Mt Buffalo has an amazing history in the Victorian Snow Fields. Early on it was priamry destination for holidays and had a magnificent Snow Resort. The Victorian railways managed the Mt Buller Chalet. This was a very popular in the early and mid last century. The Chalet is a very grand building and is currently under maintenance.
I recall the ski slopes of Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley slopes were very popular. There is now no ski lifts operating at Mt Buffalo and it caters for Cross Country skiing and day vistors for snow play with tobagganing and snow shoeing. When we visited a few years back Dingo Dell only had a little bit of snow and rain plays havoc with them maintaining a cover. There are no snow making machines at Mt Buffalo.
How to get to Mt Buffalo.
Buffalo is above the gorgeous main towns of Bright an Porepunkah. That's about four hours drive from Melbourne. Head up the Hume Hwy and turn off at Wangaratta for Myrtelford. There are some gorgeous towns and stops along the way, including the little town of Milawa wite wine and cheese the main fare here, and well worth a stop off.
The road up Mt Buffalo is pretty good. It is cleared of snow by the National Parks. It is free entry to Mt Buffalo National Park. This is a little different to some of the Snow Fields where an entry fee is taken. In any case make sure you check if you need to carry chains in the car. There are updates on the Nat Parks site
Mt Buffalo Thoughts
In a lot of peoples minds over the age of forty years there is a romantic connection to Mt Buller. The early marketing of Mt Buffalo with the art deco posters by the Victorian Railways last century have burned a lasting impression of great serenity and fun at Mt Buffalo. Some of the artwork on the posters and the marketing was simply sensational.
We never got the opportunity to stay at the old Mt Buffalo Chalet but the extended members of the family that have stayed there raved about it. It was a true resort with Summer and Winter activities. And they even used to ice skate on Lake Catani.
A few years back a local Buffalo group tried to "Bring Back the Buff" and reignite Mt Buffalo as a serious Victorian Snow Resort. The main aim was to get snow making machines and to rejig the Cresta Valley lifts. But the lift off unfortunately failed. And the Chalet project is still progressing or on hold or waiting etc. A bit frusttrating really. But for those that love Mt Buller how it is, then the status quo is "serenity".
The latest national Park winter visitation reports show that the last few years have been peaks for places like Mt Buller. Amazing Victorian visitation numbers during the Snow Season. If Mt Buffalo was to look at enhancing it's Snow Tourism options then one thought might be the Snowboard and Ski Park and Terrain facilities could be a niche option for investigation. With some of the Snow Resort operators feeling they don't get much return from these Park Play areas, if a venue could come up with a cost effective implementation it might provide for an interesting conversation. Having said that Mt Hotham is not far away and that has some play options too.
Whatever the politics and rationals we love Mt Buffalo. The Dingo Dell cafe is open most days and provides for great facilities and a warm cuppa! Can't wait for the Mt Buffalo Chalet to reopen. So please bring it on.