Access from the north is possible in a 2WD, you head south from Whitfield, the road is pretty good with a creek crossing at the end, provided you aren’t driving a sports car you should be right.
You can also access this area from the south but you will need a 4X4 and some of the tracks are rough.
What is there to photograph ?? Mountain Lakes, snow gums, rocky out crops, 360 deg mountain vistas, still life opportunities, flora and fauna !!
When to go I think any time would be good expect the mids of summer, I am planning a trip back there after a big dump of snow, I think Mt Cobbler would be spectacular covered in snow !!
Do I have to hike ?? No !! I opted to hike from Cobbler to Mt Spec and back to the lake, but you could do Mt Cobbler as a day walk (2hrs up 2 hrs down) You can drive to Mt Speculation ( except in the snow season as the road from Cobbler to Spec is closed Queens birthday weekend to Melbourne cup WE ) To do this drive you do need a good 4X4 as the road is VERY rocky and rough, there are about 4 rough sections that will test any driver. Once you are there it is a 1.2km walk up to the top of Mt Speculation.
My trip started friday night where I met a mate of mine Dave at the Whitfield Pub. And I can highly recommend the Beachworth Pale Ale, we got out of there before the temptation got the better of us and drove to the Lake, this is about a one hour drive. We set up our tent in the dark, set the alarm for 5.30am and went to bed dreaming of Beachworth Pale Ale, it honestly is a very nice beer.
It was a cloudy sunrise so no strong colours but there was a foot of mist sitting on the dead calm water, now and then a breeze would push the mist along the lake creating a very surreal feel. I took advantage of this with a long exposure to create this image.
We had lots of time up our sleeve as the walk up was only 4kms... but it was all up hill. The track is a little overgrown in spots, this area was effected by the fires, there are groves of dead snow gums everywhere, very sad, snow gums are my favourite tree and I have been told they don’t regenerate after fires.
We made it to the top and found a spot to camp, the weather was clear so we decided no tent tonight we will sleep under the stars.
Mt Cobbler is the mountain you see from Craigs Hut, it is also called Indian Head as it looks like a face laying down.
Unfortunately I was right, not much of a sunset .. but sunrise was a little better.
A camp fire, dinner and early to bed for a bit of satellite spotting and star gazing
The light was better in the morning, lighting up a different rock face, we also had a setting full moon.
We packed up and headed down the hill, and walked along the 4X4 track looking for a small track that would take us up onto Mt Koonika, well we couldn’t find it, we saw it on the way back, a small rusty tin lid nailed to a tree ... oh well.
Dave has done heaps of walking and is good with a map and compass so we headed off track for a couple of kms and intersected the track up to Mt Speculation... and we saw ( nearly stood on ) two snakes, Dave still hasn’t worked out why I let him walk first and I follow....
The forecast was for a change in the weather and you could see it coming in. Dave had 3G coverage so a quick look at the BOM told us we were in for RAIN THUNDER LIGHTNING AND WIND. So we had a couple of hours up on top and then walked back about 8kms towards where the car was.
Again on top of Mt Speculation you have a 360 degree view, it really is a magical place, even just a few moments of solitude up there is bliss.
The following morning was quite clear but still windy, a short 5km walk back to the car and we headed for home.
All in all a great location and I look forward to my next trip there.