Saturday, July 22, 2017  
 
News & Updates
MOUNT BUFFALO SNOW CONDITIONS
19-07-2017 
Both Cresta and Dingo Dell have good snow play and tobogganing and the Horn Road is fair to good for cross country skiing. We provide regular weather and snow updates at https://www.facebook.com/VisitMountBuffalo/.  There are also spectacular views of the Alps from the gorge and our walking tracks are a great way to see our waterfalls, granite pinnacles, snow plains and forests. So spoil yourself and "Visit Mount Buffalo" this Winter.

LAKE CATANI WINTER CAMPING
15-07-2017 
While general camping and the shower facilities are closed there are limited snow camping sites available during winter. The main camping areas reopen again in November.


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PARKS VICTORIA WINTER OVERVIEW

Winter at Mount Buffalo 2017


 

Whats on Offer

 

Toboggan & Snow Play Areas  there are two managed areas at Mt Buffalo National Park. Only plastic moulded toboggans are allowed in the patrolled areas (see note below regarding toboggans).:

 

Dingo Dell  Aimed mainly at family groups with young children, Dingo Dell has a great little toboggan slope with a safe run-out area at the bottom. There is ample space for kids to build snow men, snow angels and for running about throwing snowballs. The area is over-looked by a warm and friendly cafe and Day Visitor Centre within Keown Lodge.

 

Cresta Valley  While the facilities at Cresta may be a little more basic than Dingo Dell the tobogganing is more diverse, with a wide range of terrain and scenery on offer but with a managed area designated for family oriented fun in a safe and controlled slope. The opportunity for snow play is also expanded with large open spaces for exploration.

 

Cross Country Ski Trails  Cresta Valley has three groomed ski trails plus a large untracked/unmarked area for the more adventurous and well prepared:

 

Groomed Trails

The Horn Road  a wide and easy trail, perfect for beginners, leads skiers to the Horn, the pinnacle of Mt Buffalo. It is 2.5 km long

The Bogong Loop meanders out across the plains to the east of the car park and is approximately 1km long

The Beginners Loop follows the old service road at Cresta Valley, great for the first timer on skis and is approximately 500m

 

Ungroomed Trails

The 4km trail is a marked ungroomed trail that heads out through the Giants Playground and back through the Valley of the Gods. It is marked with orange poles

 

Unmarked Skiing

The Mt Buffalo plateau offers a blank canvas of opportunities for those wishing to explore on skis. With a packed lunch and appropriate safety gear you can have a great day of skiing and exploring

 

 

Winter Walks  the temptation to go for a stroll along a snowy track has proven irresistible for many visitors. However, it is important that walkers stay off our groomed and marked cross country ski trails to protect the snow cover and to prevent injury to skiers by ruts caused by footsteps in the snow. This winter we aim to have a marked walking route at both Dingo Dell and Cresta for visitors to enjoy.

For the well-prepared visitor, many of our established walking tracks can be enjoyed too.

 

Toboggans

Only plastic moulded toboggans are allowed. Home-made toboggans using items like car inner-tubes and wheelbarrow buckets are not permitted, neither are scooter/bike style devices.

 

Facilities

Dingo Dell

There is a large car park adjacent to the snow play and toboggan areas. Visitors are advised to walk the short section of sealed road to Keown Lodge to avoid the boggy ground and hidden creeks when going cross-country from the car park to the toboggan area.

Inside Keown Lodge there is a heated Cafe and Day Visitor Area; toilet; change rooms; First Aid Room; and large windows that look directly out on all the fun. Visitors can BYO food and drinks to enjoy inside. The car park is a popular place to set up a BYO gas BBQ for a sausage sizzle.

Ranger staff patrol the area during the day but are not guaranteed to be there at all times.

Cresta Valley

Cresta Valley is serviced by: a small car park area, with additional parking along the road; portable toilets; and a small non-heated room to change in or to escape the weather. Ranger staff patrol the area during the day but are not guaranteed to be there at all times. Telstra is the only mobile phone service provider on the mountain. Upgraded phone communications are planned for this site, as Cresta is a known mobile phone black-spot.

Gorge

During winter the car park at the Gorge Day Visitor Area is not cleared by Vic Roads and at times access is restricted to foot traffic only. There is limited car parking up near the Chalet. Visitors are advised that the sealed surface of the road and car parks can become icy and very slippery. The cold conditions also freeze the water pipes at the toilet block and to avoid bathroom disasters, the toilet block may be closed for periods of time at the Gorge. Visitors will need to hang on until they reach the facilities at either Dingo Dell, The Cathedral or Cresta.

 

First Aid

There are basic first aid facilities at both Dingo Dell and Cresta. Ranger staff patrol the toboggan and snow play areas during the day but are not guaranteed to be there at all times. If a medical emergency occurs visitors are advised to call 000.

 

There is a medical centre and hospital in Bright:

Bright Medical Centre 5755 1000

Bright Hospital 5755 0100

 

Activities 

Licenced tour operators will be offering cross country ski instruction and snow-shoeing during the winter season. Enquire at local visitor centres or at Dingo Dell, or search on-line.

Fuel  there is no fuel available at Mt Buffalo. Porepunkah is the nearest fuel station to the mountain.

Phone Coverage  Telstra provides good phone coverage for Telstra customers at Dingo Dell and most other visitor areas on the mountain. Other phone service providers have poor or non-existent coverage at Mt Buffalo.  

There is currently NO phone coverage at Cresta. – see note for Cresta Valley above.

Rubbish  Parks Victoria spends a lot of time and money each winter to have rubbish removed from the mountain. This year we are encouraging our visitors to take their rubbish off the mountain with them and dispose of it responsibly.

Media and Reports

We aim to communicate conditions at Mt Buffalo in a number of ways:

 

Daily Updates  are sent via email to all those who request it. The emails contain information on snow condition, road conditions, requirement to fit/not fit chains, condition of toboggan areas, café opening hours, weather forecasts etc. Information on winter fun is also on Tourism North East website www.visitmountbuffalo.com

ski.com.au  we update the website on a daily basis

Snow Cam  http://ski.com.au/snowcams/australia/vic/buffalo/buffalo1.html

 

Snow Clearing and Snow Chains

Vic Roads manage the Mt Buffalo Tourist Road so they will again be managing the snow clearing and chain fitting this year. As always after a big snow fall the first priority for the crews will be to clear to Dingo Dell, when that is safe and clear they will proceed to clear to Cresta and finally to the Chalet car park.

 

Carrying Snow Chains  The requirement to carry snow chains is assessed on a daily basis by staff at Mt Buffalo. When it is identified that there will be an extended period of fine weather, that will not produce icy or snowy road conditions, the requirement to carry changes will be revoked. This will be communicated via signage at the entrance to the park as well as by the email sent out every morning.

When staff assess there is a weather change that will affect the requirement to carry chains an additional email will be sent out at 4pm, notifying the change for the following day.

 

Winter Camping

There are a couple of options for those interested in coming to camp at Mt Buffalo over winter. Camping is only permitted in three designated sites: Rocky Creek, Mt McLeod and Lake Catani. Rocky Creek and Mt McLeod require a booking and fee.

 

Mt McLeod and Rocky Creek campsites are open during winter however the walk into those campsites is made longer because the Reservoir Road closes. Therefore anyone intending to camp out there needs to be well prepared for camping in Alpine areas and a long walk/ski. A fee for use is required, book on-line at www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/book-your-stay

 

Lake Catani Campground -   Lake Catani Campground   A small number of campsites are also available during the declared snow season, beginning the Friday of Queens Birthday weekend until the end of August. During this period it is a basic campground with only pit toilets available. No fees for camping apply during this period at Lake Catani campground and no bookings are required. It is recommended that you check in at the Park Office Visitor Centre, 300m from the Chalet turn off at Mt Buffalo prior to camping during winter. Access is via a 1km walk/ski off the main road along the Lake Catani Rd or a 2km walk/ski from the Gorge Visitor Area along the Gorge/Lake Catani track. No vehicle access is available. The sites are situated around the stone hut. Fires may be lit only in the fireplaces within the picnic shelter and fuel stoves are recommended. Campground showers and flushing toilets are closed during winter, but the pit toilet located behind the stone hut is open. Water is available from Lake Catani but is not potable, boil or treat. No fees apply,

 

Hazards

Visitors to Mt Buffalo need to be aware of the following hazards:

Hidden creeks  across the snow plains at Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley there are numerous creeks and boggy areas that can be covered by a thin layer of snow that can collapse under weight. Visitors are encouraged to heed signs and stay on defined tracks.

 

 

Questions and Answers

Q When does Mt Buffalo open?

Being a national park Mt Buffalo never closes, so as a result it also doesn’t open like some of the snow resorts. The season and therefore what you can do on your visit to Mt Buffalo changes.

 

Q How do I get on the Winter email list?

If you are interested in receiving our daily update please email Michelle Doherty, Ranger Team Leader on michelle.doherty@parks.vic.gov.au