Mt Buffalo National Park in Victoria is one of the state’s oldest parks. A winter playground, Mt Buffalo is also a great place to visit when there isn’t any snow on the ground. It is an easy place to get around making it a perfect daytrip when you are visiting the Victorian Highlands.
Here’s a list of highlights from our day on Mt Buffalo.
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If you have something to paddle – a kayak, canoe of an infallible rubber duck – bring it to Lake Catani. The still, dark water is the perfect place to dip an oar in the water. Enjoy the peacefulness of Mt Buffalo and explore the reed-lined banks.
There are campgrounds and a day visitor area. Both have BBQ and toilet facilities.
In winter, Dingo Dell is a popular tobogganing spot. When there isn’t snow around, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat as you make your way between Lake Catani and The Horn.
There are lovely views up a slope that you can’t help imagining covered in snow. Keep an eye out as you sip your coffee, there are wombats in the area too.
Gorge Car Park
Wow! This is one of the best views we’ve come across on our travels. It’s a big call but the sheer cliff faces, including the 300 metre high north face, are breathtaking. There are several lookouts where you can admire the view down to Ovens Valley.
Rock climbers, abseilers and paragliders all make the most of the towering cliffs. You can walk around to the paraglider launch zone. Just looking at the ‘runway’ disappear of the side of the cliff is enough to give you a few butterflies.
The gorge carpark is the starting point for several walks. There is plenty of car parking, a café, toilets and picnic areas. Just watch out for the lunch-stealing currawongs!
Mount Buffalo Chalet
So impressive that it gets its own heading, the Mount Buffalo Chalet is also found at the Gorge Carpark. Built in 1910, the grand looking chalet was a working guest house until 2006. Twice fire has threatened it, most recently in January 2020, and twice it has survived. The chalet is the largest wooden building in Australia but for now it is most often closed to the public. Your only chance to see inside is on a guided tour. Keep an eye on the Visit Mount Buffalo website for details. In the meantime, you can enjoy the lovely terraced gardens and imagine the chalet in its heyday.
OUR FAVOURITE LANDSCAPE CAMERA
If you are looking for a good DSLR the Nikon D5600 is light and easy to use, but its image quality is terrific, and the vari-angle screen makes it supremely versatile.
It's our all rounder camera that we take with us on each trip. Great for landscapes, people and for use in low light. It's not too complicated and a good camera for those who enjoy photography.
Caving the underground River
To glimpse a side of Mount Buffalo most people don’t see, try the caving tour of the underground river. The tour leaves from the Gorge carpark. It takes you through a series of chambers where the water from Lake Catani streams through.
The Oval Picnic Area
Located a few bends in the road below the Gorge Carpark is The Oval Picnic area. This is a lovely spot to stop and have a break. Put your feet up after a morning of walking or grab the backyard cricket set from the car.
The oval is surrounded by trees and grassland. We didn’t spot any wildlife but there was plenty of evidence that kangaroos and wombats are around. You can access cliff top views from the oval too.
The Horn carpark & lookout
One of Mount Buffalo’s best known features is its highest point, The Horn. The Horn is well sign posted along the main Mount Buffalo Road. The last part of the drive is on an un-sealed road. Keep an eye on the current conditions if you are planning a visit. For us, the track was in good condition and suitable for 2WDs.
There is a picnic area at the carpark, and it is possibly one of the best views from a picnic area you are likely to see. To reach the summit it is a 20 minute walk up the side of the hill and between granite boulders. The reward at the top is a 360 degree view of the Victorian High Country. There is a sign board at the lookout to help you identify the various peaks dotted across the horizon including Mount Kosciuszko.
At dusk in summer, look out for birds of prey feeding on the giant bogon moths that live in the cracks between the rocks. There were a lot of wildflowers out for our walk there in December. It’s also one heck of a spot for a sunset view.
BIRD & WILDLIFE WATCHING BINOCULARS
Tasco Essentials Binoculars have 12 times magnification. Whether you're camping, birdwatching, hiking, kayaking, sightseeing or watching live sports, you won’t be disappointed by the optics of this binocular. They are waterproof, so pack them for a walk or paddling down a river.
Cathedral & Hump
On your way to The Horn it is hard to miss the imposing Cathedral and Hump formations, you drive right past them. There is good parking and a picnic area there. A 2 kilometre return track takes you past the Cathedral and onto the Hump. We ran out of time to make the climb but the views over Cresta Valley and The Horn would be great.
Leviathan, Torpedo & Monolith
The national park has many impressive rock formations. You know they’re going to be impressive because they have such cool names.
The Monolith is the first one you come to as you enter the park. Look for Monolith Track on your left not long after the park office. A short walk from the car park brings you to a vertical piece of granite perched atop a rocky plateau. Not only does the boulder tower over the landscape, it also sits right on the edge of the rocky platform. You can climb a ladder to the top for a great view.
The torpedo is a large, let’s say sausage shaped, rock on the side of the road between Lake Catani and Dingo Dell. It is on you right as you drive to Dingo Dell. You’ll need to be quick to spot it as there isn’t much car parking there.
Leviathan is on the right as you leave Dingo Dell towards The Horn. There is better carparking here and it is worth stopping for a look. This lump of granite is massive and, from the right angle, appears to be resting on only a few small pieces of rock. It is an impressive sight; you better have a wide angle lens ready when for picture.
Eurobin & Ladies Bath Falls
Even at the height of a dry summer there was still water tumbling down Eurobin and Ladies Bath Falls. We can only imagine what the falls would be like when there was more water around. Access to the falls is on the left soon after entering the park. There is a generous parking area.
The well-worn 1.5 kilometre path first takes you past Ladies Bath Falls. As the name suggests, there is a perfect cooling off spot at the base of the falls. The yellow rock and clear teal blue water make for a pretty setting.
Stay on the track and you get to the lower Eurobin falls and further along the start of the upper Eurobin Falls. We spotted all kinds of birds and a couple of wallabies on our dusk walk along the path. Whether it is on your way in or out of the park, don’t miss this waterfall watching stop.
THE PERFECT GIFT IDEAS FOR CAMPERS
If you are looking for that perfect little gift for someone who loves caravanning and camping then look no further. From coffee cups, thermos, tea towels, laundry bags, log books & clotheslines - you are sure to find something. There is also plenty to keep the kids entertained with travel journals, sandcastle kits and coloured campfire flames! Check it out.
Besides the walks described here, the park has a couple of dozen other tracks to explore. They range from 1 kilometre circuit walks to 18 kilometre hikes to some of the more remote parts of Mount Buffalo. Check out the Mount McLeod and Mollison’s Galleries track if longer treks are your thing.
The Mount Buffalo National Park Visitor guide has a full list of the all the walks available.
Read More : Best Autumn Destinations in Australia
No entry fees apply.
National Park camping sites are available.
The National Park Office Visitor Centre is 300m from the Chalet turn off. Visit for park information, maps and publications and track conditions.
We loved our stay at the Bright Freeburg Caravan Park. Located just out of Bright and away from the hustle and bustle it was a great place to relax at the end of a busy day. The huge sites were set along the banks of the river and on a hot day you can grab a cold drink and head to the river to cool down.
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