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Island in the sky.
Island in the sky.
The Mt Buffalo Chalet.
Enjoying the outdoor sports.

Mt Buffalo climb

Thursday, October 12, 2000
Mt Buffalo's wonderful views, extraordinary geological formations, alpine flora and wildlife are ready to impress.

Word spread early about Mt Buffalo's wonderful views, extraordinary geological formations and alpine flora and wildlife. The Mount Buffalo Chalet opened in 1910 and was operated by Victorian Railways and various other Victorian government bodies. In 1993 it was privatised; with the new owners came refurbishment, physical improvements and new activities.

The entire mountain is National Parks territory and is named, appropriately, Mt Buffalo National Park. Because it is granite, Mt Buffalo is different from other mountains in the area; its top is a plateau rather than a peak.

Mt Buffalo Lodge is close to the centre of the plateau and operates during winter only, while the chalet operates year round. About two kilometres away you can camp next to Lake Catani, where facilities are shared.

During school holidays and on weekends there is a free Kids Klub, while the Young Guns Club is for children from nine to 14. Both clubs provide supervised activities like treasure hunts, arts and crafts and ball games.

The chalet is just 200m from the edge of the mountain, with views of the Ovens Valley and the Great Dividing Range. Two hundred metres along the easy walking track in front of the chalet you can see the steep drop of the North Wall, one of the reasons the area is popular with rock climbers.

Fifty metres from the chalet you can see across two states, with views of Victoria's highest peak Mt Bogong and Mt Kosciuszko in NSW.

The old mansion has 97 guest rooms and suites, some with ensuites, some with shared bathrooms. The rooms are very comfortable, with king or queen beds, bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities. Some have views.

Events throughout the year cover all interests — Opera in the Alps, astronomy, gourmet food, art and photography workshops and murder mysteries.

David Chitty and his company Adventure Guides Australia work in conjunction with the Mt Buffalo Chalet to give guests a great choice of adventure activities. They go rock climbing, abseiling, underground river caving and canyoning. The abseil down the North Wall is a 300m drop. It takes an entire day to complete this thrilling activity — four abseils to get down and after lunch by the river you climb your way out of the gorge. This usually takes three or four hours.

In the middle of the plateau is a formation called the Cathedral. It takes about three hours to climb, then you abseil down the giant rock.

At the front of the Chalet is a beginner's abseil. At just over nine metres, it's the best place to take your first plunge.

Location

Four-and-a-half hours north-east of Melbourne, in Victoria's high country.

Cost

Mt Buffalo Chalet has three-night packages including breakfasts and dinners starting at $114 per person per night.
Adventure Guides Australia organise half-day rock climbs for $77 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Mt Buffalo Chalet
Ph: (03) 5755 1500; 1800 037 038
www.mtbuffalochalet.com.au
Parks Victoria
Ph: 13 1963
www.parks.vic.gov.au
Adventure Guides Australia: Ph: 0419 280 614

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