Mt. Feathertop is situated in the Victorian Alps, 4 hours drive from Melbourne, north east direction. The state of Victoria itself is the second smallest of the australian states (still big by european standards).
Very easy to climb (bushwalk, no climbing), but a long, sometimes steep way (least 11 km) to go from each access.
The top offers a great 360 degree view over the victorian alps.
Though situated in the middle of a skiing area, in summer the region is as remote and deserted as can be. Not many visitors. In early spring (october, november) and in autumn you may encounter snow.
The walk leads you through snow gum woodland, open snow grass areas, low scrubs and rocky bluffs. The vegetation and the wildlife however still suffer from the big bushfire three years ago. Nonetheless it is beautiful to watch the whole area recovering.
Access to the region: From Melbourne, follow the Hume Highway north-east to Wangaratta then turn right and follow the Ovens Highway to Bright then further on to the small township of Harrietville.
There are two main accesses to the top:
The North West Spur (description later to come, sorry)
Easiest access to the top, it starts at the Mt. Hotham Road (out of Harrietville), Diamantina Hut, just before Mt. Hotham, which is one of the ski resorts during the winter season.
The "Razorback" is a fantastic trail (different story, if you're on your way back...) that "...follows the sharp, craggy spine of the Razorback above the treeline.", nearly 11 km long, which might take up to 4 hours each direction. During winter ( may - september) the trail is closed.
The walk can be wonderfull in good weather and a disaster in bad so walkers need to be prepared as the weather can change in a very short amount of time.
No permission needed in this area. As the whole area is a natural reserve, the local rules for wildlife conservation apply.
Parking is possible at the Diamantina hut, but only limited space is available. Best way to get up to Mt. Hotham Rd. is to get a lift from Bright or Harrietville, anyway.
Permits are required for some parts of the Australian Alps Walking Tracks. These include.
Camping and Fire Permits are required for sections of Namadgi National Park.
Camping restrictions apply in the Thomson and Jordon Water Supply Catchments which are located near the Baw Baw National Park.
When To Climb
Best time to walk is spring and summer (november - april). Summer can get very hot, which dries out all the water supplies en route. You must carry enough water for a 20 km walk.
For walks out of season (autumn and winter) ask the locals before going and check the weather report as the whole route is highly exposed to the weather.
Camping is possible, check the local information for the reserved spots.