towards Mt Buffalo from Bright
Beautiful township, particularly in autumn
and spring, on the edge of the Snowy Mountains.
Situated 320 km north-east of Melbourne Mount
Buffalo is one of Victoria's, and Australia's
oldest skiing resort destinations.
It is thought that Mt Buffalo, in Mt Buffalo
National Park, was once twice or even three
times its current height (1723 m). Its 35-sq-km
plateau is littered with striking rock
formations such as the Leviathan - a 30
000-tonne rock balanced on a tiny base. The
mountain owes its name to the bovine impression
it left upon the explorers Hume and Hovell.
Aborigines were once drawn to the area in
summer by the large numbers of bogong moths
which were seeking relief from the higher
temperatures of the plains. After roasting them
in strips of bark they ate the bodies or ground
them into a paste. It is said the moths tasted
The mountain's highest peak is The Horn. It
was first climbed by Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller
in 1853, a government botanist, who collected
many unrecognised species on his excursion.
Visitors were drawn to the magnificent views as
early as the 1850s and an alpine club was
established in 1883 to promote tourism. A local
guide book came out in 1887 featuring local
walking tracks and bridle paths. Some of these
historic tracks are still in use. The first land
was set aside as a national park in 1898.
Australia's first ski tow and ski lifts were
installed here in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Centenary Heritage Festival is held in
late March and early April.
Things to see:
Skiing for families and other activities
Mt Buffalo is considered to be a particularly
good resort for families. It offers good
beginners slopes, as well as more advanced
tracks. There are also cross-country trails and
toboggan courses, ski hire and ski schools.
Hang-gliding, abseiling and horse riding are
also possible within the park.
Facilities at Mount Buffalo
Accommodation and camping supplies are available
at the Tatra Inn or you can stay at one of
Victoria's oldest guest houses, the Chalet which
also sells basic foodstuffs, hires out horses
and canoes and has a lookout designed for the
disabled. There are facilities for day visitors
at Cresta and Dingo Dell. Summer visitors
(November-May) can book a site at the camping
park near Lake Catani where they can swim, sail,
canoe and fish. There are toilets, solar
lighting, hot showers and fireplaces but no
Exploring the Park
Details of the park's 400 plant species -
eucalypt woodland, scrubby heathlands and an
array of springtime wildflowers - its impressive
array of birds and other fauna, including
lyrebirds and wombats, its waterfalls,
escarpments, granite tors, high plains, deep
river valleys, exceptional views of the Alps and
90 km of well-signposted walking tracks, as well
as the dress and preparations appropriate for
lengthy walks, can be found in pamphlets
available from the park's information centre,
tel: (03) 5755 1466.
For general enquiries about National Parks in
Victoria ring 131963.