Awestraya

A must visit in High Country Victoria – Mount Buffalo!!

 

What an unexpected awesome surprise!! If you like camping, hiking, swimming (in the lake), fishing, rock climbing, abseiling, cycling, hang-gliding, bird and nature watching…, you can easily stay a week in Mt Buffalo and never get bored!! I would have stayed longer!!

We checked out of Bright, got some provisions and headed out to Mt Bufalo…  going up the mountain, we stopped at the Park Office to ask best hikes to do in Mt Buffalo. I was so impressed how friendly the park ranger was!! He highlighted a few tracks for us, indicating tracks that would give us a good idea of what Mt Buffalo was about!!

Mount Buffalo Walking Track Guide

This is the Mount Buffalo Walking Track Guide: highlighted in green, hiking tracks we’ve done; Highlighted in yellow, car tracks we’ve done

About the camping: Lake Catani Campground is the only campground accessible by car in the National Park and is open through out the warmer months ( October – April ).  Sites must be booked online in advance and its extremely expensive ( $50 for an unpowered site per day! )… But we booked one night to try it out and despite the exorbitant price, on arrival we loveeed it!! Luckily there was internet connection available near the lake that allowed us to extend our stay (*relief sigh*)!! But the campground has hot showers and amenities, non-potable water available near campsites – probably water from the lake!!

Day 1 (Arrival day) – ‘The Horn’ track- twice!!

 

After setting up camp, Anthony wandered around the campsite and met Page and Carrie who have been staying in Mt Buffalo for a week… they said that there was a group of year 9 kids visiting from school from the nearby town of Wangaratta and their teacher was taking them to ‘The Horn’ to check out the ‘Bogong moths’ at sunset… they asked us if we wanted to tag along and we… of course, did!!!

We were fortunate enough to hear their teacher explaining the Bogong’s life cycle and its importance as bush tucker… here it goes…

Bogong moths begin their lives as little pupae in the south of QLD, grow up and get fat, munching on sugar cane and other crops out there and become super healthy, full of protein… They go back to their little cocoons and return as moths. As summer comes around, it becomes too hot for them in QLD and in their millions they fly down to Victorian High Country and they are not only in Mt Buffalo but also in Mt Bogong, Mt Buller, Mt Hottham, Falls Creek, anywhere where there are big granite boulder builds and cracks in the boulders where is super cool. They stay during all summer and if they don’t get eaten by falcons, they will fly back to QLD where they will lay their eggs and then they will die…They have a one year life cycle and then the whole cycle starts again! They are very important to local indigenous people as part of their food source and their protein source, as they too would come to the High Country through Summer to get away from the heat and get into a cooler climate. They would get hundreds of bogong moths and either cook them up or eat them raw.

Day 2 – The Cathedral / Hump and The Coral / Castle Tracks

We had to move campsites due to our initial booking only covering one night. So since we had to lift camp we decided to take advantage of the situation and spend the day exploring some of the hikes further away from the campground.

 

Day 3 – Underground River, The Gorge, The Chalet and Lake Side tracks

After initially extending our stay we had set the goal of doing some fairly major walks in the one day. These being:

  • Underground River
  • The Gorge
  • The Chalet
  • Lake Side
  • Chalwell Galleries
  • The Monolith

After we did the Underground River, The Gorge, The Chalet and the Lake Side reality set in that it was going to be a really long day. Even if we did manage to do all the tracks, we had to travel back down the mountain and we had no where organised to stay that night.

Finally logic prevailed, we postponed the Chalwell Galleries and The Monolith track for the following day and we booked a campsite in the National Park for another night.

Day 4 – Chalwell Galleries Track and The Monolith Track

The Chalwell Galleries track

It had come highly recommended to us by many people we met in the campground. At 1.7km long its not a very long walk, but it takes up you energy regardless. The Chalwell Galleries is a massive collection of mismatched granite pieces piled together so you need to do a fair bit of climbing and squeezing through tight spaces to navigate the track. It definitely lived up to the hype though and was beyond description, a real must see!

The Monolith Track

Day 5 (Departure day) – Eurobin Falls Track and Ladies Baths

The day finally came that we actually had to depart. The fridge still held an ample supply of food, but the beer was all gone 🙁

So with heavy hearts we lifted camp for the last time and headed down the mountain to see the Eurobin Falls that cascade down the side of Mount Buffalo. Followed by a refreshing swim in the amazing Ladies Baths!