After lunch at Beechworth, we hauled Keddie up the steep winding road to the Mt Buffalo plateau where we camped at the National Park’s Lake Catani Campground at about 1300m above sea level. Getting the caravan into the camp spot proved quite difficult due to the tight slalom style access road with rather solid snow gums to avoid at each turn. Eventually, after deciding that the easiest way was to go the wrong way down the one-way circuit road we managed it. Next came paying: this had to be done over the Internet which proved temperamental – it took a few goes, and rather expensive at $50.50 per night – by far the most expensive campsite we have used on the trip.
However, once set up and paid, it was quite a pleasant area near a beautiful lake to watch the sunset, it had hot showers and reasonably secluded camping spots. Being only about 10% full it was quiet & peaceful.
Mt Buffalo National Park, which covers a large granite plateau, is the oldest national park in Victoria, established in 1898, so in addition to the natural areas it protects, it also has some interesting history. So despite the price we opted to stay 3 nights at the campground – as it was a good base to explore the area for the next two days.
On Monday rain was forecast for the afternoon so we chose to do a 4 hour circuit walk in the morning that took us to several interesting areas including, a granite boulder field; along the lake shore; up to an isolated granite monolith and the historic Mt Buffalo Chalet.
Clambering around the Chalwell Galeries boulder field.
Ascending “the monolith”
Interesting chock-stones had been put under the monolith – we wonder if they had any effect. Also the ladder that was used in Edwardian times to climb the monolith had sadly been removed for safety reasons.
While it didn’t end up raining on Monday afternoon, we had a good shower overnight, but Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, so drove down to the southern end of the plateau to climb the Mt Buffalo Horn.
After conquering the Horn – probably a 20 minute return walk, we stopped off another walking track that took us to a beautiful isolated valley surrounded by a number of interesting granite areas.
After lunch, we descended about half way down the plateau to visit Rollason’s Falls. They were better than we expected with two tiers of waterfalls, each tumbling into a large plunge pool. The water was probably about 18 degrees, which put Maddy off, but with such clear water and a friendly sandy bottom, I had to jump in.
Back at camp we found that some Southern Black Ducks decided to squat under the caravan while a Grey Currawong looked on.