Mount Buffalo




Extraordinary climbing on alpine granite of all grades on everything from boulders through single pitch crags to multi day aid affairs on the North Wall of the gorge.


Mount Buffalo consists of both a large gorge and an alpine plateau.

For those staying for long periods at Mt Buffalo, there is Telstra reception throughout the majority of the national park, but limited Optus coverage found at the carpark for the Gorge and the Horn.


Varies from short to long, flat to steep walk ins or abseil approaches both short and long.

Where to stay

Paid camping is available at Lake Catani between November and April on the plateau and can be booked online ( or over the phone via Parks Victoria. Beware, the campground is quite expensive at $27/night per site. Of course you can also bivvy on the walls of the gorge during multi day ascents, or just for the fun of it. Remember to note your intentions in the climbers log at the Park Info shelter near Bents Lookout.

Free remote camping is available on the Plateau at Rocky Creek and Mt. McLeod via several km walks.

Free camp sites are available in State Forest in the nearby Buckland Valley as well as other nearby forests.


Climbing here varies from trad climbing, mainly up obvious lines and features, to sport climbing up slabs and sections of rock impossible to protect with natural gear. Of course, there are lots of climbs protected with a mixture of trad gear augmented with occasional bolt runners. Given that the trad ethic is still strong here, and the continuing need to minimize our environmental climbing 'footprint', please avoid unilateral decisions to retro-bolt and be restrained in using fixed protection when establishing new routes.


History timeline chart

Early Aboriginal history regarding Mt Buffalo is somewhat sketchy but the Yiatmathang and Minjambuta mobs regularly trekked up to the plateau in the warmer months to harvest Bogong moths.

The first non-Aboriginal sighting was made in 1824 by the explorers Hume and Hovell. In 1853 it was climbed by botanists von Mueller and Dallachy.

In 1898, 1,166 ha were declared as a temporary national park. This was expanded by 9,356 ha in 1908 when the road to the plateau was opened.

In 1910 The Chalet was built, along with the dam wall that created Lake Catani. The first ski tows were built in 1936.

Rock climbing started in the 1930's with a few routes at The Cathedral and the Wall of China though records are almost non- existent. During the late '40s and '50s several visits were made by Melbourne University Mountaineering Club groups.

Geoff Shaw established climbs at The Cathedral in 1959 and 1961. Not much of note happened until a very young John Ewbank visited for the first time and claimed the first true ascent of The Cathedral pinnacle with Maharajah with a number of aids. He would return in 1968 to claim the first free ascent of the line as well.

*Based on the 2006 Mt Buffalo guide by Lindorff & Murray.


Did you know?

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Selected Guidebooks all

Author(s): Chris Baxter & Glenn Tempest

Date: 1994

ISBN: 0646167308

A Guide to selected rockclimbs at Mt Arapiles,the Grampians and Mt Buffalo

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