Keith is be running the
Dingo Dell cafe again this winter- see the dingo dell cafe face book page
Mount Buffalo ranger team will have the cross country ski toboggan and snow play areas in excellent order for 2017 Winter and have even mowed the slopes to get a better result from the snow falls
Mount Buffalo Ski School is also geared up for the snow season and we have our usual range of ski lessons and snow adventures / activities plus toboggan hire. The Ski School will be again operating out of Dingo Dell this season
& 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 café
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
Ski Trails- Cresta
Valley has three groomed ski trails plus a large untracked/unmarked area for
the more adventurous and well prepared:
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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 Café 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 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
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.
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
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
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:
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
- we update the website on a daily basis
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.
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
- 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 Visitor Area along the Gorge/Lake 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 but is for sale in the wood shed
near the stone hut. 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.
Visitors to Mt Buffalo need to be aware of the
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?
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.