Only 3 hours outside of Melbourne, Mount Buller is asking to be summited. Take on the challenge and grab yourself some unparalleled sunset and sunrise views…
- Mount Buller summit
- Steavenson Falls
- Incredible hiking location
Packing your car for a weekend away should probably be more organised than mine was. The early wake up didn’t help as I ended up throwing random jackets and clothing on the back seat of the car. It didn’t matter though as I had my cameras next to me and a great drive ahead to a new destination.
One of the perks of being up early was catching the sunrise and first light over the city as the trip was underway en route to the first stop in Marysville, via the Maroondah Highway through Yarra Ranges National Park. Driving this picturesque road, winding through the giant oak and elm trees and the dense surrounds, the urge to stop, soak it all in and take some snaps was too much to resist. So I did. Pulling over at Dom Dom Saddle Picnic Ground sitting atop the Black Spur (500m above sea level) as the light tried to make it through the forest, it provided a nice little break as the trek continued on to Marysville.
Marysville was only meant to be a quick pit stop for the bathroom and food but I happened to see a sign for Steavenson Falls (Steavenson Falls National Features and Scenic Reserve) and I couldn’t help myself. A short flat walk from the carpark leads down to the viewing platform below the gorgeous and powerful falls of the Steavenson River. A must-see if you’re heading through Marysville.
The journey continued onwards again through the lush green Victorian countryside all the way to the overnight stop in Mansfield. This provided a great opportunity to offload some of the junk from the back seat and fuel up (both petrol and food) for the drive and walk up to the summit of Mount Buller to catch the sunset.
Reaching For The Summit
Golden hour arrived, driving with the sight of the sun in the rear view mirror slowly getting lower and the flowing Delatite River on the left as the climb to the summit began. The half-hour drive provided frightening yet jaw-dropping views of the Alpine Region.
Greeting me upon arrival at Mount Buller Village was the pleasantly surprising snow from the previous days’ weather. Even after checking the snow forecast with minimal expected over the week, it was a welcome sight and certainly put a smile on my face. With light slowly fading, the initial plans of completing the Summit Nature Walk were abandoned and the decision to head straight to the summit was made.
From the summit car park the views of the Alpine Region and the awaiting snow-capped summit were something to behold. Bracing for the wind chill, I added one of the jackets that remained in the car and commenced the short steep climb to the fire lookout, located on the mountain’s peak. The amazing scenery as the sun set over the mountains combined with the snow and freezing winds left me breathless. Returning down the steep slope back to the car with a slip or two, the eerie swaying ski lifts in the wind provided a very nice frozen cherry on what was already a very tasty ice cream cake.
Taking A Second Bite At The Summit
Returning to the night’s accommodation and looking at the photos I’d just taken, I set my alarm early to once again make my way up the mountain, this time for sunrise. With time on my side, I was able to walk the Summit Nature Walk and take in the surroundings of the Alpine Region, capturing it and all its beauty.
At the base of the mountain after descending the summit, one last stop was made in Mirimbah at Carters Mill Campground purely for curiosity and another place to explore. With Mount Buller directly above, the morning sun shining through green surroundings and the sound of the Delatite River rolling over the rocks, it provided a fitting end to a wonderful trip. Oh, and I saw a wombat. His name is Greg.
- Hiking boots
How To Get There
Melbourne to Mount Buller through Marysville via the Maroonday Highway (254kms). Approx. 3h 45m drive.
- Mountain biking
- Ski/snowboard/toboggan (depending on time of year)
Beginner–Intermediate (reasonable level of fitness required)
Distance Covered / Duration
- Steavenson Falls — 700m return/15 -30 mins
- Mount Buller Summit Nature Walk — 4.1km return/1.5-2 hours
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