be passable.
I have no idea of the actual 'bushwalkability' of these spurs, all could be dense scrub, precipitous drops, with drop bears, toilet sharks and angry Alpine copperheads waiting to eat the unsuspecting.

wonnangatta.jpg
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Sat 09 Jan, 2021 8:14 pm

Hi, haven't walked this counter-clockwise... yet. Last clockwise walk was May 2018. Generally, I would suggest any scrub bashing is easier down hill. Towards the end of the walking season, just before winter, the foot traffic has kept the scub down somewhat, this may help? (Although days are shorter and temps are frigid)
Walked up an unnamed spur from Wonangatta. Just stick the ridges and spurs. Hit the old Wonangatta spur tk as mentioned in El Chapos book. So much old downed timber, used the sambar tracks to avoid excessive scrub bashing. Beats Zeka spur track any day.
However I do enjoy the challenge of staying found in thick scrub. Plot a decent spur course, take a bearing, maybe a large tree 50, 10 or 5m away - don't be greedy. Walk. Rinse. Repeat. Compass stays up and out of your pocket.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Sat 09 Jan, 2021 8:17 pm

Oh and we found a few spurs had these amazing lemon scented shrubs that when pushed through would fill the air with an amazing citrus aroma that lifted spirits. This helped immensely whilst walking up the many vertical kms.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Bill P » Sat 09 Jan, 2021 10:00 pm

I went down the Old Zeka Spur track last week, and up the South Viking to Viking Saddle. The Old Zeka Spur track is much better walking than the Zeka road, but it is quite overgrown and is difficult to find in places. Pleasant walking though. We missed the start of it initally- it starts about 20 metres east of the signboard. There is a cairn at the eastern end where the Old Zeka Track joins the Zeka road.

The spur up Viking seemed OK and we didnt have any issues with it.

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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Boots Rapport » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 1:11 pm

Thanks all, great info. I reckon I'll try for the spur just west of the Zika road. Might have to leave the spur close to the Devil's Staircase for another trip but I think that'd be pretty interesting. It'll be my first time around the full circuit and I imagine the view of the Viking's better heading clockwise, but presuming that route down to the river beside Zika is more heavily overgrown than between the river and the Viking, going CCW might still be the way.

I'm guessing water's going to be a bit tricky, walking roughly in that area before Christmas things were getting pretty dry (around Helicopter Spur and Mt Howitt) .

Not sold on the toilet sharks Baeng72, but the rest sounds about par for the course out there!
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 4:26 pm

Boots Rapport wrote:presuming that route down to the river beside Zika is more heavily overgrown than between the river and the Viking, going CCW might still be the way.

Not sure about that, there's decent amounts of scrub on both zeka and sth Viking spurs, from memory possibly more on the latter?

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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Bill P » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 5:23 pm

Fyi last week the water was about 200m down at Viking Saddle, and that was in small pools, not flowing. While there was storms last weekend, i think you'll still need to go down the gully further than usual.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Boots Rapport » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 5:32 pm

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:Not sure about that, there's decent amounts of scrub on both zeka and sth Viking spurs, from memory possibly more on the latter?

Ah right, thanks. Maybe clockwise it'll be after all.

Bill P wrote:Fyi last week the water was about 200m down at Viking Saddle, and that was in small pools, not flowing. While there was storms last weekend, i think you'll still need to go down the gully further than usual.

Thanks Bob Bill (oops!). How was the water over behind Speculation?
Last edited by Boots Rapport on Sun 10 Jan, 2021 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Bill P » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 8:06 pm

Last week the water at Speculation and at Macalister Springs was fine.

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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Boots Rapport » Sun 10 Jan, 2021 8:51 pm

Bill P wrote:Last week the water at Speculation and at Macalister Springs was fine.


Thanks. Sorry for the name typo!
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby drohrig » Mon 11 Jan, 2021 4:15 pm

Hi Kaz,
I just recently did the Viking circuit anti-clockwise from the 8th-10th of Jan, maybe a trip report could be some sort of use to you or other users.

Day 1- Howitt car park - Wonnangatta River (4 hour walking time)
-Old zeka walking track that connects from howitt walking track to Zeka spur track (4wd) is severely overgrown, barely noticeable track at any point and is a strong bush bash for 5km. I would advise the 13km walk instead to the junction where the walking track meets the 4wd zeka spur track, as this walk will be much easier.
-Remaining 6km along Zeka spur (5.5) and Wonnangatta track (0.5) is easy walking and will lead you to the river which when you cross arrives at first camp.

Day 2- Wonnangatta River - Camp Creek (10 hour walking time)
-Un-named track from Wonnangatta River starts as a rough bush bash uphill for around 0.4k then a walking path is formed, focus must be paid to keep on track. Once around 1300m up track cuts in and out, stacked rocks play an ideal role in ensuring you're on the correct path.
-From The viking - viking saddle is a very easy nice cleared path with AAWT markers (not needed and not suppose to be there since its a wilderness zone :?: :?: )
-Re-supplied with water at Catherine Saddle, south down Speculation road which then turns to Wonnangatta track found about 0.6k down in a small ditch along the track with running water going underneath the track, past a large pudaly area (on track).
-From Catherine Saddle I walked along Speculation rd (4.0k) until reaching camp creek.
-Strong flow of running water at Camp creek.

Day 3- Camp creek- Howitt car park (5.5 hours walking time)
-Quite standard walking with a clear track for the remainder of the circuit.
-Note, water can be refilled at Macalister springs so no need to carry a crazy amount from Camp creek (I found 3L in 30 degree heat easily enough).

-I personally would only recommend doing the Viking circuit in 2 nights if you are fit, although I didn't find it as difficult as suggested by other reports.

-Background info- 21 male and was solo.

-Hope this can be some sort of help to anyone wishing to conquer the viking circuit. :D :D
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby mtrain » Sat 13 Feb, 2021 1:54 pm

I have always done the circuit counter clockwise and will again. My reasoning is that it makes the nav from the Wonnangatta so much easier. You end up getting funnelled onto the pad up the Viking spur. I’ve only done it starting at speculation or down in the howqua and have always followed the route of the zeka spur walking track without trying to find the track. If you nav and follow the leads the bush is not too bad.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 14 Feb, 2021 8:44 am

I have not walked the Viking circuit. It is still in my IN TRAY.
The Route from Guy's hut to the Wonnangatta River Valley is now partially cleared down to about 1250 M. ASL and has been tagged the whole way . This was done only recently by Parks Vic. and BTAC.
With a car shuttle with
one car at Bryce's Gorge and another at The Howitt Plains/ Mac. Springs car park this could offer an alternative to walking down the Old Zeka spur track or the 4 WD Zeka Spur track. Our BTAC group used high clearance / low range gear 4 WD vehicles to drive up the Zeka Spur 4 WD track in the rain. It would have been a long slog on foot back from the Dry River/ Wonnangatta River junction to Bryce's Gorge car park.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby robspond » Mon 29 Mar, 2021 1:56 pm

Hi all - Doing some research for a Viking circuit over the coming Easter weekend. We will go clockwise with day 1: Howitt carpark - Catherine saddle day 2: to W River and day 3 returning up the 'no name' spur avoiding the zeka 4wd track and hoping to find a break in the bush to return to Mac springs. 2 questions
1) Is there any consensus on what map is best when walking out there? I have been told about an older map that is out of print but 'the best'; and
2) Any recent experiences finding water ? I have extracted from the threads two points to check NE of Viking saddle and SE of Catherine saddle.
Cheers
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby Parallax » Wed 31 Mar, 2021 8:29 pm

If anyone has been into Catherine saddle or Viking saddle since the rain we had last week, I'd also love a water report.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby badd0g » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 8:55 pm

Might be a bit tardy for your planned trip but we came up Dry River track (BNT) from the valley. Steep, but much nicer on the single track than up Zeka Spur Track.
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Re: Viking Circuit

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 10 Apr, 2021 9:41 am

The Horsey people( giddy up Nelly !) have reportedly been helping Parks Vic. and BTAC clear the BNT route up the Dry River track to the Howitt Plains . The Guy's hut to Dry River route /( Wonnagatta river area) may well have been completely recut and marked on the last weekend of March 2021.I can ask Joe Van Beek from Bushwalking Vic. about that because that is his pet project.
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