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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

OZ - Letís Plunder the Land Down Under

The Basics:
Event Type:Adventure
Event Location: Victoria and New South Wales, Australia   Adventure: OZ - Letís Plunder the Land Down Under  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, May 18 2019  9:00 am >> Sat, Jun 1 2019 8:00 pm
Registration Opens: Tue, Apr 24 2018 9:06 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jun 1 2018 8:00 pm
Event Duration:14 Days 11 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:50 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
John Christopher
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Member Cost:$1,100.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:1
Minimum Group Size:12
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


Struth mate it's a trip to Australia, a huge country with vastly different landscapes covering an area of 2.9 million square miles! From deserts to rainforests and huge urban areas located along its coasts. Sometimes called OZ or the Land Down Under, it houses approximately 27 million people in an area roughly the size of the contiguous US!  

Join us for an epic 2 week adventure exploring the differing landscapes of Victoria and New South Wales including climbing to the top of Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko .  We will travel in 3 rental cars and have maximum group size of 12. We will visit Melbourne for some urban exploring including some of its great restaurants, visit Jindabyne which sits on the outskirts of Kosciuszko National Park and is very close to the Snowy Mountains, plus the many different and unique places across these two states.  

Our trip will encompass some easy and not so easy hiking as well as some excellent cycling with a primary focus on enjoying ourselves and taking the opportunity to take many photographs in this rich and diverse country.


The maximum group size for this event is 12. Given the daily elevation gains achieved during this hike, along with the challenge of multiple back to back hikes, only intermediate and advanced hikers with at least D4 experience should register.  All registrants MUST be recommended by an AOC trip leader and shall initially be placed on the wait list so that the Trip Leaders can evaluate the registrant’s fitness and experience level. See Registration Requirements below.

We will spend 14 nights in hotels and houses. Our scenic 1,000-mile journey will start in Melbourne, Victoria and end in Melbourne, Victoria and along the way we will see spectacular rainforest waterfalls, soaring mountains above alpine valleys, lakes, and climb Australia’s highest mountain.

Yes! Australia has some of the most deadly animals in the world, making it all the more awesome, but don't let that turn you off this spectacular country!!

By jingo, by crikey this handy chart from Australian Geographic lists the top 10 dangerous animals in OZ (actually 30, but 10 is enough!!):

Danger rating: 10/10 

1. Box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) 

Danger rating: 9/10

2. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) 
3. Irukandji (Carukia barnesi) 

Danger rating: 8/10

4. Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) 
5. Eastern brown snake  (Pseudonaja textilis) 
6. Saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
7. Sydney funnel web spider  (Atrax robustus)

Danger rating: 7/10

8. Blue-ringed octopus (Genus Hapalochlaena) 
9. Coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) 
10.Common death adder (Acanthopis antarticus)

ITINERARY DETAILS - This itinerary is subject to change depending on transport and accommodation availability, if you sign up please be prepared to be flexible.

Day 1: Melbourne Intro to City Walk & Exploring

9am: Discover what locals love about Melbourne by taking a free two to four-hour walking orientation of the city, conducted by our trained and enthusiastic volunteers.

Hike:  Difficulty:  D1; Elevation Gain: 0;   Distance:  3-5 miles; PACE: Easy to Moderate

2pm: Free Time Exploring Central Melbourne

Day 2: Mornington Peninsula Bike Ride & Wine Tasting

9am: Bicycling/Hiking in Mornington Peninsula National Park (Good area for views of Melbourne & Bay)

We will hire a bike from the Mornington Peninsula National Park Visitor Centre and cycle to Fort Pearce, where bikes are left to begin a walk to the military installations at the tip of Point Nepean.

Traverse a large slice of the peninsula on the Frankston to Flinders shared trail. Pass mudflats and mangroves between Somerville and Balnarring on the Westernport Bay Trail, and celebrate the end of your journey with some boutique wines from the Balnarring micro-climate.

You then cycle along Defence Road to Fort Nepean. Here you have time to explore the tunnels, forts and gun emplacements from which the first allied shots of both World War l and World War ll were fired. After some refreshments you return to the bikes

Bike Ride:  Difficulty: D4  Elevation Gain:   1000Ft; Distance:  20 miles PACE: Moderate

2-4pm: Crittended Wines – Mornington Pennisula Wine Tasting & Tour

Situated on the Crittenden Family’s 30 year old vineyard at the foot of Mornington Peninsula’s Hinterland The Cittenden Wine Centre is a purpose built venue that caters specifically to wine tourism and the boutique conference markets alike. The centre itself has uninterrupted views over the property’s picturesque lake which is enriched with aquatic and bird life. Seated comfortably in either our light filled tasting centre or our private tasting room your group will be guided through a unique and informative wine experience. Door/temp

Cost: $10/person

Day 3:  Port Melbourne / St Kilda Walking Tours (Self Guided)

9am Hiking Port Phillip Shoreline & St Kilda Neighborhood (Historic Areas of Melbourne)

Foreshore Trail - Promenade along the foreshore as it traces the coastline of Hobson's Bay from Sandridge to Elwood

Immigrants Trail - Celebrate the contribution to the City of Port Phillip by immigrants and settlers

Clarondon Street History - A highlight of the architectural diversity and history

St Kilda Sense of Place - Explore St Kilda and Port Melbourne on an audio tour that brings history alive through narration, dramatization and sound effects. p/Self_guided_walks_rides

Hike:  Difficulty:  D2; Elevation Gain: 0ft;  Distance:  3-5 miles PACE: Easy to Moderate

2pm: Free Time Exploring


Day 4: Bike Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail

9am Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail (Scenic views & parks on Port Phillip Bay)

This 24 kilometre trail is for both cyclists and pedestrians, and includes wetlands, lakes, piers, beaches, and remarkable historic buildings. It runs from Skeleton Creek in Altona, to Stony Creek under the Westgate Bridge. coastal-trail.aspx

Bike:  Difficulty: D3;  Elevation Gain: 0ft;  Distance: 20 miles  PACE: Easy to Moderate 
Day 5: Pick up Rental Cars / Drive Great Ocean Road - Sightseeing on the way (5hrs)

Drive the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool, stopping along the way to take in all the amazing coastline sights, smells and sounds. This is a incredibly scenic drive, make sure you have your camera as we will be making many stops for photo opportunities and taking short hikes to take in all of the sights!

Day 6: Warrnambool - Belfast Coastal Reserve (maybe whale watching if season)

We will spend the day here taking in the sights and sounds of this nice coastal town, there is a good chance we will spot some whales and see some Penguins!


Day 7: Drive to Grampians National Park  - 3 mile short hike - Stay Halls Gap

After driving to Halls Gap we will check-in to our accommodation before hiking to the Pinnacle to watch a great Australian sunset. This 4.5km trail takes 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs return and involves some water crossings and rock hopping!!! wonders/the-pinnacle-in-the-grampians-you-can-do-it!

Hike:  Difficulty: D2  Elevation Gain: 300ft Distance: 2.5 miles  PACE: Easy to Moderate

Day 8: Halls Gap

Free day to relax. This will a rest day where you can decide what you want to do, perhaps explore more of the Grampians National Park, visit the Brambuk Culture Centre or the Halls Gap Zoo where you can get up close to some of the famous Australian Wildlife you know and love!! 

Day 9: Drive to Albury - Sightseeing on the way

Today we will drive to Albury, a small town that sits on the Famous Murray River (Australias's Longest) just over the border in New South Wales. We will drive via Echuca and then cut across country before following the Murray into Albury.

Day 10: Rest-Day Albury

Another free day to spend as you please. There are plenty of things to do nearby from canoe trips on the Murray River, or drive to one of the many nearby National Parks or just relax in downtown soaking up the Aussie atmospehere. 

Day 11: Drive to Jindabyne (4 hrs) / Stay Jindabyne / Short Hike

We will drive to Jindaby ne a popular ski resort town in the Winter. Our route will take us through the Snowy Mountains, made famous in the film The Man from Snowy River. Time permitting we will do an easy short hike after checking into our accommodation. 

Day 12: Climb Mount Kosciuszko

The big one, a hike to the top Australia's highest mountain.  At 7,310 you can see miles from the top on a clear sunny day that offers a full 360 degree view. It was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki and named in honour of the Polish national hero General Tadeusz Kościuszko.

Kościuszko is one of the world's seven summits! It would be great to knock one of those off!!!!

Hike:  Difficulty: D4  Elevation Gain: 1800  Distance: 12 miles   PACE: Easy to Moderate tracks/kosciuszko-walk-thredbo-to-mount-kosciuszko

Day 13: Jindabyne - Rest Day (Optional Day Hike in the Snowy Mountains)

A free day to do as you please, the TL's will provide you with multiple options and we can work out on the day what people would like to do. This will also serve as a backup day if the weather is not suitable for climbing Kościuszko the day before.

Day 14: Jindabyne - Rest Day (Optional Horseback ride int he Snowy Mountains)

A free day to do as you please, the TL's will provide you with multiple options and we can work out on the day what people would like to do.

Day 15: Return to Melbourne via Mount Buffalo National Park
  (Approx 7pm Arrival)

Required Items to Bring:
  • Waterproof raincoat and over-trousers
  • Warm woolen or fiber pile clothing
  • Spare dry socks
  • Strong tramping (hiking) boots – broken in.
  • First aid kit
  • Sunhat and Sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher) ** MANDATORY as the UV index can be very high in Australia.
  • Sunglasses
  • Putties (gaiters)
  • Water bottle(s) - enough to carry at least 2 liters for the hot days.
  • Torch (Flash Light) and Headlamp plus spare batteries
  • High energy food, snacks and drinks
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Quick dry Hiking shorts
  • GPS with OZ maps loaded and spare batteries
  • Map and Southern Hemisphere compass (and know how to use them!)
  • Small day pack for shorter hikes
  • Camera with extra batteries/charger and extra memory cards


Registration Requirements

Given the daily elevation gains achieved during this hike, along with the challenge of multiple back to back hikes, only intermediate and advanced hikers with at least D4 experience should register.  All registrants shall initially be placed on the wait list so that the TLs can evaluate the registrant’s fitness and experience level.

Any registrant who does not have a recent resume of D4 hikes in the AOC likely will not be placed on the event list unless the registrant can demonstrate to the TLs an appropriate fitness and experience level gained outside the Club.  All registrants must be recommended by an AOC trip leader.  The TLs also reserve the right to consider any registrant’s social history within the AOC and to make the final determination as to whether the registrant is an appropriate candidate for this event.   

All images are copyright and licence free and provided by Pixabay.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$1,100.00/Person
Cost Includes:

1. Transportation in 3 rental cars from 23rd May, 2019 and to all designated points on the itinerary, with transportation back to Melbourne by 7:00 p.m. on 01st June, 2019.  

2. 14 nights accommodation in group lodging facilities or hotels. Some group lodging facilities may include communal showers and group cooking facilities.  Depending on the availability of beds in the lodging facilities, you may expect to share a queen bed with another member of our travel group.  If this is a problem, you may reconsider whether you are suited for this trip.

3. Some meals during the housing stays, including some Breakfasts/Lunches and some group dinners. Dietary requirements will be requested prior to the event starting.  We will try and book hotels that provide free breakfast. During the parts of the trip we stay in hotels we will getting grab and go food not included in the costs i.e out of pocket. 

Cost does not include: Airfare from Atlanta to Melbourne and Return (up to $1800); some food and/or meals for the duration of the trip; additional paid activities during the trip; personal expenses and incidentals, such as laundry or internet; cell phone service; any additional nights stay in Australia.  Our itinerary will include time to shop for provisions at the beginning and during the 14 days.  Plan to spend approximately $80 USD per day for food and other items. Melbourne Tranist cards, the myfi exlporer: explorer/

Price changes:  The price of this event is based upon the current fuel prices and currency exchange rate at the time of this write-up.  Further, the price is also based upon a minimum number of participants sharing transportation costs.  We will attempt to lock in costs as quickly as possible.  However, fuel prices and/or currency fluctuations in the interim, or a smaller group than expected, can create a slight increase in price.  Please do not register if you are unable to pay a small price increase, should it become necessary.  Your TLs will make every effort to avoid a price increase, and, if one is necessary, to keep it as small as possible.

Additional Payment Information:   Payment in full is due 14 days after you signup or by JUne 1st, 2018 - whichever comes first.   You will be moved to the waiting list if you fail to meet this deadline.

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Fri, Jun 1 2018.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you cancel on or before June 1st, 2018, you will receive a full refund less a $55 administrative fee.  There will be no refunds for cancellations after June 01st, unless someone (approved by the trip leaders) replaces you from the wait list and pays in full. If you are replaced, you will receive a full refund less the $55.00 administrative fee. 

There is no partial payment for partial attendance.