Mount Buffalo National Park
Mount Buffalo National Park is one of Victoria's oldest national parks. Originally 1152 hectares surrounding the gorge was declared a national park in 1898. The park now covers 31 000 hectares, encompassing the entire sub-alpine plateau and most of the forested foothills down to the surrounding valleys.
Giant tors, sheer gorges, waterfalls, snow gum woodlands, masses of wildflowers and stunning views of the alps give the park its unique and spectacular landscape.
View The Australian Alps in a larger map
Enjoying Mount Buffalo National Park
During summer the park provides opportunities for walking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, picnicking, sightseeing, bike and horse riding, as well as rockclimbing, abseiling, and hang gliding for the more adventurous. The spectacular 300 metre high cliffs in the gorge area contain some world-famous rockclimbs and hang gliders take advantage of the thermals spiraling upwards.
Walking is one of the best ways to see Mount Buffalo and the spectacular views of the alps. Over 90 km of tracks traverse the park from short nature walks to longer more challenging walks to remote areas.
In winter snow blankets the plateau and attracts cross-country skiers to 11 km of marked trails and extensive backcountry touring. Downhill skiing is available at Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley, the site of Australia's first ski tow in 1936. Snowplay and tobogganing areas are also provided at Cresta Valley
- Bicycle Touring
- Canoeing / Kayaking
- Coach/Bus Tours
- Four Wheel Drive Tours
- Mountain Bike Riding
- Rock Climbing
- Ski Touring
- Snow Shoe Tours
- Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks
People in Mount Buffalo National Park
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.
Nature in Mount Buffalo National Park
The plateau's isolation and harsh alpine climate create an 'island in the sky'. As you ascend the mountain you can see dramatic vegetation changes as you rise in altitude, from the Peppermint forests, through tall stands of alpine ash, snow gum woodlands and sub-alpine grasslands and bogs at the higher altitudes.
In summer carpets of silver snow daisies, yellow billy buttons and royal bluebells bloom on the plateau. The sub-alpine plants on the plateau have all developed a variety of physical and behavioural characteristics to survive the extreme and harsh conditions on the mountains.
Mount Buffalo National Park is also home to three unique plants; Buffalo sallee, Buffalo sallow wattle and fern-leaf heath myrtle.
Mount Buffalo is full of wildlife and include varieties of mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles, invertebrates and birds. Look out for crimson rosellas, gang gang cockatoos, flame robins and pied currawongs. On the lower slopes you may see swamp wallabies or the superb lyrebird scratching in the leaf litter. Many of the animals are nocturnal and at night you may see wombats, ringtail possums or tawny frogmouths.
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.
For more information about Mount Buffalo National Park:
- Telephone - Parks Victoria Information Line 131 963
- Visit - Parks Victoria's Mount Buffalo National Park page.
National Parks and regional visitor information offices