Monday, June 17, 2019  
 
News & Updates
DINGO DELL CAFE
17-06-2019 
Dingo Dell Cafe will be closed the week 17 to 21 June. Will reopen Saturday 22 June

CHAINS AT MOUNT BUFFALO
17-06-2019 
Chains need not be carried to Mount Buffalo at the moment, but might be required mid week. Chains are required when there is snow forecast below 1600 metres and the roads have snow cover - There are daily updates by Parks Victoria to ski hires etc.


Archive
PARKS VICTORIA WINTER OVERVIEW

Winter at Mount Buffalo 2019

 

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 more basic than Dingo Dell the tobogganing is more diverse. There is a wide range of terrain and scenery on offer but also with a managed area designated for family oriented fun on 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. Starting from Cresta Car Park

        The Horn Road, a wide and easy trail, perfect for beginners, leads skiers to the Horn, the pinnacle of Mt Buffalo. It is 3 km one-way.

        The Bogong Loop meanders out across the plains to the east of the car park and is approximately 1km return, marked with orange poles

        The Beginners Loop follows the old service road at Cresta Valley, great for the first timer on skis and is approximately 500m return, orange poles mark the old ski slope area.

 

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. If conditions allow, we will make every effort to groom this trail.

 

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. T he 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 will have marked walking routes at both Dingo Dell and Cresta for visitors to enjoy.

For the well-prepared visitor, many of our established walking tracks can be enjoyed during winter 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 Cafe & Day Visitor Area at Keown Lodge

There is a large car park on Mount Buffalo Road adjacent to the snow play and toboggan areas at Dingo Dell. 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. The short section of sealed road leading into Keown Lodge is also used for car parking but tends to fill up very quickly and once full a Road Closed sign is erected at the entrance.

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 in the warmth inside. The car park is a popular place to set up a BYO gas BBQ or stove 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; a new, more spacious long-drop toilet (although a portable toilet trailer will be used for the first week or so of the season) 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. An aerial booster has been installed to improve Telstra coverage at the site but weather can impair reception.

Gorge

During winter the car park at The Gorge 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 at the Gorge may be closed for periods of time. Visitors will need to wait until they reach the facilities at either Dingo Dell, The Cathedral Saddle or Cresta Valley.

   

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  ph 5755 1000

Bright Hospital ph 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 Cresta, and in most other visitor areas on the mountain. Other phone service providers have poor or non-existent coverage at Mt Buffalo.  

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 many ways:

 

Daily Updates - are sent via email to all those who request it. The emails contain information on snow conditions, road conditions, requirement to carry/not carry 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 daily

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 snowfall the 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 daily 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 and on www.ski.com.au  

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, Lake Catani is free and although a booking is not required, park staff would appreciate a call if visitors are planning to camp.Please call the park office on 03 8427 2045.

 

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. Free camping is available only during the declared snow season, beginning the Friday of Queens Birthday weekend until the end of August. Access is via a 1km walk/ski off the main road along the Lake Catani Rd or a 2km walk/ski from The Gorge along the Gorge/ Catani track. No vehicle access is available. Camping is permitted on sites within the campground when there is no snow, otherwise on snow cover around the stone hut. Fires may be lit only in the fireplaces provided and fuel stoves are recommended. Fire wood cannot be collected within the national park but is for sale in the wood shed near the stone hut. $15 cash per bag. 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 to drink. No camping fees or bookings apply although we appreciate a call if visitors plan to camp. Phone the Park Office on 03 8427 4025.

 

Snow 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.

 

Michelle Doherty

Ranger Team Leader

Mount Buffalo National Park


   

Questions and Answers

Q When does Mt Buffalo open?

Being a national park Mt Buffalo never closes, so as a result it also does not have a formal opening like some of the snow resorts. The season change and therefore what you can do on your visit to Mt Buffalo changes with these seasons.

 

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