Victoria has signed the largest native title claim in the state’s history, recognising the Taungurung as traditional owners in across large sections of northern and north eastern Victoria and awarding a settlement of more than $33m. The agreement covers sections of the high country and Alpine National Park, including Mt Buller, Mt Cobbler and the Buffalo Plateau.
The Alpine Shire has produced a great walking guide for the areas between Myrtleford and Mt Beauty to Dinner Plain and back to Harrietville. Operating through the ‘Bright & Surrounds‘ tourist info program, the guide offers descriptions for walks in and around key towns plus wilder destinations like the Alpine National Park, Mt Bogong and the Buffalo Plateau.
Paper copies are available from tourist information centres in north eastern towns or online here.
This excellent resource aims to get more visitors to the region out on walking tracks, and makes it easy for first timers by providing full details on the distance and difficulty and notes for more than 65 walks.
The Chalet at Mt Buffalo is a much loved Victorian icon. Originally owned and operated by the Victorian Railways, it provided on mountain accommodation from the early 1900s until a decade ago.
It was closed in 2007 and has been falling into an ever more run down state each year.
There have been several attempts to restore it to some of its former glory. However none of the government money allocated to this purpose has ever delivered much.
Its October, so its ‘officially’ road riding season. While there are endless riding opportunities across the entire Australian Alps, the ‘iconic’ series of rides in Victoria is called the 7 Peaks Ride. It’s designed as an ‘at-your-own pace’ cycling challenge which runs from October to April.
The rides take you to the top of the seven Victorian Alpine Resorts, each one ranging from 6 to 40 kilometres in length.
The idea is that you register online and track each ride using the 7 Rides app. You can find out more and register here. Of course you can get out there and do the rides. Either way its epic, with a total distance of just over 450 kilometres.
National Parks, World Heritage Areas and other parts of the conservation estate are not simply handed to the community by governments. Wild areas are hard fought for, sometimes for decades, before they gain protection. But once created, that is not the end of the story. Traditionally parks can face a range of problems and pressures, including under funding and over use, and invasion by feral species. In recent years it has become ever more apparent that climate change poses a huge threat to most ecosystems in the country, and hence the integrity of our national parks.
They are sometimes also threatened by proposals for commercial development. The following summary of current threats to national parks in Victoria comes from Phil Ingamells.
The Mt Buffalo Chalet was built in 1910 and run for many years by the Victorian railway authority. It is an incredible building in a remarkable location, just near the Gorge in the Buffalo National Park.
It has been closed since 2007 and fallen into disrepair. Sections of the building have been demolished because it would have been prohibitively expensive to renovate the whole complex.
The following comes from the Victorian government:
The Andrews Labor Government today announced the newly appointed members of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group, which will work with Parks Victoria to identify future tourism options for the Mount Buffalo Chalet.
The advisory group was established to consider future options for the Chalet so it can stay safe and secure for generations to come.
Last year Parks Victoria (PV) ran a Volunteer Track Ranger Program in north east Victoria. They received a very positive response from both the people who volunteered and those who were out hiking in the areas where volunteer rangers were present. PV has decided to run the program again this year and is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people.
Being involved in the program will enable participants to expand their volunteer experience while exploring some of the remote terrains and campsites in the Alpine National Park. This helps Parks Victoria during peak times of visitation.
The Buffalo Stampede is a ‘SkyRunning’ race event that will be held over three days in April 2016 on a variety of courses near Bright.
SkyRunning events are held around the world. This will be the third time Bright has hosted it. There are a range of options, from kids races, a 12 kilometre event to the top of Mt Porepunkah and Apex Hill, plus a 42 kilometre Marathon and 72 kilometre Ultra Marathon. The Ultra follows a course from Bright to Mt Buffalo and back. There is also the option to join the Grand Slam, three days of running which sees participants cover 142 km and 9,000 metres of ascent.