Howqua Hills Historic Area


Howqua Hills Historic Area

Howqua Hills Historic Area is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Taungurung Peoples. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Taungurung Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

Howqua Hills Historic Area is a site of natural beauty. Set in a secluded valley on the Howqua River it was once busy with gold miners. River flats are surrounded by hills with Manna Gums and Narrow‐Leaved Peppermints. Howqua Hills Historic Area is approximately one-hour drive from Mansfield and is a popular spot for picnics, horse riding, bushwalking, fishing and four-wheel driving. Start your visit to the park at the information shelter at Sheepyard Flat North, which gives fascinating information about the area. 

Camping along the Howqua River is one of the best ways to enjoy this historic area. There are several flats available beside the river including Blackbird, Fry’s, Sheepyard North and South, Davon's, Noonan's, Pickerings and Tunnel Bend Flat. From your base, enjoy bushwalking, fishing and other activities. If you are very lucky, you may spot a kangaroo on a quiet, early morning or a platypus in the Howqua River. Please remember to bring your own firewood to this popular camping area. No bookings or fees apply. 

Visit one of the historic hut sites in Howqua Hills Historic Area. Fry's Hut, where Master Bushman Fred Fry built his home in the early 1940s, is a short 2 km drive from Sheepyard Flat. Using split timber and with his own personal style of workmanship, he erected many huts in the region. There are also many historic hut sites in the nearby Alpine National Park and Mansfield State Forest. 

Explore Tunnel Bend, named after the 100-metre tunnel built in 1884 as a link between the Howqua River and a 4 km long hand-cut water race. The tunnel entrance can be seen near the base of the steps at Tunnel Bend. The remains of the water race can be seen above the road between Tunnel Bend and Sheepyard Flat. 

Walkers will enjoy the Howqua Hills Historic Walk. This easy 4km return walk follows the Howqua River from Sheepyard Flat to Fry’s Flat. Rediscover the days of gold mining and settlement as you walk past historic relics from times gone by. See the brick chimney and smelting furnace, built in 1884 and still standing today. Other walks in the area include the High and Low Tracks along the Howqua, Lickhole Creek, Eagles Peaks and the Bluff walk.

Horse riding (seasonally from November to May) is another great way to explore the Howqua Hills Historic Area. Horse‐yards are available at Fry's Flat and Tunnel Bend Flat with further yards located nearby in the Alpine National Park. Bookings required. 

Things To Do

A couple sit and look at a map next to their tent and car.

Camping in Howqua Hills Historic Area

These are several camping options along the banks of the Howqua River. The sites are free and no bookings are required. All sites are a great base for bushwalking, four-wheel driving, fishing and relaxing.
Fry's Hut, Howqua Hills Historic Area

Bushwalking in Howqua Hills Historic Area

Take in all the Howqua Hills has to offer with one of the many walks available. From short family walks to challenging hikes, Howqua Hills Historic Area has a variety of walks to choose from.
A 4WD in Bunyip State Park.

Four-wheel driving in Howqua Hills Historic Area

There are many four-wheel drive tracks to explore taking you further into the High Country. Howqua Hills Historic Area is a great base to explore further into the Alpine National Park and surrounding State Forest.
A man on a horse leads another horse across the Bogong High Plains.

Camping with your horse in the Howqua Hills

Fry’s Flat and Tunnel Bend are the designated horse camping sites located on the scenic river flats at each end of Howqua Hills Historic Area. They provide the opportunity for people to camp with their horses and explore the surrounding area on horseback.

Howqua Hills Historic Area

This area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:


Tours in the area

Bushwalking, four-wheel driving, horse riding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are just some of the many activities you can experience in Victoria's parks.

If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.

Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who are experts in these activities and more. They will help you get the most out of your visit.

View all local tours

How to get there

Howqua Hills Historic Area

The Howqua Hills Historic Area is located 45 minutes drive from Mansfield via Merrijig. Take the Howqua Track, a gravel road 3km past the Merrijig town ship on the Mount Buller Road.

When to go

Amazing array of wildflowers. Great weather for swimming and relaxing in the Howqua River.

Need to know

Howqua Hills Historic Area

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