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 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.
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.
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.
Today’s first trail junction. From here, I continued left towards Macs Point but will return later today from the picture’s right.
The landscape shifted from snow gums and other trees to open grassy meadows like below. Former grazing land?
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.
Wombat droppings and wombat holes were obvious. Again, no wombat encountered. Mid-morning would not be their time of day for venturing out anyway.
Overgrown tracks? Yes, we will find our way through the vegetation below.
I met no other human being as I proceeded towards Macs Point. Just me and the elements. No complaints.
Then, after a short and easy ascent, the scattered granite blocks known as Macs Point appeared. Just a few steps more…
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?
Trees restricted views from Mac’s Point by the naked eye. Here are a few zoomed in pictures from the surrounding areas.
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.
Plenty of these black rubber mats on today’s trails. A common track feature through open landscapes in alpine country .
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.
Did I mention ladders? No? Well, both Eagle Point and Mount Dunn later offer ladders to support climbing those last meters.
These were brand spanking new ladders in great condition. It felt totally safe to climb them.
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… 🙂
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…
OK, one final combined ladder and view picture before I descend down those stairs.
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…
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.
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.
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.
There were again glimpses of the Reservoir while ascending Rocky Creek Track.
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.
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.
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.
The ladder system was more elaborate this time. More of them. More complex. Let’s do it…
…and then you arrive. Top of the rock.
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…
You can clearly see the devastation on snow gums from those bushfires. A bit sad and snow gums don’t really recover.
OK, one more picture from Mount Dunn. A Happy Hiker. A little breezy up there too…
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…
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.
My instruction said where signposted towards The Cathedral, turn right. Half of that sign was missing. “The Cathed” suggested this was my next junction.
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.
On the positive side, the trail sometimes lit up with wildflowers. Pretty, wouldn’t you say?
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.
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?