Camping with your horse in the Howqua Hills

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Camping with your horse in the Howqua Hills

Howqua Hills Historic Area

Horse yards need to be reserved in advance during the season. No fees apply.
Reserve a Horse Yard

This old gold mining area on the Howqua River is set in a beautiful, secluded valley, once busy with gold miners but now popular for picnics, horse riding, bushwalking and four-wheel driving. Camping along the Howqua River is one of the best ways to enjoy this historic area and offers a great base for bushwalking, fishing and other activities. Please remember to bring your own firewood to this popular camping area. Bookings for camping are not required. Horse yard permits Selected areas in the Howqua Hills Historic Area and some sections of the Alpine National Park have horse yards that can be reserved in advance. No fees apply.

Howqua Hills Historic Area is situated along the Howqua River approximately one hour drive from Mansfield. Once the site of a busy gold mining settlement in the late 1800’s the area is now popular for car based camping, walking, fishing, horse riding and those wanting to explore the surrounding Alpine area.

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 and provide the opportunity for people to camp with their horses and explore the surrounding area on horseback.

For the more adventurist there are horse yards at 7 Mile Flat and Pikes Flat on the Howqua River and King Hut on the King River. These sites are situated in the Alpine National Park and provide the opportunity for horse riders looking to explore the mountains and valleys of this rugged area. Dogs are not permitted in Alpine National Park

Horse Riding Season:

1 November - 31 May inclusive (for all areas except Lovicks Hut)

1 December – 30 April inclusive (Lovicks Hut)

Horse numbers are limited at designated horse camping areas as per the Greater Alpine National Park Management Plan, Fry's Flat a total of 20 horses per day/night.Tunnel Bend a total of 10 horses per day/night. Bookings for these seasons will open at 9am on the 1 July each year. Portable yards are permitted and bookings are still required as space is limited.

Things To Do

Two women ride horses along a dirt path in the You Yangs Regional Park.

Horse riding

Explore the landscape on horseback to appreciate the solitude and peace of the natural environment. Victoria's parks offer a variety of horse riding experiences.

How to get there

Camping with your horse in the Howqua Hills

The Alpine National Park stretches from central Gippsland all the way to the New South Wales border. The horse yards available for booking on this page are mostly around the Mansfield area or the Mount Beauty and Bogong High Plains area of the Alpine National Park. Some of the horse yards are in neighbouring Howqua Hills Historic Area, which is located 30 minutes from Mansfield via Merrijig by taking the Howqua Track, a gravel road 3km past Merrijig on the Mount Buller Road.

Need to know

Camping with your horse in the Howqua Hills

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Seasonal road closures 2022

    Some roads in this park are subject to seasonal road closures. Seasonal road closures generally operate from after the long weekend in June through to the end of October, but may be extended due to seasonal conditions. Visit the seasonal road closures page for maps and more information.

  • Frys Flat Camping Area (Howqua River Heritage River, Howqua Hills Historic Area)

    Vehicle access to Frys Flat Horse Yards

    The Howqua Hills Track between Sheepyard Flat South and Frys Flat currently requires 4WD capability and may not be suitable for the use of floats and trailers to transport horses into this area.  It is recommended that visitors inspect the track prior to crossing to ensure that they are comfortable with the condition of the track and have the ability to cross safely. 

    Parks Victoria are currently negotiating various approvals and permits required to undertake the necessary repair and maintenance to restore this section of track. 

    If you still wish to book and camp at Fry’s Flat with your horse, there are alternate methods of accessing the area.  You can:

    • Walk/ride horses in from Howqua Hills track (100-200m)
    • Walk/ride horse in from Martin/Fern or Spring street (across the river)

    Alternative camping areas with vehicle-accessible horse yards available for booking nearby are also found at: 

    • Tunnel Bend, Howqua Hills Historic Area (up to 10 horses, dogs permitted).
    • 7-mile Flat, Alpine National Park (up to 20 horses, no dogs permitted)
    • King River Hut, Alpine National Park (up to 20 horses, no dogs permitted)
    • Lovicks Hut (up to 20 horses, no dogs permitted) 

    For further information, please contact the Mansfield office on 03 5733 1200 and ask to speak to one of the PV Rangers. 

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