Hike to a bunch of the main attractions in the Mount Buffalo National Park
The Mount Buffalo Circuit Walk combines multiple trails into hike, allowing you to see a whole bunch of places all on the one track.
The entire circuit is about 10 kms, although it’s quite easy to complete and well worth it. You’ll go past loads of different places, keeping the walk exciting and interesting as there aren’t any long stretches where you don’t go past a look out, creek, gorge or something else worth checking out.
Starting & finishing at Lake Catani Campground (high up into the mountains), you’ll go past the Underground River, through a gorge, then pop out along the edge of the mountains with a heap of lookouts spanning for hundreds of metres, with the main one being Mount Buffalo Lookout, just near the Mount Buffalo Chalet.
From the Chalet, you’ve then got the option to walk further to Crystal Brook Falls Lookout or even further to Pulpit Rock Lookout then back to the Chalet before heading up to the highlight of the walk: the Monoliths, the trail then loops around, back to Lake Catani, where you started from.
This is an enjoyable hike that take you past lots of great sites with not too much difficulty for regular hikers or people with a moderate level of fitness. It’s a great way to see some of the best places in the Mount Buffalo National Park.
As this circuit combines a bunch of different hiking trails so that you can see the most sites in the single walk, it’s best that you use All Trails for directions/navigation. You can find this trail here (although, we skipped the Chalwell Galleries part).
This trail does cover quite a few kilometres, although it’s not too difficult at all.
After Lake Catani, you’ll head down a steep hill to the Underground River, which is in a a gorge, so you’ll have to make your way up the other side, but it’s only about 70 metres of elevation over a couple of hundred metres in length. The next difficult part is after visiting the Mount Buffalo Chalet and Lookout, when you ascend to the Monoliths, which is around 150 metres of elevation over about 1.6 kms.
Most of the rest of the hiking trail is quite cruisy and enjoyable, if you have a moderate level of fitness, you probably won’t consider this a challenging hike overall, other than the couple of short-ish steep section.
For something harder, try the “Big Walk” and for something easier, drive to the lake, walk around it, then drive to the Mount Buffalo Lookout and have a stroll to some of the other vantage points and attractions that are close by.
The entire circuit is about 10 kms, although along the way you’ll have the option of heading out to other lookouts, which add around 500-1,000 metres to the trail.
The elevation gained is about 300 metres, which is mainly coming up the short steep section after visiting the Underground River and then the longer steep section to reach the summit at the Monolith.
At Lake Catani, there’s a campground with full facilities, although that’s only for people that have booked a campsite.
Right beside the lake is a Day Use Area, welcome for use by all visitors. This area has shelter, barbecues, picnic tables and toilets.
You’ll also find toilets, shelter and barbecues near the Chalet and Mount Buffalo Lookout.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
Porepunkah & Bright (back down the mountain) are the closest places to buy food and drinks, so if you’re planning on camping up on Mount Buffalo, it’s a good idea to bring along some supplies.
Dogs aren’t allowed anywhere inside the Mount Buffalo National Park, although there are some dog sitters in Bright.
Accommodation & Camping
You can camp right at the start and end of the trail, at Lake Catani Campground. This is a great place to set up the tent or bring along the caravan as it has showers, flushing toilets, a laundry and 49 individual campsites that vary quite a lot, whether it be a large site for a big rig or the walk-in section for tents only.
If you’d prefer not the camp in the hills, there are a bunch of caravan parks and other accommodation options in Bright and Porepunkah, at the base of the mountains, with the Mount Buffalo River Caravan Park being a great option for camping, caravans or renting a cabin.
Free camping might be your preference, if so, take a look at Ah Youngs Campsite on the Buckland River, just below Mount Buffalo.
While you’re visiting Mount Buffalo, consider heading up to the Horn Lookout via a short but steep hiking trail.