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 several 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 will produce regular video blogs while the external maintenance works are underway to provide timely visual updates of progress. The video blogs will be available from this page and distributed to individuals who have subscribed to the eNewsletter.
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. The works are almost complete and will be completed after winter 2018.
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:
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions – Mount Buffalo Chalet (MSWord accessible version 133kb)
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.
The Gorge Day Visitor Area upgrades
Parks Victoria is currently seeking community feedback about the scope of works for the Gorge Day Visitor Area to ensure this popular site is upgraded to provide the best possible visitor experience for years to come.
The Victorian Government committed $1.5 million for this project which includes upgrading the visitor experience in the Gorge Day Visitor Area such as improving the lookouts, making it easier for cars and coaches to park, installing better signage and seating, upgrading the existing toilet facility, as well as considering options for the provision of food and beverages.
Proposed improvements to The Gorge Day Visitor Area fact sheet.
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)
- Marcus Stewart, Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Interested community members can get involved in the work the MBDAG is doing, by contacting any of the Advisory Group members.
The MBDAG produced a Vison Statement document that was presented to the Victorian Government in early 2017.
This vision has brought together a broad collection of parties providing their expertise and knowledge and a passion for Mount Buffalo,
The vision presented provides an all of mountain, blue sky approach to how Mount Buffalo can be re-activated and provide the impetus for not only the preservation, but enhancement of the historic Mount Buffalo Chalet and the entire mountain destination.
The Vision Statement included concept master plans for the Resort Gateway, Cresta Valley Alpine Activity Centre, Dingo Dell Outdoor Education Centre and the Mount Buffalo Chalet Village including both the reactivation of the historic Chalet and surrounding buildings and a new Mount Buffalo Spa and Hotel.
Mount Buffalo Business Assessment Taskforce
Upon receiving the “Vision Statement” proposal from the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group, the Victorian Government wanted to ensure a strategic approach for the future of the whole of the Mount Buffalo National Park as a year-round destination.
Therefore, the Victorian Government committed $200,000 to an independent taskforce being overseen by the Alpine Shire Council.
This taskforce has been charged with undertaking a critical analysis of all the options presented to develop a comprehensive whole of mountain destination marketing approach for Mount Buffalo National Park.
The full review is expected to be completed by mid to late 2018 and the taskforce will provide a report of recommendations for the Victorian Government’s consideration.