MT BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK & ALPINE RESORT

Mt Buffalo National Park is only a short drive from Bright and Porepunkah and is also popular with cyclists riding from these towns to enjoy the stunning scenery and changing landscapes throughout its 77,000 acres.

Visiting Mt Buffalo is a highlight for many, which sees them return to the mountain year after year.  This unique mountain was named in 1824 by explorers Hume and Hovell after observing it from afar.  It is a favourite amongst High Country visitors and locals alike and was proclaimed a National Park in 1898.

The drive up onto the plateau takes about half an hour from the entry to the National Park and another 20 mins or so out across the plateau to the base of the highest point, known as The Horn, at 1723 metres elevation.  Most visitors will take longer than this and spend at least a day exploring Buffalo, due to the endless opportunities to stop and take in waterfalls, breathtaking roadside views, changing landscapes from Alpine Ash forest right up to the snowgums and alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers in Summer.

There are many reasons to visit in each season.  After rainfall and during periods of snowmelt, the number of waterfalls beside the road makes for a memorable drive.  Spring sees the first of the wildflowers blooming at lower elevations, along with the endemic Buffalo Sallow Wattle which is found nowhere else.

With the plateau generally about 10 degrees cooler than the valleys below, the warmer months attract visitors to explore over 90km of bushwalking tracks or just enjoy a picnic on the snow grass amongst wildflowers. Lake Catani is a haven for a refreshing dip or trout fishing session and has its own campground open for bookings from November to April, with toilets, hot showers, communal shelter & basic laundry. There are many campsites scattered throughout the Snow Gums, with some offering car based camping and also disabled access. Mt Buffalo also has 2 small remote campsites for bushwalkers.

Winter transforms Mt Buffalo into a snowy landscape and has been attracting tourists since the 1800’s, long before Australia’s first ski tow was built on the mountain in 1938. The famous Chalet was built in 1910 and although currently closed, visitors can still enjoy its grandeur from the Gorge Day Visitor Area. There are about 10km of marked cross country ski trails that are well maintained when there’s sufficient snow and about 20km of unmarked back country trails to explore. Tobogganing, snow play and snow shoe walks are also family favourites.  Vehicles may be required to carry wheel chains during the snow season and fit them where directed.

Families flock to Mt Buffalo year round for the variety of easy bushwalks, picnic areas, wildlife and activities to enjoy.  Ranger Roo, from Parks Victoria, has more information on why Mt Buffalo is a popular choice for families here.

Abseiling, rock climbing, caving, cycling, bushwalking, photography and kayaking can all be enjoyed at Mt Buffalo. Nature abounds all over the mountain, including lyrebirds, wombats and native birds found in each season and a variety of plant life, over 550 native species and many different types of fungi, all creating a dream for photographers.

The Gorge waterfall (Crystal Brook Falls) tumbles hundreds of metres over the edge of the plateau and can be seen from a viewpoint right next to the falls or even from the bottom of the National Park at the Eurobin Creek Picnic Area and nearby roadside Gorge viewpoint, only shortly after driving into the Park.

Disabled visitors are well catered for on Mt Buffalo, with some of the popular walks being wheelchair accessible and some camp sites have disabled access, as does the Lake Catani Camp Ground amenities block. The Gorge Day Visitor Area has a disabled access parking bay close to the wheelchair access lookout that provides breathtaking views over the Ovens Valley and alps beyond. 

Food & beverages are available at Dingo Dell Café and also KB’s Coffee Trailer (see link for details).

Entry to Mt Buffalo National Park is FREE.

Follow this link to a complete guide to Mt Buffalo National Park

Enjoy this video from the team at ‘North South’, cycling up Mt Buffalo.