Mount Buffalo National Park
An all-seasons park, Mount Buffalo has sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning wildflowers. First reserved in 1898, the 31,000 hectare park contains vegetation and fauna adapted to extremes of weather, as a result of its sub-alpine location.
Things to Do
Explore the network of walking tracks that lead to delightful waterfalls, great lookouts and amazing granite formations.
Take in the fantastic views of the Australian Alps.
Camp at Lake Catani and enjoy swimming or canoeing.
Guests at the Chalet can try a variety of activities including horse or bike riding, walking, tennis and indoor pursuits.
In winter, come for a day or more for cross-country or downhill skiing. Mt Buffalo is often called the family mountain because of its visitor-friendly atmosphere.
The adventurous can try hang gliding or rock climbing. Buffalo is a top Australian venue for both.
Discover summer wildflowers, snow gums and a range of fauna, including wombats, wallabies, echidnas, lyrebirds and flame robins.
Camping at Lake Catani is available from November to April. Bookings are needed in busy periods.
Guest house style accommodation is available at the Mount Buffalo Chalet and motel and lodge style accommodation is available at Mount Buffalo Lodge.
There is also a wide range of accommodation in and around Bright.
Aboriginal people made summer ascents to Mt Buffalo and other Alpine areas to gather and feast on protein-rich Bogong Moths that cluster in rock crevices, and also to meet and hold ceremonies.
Explorers Hume and Hovell named the mountain in 1824 from its supposed resemblance to a buffalo. Gold miners and botanists later began to find routes up to the plateau. With the beginning of tourism in the 1880s, an area around the spectacular Gorge was reserved as a national park in 1898. The park has been enlarged several times since and now takes in all the plateau and surrounding slopes. The Mount Buffalo Chalet was built in 1910, soon after the first road to the plateau was constructed, replacing some earlier more "rustic" accommodation. The park became a popular holiday destination for succeeding generations and a place for early skiing and ice skating ventures. In fact Buffalo had the first ski tow in Australia.
Due to the range in altitude in the park, there is a variety of fauna habitats. The foothill forests contain kangaroos, wallabies, and several species of possums and gliders. Smaller mammals such as native rats and mice inhabit the plateau. Wombats occur in all habitats. The Alpine Silver Xenica is a species of butterfly found only on the plateau of Mount Buffalo. Bogong Moths shelter in rock crevices at the Horn and it is common to see birds darting in and out of the cracks to feed on them. Peregrine Falcons sometimes nest in the granite rock faces. Crimson Rosellas are abundant throughout the park.
The park protects a diverse array of vegetation types and plant species. Over 550 native species occur; the most significant vegetation communities are the alpine and sub-alpine communities.
Massive bluffs and near vertical granite rock faces soar a thousand metres above the Ovens River valley and are typified by ridges heavily forested with Alpine Ash and Snow Gum. At the highest points trees become sparse, and extensive granite outcrops are linked by expanses of sub-alpine grasslands and herbfields spotted with patches of stunted Snow Gum. Buffalo Sallee, an endemic eucalypt found only in the park, occurs predominantly around the edges of the plateau.
The foothills below consist of undulating dissected terrain with valleys and low hills clothed mainly with peppermints and gums.
Looking After the Park
Dogs and other pets and firearms are not permitted. Please keep to tracks.
Observe fire restrictions. Take a gas or fuel stove.
Carry out all rubbish.
Do not disturb or remove any plants or animals.
Please do not feed rosellas or other wildlife. It upsets the natural ecological balance and can cause injury or disease to visitors.
Drive carefully on the winding roads, especially in snow or icy conditions and watch for wildlife.
Take care near lookouts and waterfalls. There are steep slopes and sheer drops.
Make sure you have appropriate clothing and other equipment for winter visits and to allow for sudden weather changes. The weather can be severe at any time of the year.
How to Get There
Mount Buffalo National Park is about 320 km north-east of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway and Great Alpine Road. Allow about four hours drive time. Approach the park by the winding but sealed entrance road from Porepunkah, near Bright. Tyre chains must be carried in winter. Entrance fee payable.
Annual Parks Passes and Multi Day Parks Passes are available for Mount Buffalo National Park. These can save entry fee costs for regular users, local residents and interstate visitors.
Gorge Day Visitor Area
Tracks around the Gorge area of Mount Buffalo National Park are generally wide and flat, and the site entry and car park are easily accessible. Toilet facilities have been recently upgraded to include an accessible unisex facility with a sealed approach path. Scenic views are accessible.
Lake Catani Campground
Lake Catani campground is reasonably flat, with firm ground, and good paths to the picnic and toilet facilities. There are designated accessible toilets, though they are not fully compliant with current standards. Surfaces are unsealed but generally free of obstacles. The boat launching area and jetty are not easily accessible.
The Lodge and Day Visitor Centre at Cresta Valley on Mount Buffalo are generally accessible, with a large flat car park, and ramps for access to most facilities. There is a step at the entrance to the shop, and steps also to the ski hire shop. Designated accessible toilets do not meet all access criteria. There is a small auditorium where audio visuals on the park are sometimes shown.
>> Alpine National Park
>> Beechworth Historic Park
>> Mount Granya State Park
>> Mount Bulla/Mount Sterling
Camping, Hang-Gliding, Horse Riding, Rock Climbing, Snow Skiing, Walking
2. Bicycle Touring
5. Canoeing / Kayaking
7. Coach/Bus Tours
9. Four Wheel Drive Tours
11. Horse Riding
12. Mountain Bike Riding
14. Rock Climbing
15. Ski Touring
16. Snow Shoe Tours
17. Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks
18. Trail Bike Tours