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Mount Buffalo National Park...
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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.
- 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.
- 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
An all-seasons national park, Mount Buffalo has sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors, tumbling waterfalls, snow gums and stunning wildflowers. First reserved in 1898, the 31,000 hectare park contains vegetation and fauna adapted to extremes of weather, as a result of its sub-alpine location. As you drive and walk throughout the park, you will see evidence of the recent fires, but you will also see the vivid colours as species begin to regenerate. There is plenty of wildlife to see including Lyrebirds, Eastern Rosellas, Wombats and Swamp Wallabies. Many animals can be seen along the main tourist road so please drive carefully, especially at dawn and dusk.
Drive towards Bright via Hume Highway, Wangaratta and Myrtleford. Take the turn off to Mount 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.
Max elevation: 1526 m
Min elevation: 1141 m
Total climbing: 1121 m
Total descent: -1121 m