Mount Buffalo National Park Projects
Artist's impression of Mt Buffalo Chalet following heritage restoration work
Mount Buffalo National Park is one of the most known and visited destinations in Victoria’s High Country and the Alpine Shire and provides a key visitor attraction to the north-east region. The park attracts around 181,000 visitors annually amounting to 32 per cent of the Alpine Shire visitors, highlighting the substantial economic contribution Mount Buffalo provides to the local economy. The national park, and in particular the Mount Buffalo Chalet, occupies a special place in many people’s hearts.
The future of the park requires thoughtful consultation and planning with the local community. Parks Victoria is looking holistically at the visitor experience at the park through a number of initiatives, what drives people here, and how we can increase visitation.
Information regarding these initiatives will be provided on this site and will be regularly updated.
Parks Victoria also produces a regular eNewsletter on activities and our ongoing work to improve Mount Buffalo National Park. Subscribe to the newsletter here.
Parks Victoria is currently working on the following initiatives:
Mount Buffalo Chalet external maintenance works
The heritage-listed Mount Buffalo Chalet is currently undergoing substantial external maintenance works to restore the façade of the building and the gardens to their former glory. This is the most significant restoration work at the chalet since it was closed in 2007. The works aim to make the 100-year-old timber building safe and secure, and give the building a foundation. There is no demolition as part of these works. It is expected that the works will be completed by winter 2017.
The contract for the external chalet maintenance works has been awarded to Browns Wangaratta, within the overall commitment from Victorian Government of $2.8 million. The working plans include:
The working plans include:
- Proposed Site Plan - PDF, 2.2mb
- Proposed Ground Plan - PDF, 896kb
- Roof Plan - deteriorated building removal above ballroom - PDF, 246kb
- Building Plan– East Elevation - front façade of chalet) - PDF, 430kb
It is important to note that due to the nature of heritage restoration works, a lot of specific scope and detail is defined by the Heritage Architect and not included in the working plans. The works outlined on the site plan are limited to the heritage areas only that are detailed on the east elevation, for example, only the formal European style garden at the front of the chalet will be restored.
Frequently Asked Questions – Mount Buffalo Chalet (MSWord accessible version 120kb)
Mount Buffalo Chalet Heritage Action Plan
The Mount Buffalo Chalet Heritage Action Plan was commissioned by Parks Victoria and prepared by Conservation Architects, Allom Lovell & Associates in 2002. The Heritage Action Plan was written at a time when the chalet was open for guests. Much has changed since then with works now underway to ensure the building is watertight by restoring weatherboards, windows, replacement of stumps in the front sections and providing well-needed care to the chalet garden.
Visitor Experience Plan
Parks Victoria is developing a Visitor Experience Plan, "Strategic Directions for Mount Buffalo National Park", that will outline opportunities to be progressed over the next ten to fifteen years. Mount Buffalo already provides an outstanding all seasons nature-based visitor experience and the plan will look at how this can be enhanced through recreation, tourism and commercial opportunities to attract greater visitation and community participation.
The Gorge Day Visitor Area upgrades
Parks Victoria is currently defining the scope of works for the Gorge Day Visitor Area and ensure this popular site is upgraded to provide the best possible visitor experience for years to come. A total of $1.5 million has been allocated for this project.
Upgrading the visitor experience in the Gorge Day Visitor Area could include improving car and coach parking, upgrading the existing toilet facility, improving signage and seating as well as providing a food and beverage service.
Lake Catani Campground and the Lakeside Day Visitor Area
Parks Victoria completed upgrade works to the Lake Catani Campground prior to the 2016 summer camping season. The improvements to the toilet and shower block included the installation of a new floor and improved sky lights to make the facilities more comfortable and enjoyable to use. Further works at the Lakeside Day Visitor Area this coming year will transform the toilet block into a bright and open picnic shelter with free gas barbecues.
The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) was established by the Victorian Government in March 2016 to work collaboratively with Parks Victoria and provide strategic recommendations about the future of the Mount Buffalo National Park to Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive.
The Advisory Group have been engaging with the local community and interested parties to build a vision for the future of the whole of mountain destination. The Advisory Group will bring forward issues of strategic importance for the consideration of Parks Victoria, encompassing:
- Outcomes of engagement with the community and interested parties regarding ‘blue sky’ thinking for the future of Mount Buffalo National Park including future development of the chalet and opportunities for visitor experiences options across the mountain.
- Innovative ways of raising funding, exploring both traditional and emerging funding models, for future activation to provide sustainable and viable destination outcomes.
- Proposals that will generate ‘whole of government’ support for future activation of Mount Buffalo National Park and the chalet.
- Initiatives aimed at improving the quality of service, conservation outcomes, visitor experience, and nature-based tourism opportunities.
- Ways of continuously improving communications and understanding between Parks Victoria and the local community to ensure openness and transparency relating to issues confronting Mount Buffalo National Park as a destination now and in the future.
- Community perspectives of Mount Buffalo National Park as a destination, community expectations and how these may be met.
- Opportunities to showcase local produce, services and businesses.
The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) members are:
- Mayor Ron Janas, Alpine Shire Council
- David Jacobson, Chair, Community Action for the Chalet (CAC)
- Amber Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism North East
- Janelle Boynton, Local heritage building specialist (Chair, MBDAG)
Interested community members can get involved in the work the MBDAG is doing, by contacting any of the Advisory Group members.