As I was driving home alone from Hotham to Omeo last Friday night, I was thinking about the number of car accidents I’d heard about that week on the Great Alpine Road. On the Wednesday, 5 cars had gone into serious slides with 4 apparently off the road on the Harrietville side of Hotham. One slide, that fortunately landed in a pole, had a friend of mine as a passenger. So as I drove home I was planning the introduction to my latest blog, and how I would republish my old Great Alpine Road post from 2008 on  which highlights the safety issues of the legendary road from both the Harrietville and Omeo sides.

The road conditions were pretty good as I was driving home; there was no ice on the road, I didn’t see any wildlife, there was no fog, nor rain. Shortly after I drove past Cobungra Station the horror of the reality of my concerns about safety on the GAR blew up in my face. I came upon the tragic accident that many of you would have read about in the news this week. A vehicle carrying 7 passengers had crashed under tragic circumstances with serious consequences to the passengers, including one fatality.

I stopped at the scene and was urged to make the dash to the Omeo hospital to convey the gravity of the situation and warn of the impending arrival of critically injured patients that would occur once the ambulances and emergency services had arrived at the accident scene.

This cemented my decision to repost my original blog. I have, however, updated it to reflect my more recent observations and experiences and I urge you to read it. It describes many aspects of the Great Alpine Road from both the Bright/Harrietville and Omeo sides of Mt Hotham, specifically related to Winter driving. Much of it is common sense, some of it legal requirements, and most is practical information about problem sections of the road.

I hope you find the Great Alpine Road blog in my “Classic Blogs” section informative, and it helps you prepare for the spectacular drive up Mt Hotham … one that is thoroughly enjoyable for its spectacular vistas. The road has its dangers, but if you take precautions and treat the road with appropriate respect your journey can be a safe one.

Take care out there!