Mount Feathertop is the second-highest mountain in Victoria; and is located entirely within the Alpine National Park. It rises to 1,922 metres (6,306 ft) and is usually covered in snow from June to September. Unlike many other Victorian mountains, Mount Feathertop has steep summit slopes instead of a rounded summit dome. It is a particularly well-tracked hike. The weather is variable at any time of the year (as we experienced).
We hiked the Mt Feathertop Razor Back Ridge for our 18th Wedding anniversary with the kids!! Talk about taking the kids everywhere!!
Hiking Mt. Feathertop with kids can be a fun and challenging experience. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Mt. Feathertop is a challenging hike and is not suitable for young children.
It’s important to be prepared and plan ahead, taking into account the fitness level of your children and the current weather conditions. Speaking of weather conditions; we had planned to hike Mt Feathertop for our 17th wedding anniversary. As we were driving up to Harrietville on the Friday night it rained. Well, it poured. It was raining so hard we had to pull off the Hume HWY and wait it out! Rain and trucks along a long straight stretch of road makes me very nervous. We still had hopes of completing the walk. The weather can change so quickly in the mountains. It’s always good to check updates with Parks Vic.
Up until arriving at Diamantina Hut on the Great Alpine Road near the Mount Hotham ski resort we were still “go”. When we got out of the car and felt the wind chill factor that’s when we pulled the pin! We were all so disappointed but I wanted this is be a nice experience for the family. Hiking in the freezing wind would not have been fun! So we returned and spent the weekend swimming in Bright (as it was stinking hot in the valley!!!).
Bring on 2022!!
Walks with great views are always high on our wish list (more so, rock climbing and scrambling, but we had to forgo that on this hike). Our original plan was to hike out and back along the Razorback Ridge, for this trip we decided to arrange a one way trip to the start of the walk with Brett from the Harrietville Snowline Hotel. We parked at the car park at the end of the Bungalow Spur track. This meant that we could walk along the razorback on day 1 and walk back to the car down the Bungalow Spur track on day 2. In hindsight going out and back along the Razorback Ridge is probably the better option. The Bungalow Spur was 9km of relentless downhill! Sounds easy but we were so tired and all falling over our feet on the way down. My toes were killing me from pushing constantly on the front of my shoes!!
Anyway, we start from the Diamantina Hut on the Great Alpine Road and follow the narrow path along the Razorback ridge for approx. 10.5 km to Federation Hut. You start from your car at an altitude of almost 1700m, and then follow the more-or-less level ridge.
The views are magnificent the whole way. Changing from exposed edges to wildflowers, there were a few up’s and down’s but nothing too challenging.
We bought lunch from the little bakery in Harrietville and stopped for lunch along the way.
Federation Hut campsite
We could see the campsite in the distance across the valley and couldn’t wait to arrive and set up. It is so different hiking with a heavy backpack compared to a day pack. The campsite is beautiful, flat and grassy. There were already quite a few hikers set up camp and quite a few more arrived after us, but there was plenty of space.
Mt. Feathertop summit climb
After dinner of cold meats, wraps and vegetables (we are not a fan of carrying cooking equipment and cooking enough food for us in shifts!!), we leave with just a day pack (of water and chocolate) for the second part of today’s adventure – an evening climb up Mt. Feathertop.
It is 1.5 km straight and 200 meters up from Federation Hut to the top. I have no idea how the kids had so much energy but they practically ran up the mountain! They passed so many weary hikers! We enjoyed a block of chocolate and a few games of Spot It whilst waiting for the sunset, whilst enjoying the 360 degree views. We started to head back down the mountain just before sunset so we weren’t walking the whole way in the dark! What an absolutely perfect sun set.
The next morning we were up nice and early, packed up our gear and headed down the Bungalow Spur track. We passed the spur where you could access drinking water (but it was a fair way down the path and can’t imagine hiking back up afterward to the campground!). It was 9km down! It was a big effort. We were sore, our toes were hurting, we were tripping over roots and our bags were flung over our heads!!! It was a very long 9km!
We well and truly over-ordered when we arrived at the pub. All we all really wanted was a cold drink and an ice cream!!!
What we took Hiking Mt. Feathertop with kids
I have a good post on what we took hiking when we went to The Prom with my parents (the kids were a few years younger then). Check it out here.
Overall thoughts on Hiking Mt. Feathertop with kids
Overall, hiking Mt Feathertop with kids is a great hike. Ned and Olive were 9 and 7 at the time so they are little rockstars for completing this. We push them pretty hard and I say it all the time I don’t know many kids their age who would do what they do! I hope they are proud of themselves and remember these experiences forever xx
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