High Country – Lake Hume

Start point: Mitta Valley Lookout, Murray Valley Highway VictoriaDirections

Distance: 18km (36km return)

Track: Good – mostly smooth bitumen with a few undulations

Birds: Red-browed Firetail, Satin Bowerbird, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Fantail, thornbills, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Crimson Rosella, Gang Gang Cockatoo, Great Crested Grebe, Darter, Pelican

Notes: This trail explores part of the High Country Rail Trail. This section follows the edge of Lake Hume and passes through the township of Tallangatta.

The start point is somewhat arbitrary but the Mitta Valley Lookout has parking and provides good views across the lake up to the snow-capped peaks in winter. The trail is directly across the Murray Valley Highway from the parking area. Turn left to follow the proposed route. After the lookout heading up to your right the trail is very close to the busy highway and not so much fun. It also starts climbing steadily and will test even fit cyclists.

The shores of the lake can vary considerably, depending on water levels. However, there are several bays and inlets skirted by the trail with bridges across in a few sections. The result is that you have a good chance of seeing both a range of water birds as well as a good selection of bush birds. The trail goes on in both directions back to Wodonga and onwards towards the high country but with this route there is a lot of steep and rough country to climb up (over 20km) which takes the fun out of birding. Hence I have selected a more level section with plenty of bird variety. You can also divert off at Tallangatta for food as well as heading down to the scenic parklands along the lake for more bird possibilities and pleasant views.

Towards the end of the suggested route you will cross the ‘Red Stick Bridge’ at Sandy Creek which is about 600m long and takes you out across the water with good views.

View from Mitta Valley Lookout