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Mount Buffalo

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Mount Buffalo
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Mount Buffalo - Cities, Towns and Localities
Just a four hour drive from Melbourne is Mount Buffalo National Park. With superb 360 degree views from the summit of The Horn, this spectacular location above the Ovens Valley has been a popular holiday destination for many Victorians for over 100 years. With sheer imposing cliffs and huge granite tors, waterfalls, snow gums and wildflowers, this sub-alpine plateau is one of Victoria’s oldest national park.

Mount Buffalo is popular all year round, providing a cool retreat during summer and winter wonderland during summer. With over 90 km of walking tracks, spring and autumn makes a wonderful getaway, where visitors can enjoy the panoramic scenery or opt for some adventurous pursuits like rock climbing and hang-gliding.

Whilst there is no accommodation available in Mount Buffalo National Park, camping is permitted in the summer months at Lake Catani, plus a couple of remote camping sites. For those seeking other styles of holiday accommodation, you can stay at nearby places like Porepunkah, Bright, Myrtleford and Mount Beauty.

Check out our range of Victorian Alpine accommodation and Snowy Mountains accommodation. As well as the following listed information, visit the local tourism visitor centre for additional travel guide attractions and information.

Information Centre

Parks Victoria Information Centre - ParkWeb

Mount Buffalo Attractions

Cascading falls and rock pool at Ladies Bath Falls.Eurobin Falls Track
• Easy to moderate • Ladies Bath Falls 0.4 km • Lower Falls 0.5 km • Upper Falls 0.75 km • 1 hour return
The Eurobin Falls are a series of broad cascades spilling over large granite rock slabs, a beautiful sight after some heavy rain higher up. The short 500 m walking track takes you through mountain forest of Narrow Leaf Peppermint, Manna Gum and Tree-ferns, pass the Ladies Bath Falls (where you may catch the glimpse of fishes and yabbies, arriving at the Lower Eurobin Falls Lookout. A steeper track continues another 250 m to the lookout perched at the base of Upper Eurobin Falls.

The Gorge and Crystal Brook Falls, towering 1,000 m above, can only be accessed from the Gorge Heritage Walk on top of the plateau.

The rock slabs forming the main falls are extremely slippery and visitors must not leave the track or venture past the lookout railing. Serious personal injury and death have occurred in this area from people attempting to cross the falls.

Ladies Bath Falls are popular for bathing. If planning to swim in the rock pool, be aware of very cold water and possible strong currents form the cascades. It is not safe to div e or jump into the rock pool due to unmarked or hidden obstacles. To see some images, click here...

Source: Information from Parks Victoria signage


Alice in her woollen guiding suit - image courtesy of Parks Victoria signage.Gorge Day Visitor AreaDisabled accessible services.
Perched on the Gorge edge, this large area has tables, toilets including disabled toilets), picnic shelter, water and fireplaces. A cafe is located in the Chalet opposite. There are a couple of viewing spots such as Bents Lookout with spectacular views of the Australian Alps. The parks signage providing names to the peaks and ranges.

From here there are a number of walks that include:

  • The Gorge Heritage Walk • 2.5 km loop walk
    • Follow in the footsteps of Guide Alice, as signage along the way tell you about her life and Mount Buffalo, as she knew it.
  • The Big Walk • 11.3 km one way - 5 to 6 hours
    • Descending to the Park Entrance on Eurobin Creek, ‘The Big Walk’ drops 100 m in only 9 km. It follows sections of the original horse route known as ‘Stakers Track’, cut in the 1890’s. Dramatic views of The Gorge and the Australian Alps can be seen from several lookouts along the way. One of Mount Buffalo’s endemic plants, Buffalo Sallow Wattle, grows in the exposed rocky areas between the Gorge and Mackeys Lookout. It is readily identified by it’s thick leathery, lime green leaves and long pale yellow flowers.

– Walkers should be reasonably fit and have strong footwear as the long, rocky in places and has sustained steep grades.
 
– Sudden changes in the weather can occur at any time of the year.
 
– Drinking water is not reliable along the track especially during summer.
 
– Be prepared by carrying water, snack, sunscreen, a hat and a waterproof jacket.
 
– Always let someone know of your plans before setting out.
Guide Alice
The Gorge has been an attraction for tourists since the 1850s.

Until 1908 there were no roads to the Buffalo plateau and tourist reached this point with the aid of a guide.

The most famous of these was Alice Manfield, known as Guide Alice (pictured), who became legendary for her knowledge of the plateau and its plants, animals and beauty spots.
Grossmans Mill Picnic AreaSite of Grossman’s Sawmill
From 1907 until 1912 there was a sawmill on this site. It was owned and operated by Frank Charles Grossman and was built to provide timber for the construction of the first stage of the Mount Buffalo Chalet, opened in 1910.

Site of Grossman’s Sawmill - Image courtesy National Parks Service signage 1983.At first, teams of horses were used to haul the timber, probably alpine ash. Later, Jack Usher’s bullock team (shown in the photograph) carted the logs and sawn timber to and from the mill where up to nine men worked six days a week.

Mr Grossman, who lived at “Chatsworth”, North Wangaratta, camped on Mount Buffalo from spring to autumn while the mill was operating.

The milling machinery, including a 12 HP engine, was sold and removed after Mr Grossman died in March 1913. Only the concrete foundations of the mill remain on site.

Source: Jack Usher’s bullock team - Information and image from Parks Victoria signage


Manfield’s Chalet - circa 1909. New Government Chalet under construction in the right background.Manfield’s Chalet
Before the present Mount Buffalo Chalet was built, Manfield’s Chalet stood on this site.

Manfield’s Chalet was built in 1902 by Robert Meldrum-Bowie with assistance from Alice Manfield, her brother Bill and their father James Manfield Snr. (pictured). Slabs for the walls were cut form local Alpine Ash, and furniture and supplies packed up the mountain on horse back.

This type of rustic mountain-top accommodation encouraged more tourists to the plateau and led to the construction of a new Mount Buffalo Chalet, completed in 1910. The Government then ordered Manfield’s Chalet to be dismantled, paid the family 25 compensation and granted them a new site on the other side of the Gorge.

Source: Manfield’s Chalet (circa 1909) - Information and image from Parks Victoria signage


Tobogganing and Snowplay
When conditions are favourable during winter, Dingo Dell is open for play with a toboggan run, with Cresta Valley also being open. Visitors should contact Parks Victoria for information.
The Horn Picnic Area and Lookout • GPS: S36º 46.580’ E 146º 45.861’
The historic shelter was built in the late 1930’s by the then National Park Committee of Management for the comfort of tourists and bushwalkers.

It was constructed from local hand cut granite and clad with Alpine Ash shingles. The shelter was required to blend in with the ‘rugged nature of the environment’.

Tour party from the Chalet enjoying the view at The Horn c1940’s.Since the road from Cresta Valley to this point was widened in the 1940’s tourists arriving in motor cars have enjoyed extensive views of the Australian Alps framed by the windows in the shelter.

The Horn Summit Track
• You need to be reasonably fit • 1.5 km return
• The narrow track is steep, and the rocks are slippery when wet or icy.
To view images of The Horn Summit click here...

Source: Tour party from the Chalet enjoying the view at The Horn c1940’s - Parks Victoria signage


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Mount Buffalo - Walks

Walking is one of the best ways to see Mount Buffalo, with over 90 km of tracks traversing pristine sub-alpine plant communities and unique landscapes. There are a number of self-guided walks, short and longer walks.

Self guided walks include:

  • Gorge Heritage Walk • 2.5 km - 1 hour return
  • View Point Nature Walk • 4 km - 2 hours return
  • Dicksons Falls Nature Walk • 4 km - 1.5 hours return

Shorter walks include:

  • Eurobin Falls Track • 1.5 km - 45 mins return
  • Rollasons Falls Track • 4 km - 1.5 hours return
  • Gorge-Lake Catani Track • 4 km - 1.5 hours return
  • Underground River Track • 2.5 km - 1 hour return
  • Monolith Track • 1.8 km - 1 hour circuit
  • Lake View Track • 2 km - 45 mins return
  • Lakeside Walk • 3 km - 1 hour circuit
  • Chalwell Galleries Track • 1.7 km - 1 hour circuit
  • Old Galleries Track • 1 km - 30 mins circuit
  • Cathedral-Hump Track • 2 km - 45 mins return
  • Corral-Castle Track • 3.5 km - 1.5 hours return
  • The Horn Track • 1.5 km - 45 mins return

Longer walks include:

  • Mount McLeod Track • 16 km - 6 hours return
  • Mollisons Galleries Track • 18 km - 6 hours circuit
  • Rocky Creek Track • 13 km - 4 hours return
  • Long Plain Track • 8 km - 3 hours return
  • Macs Point Rack • 7 km - 3 hours return
  • South Buffalo Track • 8 km - 3 hours return
  • Back Wall Track • 12 km - 4 hours return
  • The Big Walk • 11.3 km - 4 to 5 hours one way

Details of the above walks and maps can be picked up from the local visitor centre or from the Parks Victoria website.


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Mount Buffalo - Other Activities

During summer, the host of activities you can do in the park include walking, canoeing, swimming, picnicking, sight seeing, bike and horse riding, rock climbing, abseiling and hang gliding.
  • Bike riding
    — restricted to vehicle tracks. There are good rides along the Reservoir Road and Gorge-Lake Catani Track.
  • Hang gliding
    — for experienced pilots only from the launch ramp 200 m past the Gorge Day Visitors Area lower car park.
  • Horse Riding
    — permitted only with a guide from Mount Buffalo Chalet and on limited tracks during the summer months.
  • Rock climbing and abseiling
    — guided activities are usually available from private operators in the Gorge area.
  • Sight seeing
    — where do you begin! Lookouts at the Gorge and the Horn offer views of the Alps.
  • Swimming and canoeing
    — best from the Lake Catani Jetty, accessed through the Lakeside Day Visitor Area.
  • Cross country skiing
    — there are 11 km of marked trails Cresta Valley.
  • Downhill skiing
    — lifts and good day facilities based at Cresta Valley.
  • Tobogganing and snowplay
    — designated ‘safe’ areas at Cresta Valley and Dingo Dell.
  • Driving
    — when driving take your time and enjoy the changing environment and views. Please watch out for native animals, especially in the early morning and at dusk. Wildlife is much more active at these times, especially wallabies, wombats, rosellas and lyrebirds.

    Take extreme care driving during winter. The main road is often snow-covered from McKinnons Corner through to Cresta Valley. Snow chains must be carried during the declared ski season and fitted when and where directed.

    The Reservoir, Lake Catani and Horn Roads are narrow and winding with gravel surfaces. Beware of dusty and rough conditions. Please drive slowly and carefully. Note that these roads are seasonally closed during the wetter months.

Lakeside Day Visitor Area Lakeside Catani Campground Located right on Lake Catani shore (on the east side), this shady area includes tables, toilets, cold showers, water and fireplaces. Activities include canoeing or swimming.
Picnic Area There are ten picnic areas with various facilities to choose from on Mount Buffalo. These include:
  • Gorge Day Visitor Area - facilities: tables, disabled toilets, picnic shelter, water and fireplaces. Cafe in the Chalet opposite.
  • Lakeside Day Visitor Area - facilities: tables, toilets, cold showers, water and fireplaces.
  • Eurobin Creek Picnic Area - facilities: tables, toilets and fireplaces.
  • Rollasons Falls Picnic Area - facilities: tables, toilets and fireplaces.
  • Grossmans Mill Area - facilities: tables and fireplaces.
  • The Oval Picnic Area - facilities: tables and fireplaces.
  • The Cathedral Picnic Area - facilities: toilets are only open for busy holiday periods.
  • Eurobin Falls Picnic Area - facilities: tables.
  • Reservoir Picnic Area - facilities: tables.
  • Horn Picnic Area - facilities: tables (the nearest toilets for the Horn Picnic Area are at Cresta Valley or Cathedral Saddle.

Disabled accessible services. • All of the toilets, except those at Lakeside and Cathedral Picnic Area, are designed for wheelchair access. The camp-ground also has a disabled hot shower/bathroom facility.


Want to know more?
All the information provided here is available from the Entrance Station, Park Office and various pamphlet boxes in the region. There are information shelters at various picnic areas throughout the park providing more site specific information and orientation. Guide books, posters and maps are also for sale from the Entrance Station, Park Office and Mount Buffalo Chalet, or just drop into the Park Office and chat to a Ranger.

Source: Parks Victoria


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Mount Buffalo Distance

Distance to Mount Buffalo
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Mount Buffalo:
  Km
Bright 32
Mount Beauty 63
Myrtleford 50
  Km
Porepunkah 27
• Wandiligong 39
Wangaratta 96
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

 

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