homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-buffalo-plauea-circuit.jpg
  • Length: 33.8km

  • Duration: 2 Days

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Echo Point car park

  • End: Echo Point car park

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 342km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7222198500

  • Longitude: 146.8212032300

Summary

The Buffalo Plateau Circuit commences at Echo Point car park; the main day visitors area which provides vehicle access to The Gorge and the Mount Buffalo Chalet. At Echo Point there are numerous view points to explore before continuing. Don’t miss the view from Bents Lookout of the sheer 300 metre cliffs of the North Wall of the Gorge and the Victorian Alps beyond.

Day 1  (14.2km): Locate the Monolith Walking Trail (also known as the Lake Catani Trail) in the south west corner of the car park. After a short distance you will reach a junction. Keep right and follow the signs to The Monolith. After approximately 1km keep right at the junction then left towards the Monolith; a giant balancing rock that towers above Lake Catani. A ladder once allowed you to climb it but has been removed for safety reasons. After appreciating the view retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left, following the trail through the forest towards the Mount Buffalo Road.

When you reach the road, near the park office, turn left and walk for approximately 800m along the road verge to past the Lakeside Track to The Long Plain Track. Head west along the Long Plain Track, following Eurobin Creek ntil you reach a trail junction.

Turn right at junction and follow the Long Plain Walking Track as it turns north towards Mount Dunn. The climb to the summit starts off gradually as the trail winds its way around the base of the mount before reaching a saddle just before the steeper section of the ascent. The final stages will require climbing newly secured ladders to the rocky summit for awe inspiring views of the surrounding plateau.

Retrace your steps back down the eastern side of Mount Dunn then turn left and follow the Long Plain Walking Track to the Reservoir Day Visitor Area. Follow the road to the north east past the car park to the start of Mount McLeod Track. Follow this track for approximately 300m before turning left at a signposted track. Heading generally west towards Five Acre Plains you will take in a few side trips to Og Gog Magog and Eagle Point. Both offering rewarding views of nearby peaks and the Buffalo Plateau.

After leaving Eagle Peaks you will cross the Mollison Plain before reaching the most westerly point on this circuit. The track ends at the rocky outcrop of Mollison’s Galleries providing views into the Buffalo River Valley below.

From the Galleries, retrace your steps for approximately 500m to a trail junction. The following section follows a barely visible trail as it winds its way down the escarpment to the valley below. Be careful in this section as there are limited markings and you can easily lose the trail.

On reaching the Rocky Creek 4WD track you turn right and walk to the small and remote Rocky Creek Campsite. This campground offers unpowered sites only. Fires are prohibited and it is recommended to bring a fuel stove. The campground has a capacity of two people per site and a maximum capacity of 10 people. Advanced bookings and payment are required. You can book online or call Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.

Day 2  (19.5km): The following day. follow Rocky Creek Track east, following the gradual ascent towards Wild Dog Plains. After approximately 3km look out for a trail on your right that leads to Macs Point. Continue south west across a few small snow grass plains to Macs Point and stunning views over the Great Dividing Range.

Retrace your steps to the trail junction. Turn right and follow the trail as it traverses Split Rocks, the Giants Causeway (with its spectacular rock formations), Stanley and Drillhole Rocks. Both of these make an interesting short side trip if you enjoy rock scrambling. After exploring this area follow the trail south east, turning right onto the signposted Mount Dunn Trail. (There are a few trails that lead to Mount Dunn so be sure to take the one after Drillhole Rocks). Follow this trail as it descends onto The Long Plain below. Keep right at the trail junction (that leads to Mount Dunn) and head east back along The Long Plain until you reach the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Turn left at this point and walk a short distance past Lake Catani. Turn right onto the Lakeside Walk and continue along this trail as it follows the northern banks of Lake Catani to a footbridge below the dam wall at the far end.

Cross the bridge, turn left on to the View Point Nature Walk, the path that leads to the Underground River. After a short distance the trail begins to drop steeply into Haunted Gorge before crossing the river. As you are crossing the river, keep an eye out between the rocks and make sure you take a peek at the water rushing underneath you. This the entrance point to the Underground River. Do not attempt to enter the river caves as this is a place for experienced cavers only. Continue to head north as you climb out of the gorge then follow the trail through the forest to Billisons Lookout for more amazing views.

After leaving the lookout, continue north for approximately 300m back to the trail head at Echo Point car park.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the summit.

Camping

Rocky Creek Campground is open during winter but the walk into the campsites is longer because the Reservoir Road closes. Therefore, campers need to be well prepared for Alpine areas and prepared for a long walk/ski.Water is available from the nearby creek.This campground offers unpowered sites and a pit toilet. Fires are prohibited (fuel stoves only). The campground has a capacity of two people per site and a maximum capacity of 10 people (children are charged as adults).

Advanced bookings and payment are required. You can book online or call Parks Victoria on 13 1963.

Getting there

Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah. Drive up to the Buffalo plateau, turning left onto the road to the chalet and drive until you reach the Echo Point carpark on your left.

Tips

Day 2 is a long day for a pack carry but follows the plains for a majority of the day.

 

Total distance: 33837 m
Max elevation: 1497 m
Min elevation: 1113 m
Total climbing: 1581 m
Total descent: -1583 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-the-monolith-and-pulpit-rock.jpg
  • Length: 13.4km

  • Duration: 4hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Lake Catani Campground

  • End: Lake Catani Campground

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah (29km)

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 343km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7340434300

  • Longitude: 146.8116974800

Summary

The Monolith and Pulpit Rock is an amazing circuit that commences at the Lake Catani campground and visits some of the most striking features of the eastern end of the Buffalo plateau. These include View Point, the Underground River, Haunted Gorge, Billsons Lookout, Echo Point, Crystal Brook Falls and the sheer cliffs of The Gorge. Commencing at the picnic area near the Jetty head north east along The Gorge – Lake Catani Walking Track. Turn off just after the bridge on to the View Point Nature Walk. Ignore a turnoff on your left to the Underground River and climb steadily through alpine ash forest before a final rock scramble to View Point. This vantage point provides excellent views from the edge of the plateau over the farmland of the Buckland Valley below.

After soaking up the views, retrace your steps to the previous trail junction and turn right onto the path that leads to the Underground River. After a short distance the trail begins to drop steeply into Haunted Gorge before crossing the river. As you are crossing the river, keep an eye out between the rocks and make sure you take a peek at the water rushing underneath you. This the entrance point to the Underground River. Do not attempt to enter the river caves as this is a place for experienced cavers only. Continue to head north as you climb out of the gorge then follow the trail through the forest to Billisons Lookout for more amazing views.

After leaving the lookout, continue north for approximately 300m to Echo Point car park; the main day visitors area which provides vehicle access to The Gorge and the Mount Buffalo Chalet. At Echo Point there are numerous view points to explore before continuing north west along The Big Walk trail that leads you to Crystal Brook Falls and The Gorge. The Gorge’s North Wall is the credited as being the highest cliff in Australia and was created as Crystal Brook carved out the Gorge over 360 million years. The first view of The Gorge is from Gorge View Lookout which provides a unique vantage point into the depths far below. From Falls Lookout you can see the start point of the Big Walk 1000 metres below. Proceed over the Crystal Brook bridge, turning right to follow the trail to Pulpit Rock which has fine views of the sheer walls with climbers often clinging to them. Continue to follow the trail north east to the Wilkinson’s lookout trail. Take a short side trip to Wilkinson’s Lookout for breathtaking views from the 330 metres North Wall. Back on the track and again head north then west to complete a small circuit that includes both Manfields Lookout and Reeds Lookouts. From Reeds finish this circuit by returning back onto The Big Walk and follow this back to Echo Point. After returning to Echo Point don’t miss the view from Bents Lookout of the sheer 300 metre cliffs of the North Wall of the Gorge and the Victorian Alps beyond.

Locate the Monolith Walking Trail (also known as the Lake Catani Trail) in the south west corner of the car park. After a short distance you will reach a junction. Keep right and follow the signs to The Monolith. After approximately 1km keep right at the junction then left towards the Monolith; a giant balancing rock that towers above Lake Catani. A ladder once allowed you to climb it but has been removed for safety reasons. After appreciating the view retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left, following the trail through the forest towards the Mount Buffalo Road. When you reach the road, near the park office, turn left and walk for approximately 500m along the road verge to reach the Lakeside Track. Take another left turn here to follow the path along the lake shore to a footbridge below the dam wall at the far end. Cross the bridge, turn right and return to the start point along the The Gorge – Lake Catani Walking Track.

Camping

There are unpowered campsites available set among picturesque Snow Gum woodland. Each is marked by a numbered post. Camping is only permitted within the boundary of these sites. Toilets, hot showers, dish washing and a basic laundry (no washing machines) are provided. A separate disabled hot shower and toilet is also available. A communal stone shelter with tables and fireplaces is located adjacent to the amenities building. Basic lighting in the amenities is provided by solar panels. Campers are required to be self sufficient with drinking water. Click here for more information.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top.

Getting There

Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah. Drive up to the Buffalo plateau, continue past the road to the chalet and drive until you see the Parks Office on your right. Follow the signs off the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road (C535) to Lake Catani Campground and the Lakeside Day Visitor Area. Lake Catani Campground is open from the beginning of November until the end of April.

 

Total distance: 13363 m
Max elevation: 1406 m
Min elevation: 1272 m
Total climbing: 634 m
Total descent: -634 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-the-monolith-circuit.jpg
  • Length: 6.4km

  • Duration: 2hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Echo Point car park

  • End: Echo Point car park

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 342km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7222198500

  • Longitude: 146.8212032300

Summary

The Monolith Circuit commences at Echo Point car park; the main day visitors area which provides vehicle access to The Gorge and the Mount Buffalo Chalet. At Echo Point there are numerous view points to explore before continuing. Don’t miss the view from Bents Lookout of the sheer 300 metre cliffs of the North Wall of the Gorge and the Victorian Alps beyond. Locate the Monolith Walking Trail (also known as the Lake Catani Trail) in the south west corner of the car park. After a short distance you will reach a junction. Keep right and follow the signs to The Monolith. After approximately 1km keep right at the junction then left towards the Monolith; a giant balancing rock that towers above Lake Catani. A ladder once allowed you to climb it but has been removed for safety reasons. After appreciating the view retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left, following the trail through the forest towards the Mount Buffalo Road.

When you reach the road, near the park office, turn left and walk for approximately 500m along the road verge to reach the Lakeside Track. Take another left turn here to follow the path along the lake shore to a footbridge below the dam wall at the far end. Cross the bridge, turn left on to the View Point Nature Walk, the path that leads to the Underground River. After a short distance the trail begins to drop steeply into Haunted Gorge before crossing the river. As you are crossing the river, keep an eye out between the rocks and make sure you take a peek at the water rushing underneath you. This the entrance point to the Underground River. Do not attempt to enter the river caves as this is a place for experienced cavers only. Continue to head north as you climb out of the gorge then follow the trail through the forest to Billisons Lookout for more amazing views.

After leaving the lookout, continue north for approximately 300m back to Echo Point car park.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top.

Getting There

Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah. Drive up to the Buffalo plateau, turning left onto the road to the chalet and drive until you reach the Echo Point carpark on your left.

 

Total distance: 6432 m
Max elevation: 1406 m
Min elevation: 1280 m
Total climbing: 278 m
Total descent: -278 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-the-constitution-and-echo-point.jpg
  • Length: 22km

  • Duration: 7hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Selzer’s hydroponic sheds

  • End: The Gorge Day Visitor Area

  • Closest Town: Ovens

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 298km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.6014033700

  • Longitude: 146.7604780200

Summary

The Constitution and Echo Point trail explores a lesser visited approach to Mount Buffalo. Commencing near the town of Ovens, Nine Mile Track follows a gently rolling spur as it climbs from around 240m on the Ovens River. The hike commences on Selzers Lane (near Selzer’s hydroponic sheds) and follows an old fire trail south, then south east. It appears to be private property but is a public access road but be sure to close any gates that you open as you pass.

The first four kilometres show a steady ascent of around 300m before the ridge-line starts to narrow. Along the way you will enjoy views of Buffalo Valley to your left and the Ovens valley on your right. After approximately 8km you will reach The Constitution (a hill on the ridge). There are a number of spurs leading from the summit so ensure that you stick to the road which heads south from this point. Continue to follow the road until you reach a locked gate and the junction of the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Turn right and follow the road for approximately 800m. At this point you will find the walking track to Rollasons Falls. The Rollasons Falls Track is 4 km (1.5 hours return) if you decide to do this side trip. A further 100m along you will find The Big Walk trail on your right.

The Big Walk is perhaps one of the most interesting, diverse and naturally beautiful yet accessible full day walks in the North East. Beginning at the base of the mountain, the 11kms (or 15kms if you take in Rollasons falls) climbs through various terrain zones and can be taken at a pace that suits you and your walking crew. 

The trail passes through an open montane forest of majestic Candlebark Gums and a Bracken Fern understorey. Look out for the shy Swamp Wallaby and listen to the abundant birdlife here, especially Grey Fantails and Thornbills. Cross the main road again, continuing past an old gravel pit reaching the road once more, turn left then 100 metres up to Mackeys Lookout. At 920 metres elevation there is a clear view of the Australian Alps. The forest has given way to granite slabs which form Mount Buffalo. Beyond here take care on the track. It is wet and slippery. This section was part of the original track up Mount Buffalo called the ‘Zig Zag’. Follow the orange arrow track markers and take care not to cut corners.

Take a short 100 metre side trip to Marriott’s Lookout for amazing views into the Gorge past Queen Victoria Pinnacle. Back on the track and again the bush soon changes. At 1150 metres, and near the snowline, Alpine Ash, often called ‘Woollybutt’, is common with a shrubby understorey of peas and grevilleas.

Continue along the trail to Manfields Junction, the highest part of the trail 1350 metres. From here consider a side trip to Manfields Lookout or Reeds Lookout, both about 500 metres. From Reeds continue on a loop returning further along back onto The Big Walk. There are two options from here to the finish. Turn right and follow the Gorge Heritage Walk looping back onto the main track or proceed straight on, either way is a similar distance. Wilkinson’s Lookout is 300 metres to the left with breathtaking views from the 330 metres North Wall. Along the main track Pulpit Rock also has fine views of the sheer walls with climbers often clinging to them. Crystal Brook has carved out the Gorge over 360 million years. Proceed over the bridge turning left and continue past The Oval Picnic Area. The Heritage Walk plaques will bring to life the pioneering days of the area as seen through the eyes of Guide Alice. Gorge View Lookout provides a different vantage point into the depths far below.

Continue along the trail to the Gorge Day Visitor Area. There are toilets, picnic tables and a shelter nearby. At present the Chalet is closed. Around the day visitor area are several lookouts, such as Bents Lookout and Echo Point all with spectacular views of the valley below and the Australian Alps beyond. Other walking tracks head off from the lower carpark to the Underground River, the Monolith ad Lake Catani with the campground there.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top.

Getting There

Follow Melbourne, take the Hume Fwy/National Highway M31 to Snow Rd/C522 in Wangaratta South. Take the exit for C522 from Hume Fwy/National Highway M31. Continue on C522. Drive to Selzers Lane in Ovens and park near Selzer’s hydroponic sheds. You will also need a car parked at The Gorge Day Visitors area unless you intend on camping overnight on the platuea and returning the next day.

Tips

Hikers should be reasonably fit and have strong footwear as the trail ascends over 1000 metres in just over 21km. Water and snacks should be carried along with a jacket as it is often cooler at the top. Stop and enjoy some rests along the way and admire the beauty of the bush.

 

Total distance: 22086 m
Max elevation: 1351 m
Min elevation: 229 m
Total climbing: 1634 m
Total descent: -532 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-the-big-walk.jpg
  • Length: 11km

  • Duration: 4hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Eurobin Creek Picnic Area

  • End: The Gorge Day Visitor Area

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 319km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7003350

  • Longitude: 146.8519030

Summary

The Big Walk is perhaps one of the most interesting, diverse and naturally beautiful yet accessible full day walks in the North East. Beginning at the base of the mountain, the 11kms (or 15kms if you take in Rollasons falls) climbs through various terrain zones and can be taken at a pace that suits you and your walking group.

Start from the trail head sign at the north end of the picnic area, shortly after crossing Eurobin Creek on a swing bridge built in 1998 for the Park’s Centenary. Over the creek the track becomes quite steep climbing 370 metres, initially through tall moist and then drier foothill forest of mainly peppermint eucalypts with a Hop Bitter-pea understorey. After 2 kilometres, a 4WD track is reached, turn left and continue uphill for 700 metres to meet the main road at Eurobin Point, elevation 680 metres.

The hardest part is over! While resting notice the sandstone rock in the cutting. This forms when sand is compressed by the massive weight of rock on top of it. Continue up the main road for 100 metres and cross over back onto the track. Follow this gentle spur, as it ascends west towards the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Now at 810 metres and back on the main road it’s only 400 metres right down the road to Rollasons Falls Picnic Area which has a toilet, fireplaces and picnic tables. From the picnic area down to Rollasons Falls, the return walk is another 4 kilometres or 1.5 hours. This is an interesting side trip if time permits. If not visiting Rollasons Falls, cross over the road to pick up the trail on the opposite side.

The trail now passes through an open montane forest of majestic Candlebark Gums and a Bracken Fern understorey. Look out for the shy Swamp Wallaby and listen to the abundant birdlife here, especially Grey Fantails and Thornbills. Cross the main road again, continuing past an old gravel pit reaching the road once more, turn left then 100 metres up to Mackeys Lookout. At 920 metres elevation there is a clear view of the Australian Alps. The forest has given way to granite slabs which form Mount Buffalo. Beyond here take care on the track. It is wet and slippery. This section was part of the original track up Mount Buffalo called the ‘Zig Zag’. Follow the orange arrow track markers and take care not to cut corners.

Take a short 100 metre side trip to Marriott’s Lookout for amazing views into the Gorge past Queen Victoria Pinnacle. Back on the track and again the bush soon changes. At 1150 metres, and near the snowline, Alpine Ash, often called ‘Woollybutt’, is common with a shrubby understorey of peas and grevilleas.

Continue along the trail to Manfields Junction, the highest part of the trail 1350 metres. From here consider a side trip to Manfields Lookout or Reeds Lookout, both about 500 metres. From Reeds continue on a loop returning further along back onto The Big Walk. There are two options from here to the finish. Turn right and follow the Gorge Heritage Walk looping back onto the main track or proceed straight on, either way is a similar distance. Wilkinson’s Lookout is 300 metres to the left with breathtaking views from the 330 metres North Wall. Along the main track Pulpit Rock also has fine views of the sheer walls with climbers often clinging to them. Crystal Brook has carved out the Gorge over 360 million years. Proceed over the bridge turning left and continue past The Oval Picnic Area. The Heritage Walk plaques will bring to life the pioneering days of the area as seen through the eyes of Guide Alice. Gorge View Lookout provides a different vantage point into the depths far below.

Continue along the trail to the Gorge Day Visitor Area. There are toilets, picnic tables and a shelter nearby. At present the Chalet is closed. Around the day visitor area are several lookouts, such as Bents Lookout and Echo Point all with spectacular views of the valley below and the Australian Alps beyond. Other walking tracks head off from the lower carpark to the Underground River, the Monolith ad Lake Catani with the campground there.

Getting There

From Melbourne, take Hume Fwy/National Highway M31 to Snow Rd/C522 in Wangaratta South. Take the exit for C522 from Hume Fwy/National Highway M31. Follow C522 and Great Alpine Rd/B500 to Mount Buffalo Rd/C535 and park at the Eurobin Creek Picnic Area.

Tips

Hikers should be reasonably fit and have strong footwear as The Big Walk ascends over 1000 metres in only 9 kilometres! Water and snacks should be carried along with a jacket as it is often cooler at the top. Stop and enjoy some rests along the way and admire the beauty of the bush.

 

Total distance: 10473 m
Max elevation: 1367 m
Min elevation: 320 m
Total climbing: 1340 m
Total descent: -315 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-mount-buffalo-wilhelmina-spur.jpg
  • Length: 12km

  • Duration: 4hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Eurobin Creek Track

  • End: The Gorge Day Visitor Area

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 323km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.6800270700

  • Longitude: 146.8682760000

Summary

The Mount Buffalo Wilhelmina Spur hike follows a large portion of the Big Walk which is perhaps one of the most interesting, diverse and naturally beautiful yet accessible full day walks in the North East.

Start from the trail head at the north end of the Seven Mile 4WD Track where it Meets the Eurobin Creek Track. Continue along this track for 700 metres as it gradually ascends to meet the main road at Eurobin Point, elevation 680 metres.

Continue up the main road for 100 metres and cross over back onto the track. Follow this gentle spur, as it ascends west towards the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Now at 810 metres and back on the main road it’s only 400 metres right down the road to Rollasons Falls Picnic Area which has a toilet, fireplaces and picnic tables. From the picnic area down to Rollasons Falls, the return walk is another 4 kilometres or 1.5 hours. This is an interesting side trip if time permits. If not visiting Rollasons Falls, cross over the road to pick up the trail on the opposite side.

The trail now passes through an open montane forest of majestic Candlebark Gums and a Bracken Fern understorey. Look out for the shy Swamp Wallaby and listen to the abundant birdlife here, especially Grey Fantails and Thornbills. Cross the main road again, continuing past an old gravel pit reaching the road once more, turn left then 100 metres up to Mackeys Lookout. At 920 metres elevation there is a clear view of the Australian Alps. The forest has given way to granite slabs which form Mount Buffalo. Beyond here take care on the track. It is wet and slippery. This section was part of the original track up Mount Buffalo called the ‘Zig Zag’. Follow the orange arrow track markers and take care not to cut corners.

Take a short 100 metre side trip to Marriott’s Lookout for amazing views into the Gorge past Queen Victoria Pinnacle. Back on the track and again the bush soon changes. At 1150 metres, and near the snowline, Alpine Ash, often called ‘Woollybutt’, is common with a shrubby understorey of peas and grevilleas.

Continue along the trail to Manfields Junction, the highest part of the trail 1350 metres. From here consider a side trip to Manfields Lookout or Reeds Lookout, both about 500 metres. From Reeds continue on a loop returning further along back onto The Big Walk. There are two options from here to the finish. Turn right and follow the Gorge Heritage Walk looping back onto the main track or proceed straight on, either way is a similar distance. Wilkinson’s Lookout is 300 metres to the left with breathtaking views from the 330 metres North Wall. Along the main track Pulpit Rock also has fine views of the sheer walls with climbers often clinging to them. Crystal Brook has carved out the Gorge over 360 million years. Proceed over the bridge turning left and continue past The Oval Picnic Area. The Heritage Walk plaques will bring to life the pioneering days of the area as seen through the eyes of Guide Alice. Gorge View Lookout provides a different vantage point into the depths far below.

Continue along the trail to the Gorge Day Visitor Area. There are toilets, picnic tables and a shelter nearby. At present the Chalet is closed. Around the day visitor area are several lookouts, such as Bents Lookout and Echo Point all with spectacular views of the valley below and the Australian Alps beyond. Other walking tracks head off from the lower carpark to the Underground River, the Monolith ad Lake Catani with the campground there.

Getting There

From Melbourne, take Hume Fwy/National Highway M31 to Snow Rd/C522 in Wangaratta South. Take the exit for C522 from Hume Fwy/National Highway M31. Follow C522 and Great Alpine Rd/B500 to Mount Buffalo Rd/C535. Turn right over the Noonameena Bridge then If you are not doing the return hike you will also need a car parked at The Gorge Day Visitors area unless you intend on camping overnight on the platuea and returning the next day.

Tips

Hikers should be reasonably fit and have strong footwear as The Big Walk ascends over 1000 metres in only 9 kilometres! Water and snacks should be carried along with a jacket as it is often cooler at the top. Stop and enjoy some rests along the way and admire the beauty of the bush.

 

Total distance: 11946 m
Max elevation: 1351 m
Min elevation: 287 m
Total climbing: 1322 m
Total descent: -266 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-mount-dunn-and-the-monolith.jpg
  • Length: 14.3km

  • Duration: 4hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Reservoir Road Junction

  • End: Reservoir Road Junction

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 341km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7276804200

  • Longitude: 146.8032002400

Summary

The Mount Dunn and The Monolith hike is a circuit that visits two of the most striking features of the central Buffalo plateau. The hike commences at the gravel road, 500m past the Parks Victoria Office. Follow the gravel road north west as it winds across Camp Plain before turning west past Lady Charmichael Falls and Edinboro Castle. After approximately 3.5km you will reach the Reservoir Picnic area. Follow the road as it turns east then south along the eastern banks of the reservoir. After about 500m you will see The Long Plain walking track on your left. Turn here and follow the trail towards Mount Dunn.

The climb to the summit starts off gradually as the trail winds its way around the base of the mount before reaching a saddle just before the steeper section of the ascent. The final stages will require climbing newly secured ladders to the rocky summit for awe inspiring views of the surrounding plateau.

Retrace your steps back down the eastern side of Mount Dunn. Turn right at the trail junction and follow the trail into the valley below. Turn left the next junction and follow the trail as descends further on to The Long Plain below. Follow the trail north east until you reach the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Turn right at this point and walk a short distance until you reach the road that leads to Lake Catani. Continue along the Lakeside Walk as it follows the eastern banks of Lake Catani. When you reach the dam wall locate the Lake Catani – The Gorge Walking Track and follow it north east towards Echo Point. As you near Echo Point you will reach the Monolith Walk junction. If time permits it would be well worth turning right here and walking the short distance to Echo Point for amazing views over the valley.

Turning left, follow the signs to The Monolith. After approximately 1km keep right at the junction then left towards the Monolith; a giant balancing rock that towers above Lake Catani. A ladder once allowed you to climb it but has been removed for safety reasons. After appreciating the view retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left, following the trail through the forest towards the Mount Buffalo Road.

When you reach the road, near the park office, turn left and walk for approximately 500m along the road verge to Reservoir Road and your vehicles.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top.

Getting There

Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah. Drive up to the Buffalo plateau, continue past the road to the chalet and drive until you see the Parks Office on your right. The gravel road to the reservoir is on the right about 500m past the Parks Office. Park here.

 

Total distance: 14262 m
Max elevation: 1486 m
Min elevation: 1296 m
Total climbing: 452 m
Total descent: -453 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

homeinvisagepublic_htmltrailhikingwp-contentuploads201612trail-hiking-wild-dog-and-five-acre-plains.jpg
  • Length: 22km

  • Duration: 10hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Blackfellow Plains

  • End: Blackfellow Plains

  • Closest Town: Porepunkah

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 346km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -36.7497054637

  • Longitude: 146.7890991053

Summary

The Wild Dog and Five Acre Plains circuit hike visits a number of Buffalo’s interesting features including the Mollison Galleries in the heart of the Buffalo Plataea. The circuit is clearly sign posted as it winds its way through snow gums, alpine ash forests, rocky outcrops and grassy plains.

Commence the hike at the Charmichael Point on Blackfellow Plain following the Macs Point trail. After approximately 500m you will pass a signposted trail to Mount Dunn on your right. Follow this trail as it descends onto The Long Plain below. Turn left at the first trail junction and follow the Long Plain Walking Track as it heads north towards Mount Dunn. The climb to the summit starts off gradually as the trail winds its way around the base of the mount before reaching a saddle just before the steeper section of the ascent. The final stages will require climbing newly secured ladders to the rocky summit for awe inspiring views of the surrounding plateau.

Retrace your steps back down the eastern side of Mount Dunn then turn left and follow the Long Plain Walking Track to the Reservoir Day Visitor Area. Follow the road to the north east past the car park to the start of Mount McLeod Track. Follow this track for approximately 300m before turning left at a signposted track. Heading generally west towards Five Acre Plains you will take in a few side trips to Og Gog Magog and Eagle Point. Both offering rewarding views of nearby peaks and the Buffalo Plateau.

After leaving Eagle Peaks you will cross the Mollison Plain before reaching the most westerly point on this circuit. The track ends at the rocky outcrop of Mollison’s Galleries providing views into the Buffalo River Valley below.

From the Galleries, retrace your steps for approximately 500m to a trail junction. The following section follows a barely visible trail as it winds its way down the escarpment to the valley below. Be careful in this section as there are limited markings and you can easily lose the trail.

On reaching the Rocky Creek 4WD track you have two options.

  1. If you are camping overnight, turn right and walk to the small and remote Rocky Creek Campsite. This campground offers unpowered sites only. Fires are prohibited and it is recommended to bring a fuel stove. The campground has a capacity of two people per site and a maximum capacity of 10 people. Advanced bookings and payment are required. You can book online or call Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.
  2. If you are doing this as a day hike, turn left and head east following the trail towards Wild Dog Plains. After approximately 3km look out for a trail on your right that leads to Macs Point. Continue south west across a few small snow grass plains to Macs Point and stunning views over the Great Dividing Range.

Retrace your steps to an earlier trail junction. Turn right and follow the trail as it traverses Split Rocks, the Giants Causeway (with its spectacular rock formations), Stanley and Drillhole Rocks. Both of these make an interesting short side trip if you enjoy rock scrambling. After exploring this area continue south east along the Macs Point trail and back to the trail head.

About the region

The Mount Buffalo National Park is a national park located in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia. The 31,000-hectare (77,000-acre) national park is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) northeast of Melbourne in the Australian Alps. Within the national park is Mount Buffalo, a moderately tall mountain plateau, with an elevation of 1,723 metres (5,653 ft) above sea level. Mount Buffalo is a moderately tall mountain plateau on the west side of the Victorian Alpine region. The top of the mountain has striking granite boulders and rock formations. From the north, the mountain is quite remarkable, with the highest accessible point being a prominent peak called The Horn. A walking track leads to The Horn and visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top.

Getting There

Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah. Drive up to the Buffalo plateau, continue past the road to the chalet and drive until you see the Parks Office on your right. The gravel road to the reservoir is on the right about 500m past the Parks Office. If you reach the VicRoads depot you have gone to far. The road is suitable for 2WD vehicle but take care and drive slowly. Park at the end of the road near the reservoir.

 

Total distance: 22069 m
Max elevation: 1526 m
Min elevation: 1141 m
Total climbing: 1121 m
Total descent: -1121 m
Download GPX File  Please note that you need to be registered and logged in to download GPX Files. If you aren't you will automatically be redirected to the registration/login screen before the download begins. By downloading any GPX files from this site you agree its use, and reliance upon, is entirely at your own risk. These files are for non-commercial, personal use only. I will endeavour to ensure the accuracy and currency of the data, but accept no responsibility in this regard, or the results of any actions taken, when using the digital route files.

 

trail-hiking-australia-snowgum-micro-600-down-sleeping-bag-1

Field Test – SNOWGUM Micro 600 Down Sleeping Bag

I remember with great excitement the first time I grabbed my overnight pack, stuffed it full of all the hiking and camping gear that I owned and headed out into the great unknown. There is something really quite special about immersing yourself in nature and facing the elements with nothing but the pack on your back and the clothes you are wearing of course.

Like most people new to overnight hiking (pack carrying) I didn’t have the funds or the inclination to run out and purchase ultra-light gear for my first adventure. Who knows if I would even like it? So for my first few outings I lugged an 18kg + pack around with me with my big old sleeping bag and 3kg tent. It didn’t take many outings though before I was hooked so my priority was to reduce the weight of my pack. In my mind this could only be achieved by eliminating unnecessary items and reducing the size and weight of the items that I packed.

One of the largest items that I carried at the time was a sleeping bag that I also used for car camping. It was big and warm and consumed about a quarter of my 60 litre pack. Without a second thought I jumped on to eBay and searched for the smallest bag I could find. How cool, without much effort I found one that less than $100 and was so small it would pack down to fit into the palm of my hand. So I bought it.

A few days later I headed into the Lerderderg Gorge with my super cool sleeping bag, ready for a night close to nature. With tent set up and sleeping pad inflated I crawled into my sleeping bag for a relaxing night sleep. But sleep I did not. As I was so new to hiking I had completely failed to understand that sleeping bags actually came in different packed sizes for a reason. It has a lot to do with their insulative qualities. Basically, if you are buying a sleeping bag that costs less than $100 and fits in the palm of your hand you can safely assume that it won’t keep you very warm at night. Especially when the temperature drops ten degrees below the rating of +15 that is clearly labelled on the bag. I should also note that this sleeping bag weighed in at 1.8km. Lesson learnt, time to do some more research.

I am pleased to report that I now own a very sensible sleeping bag with an EN rating of -110C which is absolutely perfect for most conditions throughout Victoria. Unless you want to bury yourself deep in the snow.

As with most things you purchase in life it is impossible to find one product that does everything and this is especially true when it comes to sleeping bags. You can’t expect your bag to keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures and then not cook you when you are hiking in summer or spring. What you really need is a combination of bags to suit all seasons.

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I was grateful to have recently been sent a Snowgum Micro Down 600 sleeping bag to review.

The Micro Down 600 is an ultra-lightweight and compact down sleeping bag designed with spring and summer hiking in mind. The EN Rating of the Micro Down 600 Sleeping Bag states it’s designed for +10°C with a Transition Limit of +7°C, pretty much the perfect spring/summer sleeping bag for the mild Australian Climate. The coldest night I’ve put this sleeping bag through was around the 6°C point during a recent hike to Mount Feathertop in the Victorian Alps. My shoulders were a bit cold as I didn’t sleep with thermals on, but even without a bag liner I certainly wasn’t uncomfortable pushing this sleeping bag beyond its thermal range.

Once zipped up and the hood draw cord pulled tight, the sleeping bag did exactly what it’s supposed to. It kept me warm, but not too warm.

Anything above 15°C and you might start to feel like you are in a slow-cooker, but luckily this bag can be zipped open all the way to open flat. This serves as a great blanket right up to temperatures where sleeping in a liner is warm enough. Another great feature of the Snowgum Micro Down 600 is that you can join two bags together in order to create a double sleeping bag. The downside to any sleeping bag with a full length zip is that the zips can leak some of your valuable heat making them not that suited to colder climates.

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When I first unpacked the sleeping bag I was amazed at just how thin it was. You start to question how something this thin can possibly keep you warm. Down bags are a lot puffier than synthetic bags but not when you first unpack them. Just remember to give it a good shake before crawling in for a good night sleep.

As far as sleeping bags go, this one is really comfortable. Unlike one of my mummy shaped bags that hugs your every curve, it is wide enough around the knee area to move around a bit, which is essential if you’re anything like me and can’t stand sleeping on your back, but not so wide that it loses insulating properties or adds too much bulk when packed.

The Snowgum Micro Down 600 only comes in one size which does add to your pack weight if you are shorter and don’t need the extra length but the overall bag weight of 600g is so low it really won’t make much of a difference in the scheme of things.

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The Snowgum Micro Down 600 comes with a stuff sack that houses your bag in a less than bulky package. The stuff sack can be further compressed if required (simply tighten a compression strap around the stuff sack) but the overall size of 14x23cm is so small that it easily squeezes into your pack.

A quick note on transporting and storing down bags. Down sleeping bag filling also contains a small amount of “small feathers” which assist in keeping the down loose and assists loft (the amount the bag fluffs up when taken out of the stuff sack). As with any down bag, transporting in the provided stuff sack ensures the down suffers minimal damage and allows the feather to puff up to maximum strength in a relatively short amount of time. If you do transport it in a compressed state, ensure you don’t store it this way. For long term storage use a large open weave sack.

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In the Snowgum Micro Down 600 the down is distributed around the bag in a series of channels or baffles that ensure you have the right amount of filling for each part of your body – eg more on top than the bottom and more around the chest than the legs. Whilst down is unrivaled for warmth to weight ratio and is resilient to compression it is not very effective when wet and will take some time to dry.

A sleeping bag is an important purchase since it will keep you warm and protect you from the elements. Weight, form, heat rating and reliability are all factors to consider when purchasing a bag. Understanding the basic features and getting a feel for how sleeping bag ratings work can help you select the right bag for your needs and keep you warm in the process. You can read more about how to choose the right sleeping bag here.

All and all the SNOWGUM Micro 600 Down Sleeping Bag is a great sleeping bag for mild climates and I would highly recommend it.

Buy direct from Snowgum for $299.95

(club price $149.95)


Features

  • Downproof Nylon Fabric
  • 90/10 Duck Down – 500 Loft
  • DWR Water Repellency
  • Zip down length and across feet, fully unzips to open flat
  • Hood draw cord
  • Internal draft tube for added warmth
  • High quailty zip
  • Supplied with a storage sack
  • Rating/Season: Spring / Summer +10c
  • Shape: Semi-Rectangular

Tech Specs

Material

  • Outer Fabric: 20D 410T Tactel Nylon Downproof Nylon + Water Repellant Treatment
  • Inner Lining: 20D 410T Tactel Nylon Downproof Nylon
  • Fill Type: 90/10 duck down
  • Fill Amount: 350g with 600 Loft

Dimensions:

  • Length (including Hood): 215cm
  • Length (from Shoulder): 183cm
  • Width (at Shoulder): 75cm
  • Width (at Feet): 44cm
  • Packaged Size: 14cm Diameter, 23cm Length
  • Weight (including Stuff Sac): 600gm