Mount Buffalo has some of the best and most accessible snow in Victoria and it’s free as there are no resort fees to enter the park.
Located only a 45-minute drive from BIG4 Porepunkah, Mount Buffalo is “North East Victoria’s Winter Wonderland” and has extensive areas of snow at both Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley for snow play and tobogganing, cross country skiing or simply enjoying the amazing views.
If you call into the Parks Victoria office on the way up the Mt Buffalo, they will assist you with MAPS of the mountain and trails.
There is a warm and friendly café and day shelter at Dingo Dell where the Mount Buffalo Ski School is based and where there is excellent tobogganing for children and families. The ski school has a range of affordable snow clothes for those that might have forgotten winter warmers and also has toboggans for hire.
Cresta Valley has extensive areas available for tobogganing as some of the old ski runs are now available to use for snow play and Cresta is also the hub for cross country skiers to access the groomed Cresta Beginners trail, Bogong Loop and Horn Road ski trails. There are also the longer ungroomed 4 and 6km trails (accessed off the Bogong Loop) and the Lyrebird Plain back country trail from the Horn Road. There is no café at Cresta Valley but there are portable toilets and a small day shelter (unheated). Take your winter woollies and wet weather gear.
There is plenty of parking at both Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley.
Other backcountry ski trails include the longer reservoir road trail. While the Mount McLeod and Rocky Creek ski trails take you further out backcountry. Mount Buffalo Ski School offer daily cross-country ski lessons at Dingo Dell plus half and full day ski tours.
The mountain has snowshoe trails (and snowshoes for hire at the Ski School Shop) plus amazing snow hikes to the top of the Hump and the lookout at Dingo Dell. Mount Buffalo Ski School also run regular snowshoe rambles each Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm.
The gorge precinct with its amazing views of the valleys below and the Alps is well worth a visit and the historical Mount Buffalo Chalet covered with snow is a great photo opportunity.
While there are no ski lifts at Mount Buffalo (the old resort having burnt down in 2006) there are still areas at Cresta Valley where you can back country style alpine ski or snowboard by simply hiking uphill with your skis or board and then travelling back down the old ski runs and of course it is free!
There is a requirement to carry chains throughout the majority of the snow season and chains must be fitted where instructed in the designated fitting bays. Snow chains can be hired at an affordable rate from Porepunkah Ski Hire, and when you mention BIG4 Porepunkah you will be hired a toboggan for FREE.
The Parks Victoria snow reports outlining conditions and chain requirements are available at ski hires in the valley below and are also posted daily on the Mount Buffalo Ski School Facebook page. There is a snow cam located at Dingo Dell with a view of the toboggan run so you can also view the snow conditions yourself before driving up.