This is a fabulous walk that follows the Howqua River. In the warmer months there are lots of opportunities to stop for a swim. You could even take a lilo and flout back downstream.
Most of this information is from the Parks Victoria link above.
The Howqua Hills Historic Area is located 45 minutes drive from Mansfield via Merrijig. Take the Howqua Track, a gravel road 3km past Merrijig on the Mount Buller Road. Walkers can enjoy the Howqua Hills Heritage Trail with its self-guided interpretive panels. This easy 5km return walk
follows the Howqua River from Sheepyard Flat to Fry’s Flat Tunnel Bend 1.5 hours at a gentle pace. There a few spots to strop for a dip if its warmer and some toilets (long drop) at the various camp sites along the way.
Tunnel Bend is named after the 100m tunnel built in 1884 as a link between the Howqua River and a four kilometre 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. It was constructed to carry water to power the “Hanney” waterwheel. The “Hanney” was 63 feet (18 metres) in diameter and drove the crushers which broke the ore into a suitable size for smelting in the furnace.
Lots of camp spot around here. Most campers are happy campers but you do get the odd selfish, inconsiderate nob, particularly in busy times who plays loud electronic music into the night.
The river can look very beautiful on cool mornings.
Lots of swimming spots and not even early November mountain water temperatures put these kids off!
At a few spots the road gets up a little higher. Sometimes you can even see fish swimming from high if the sun is at the right angle.
This photo might not be in the exact spot, but you get the idea, its beautiful.
On a sunny day, the view out is wonderful.
You might want to come prepared with a torch if you want to walk the tunnel