Mount Buffalo National Park Projects
Artist's impression of Mt Buffalo Chalet following heritage restoration works
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 newletter 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 stop deterioration of the historic timber building that was built over 100 years ago and give the building a safe foundation. There is no demolition as part of these works.
The contract for the primary maintenance works has been awarded to Browns Wangaratta, within the overall commitment from Victorian Government of $2.8 million. Work is currently on hold while the snow falls and will resume when the weather improves.
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.
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.
Parks Victoria is working closely with the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group to prepare the plan.
The Gorge Day Visitor Area upgrades
Parks Victoria has been working with the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group to define 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 site 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.
The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group is comprised of representatives from the Alpine Shire Council; Tourism North East; Community Action for the Chalet, a community group established to help preserve the Chalet; a local heritage architect and tourism operator; and senior representatives from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria.
The group is working collaboratively with Parks Victoria to provide strategic advice about the future of Mount Buffalo National Park, including the chalet, to Parks Victoria's Chief Executive and ensure the best possible visitor experience on the mountain for years to come.
Opportunities for the community to work with the Advisory Group and Parks Victoria to determine the longer-term destination priorities for Mount Buffalo National Park are being planned.
The Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group 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
- Clare Kiely, Regional Director, DELWP
- Ty Caling, Acting Regional Director, North East, Parks Victoria