Image credit: Robert Norman
It is with great sadness that the organisers of the Nissan Beyond Hotham event have had to make the hardest decision being that the Nissan Beyond Hotham event will not being going ahead this year due to the bushfires we have had in this area over the last 4 weeks.
The bushfire has affected well over 10,000 hectares in the surrounding area of Mount Hotham , even with the future rain predicted. The Department of Sustainability and Environment has recommended all upcoming events and activities in the area around Hotham are to be cancelled. All roads to the area are still closed with limited access and will remain this way for some time. Currently the Great Alpine Road via the Harrietville approach is inaccessible.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working towards a contingency plan to access other tracks with the aim to possibly still running the event. Unfortunately this is not possible as Gavin and I feel that it is unsafe to look at other options due to work DSE and Parks Victoria are completing around the area and will continue for some time. Gavin has accessed the effected areas extensively via helicopter and has concluded with future weather conditions, other 4WD tracks could be unstable due to fire followed by rain. With fallen trees clearly seen there is a possibility for more to fall down in the coming months. All of these factors can change tracks significantly and the safety and well being of our participants is our first priority.
We are unable to postpone the event due to the many sponsors, trip leaders and tail end charlies already committed to other work and activities beyond the scheduled event time.
It is with heavy hearts we have made this complex decision. We love to show off the spectacular Victorian High Country in all its glory and feel that it is an off road 4WD adventure of a lifetime and do not wish to re-engineer the trips as it would involve travelling a lot of kilometers on bitumen to access different tracks.
This years events bookings were the highest we have received coming into our sixth annual event, which makes this email even harder to write. Gavin & I were looking forward to reuniting with our past participants and also welcoming our new friends into our Beyond Hotham family.
For those of you whom have booked your accommodation, I will be getting in touch with the accommodation providers to contact you direct about your refunds. I would appreciate your patience in this regard as the accommodation providers will have a bit of work ahead of them.
We know you will all be terribly disappointed and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support, including the many phone calls and emails voicing your concern.
In regards to your registration payment for those of you whom have paid in full, we ask if you could please send an email requesting your refund in writing. If you have pre-purchased a Beyond Hotham T-Shirt we are giving you the option to have these posted out. If would still like to receive them (we will just simply deduct an express post postage fee of $10 per registration purchase). We will also send you out a Nissan Beyond Hotham bumper sticker as a token of our appreciation. This event is run because we love it and are passionate about the area, we hope that next year we can gain your support needed to get the event running again with as much success as it was heading to this year.
We appreciate your patience with the above notification of the cancellation as we are still dealing with fires, the clean up of the Mount Hotham Resort and surrounding roads and infrastructure at this stage.
We hope that all of you will be able to join us in 2014, as it may prove to be an even more interesting (and long awaited !!!) experience due to the fires.
With a lot of heartache and a few tears,
Gavin Moody, Angie Melaney and The Nissan Beyond Hotham Team.