Friday, August 14, 2020  
 
News & Updates
DINGO DELL CAFE OPEN WEEKENDS
11-08-2020 
Keith and Helen have advised that the Dingo Dell cafe will be open weekends 10 am to 5 pm for locals visiting the mountain to exercise or outdoor recreate


Archive
PARKS VICTORIA WINTER OVERVIEW

 

Winter at Mount Buffalo 2020 COVID19 SAFE

Visitor Information

 

Parks Victoria have implemented some changes to snowplay operations this year as part of public health measures.

  1. Observe physical distancing of 1.5 metres at all times
  2. Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people
  3. Check that the park is open before travelling
  4. We recommend visiting the snowplay areas mid-week rather than on busy weekends
  5. Bring your own hand sanitiser
  6. If a car park is full, no more people can visit that site. Do not join vehicle queues or park illegally.
  7. Be self-sufficient with extra warm clothing, spare dry clothing, food and water.

 

There will be a limit on the number of visitors permitted into the park at any one time. Once capacity is met, entry to the park will be temporarily halted to manage visitor numbers. Vehicles will be permitted to enter as other vehicles leave. Parks Victoria staff will be at the park entry to assist visitors and monitor vehicle numbers.

 

Toboggan & Snow Play

 

·        Dingo Dell

o    Parking will only be permitted along the access road into Dingo Dell.

o    This will be monitored throughout the day and vehicles will be allowed to enter as other vehicles leave.

o    The main car park on Mount Buffalo Road will be closed.   Please continue to Cresta Valley if the access road is full.

o    The café and day visitor centre in Keown Lodge is open.   They will be offering a takeaway café service only with limited operating hours and menu options.   Toilets will be available.  

o    There will be no indoor shelter available.

 

 

·        Cresta Valley  The facilities at Cresta are more basic than Dingo Dell, however the tobogganing and snow play experience is more diverse.   It is the start of the crosscountry ski trails.

o    There is no indoor shelter available.

o    Toilets are available, please ensure physical distancing of 1.5m when queuing

o    Hand sanitiser is supplied in the toilets.

o    There is no water supply at Cresta. Please be self-sufficient by bringing your own food and drinks.

o    There is limited Telstra mobile phone reception.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross Country Ski Trails  Cresta Valley has three groomed ski trails plus a large untracked and 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 2 ½ 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  All walking tracks are open for walking during winter. There are marked walking routes at both Dingo Dell and Cresta for visitors to enjoy. Please stay off our groomed and marked cross country ski trails to protect the snow cover and to prevent injury to skiers from ruts caused by footsteps in the snow.

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

 

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.

 

Other areas to visit

Visitors are encouraged to use areas other than Dingo Dell and Cresta for snow play. We recommend parking at the Chalet, opposite the park office near the Monolith Track, Crossmans Mill and the Cathedral Saddle as they all provide areas to safely park and access the snow away from the road.

The 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 near the Chalet.  Visitors are advised 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 which may lead to the temporary closure of the toilets at the Gorge.   Visitors will be able to use facilities at either Dingo Dell, 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 always be there. 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, cafe 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 Please check our website for access to Rocky Creek. At time of going to print, this campsite was in the process of being re-opened following fires earlier this year.

 

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 or 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 camp 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. A local farming family supply the firewood. Please ensure that payment is made before taking.

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.

 

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