The Horn

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The Horn

Mount Buffalo National Park

Enjoy a picnic with a view at The Horn before climbing to the highest point in Mount Buffalo National Park and surveying the folded mountains of the Great Dividing Range stretching into the distance. The Horn is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset or sunrise within an easy drive of the beautiful Alpine town of Bright. 
Perched on top of granite cliffs at the edge of the Mount Buffalo plateau, The Horn is a unique landscape. Dotted here and there among the great boulders are the twisted, sun-bleached trunks of Snow Gums that have succumbed to bushfires over the years. A stone lookout shelter perched precariously atop the cliff overlooks all of this as well as the surrounding mountains far below. 

Bring your lunch and enjoy the Alpine scene from the comfort of a table at The Horn Picnic Area. The picnic area isn't actually at the top of The Horn. You can access the summit via a short walk (45 minutes return).

This is also a popular place to watch a sunset. If you're lucky you might see little Australian Kestrels diving on Bogong Moths in the failing light. Otherwise, just enjoy the solitude of this mountain peak far above the worries of civilisation.

Things to do

 
Water cascades down the granite rockface at Eurobin Falls.

Ladies Bath and Eurobin Falls

At Ladies Bath Falls, water cascades into a perfectly clear pool of water, while at Upper and Lower Eurobin Falls, Crystal Creek spills spectacularly over a formidable granite escarpment.
The jetty at Lake Catani near the campground at Mount Buffalo National Park

Lake Catani Campground

Discover magnificent waterfalls and remote alpine landscapes while camping within beautiful Snow Gum woodlands beside Lake Catani in Mount Buffalo National Park.
A group of abseilers descend into the Gorge at Mt Buffalo with views of the Bogong High Plains in the back ground.

The Gorge and Mount Buffalo Chalet

Home to historic Mount Buffalo Chalet, the Gorge is perched on 200m sheer cliffs and commands fantastic views over the Alps.

How to get there

The Horn

Mount Buffalo is 325 kilometres (three and a half hours’ drive) northeast from Melbourne along the Hume Highway. Either take the Snow Road exit just before Wangaratta or continue along the highway to the Great Alpine Road (B500) exit. Watch out for native animals, especially early in the morning and at dusk. Take care driving during winter. The main road is often snow covered from McKinnons Corner through to Cresta Valley. Snow chains must be carried and fitted when and where directed by road signs during the declared snow season. Horn Road is unsealed and can become dusty and rough. It is closed during winter or following periods of heavy rain. Horn Road is not suitable for caravans.

Need to know

The Horn

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Seasonal Road Closures

    Seasonal Road Closures

    The Horn Road, Reservoir Road and Lake Catani Road are closed during winter.
    The Horn Road and Lake Catani Road are closed on the Thursday after Kings Birthday long weekend. Both roads will reopen on 15 September dependent on snow and road conditions post winter.
    Reservoir Road is also a seasonal road. However, due to flooding this road remains closed until it is repaired. Refer to the 'Change of Conditions' notice on Reservoir Road.
    Access to The Horn requires walking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing from Cresta Valley Carpark.
    Access to Lakeside Picnic Area at Lake Catani requires walking from either The Chalet Carpark along the Gorge Catani walking track or from the closed gate on the Mt Buffalo Road along Lake Catani Track.

    Reservoir Road closed to vehicle traffic

    Reservoir Road has been damaged extensively by a storm on June 8th 2023. Mt Buffalo National Park had 176mm of rain fall in 24 hours. Reservoir Road will be closed indefinitely to vehicle traffic until considerable repairs can be made.

    Update: 15 Feb 2024. We are aiming for Reservoir Rd to reopen to vehicle traffic at the beginning of November 2024.

    The closure of Reservoir Road adds an additional 3kms each way for walks to Mt McLeod, Rocky Creek, Eagle Point and Og Gog & McGog.

    Parking is available at the junction of Reservoir  Road and Mt Buffalo Road near the Vic Roads depot.

    The road remains accessible for walkers and mountain bike riders.

  • Lake Catani Campground

    Lake Catani Campground - open seasonally

    Lake Catani campground has two distinct seasons in which camping is permitted:

    Summer camping period - bookings required
    Summer camping is available from the Friday before Melbourne Cup Day in November until May 1st.

    Winter camping - no bookings required
    Winter camping is available from the Friday before Kings Birthday long weekend in June until the end of August.  During winter Lake Catani Campground is only accessible by skiing, snowshoeing or walking the 2 kms from the gate on Mt Buffalo Road. During winter facilities are limited to a pit toilet, the Stone Hut and firepits. For more information on winter camping refer to the Mt Buffalo winter visitor guide.

    Campground CLOSED
    Lake Catani Campground is closed for camping from May 1st until the Friday before Kings Birthday and from August 31st until the Friday before Melbourne Cup Day. Penalties apply for camping during these periods at Lake Catani Campground. 

    Remote hike-in camping sites
    Remote hike-in campsites at Mt McLeod and Rocky Creek remain open year round. There are limited sites at each location and bookings are made online.

  • Mount Buffalo National Park

    Mt Buffalo - Snow chains must be carried

    Snow chains must be carried for travel into Mount Buffalo National Park. This notice will be removed if the requirement to carry chains is no longer in place.

    Mount Buffalo - no vehicle based camping permitted from 1 May to 1 November 2024

    There is no vehicle based camping available at Mount Buffalo.
    The Lake Catani Campground and the Rocky Creek and Mt McLeod remote hike-in campsites are not accessible by vehicle.

    Winter camping is available at Lake Catani Campground.  However, this requires a 2km walk from The Chalet carpark or the closed gate on the junction of Lake Catani Track and Mt Buffalo Road. Refer to the 'Change of Conditions' notice for information on when Lake Catani Campground is open to vehicle based camping.

    The nearest free camping is available at Smoko, on the Ovens River, or numerous sites in the Buckland Valley. There are also fee-paying caravan and camping parks in Porepunkah and Bright.

    Car or tent based camping is not allowed at any other locations in Mt Buffalo National Park. Penalties apply.

    Declared Hazardous Area and snow wheel chain carrying requirements

    Requirement to carry snow wheel chains
    When declared, in the snow season, it is compulsory to carry snow chains and fit them when directed by road signs. The snow season is from Kings Birthday long weekend until the end of September. 
    The requirement to carry snow chains is assessed daily by staff at Mt Buffalo. When it is identified that there will be an extended period of fine weather, that will not produce icy or snowy road conditions, the requirement to carry changes will be revoked. The requirement to carry chains is communicated via signage at the entrance to the park, the emailed snow report and the ‘Change of Conditions’ notices on the Parks Victoria Mt Buffalo web page.
    Snow chains can be hired from Porepunkah, Bright, Ovens and Myrtleford.

    13-seater vehicles and buses
    Mt Buffalo Road is a Vic Roads 'Declared hazardous area' during the snow season and drivers of vehicles with 13 seats or more (including the driver) must hold a Hazardous Area Authority (HAA). 

    Mt Buffalo National Park Snow, Road, and Weather Daily Report

    Mt Buffalo National Park Snow, Road, and Weather Daily Report
    Time:
    08:00 hrs                     Date: Monday 15th July 2024
    Current conditions
    Fresh snow
    Snow cover
    Temperature  
    Dingo Dell Day Shelter
     
    1mm in the last 24hrs
     
    Dusting – Sightseeing snow
    -2°
    @ Mt Buffalo Park Office
    Today the Day Shelter is CLOSED.

     
    Tobogganing
    Status
    Condition
    Dingo Dell – elevation 1420m
    closed
     
    Cresta Valley - elevation 1480m
    closed
     
    No toboggan rental available on Mt Buffalo this year. Rental available in Porepunkah, Bright, Myrtleford & Ovens
     
    Snowshoe Trails
    (Marked with snowshoe signs)
    Status
    Condition
    Walking only
     
    The Hump – 1.5 kms return
    Walking only
     
    Sentinel – 1.5 km return
    Walking only
     
    Cresta Valley – 2kms return
    Walking only
     
     
    Cross Country Trails
    Status
    Last Groomed (date)
    Beginners Loop
    closed
     
    Bogong Plain
    closed
     
    The Horn Road
    closed
     
     
    Vehicle chains
    Status
    To be carried
    Yes
    Currently being fitted
     
    Please adhere to the chain fitting signage on the mountain.
     
     
    Weather forecast for Falls Creek, Northeast (most like Mt Buffalo):
     
     

    Comments:  Forecast for the next few days, more snow forecast later today and through the week.

     
     
    Interpreting the Snow Conditions
    Toboggan Slopes
    Excellent – good deep cover with fresh surface
    Very Good – good deep cover
    Good – good cover, may have wet areas and or holes to soil
    Fair – mostly covered but could be wet, holes and other hazards
    Poor – patchy cover, wet, holes and other hazards
    Snow play – enough snow for scraping together a small snow creature and some snowballs
    Sightseeing – patches of snow to look at
    No snow – time to go hiking
    Interpreting the Snow Conditions
    Cross Country Ski Trails and Snowshoe Trails
    Excellent - good deep cover with fresh surface
    Very Good - good deep cover
    Good - complete cover with occasional obstacle
    Fair - mostly continuous snow cover with some obstacles
    Poor - mostly continuous snow cover with numerous obstacles
    Patchy - patchy cover, insufficient for skiing or snowshoeing
    Closed - time to go kayaking
     
    View the Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley Snowcams
    Mt Buffalo Weather Station
    The Mt Buffalo Parks Victoria office has a weather station on the roof (elevation 1320m). For current weather conditions and forecasting download the Davis WeatherLink app. Set Mt Buffalo Parks Office in your favourites. The Mt Porepunkah Fire Tower is the next closest Davis weather station to Mt Buffalo.
    General Information for Winter Visitors
    It remains a requirement to carry snow chains in all vehicles, for any vehicle passing through the Park entrance. This includes visitors who are wanting to visit Lady Bath, Eurobin or Rollason’s Falls.
    There is no entry fee to visit Mt Buffalo National Park.
    Mt Buffalo has three seasonal road closures. These are The Horn Road from Cresta Valley, Reservoir Road and the Lake Catani Road. These roads close on the Thursday after Kings Birthday in June and re-open on 15th September, if road conditions allow.
    The Lake Catani Campground is open for winter camping from the Friday before Kings Birthday long weekend until August 31. Limited facilities - drop toilet only. Walk in/ski in only. No booking required.
    Refer to the Parks Victoria Mt Buffalo National Park webpage for more information on winter activities.
    If you would like to receive the Mt Buffalo Snow Report email amanda.smith@parks.vic.gov.au
    Mt Buffalo Snow Reports are also posted on the Parks Victoria Mt Buffalo web page – click the tab ‘!This area has reported issues’. https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/mount-buffalo-national-park
     

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Ground shooting operations targeting deer

    Control operations (ground shooting) targeting deer are undertaken in this area.  The Park will remain open to visitors during operations.
     
    For more information about deer control to protect biodiversity, please visit this link.

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