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The Monolith Circuit is a 6.4km, grade 3 Circuit hike located in Mount Buffalo National Park Victoria. The hike should take approximately 2hrs to complete.
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.
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.
Max elevation: 1406 m
Min elevation: 1280 m
Total climbing: 278 m
Total descent: -278 m
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