A Travellers Guide to Mount Buffalo in Victoria
Whether you’re visiting during summer or winter, Mt Buffalo National Park is one of the best alpine getaways in Australia. It’s a microcosm of the Australian Alps, with sheer cliffs, granite tors, waterfalls and grand views.
It’s also home to a number of endemic plant species. This is a great place to go for hiking, camping and climbing.
The mighty Mount Buffalo is a 320km drive north of Melbourne and it’s a great place to head if you’re in the mood for some big-nature adventure. From mountain walks to a hang-gliding takeoff ramp, it’s all here for you to explore in this 31,000 hectare National Park.
The best way to see the area is by hiking and exploring a range of trails that take in waterfall pools, boulder-strewn plateaus, soaring granite cliffs and cascading creeks. Or you can take a scenic drive to the top of the mountain and enjoy the views of the alpine wilderness.
In winter it’s a great destination for cross country skiing, ice skating and tobogganing. In summer the views are just as spectacular, especially when the wildflowers bloom.
If you’re after something a little more challenging, the area is also home to some of the world’s best rock climbing. The sheer granite cliffs provide the perfect crags and boulders to conquer, making it an excellent place for climbers of all levels.
Depending on the season you’ll find some of Australia’s best trad and aid climbing in this region. There are single pitch crags as well as long routes that smear crystalline granite slabs and jam cracks on the wall.
You can book a guided tour with Bright Adventure Company to get started. The team of highly qualified guides are on hand to show you the ropes and ensure you have an unforgettable experience.
This is a great way to learn the basics of outdoor rock climbing on a premier location with a safe and friendly environment, while creating some amazing memories for you and your family. You will be taught the rope skills you need to keep yourself safe while having fun on the rock.
It is also the ideal destination to try your luck with a hang-gliding takeoff or if you’re feeling really brave, jump into a canoe or kayak and glide across the waterfall pools. For the adventurous there are a number of abseiling and caving options.
The area is also home to one of Australia’s oldest ski resorts, which once hosted some of the world’s greatest snowboarders. The iconic Mount Buffalo Chalet is still standing, waiting for its rebirth.
Mount Buffalo is a magical conservation area that offers an array of outdoor adventure activities. From single and multi-pitch abseiling to rock climbing and lake kayaking, there is something for all ages and abilities at this stunning alpine location.
The park is also home to Australia’s largest wooden building, the Mount Buffalo Chalet which has sat dormant for more than 80 years but still stands as a testament to a bygone era and has informative displays depicting its history. Its magnificent surroundings, awe-inspiring views and abundance of wildlife are enough to make any visit worth remembering.
One of the best ways to experience Mount Buffalo is to pitch a tent on its picturesque Lake Catani campground, which sits among the snow gums behind the historic Chalet. This campground has a raft of features including 49 campsites, toilets and hot showers.
During summer, the parks extensive walking tracks take visitors through forests of alpine ash and snow gums, along clifftops, over meadows to marvellous waterfalls and sublime lookouts. Bents Lookout, The Horn and the old Mount Buffalo Chalet are just a few of the attractions that you’ll find on the plateau.
The National Park has over 90km of walking tracks to explore with options for all levels, from the more difficult ‘Big Walk’ to shorter nature walks for kids and families. You’ll also find guided outdoor adventure activities, picnic areas and a camping area with BBQ and toilet facilities at Lake Catani.
If you want to extend your stay on the plateau, glamping is now available at Lake Catani as part of a new initiative by Under Sky. During the season, they’ll be working alongside Parks Victoria to pitch ten canvas bell tents on this picturesque campground near Lake Catani.
These glamping experiences are perfect for couples, groups and solo travellers looking to reconnect with the natural world while staying in luxury surroundings. They’re all fully-equipped with a queen-sized bed, plush flooring rugs, interior furnishings and linen. Individual gas cookers, cooking pots and cutlery are also provided so guests can prepare their own meals.
Mount buffalo is a true dreamland for those who love the outdoors and a whole lot of adventure. Located in Taungurung Country, this expansive natural playground is about a 3.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne and is home to a huge range of outdoor adventures.
With climbing, walking and abseiling activities on offer, you’ll be able to find a challenge for everyone in the family. There are also some more adventurous options to choose from, such as white water rafting and underground river caving.
For those who have never climbed or abseiled before, the easiest option is to try one of the beginner’s courses. These are a great way to get a taste for this incredible activity and will leave you feeling confident, proud, satisfied, free and pumped!
The first of these is a ten-metre abseil that will allow you to experience the movements and the gear used for this popular activity. Once you’ve done a few descents, you can start to progress up the scale.
You will then be able to tackle the second abseil which is 25 metres, and includes some variance that will test your skill and strength! This can be a little more challenging than the beginners abseil, but with confidence, it’s easy to get up to speed.
This is a great option for those who are looking for an exciting and unique day out with their friends. You’ll get to test your skills and build your confidence while abseiling over some amazing cliffs on Mount Buffalo.
There are plenty of different abseiling tours on offer at mount buffalo, including one that is aimed specifically at seniors. The tours are conducted daily as demand dictates and cost around $90 per adult and $110 per child.
They will then give you the chance to try a few smaller abseils, which are perfect for children or those who want to test their limits. These include 3m, 6m, 8m and 10m abseiling that are ideal for children and adults alike!
Those who are ready for a bigger challenge can take on the Dragon Foot 45 metre free fall abseil and see the spectacular views of Mount Buffalo’s North Wall. This is a great adventure that will give you the exposure of a lifetime and you will be able to choose whether to climb back up or go for a quick run before heading down again!
Mount Buffalo is home to a vast range of wildlife including Australian Kestrels, wombats, kangaroos and wallabies. You will also see a number of reptiles and insect species while exploring the park.
The mountain is a beautiful sight in summer and winter when the snow covers the mountains. In the summer you can enjoy the alpine walks and wildflowers while in the winter it is perfect for skiing, tobogganing or snowshoeing.
There are 90km of walking trails that traverse the park ranging from short nature walks to longer more challenging walks to remote areas. There are many other activities to keep you occupied from picnicking, swimming, fishing, sightseeing, canoeing and even abseiling.
Throughout the year there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with some of Victoria’s most fascinating wildlife. There are guided tours through the area that are a great way to learn about these creatures and their history.
You can also book a caving tour of the underground river which is an interesting way to get closer to the flora and fauna that make this region so special. The caving tour leaves from the Gorge carpark and will take you through a series of chambers where the water from Lake Catani streams through.
There is a nice picnic spot near the gorge where you can grab some lunch and relax. It’s a nice place to stop off for a break if you are hiking or just enjoying the views.
The park is a popular tourist destination in the Victorian Alps and there are many accommodation options for those who would like to stay in the area. You can also find a few campsites that are great for campervans.
Mt Buffalo is one of the oldest National Parks in Australia, and was originally established in 1898 to protect the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. The park is home to around 550 species of native plants and animals. The national park is a great destination for wildlife lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.