I love cities, but I love walking more. After a while trudging through day to day life both of us tend to crave a bit of outdoor silence. Mount Buller, out of the peak season, is ideal.
We opted to free camp and forgo the luxury of running water to save a few pennies and stayed at Sheepyard Flats.
Being Easter and unbeknown to us non-locals, the place was heaving, but mostly everyone minds their own business and boy do the Aussies know how to camp! Hammocks, barbecues, dogs, generators and fairy lights gave the campground a cheerful festival feeling. Although be warned to ”two wheel drive appropriate” road you read about on Parks Victoria actually means; can just about get down there if you go twenty kilometres an hour. If you’re travelling through and are hiring a vehicle, a four wheel drive would be preferable.
Nestled amongst the trees and next to a river, this place is a photographers paradise in the morning light, and the stars are incredible at night. Plus it’s only about an hour’s drive to the summit of Mount Buller, twenty one kilometres away once you’re onto the main road. From December to the end of April it’s free to get onto the mountain. Walkers and mountain bikers have the place to themselves, free of the hoards with chains on their tyres making the most of the snow during ski season; when the place really comes alive.
Over two full days we walked the Nature track to the summit of Mount Buller, adding a cheeky extra ridge walk, and made it to the summit of Mount Stirling via the Corn Hill track.
The Corn Hill track was without doubt one of the best walks we’ve had in a long time and my personal highlight of the weekend. At a reasonable pace we completed the return journey in five hours but there are some very steep accents so be warned, a decent fitness level is required for this one. Due to the difficulty levels however we had huge stretches of the hike to ourselves and near the summit of Mount Stirling the silence was indescribably perfect. Just what we needed to go back to the city feeling revived and refreshed, if not more than a little sad to be leaving so soon.
We stayed one night in Lake Eildon, which was beautiful, but due to a nightmare of spending hours trying to find the campsite it ended up purely acting as a stop over point on our way home. I’d love to go back during the spring and give it the exploration it deserves, on land and in the water. We did manage this one cheeky shot from a viewpoint on the road though…
If you have a little time to go hiking and explore outside of Melbourne in Victoria, the road a little less travelled to the Alpine National Park is perfect to feel like you’ve got back to the wilderness and reset your energy levels. It really does deserve a spot on your camping list.