Mt Buf­falo launches green sea­son

Alpine Observer - - News -

By STRUAN JONES

MEM­BERS of the Mount Buf­falo busi­ness com­mu­nity met last week over in­for­mal drinks and snacks at the Punkah Pantry to re­view the 2018 win­ter sea­son and to launch the sum­mer ahead.

Lead­ing the meet­ing was long-time tour op­er­a­tor David Chitty, who con­firmed that win­ter vis­i­tor num­bers were their high­est in 22 years, with al­most 50,000 peo­ple get­ting onto the moun­tain in July and Au­gust.

The feel­ing among the busi­ness com­mu­nity was that Mt Buf­falo is an in­cred­i­ble lo­ca­tion, more af­ford­able com­pared to nearby re­sorts, and has lots of po­ten­tial to im­prove.

The 90 days of snow was def­i­nitely a bonus this year, with Parks Vic­to­ria able to groom cross-coun­try ski trails and pro­mote snow­shoe­ing on newly signed trails.

Tobog­gan­ing and snow­play was most pop­u­lar among fam­i­lies and first-timers who were look­ing to ex­plore the area with­out hav­ing to pay en­trance fees to the park.

Many in­trepid snow-go­ers also visit Mt Buf­falo in win­ter how­ever, at­tracted by its camp­ing and snow-tour­ing po­ten­tial.

To start the sum­mer pe­riod, camp­ing grounds opened last week­end, in­clud­ing new glamp­ing sites set up with heat­ing, a queen-sized bed, cof­fee ma­chine, Wi-Fi, and a lux­ury out­door set­ting.

Also dis­cussed were Chalet tours start­ing next Jan­uary, and the newly signed na­tive ti­tle claim which will see the Taun­gu­rung Clans Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion be­gin to work with Parks Vic­to­ria go­ing for­ward to man­age the park.

Ed­die Wil­son from Tourism North East spoke about the huge in­ter­est there is among vis­i­tors in the Abo­rig­i­nal his­tory of the re­gion, and made it clear that with the sign­ing of the na­tive ti­tle, there could be po­ten­tial to have more in­ter­pre­tive in­for­ma­tion about the lo­cal in­dige­nous cul­ture.

He also flagged a new push to ad­ver­tise and en­cour­age walk­ing in the re­gion’s towns and moun­tains, af­ter a suc­cess­ful em­pha­sis on pro­mot­ing cy­cling, in­clud­ing in­tro­duc­ing the ‘7 Peaks Chal­lenge’, where cy­clists log their rides and re­ceive recog­ni­tion for cy­cling up seven of Vic­to­ria’s tough­est moun­tains.

Talk­ing of the com­mu­nity around Pore­punkah, John Lowes, man­ager of the Punkah Pantry, sug­gested a for­mal group be es­tab­lished by busi­ness op­er­a­tors in Pore­punkah, Eurobin and Mt Buf­falo, “to come up with ideas for busi­nesses and to make this place a bet­ter place to live,” and de­scribed the Pore­punkah area as a big as­set that has not been fully re­alised, and should re­ceive more sup­port.

The meet­ing ended with talk around how the moun­tain can best be pro­moted through pho­tog­ra­phy on so­cial me­dia, em­pha­sis­ing the scenic panora­mas and nat­u­ral beauty of the en­tire park.

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