|High, narrow-topped ridges form the divides between the major streams, and steep spurs and side slopes extend down to steeply graded streams. Major stream systems (e.g. Thompson, Macalister, Wonnangatta / Mitchell, Kiewa, Mitta Mitta, upper Murray and Snowy Rivers) are deeply incised with intricately interlocking V-shaped spurs and tributary valleys, commonly with local relief of 500-700 m from ridge-top to valley bottom. The upper levels of the highest ridges are typically accordant with the high-level plateaus (about 1 500- 1 800 m), but most tend to be no higher than about 1 000-1 200 m, and decrease in height the further north or south they are from the high level landscapes.|
Some of the greatest drops from divide summits are at the head of the Wonnangatta River at Mt Howitt and the Crosscut Saw to Terrible Hollow on the Wonnangatta below, from the Snowy Plains and Mt Kent down to the Moroka River and the Wonnangatta River and from The Bluff to the Howqua River. The Barry Mountains, forming the Great Divide between the Mt Howitt area and the Mt Hotham district, is lower and less precipitous than those areas but is still a conspicuous range.
In their upper reaches, stream gradients are steep, and down-cutting is still active so there is little or no accumulation of sediment along the stream margins. South of the Great Divide, gradients along the upper parts of streams are generally steeper than in the streams that drain to the north. The south flowing streams generally maintain steep sided valleys until they approach the Gippsland Riverine Plains (Tier 7.2), but divides gradually become lower and alluvial terraces border the streams from their middle tracts downstream.