Mount Buffalo National Park: Three peaks circuit 18.4km

Today’s hike incorporates three “peaks” within Mount Buffalo National Park; Macs Point (1450m), Eagle Point (1490m) and Mount Dunn (1510m). However, the hike doesn’t include Mount Buffalo. Something called “The Big Walk” apparently does that (not “roadtested” by me… yet!). Still, today’s views improved from each peak and is well worth hiking.

The map:

The elevation map:

The trailhead marked “Macs Point Track” can be found next to Mount Buffalo Tourist Road. Easy to miss, I drove past it to the next trailhead and had to turn around.

Parking off the road is possible for a few cars, but nobody there when I arrived.

Trailhead off Mount Buffalo Tourist Road – Macs Point Track

The trail is well-marked but looked little used. From the very beginning, the trail was narrow and surrounded by high grass. No real risk of getting lost though. Although, you may sometimes have to pause and look where’s next before proceeding.

Start of Macs Point Track

That sign from the previous picture up close. Today’s initial section is named Macs Point Track as Macs Point is today’s first peak. Some 4km from the trailhead.

Sign describing Macs Point Track

Today’s first trail junction. From here, I continued left towards Macs Point but will return later today from the picture’s right.

First and last trail junction

The landscape shifted from snow gums and other trees to open grassy meadows like below. Former grazing land?

Open landscape towards Macs Point

Limited wildlife is seen today. No snakes despite sometimes appearing like “snake country”. Plenty of birds though. Like the kookaburra below on a snow gum. Many rosellas too.

Kooooooookaburra

Wombat droppings and wombat holes were obvious. Again, no wombat encountered. Mid-morning would not be their time of day for venturing out anyway.

Wombat hole

Overgrown tracks? Yes, we will find our way through the vegetation below.

There is a track here somewhere

I met no other human being as I proceeded towards Macs Point. Just me and the elements. No complaints.

Through the grass towards Macs Point

Then, after a short and easy ascent, the scattered granite blocks known as Macs Point appeared. Just a few steps more…

Macs Point (elevation 1450m)

You may notice cracks in some boulders above. These cracks occurred due to intense heat from devastating bushfires here in 2006. Those fires also created skeletons out of many snow gums. Sad but such is life in much of the Australian bush.

Macs Point was perfect for today’s first break and a cuppa… Am I’m enjoying myself?

Hiker’s rest at Macs Point

Trees restricted views from Mac’s Point by the naked eye. Here are a few zoomed in pictures from the surrounding areas.

Views from Macs Point (picture 1 of 3)
Views from Macs Point (picture 2 of 3)
Views from Macs Point (picture 3 of 3)

Next, retrace your steps from Macs Point to the last trail junction and then turn left towards Rocky Creek Track. Today’s first maintenance track (of sorts). Signage again is plentiful and clear.

Rocky Creek Trail

Plenty of these black rubber mats on today’s trails. A common track feature through open landscapes in alpine country .

Follow the black rubber mats

So, I am walking east before walking west again. A trail junction 1km away from Eagle Point had its sign well hidden. Not only overgrown but also a short distance from the junction itself. Mind you, not many junctions around so you know pretty well where you are.

Eagle Point is… let’s see… what does it say… 1km from here.

Did I mention ladders? No? Well, both Eagle Point and Mount Dunn later offer ladders to support climbing those last meters.

Stairway to… Eagle Point

These were brand spanking new ladders in great condition. It felt totally safe to climb them.

Looking down that ladder from the previous picture

Peak number 2, Eagle Point, offered even better views than from Macs Point. No “views obstructive” trees either. And at 1490 meters elevation, 40 meters higher than Macs Point. Another break, another cuppa. Of course… 🙂

Cheesy grin from Eagle Point

Just one picture of the views from Eagle Point. Let’s not go too overboard here. We still have Mount Dunn’s views to cover. You get the picture… if not literally…

Views from Eagle Point

OK, one final combined ladder and view picture before I descend down those stairs.

Stairway… down from…

Those bushfires from 2006 (or another more recent event?) messed up some of the trails. Fallen trees, branches, forest litter… A clean-up is needed…

Trail becoming an obstacle course

Well, you always find yourself a way through. So I did.

A side trail would then take you to Og, Gog, and Magog. I assume they are three large boulders. I didn’t check. The Reservoir then appeared. The trail didn’t get any closer to its water than this.

The Reservoir

At Mount McLeod Track, you turn right a short distance before Reservoir Road comes into view. This latter intersecting road below is available to traffic for Reservoir Picnic Area. You follow the road for a short while to reach the Reservoir Road parking area. No cars on the road, three cars parked there.

Mount McLeod Track x Reservoir Road

I found one single and vacant picnic table next to the parking area. That will be my lunch spot. Another track towards the Reservoir may provide more picnic tables, but I didn’t venture further. My next turn was in the opposite direction, the Rocky Creek Track below.

Start of Rocky Creek Track

There were again glimpses of the Reservoir while ascending Rocky Creek Track.

The Reservoir from the east

I soon departed Rocky Creek Track for a smaller trail. The former would return you halfway between today’s trailhead and Macs Point. Been there, done that. Mount Dunn is my next destination. This is it.

Exit Rocky Creek Track here for Mount Dunn

Needless to say, I took many pictures today. Appearing in this post is just a fraction of those. I did like the photogenic qualities of the picture below. A burnt and barren snow gum against grassland and the sky.

Towards Mount Dunn

There is another trail junction where you have to exit to reach Mount Dunn. Its ascent is quite steep but not for long. Suddenly, another one of those ladders came into view.

Another stairway to…

The ladder system was more elaborate this time. More of them. More complex. Let’s do it…

A long way to the top…

…and then you arrive. Top of the rock.

Top of Mount Dunn

The views from Mount Dunn are considered among Mount Buffalo National Park’s best. Due to its central position on the plateau.

Just two pictures from its top…

Views from Mount Dunn (picture 1 of 2)

You can clearly see the devastation on snow gums from those bushfires. A bit sad and snow gums don’t really recover.

Views from Mount Dunn (picture 2 of 2)

OK, one more picture from Mount Dunn. A Happy Hiker. A little breezy up there too…

Better hold on to my hat

The sign below provided instructions for how to descend: “Always face ladder, use both hands, climb slowly“. And “Don’t jump from heights“. I always think that there is a reason why signs like these are where they are…

Follow the rules back down

After Mount Dunn, and after returning to that trail junction, I was sort of on home stretch. Sure, 3+km back to Macs Point trailhead but hey… It’s all relative.

Straight line through the grass

My instruction said where signposted towards The Cathedral, turn right. Half of that sign was missing. “The Cathed” suggested this was my next junction.

Towards “The Cathed”

Today’s steepest section belong to the 1km from that junction and back to Macs Point Trail. In addition, periodically that ascent was a literal obstacle course. One example below.

One fallen tree after next

On the positive side, the trail sometimes lit up with wildflowers. Pretty, wouldn’t you say?

Colours of the forest

Hey, I see signs! Back to that very first trail junction. Loop completed. From here, we just backtrack some 400 meters to the trailhead, to finish off the hike.

Aaa… the trail junction I’ve been waiting for

Conclusion: This Mount Buffalo circuit was a fantastic hike. Much recommended. You get to see a cross-section of Mount Buffalo National Park. Admiring views from three peaks. A varied scenery. Stairs to climb. The toughest bit was at the very end.

And almost void of people. The first time I saw anybody today was at Reservoir’s carpark. That’s 13km in. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?

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