Aborigines were once drawn to the area in summer by the large
numbers of bogong moths which were seeking relief from the higher
temperatures of the plains. After roasting them in strips of bark
they ate the bodies or ground them into a paste. It is said the
moths tasted like prawns.
The first Europeans to record the Plateau were William Hovel and
Hamilton Hume on 24 November 1824. They named the mountain Mount Buffalo from
its supposed resemblance to this animal from where they were viewing it from.
Explorers Hume and Hovell named
Mount Buffalo in 1824 as they passed through the area on their way from
Sydney to Port Phillip Bay traveling through what is now the Wangaratta /
Glenrowan ares. They likened the mountain to a sleeping buffalo in the
distance. This explains the names for the granite tors such as
the Horn and the Hump.
The mountain's highest peak is The Horn. It was first climbed by
a European by Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller in 1853, a government botanist, who
collected many unrecognized species on his excursion.
drawn to the magnificent views as early as the 1850s and an alpine
club was established in 1883 to promote tourism. A local guide book
came out in 1887 featuring local walking tracks and bridle paths.
Some of these historic tracks are still in use.
The first land was
set aside as a national park in 1898 and the now National park has been enlarged several times since its first inception and now takes in most of the mountain and its slopes and surroundings.
The Mount Buffalo Chalet was built in 1910 but there had been other smaller lodges at the Gorge area and even tented camps.
Australia's first ski tow and
ski lifts were installed at Dingo Dell and both Dingo Dell and Cresta vallley were used for skiing and snowplay in the 1920s and 1930s.
There are many interesting historical figures associated with Mount Buffalo.
Alice Manfield being one of these, commonly known as Guide Alice, she was a feminist figure in Victoria, a mountain guide, naturalist, author, Chalet owner (Pre the current Chalet) and photographer. She was a pioneer in the developent of tourism at Mount Buffalo and somewhat of a tourist attraction in her own right in particular with her work as a guide in the period from the 1890s to the 1930s. Alice was also a key player in lobbying for the establishment of Mount Buffalo as a national park. She was born in 1878 and died in 1960. She is known for wearing trousers at a period in history where this was both unusual and frowned on.
GUIDE ALIVE WEARING HER FAMOUS TROUSERS
GUIDE ALICE WORKING ON A TOUR ON THE TRACK TO THE SUMMIT