What’s special?

A remarkable ‘island in the sky’ plateau, great day walks, fantastic views, wildflowers in summer, snow play in winter, weird and wonderful granite tors sculpted by nature, and one of the tallest cliffs in the land. All in 31,000 hectares.

Best time to visit

Spring to autumn is best for bushwalking, climbing, canoeing, camping and other activities. Winter is great for tobogganing when snow falls.

What to do

Mount Buffalo has probably the best range of day walks in Victoria, all giving great views across and from the plateau. Snow Gums, waterfalls and wildflowers are features, also canoeing and camping at Lake Catani, and a range of cliffs for abseiling (check local websites for licenced climbing guides). Enjoy snow play and cross-country skiing in winter, though the plateau doesn’t always get a good cover of snow. Start your visit at Bents Lookout and then follow the stunning short walk to the Buffalo Gorge.

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Where

Mount Buffalo is 325km north of Melbourne (4-hour drive). Public transport: train and bus to Porepunkah at the foot of the mountain.

Accommodation

There is basic camping on the plateau at Lake Catani. A good range of backpacker, motel and B & B accommodation is near the park at Porepunkah, Myrtleford and Bright (the historic Buffalo Chalet is currently closed for restoration.)

A small visitor information centre is located at the Park Office. More info: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

About the park

In 1887, the Bright Alpine Club was promoting Mount Buffalo where ‘… the exhilaration of the wildness and magnificence of the surroundings brings the tourist in close sympathy with nature’. The park, first reserved in 1898, is one of Victoria’s oldest and most loved, and the first in Victoria to outlaw the grazing of sheep and cattle (initially in 1923 and finally in 1956).

The plateau has always been important for Indigenous communities. In particular, the annual migration of vast numbers of bogong moths from NSW, which shelter over summer between Buffalo’s granite tors, made a reliable food source for large groups of Aboriginal people visiting the plateau.

Natural history

As you journey up the winding park entrance road, you will drive through grey-barked peppermint eucalypts, then white-trunked brittle gums and, towards the summit, tall alpine ash forest. When you reach the plateau, silver-trunked snow gums surround open plains of snow grass tussocks and mossbeds.

Watch out for lyrebirds (you can see them glide from their high perches after dawn), yellow robins (they might come to see you if you’re quiet), and the large bright red flower of the plateau’s royal grevillea (spring and summer) first described there by Baron von Mueller in 1853. Buffalo sallee, unique to the plateau, is like a snow gum but with narrow willow-like leaves.

A host of other remarkable plants and animals can be found, and you can’t miss the fantastic granite tors.

See the VNPA’s book Discovering Mount Buffalo

Friends groups

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