We love Mt Buffalo! It’s another of my happy places. We have been a couple of times and once with the kids – there are many walks to do in the area but I think we have a list of the 3 best walks for kids at Mt Buffalo.
Mt Buffalo National Park is located in the Alpine Region of Victoria. It covers 77,000 acres and there are many walks available showcasing the striking granite boulders and rock formations found throughout the park. You can use the map below to zoom out and see the location in relation to the rest of Victoria if you are unsure.
It’s a decent 3.5 or 4 hour drive from Melbourne and we wouldn’t go for any less than 2 or 3 nights with the kids.
Mt Buffalo is approximately 50 minutes from Bright. To get there take the turn off to Mt Buffalo near Porepunkah and follow the windy road up. You will pass a road on your left which will take you to the chalet or you can continue straight to reach Lake Catani camp ground and day visitor area and the Horn.
We camped on this trip and to read all about the Lake Catani campground click here.
1 – Chalwell Galleries
The first hike we went on with the kids is a challenging walk with rock scrambling, climbing down ladders and sliding under rocks! But it is also the best! It is so much fun and the kids (and adults) absolutely loved it.
It’s called the Chalwell Galleries Track and it is approximately a 1.7km long circuit which can take upwards of one hour. It took us longer than this, but we did have a 4 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and a 5 month old (in a baby carrier!).
You walk to the start of the track from the camping area at Lake Catani and the Chalwell Galleries track is sign posted from the corner on the road just below the ranger station. It is relatively flat to start before you start to climb up and over the rocks. There are arrows to follow which is great fun for the kids to try and find and work out which way to go.
The track then takes you up into the ‘galleries’; a jumble of huge rocks which form a tight passage way, which you climb down into by going under a big rock and then climb down using ladders. We had a couple of adults go down each ladder first and then help the kids down and kept progressing like this. It definitely got the heart rate up!
Once you pop out the bottom there are fantastic views of the Buckland Valley. There are a couple of other rocks to climb under on the way home but then it turns to a relatively easy walk back to the camping area.
Can’t wait to go back and do this walk again as our kids love hiking with adventures like this! In our opinion this is hands down the best walk to do with kids at Mt Buffalo.
2 – The Horn Track
The Horn Track is another fun family hike and another of the best walks around Mt Buffalo with kids. The first time we camped and hiked at Lake Catani we did The Horn track in the evening and saw the sunset which was just beautiful.
This trip with the kids we preferred to be home in the evening to be around the camp fire so we did this hike in the afternoon.
It is approximately 10km (20 minutes) from Lake Catani campground to the carpark at The Horn. Turn left out of the camping ground onto Mt Buffalo Tourist Road and follow it the whole way. Parks Victoria states that the road is not suitable for trailers, buses and large motorhomes due to the absence of a turning circle – we agree, and the road does turn to gravel and is a bit bumpy towards the end.
On the drive over, you drive past the skiing area of Mt Buffalo, which is always interesting to see in the summer. We even saw a dingo in the carpark and stopped for a photo out the window.
At the start of the hike there are picnic tables, which are nice for lunch or a snack before or after your walk – with great views. From here it is a relatively short but steep circuit up to the top. It’s approximately 45 minutes return, but with the kids it took a little longer than this, and of course it depends on how long you spend sightseeing.
The top of the horn is 1,723 metres elevation and has 360-degree views which are just amazing. Don’t be freaked out if you see some bags left at the top as if you peer over the edge you might see some rock climbers/abseilers – far too scary for me!
This is another interesting hike for the little ones as there are some fun rocks to scramble over and under to add to the adventure.
3 – Monolith Track
On our last day we walked up the Monolith Track to the Monolith Rock – another one of the best walks to do with kids at Mt Buffalo.
The first recorded climb of the Monolith was in 1893 by Edward Carlile, who threw a rope attached to a wire ladder over the top of the rock! Imagine that?!
There are a couple of locations you can start this hike. We parked opposite the Park Rangers office (on the main road heading out of the camping area on the sealed road) but you can also walk from the camping ground. The hike is approx. 1.8km if you make it a circuit back to the cars or you can continue another 1.5km across to the chalet. Myself, my friend and Ned continued on – Ned will walk all day and not get tired. We sent the boys back to the cars with the rest of the kids and we all met up at the Chalet.
The path is relatively flat and very bushy compared to our other walks and I was on the lookout for anything slippery – I jump a mile whenever I hear a rustle. We did see some lizards once we started to climb up over the rocks – but they definitely had legs, so all was ok!
Once you get closer the massive rock perched on the top appears and then it becomes fun for the kids as there is a bit of rock scrambling but you need to be mindful as there are no barriers up the top so we were constantly holding onto the kids.
The ladder has since been removed but last time Ross and I visited it was still there – you can see how the rungs had been removed so nobody was able to climb to the top.
There are spectacular views across Lake Catani, it really is very beautiful.
Check out this photo! Fascinating – this is from my grandparents.
The walk to the chalet was very flat and almost felt a little damp so I wasn’t as worried about snakes!
The views once you arrive on the other side are awesome also. You are up so very high and there is even a hang gliding ramp – it makes my stomach drop just thinking about it – check out how high it is! If you look very very carefully at the image below you can see the hang gliding ramp.
There is also a fair bit of abseiling in this area and if you look carefully you can see ropes hanging down waiting for the brave people! There are plenty of picnic tables for lunch and you are able to walk around the outside of the chalet.
There are plenty of other walks in the area and some great waterfalls including Lady Bath Falls and Eurobin Falls which we just didn’t have time for this trip, it all depends on your time frame but these 3 walks we did are fantastic and I’d have no problems doing all of them again next time we go – they are all definitely some of the best walks to do with kids at Mt Buffalo.
Please click here to download a PDF of the Parks Victoria Park Note for Mt Buffalo which has information on Mt Buffalo, a map and the locations of all the walks.
As with any walk before setting out please check the conditions with Parks Victoria. Remember to pack lots of water and snacks (you’ll be surprised how much food the kids will eat on a walk) and clothes for all seasons.
Our kids are fine walking in sneakers and comfortable clothes. We always have hats and sunnies in our bag. On this trip we were still using our Deuter Kid Comfort II backpack for Olive. It has been well used by both kids and can highly recommend.
Have you been hiking with kids at Mt Buffalo? Are there any must do hikes we should add to our list next trip? I am really keen to get back up there and do these walks again plus more. Please leave me a comment below!