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Mount Buffalo, Victoria

menu_book picture_as_pdf bookLamar Quentin Bushwalk Australia Victoria Mount Buffalo NP


Mount Buffalo Victoria

Text and photosLamar Quentin

Atop the peak of The Hump

The Hump and The CathedralAfter a recent traumatic event I found myself feeling defeated. Along with the physical effects of the ordeal came severe anxiety and depression. Now you might be wondering, I thought this was going to be an article about hiking and it is. However, to really understand the depths of this hike I feel it incumbent that you come along on the journey with me and I hope that you too might find yourself exploring this very track one day and in doing so like me, rediscover that light within you.

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When I tell you that high up there overlooking the horizon with the valleys and plains below, there is nothing that can compare to that feeling of being one with the gods. Alternatively, if you’re more spiritual, it's a space of feeling so safe and so connected with your whole mind and body you have a version of peace like nothing you have ever experienced before.

Following yet another tormented night I found myself at an impasse, one that only those of you who have dwelled in the deep dark depths of your mind can understand. I needed something, not like a sign from the universe sort of something but more an ember, a spark even so thin as a fragment of hope that could allow me to feel, well, me again. Being the experienced hiker I am, I already had my pack

in the corner of the room ready to go, just add water, as it always is for those spur of the moment day trips all walkers know and love. A quick check of the weather showed no warnings and so I headed off in search of the answer I was so desperately seeking.

One to two hours from Wangaratta or Albury is the turnoff to the stately Mount Buffalo with its highest peak The Horn sitting at a noble 1723 metres. This is an easy to reach spot for most beginner walkers, though experienced hikers know that often some of the toughest walks give the greatest reward. Now if you’re in your twenties and perhaps even your early thirties and find yourself thinking, but Lamar this isn’t that tough, you’re forgiven as you know not yet the state of a person’s knee’s come their late thirties.

Given its bold and commanding granite boulder structure settled upon the side of the mountain rising high above the plateau, The Cathedral is aptly named, and is not a hike to be scoffed at. This 1.9 kilometre grade 4 walk is on a well-defined track with stone steps laid by hand in the 1930s. Beginning at the

Near the summit of The Hump with The Cathedral on the left


... you have a version of peace like nothing you have ever experienced before.

25 notes and maps on webpage, GPX and PDF

This map is © and is created using data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Cathedral-Hump Track

Road, four-wheel drive track, walking track (treed)

Main track, side trip, alternate route

Cliff, major contour line, minor contour line (10 metre interval)

Lake, river, waterfall or creek

0 m 50 100 200 300 400 500 m

Start of the walk



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Cathedral Saddle car park on the Horn Road, this hike is alive with an array of wildflowers best seen in late spring. It's a fauna admirer's dream with numerous native lizards sunning themselves along the rocks, magnificent coloured indigenous birds and I even spotted some elusive blue banded bees along the way. The track twists and turns steeply, bringing you to the base of The Cathedral's boulders.

For those who enjoy the challenge of hiking and rock climbing, there are crags along the way. Bolt anchors and trad protection is used, with Parks Victoria requesting that climbers avoid further bolting or pegs to minimise the human impact on this magnificent landscape.

Once you reach The Cathedral you have the option to turn around and make your way back down or, take the path less travelled and climb The Hump, 1695 metres, the second highest peak on the mountain and the fifty-ninth highest in Victoria. In my view this is absolutely well worth it and I feel is the best spot on Buffalo. In the early 1930s a hut was constructed here to provide shelter for skiers.

As you traverse the Cathedral Track towards the Hump, it is hard to believe a hut was once located all this way up by the Cathedral

boulders giving shelter to wayward skiers early in the 1930s. Hiking this track out of snow season really gives a sense of wonder at how much we have changed and achieved through the generations with safer skier sanctuaries now located at Dingo Dell, the Horn and the Gorge Walk car park.

On the way up hikers are greeted with breathtaking views of The Cathedral and surrounding hills giving a backdrop for some of the most prolific sunrise and sunset photographs out there, a commanding scene you do not want to miss. A must do is The Hump track that carries on beyond this point. A warning: the steep twists and turns can be challenging to some and trekking poles for the return trip will get solid use.

If you thought The Horn gave impressive views, the magical scenes from The Hump bestow a categorically exquisite 360 degree panorama of the Kiewa, Tawonga and Hume

View from The Hump


It's a fauna admirer's dream ...


Snow gum at The Hump

valleys. Not only that, but on a clear day hikers are rewarded with glorious views overlooking the alp's most regal mountains such as Big Ben, Mount Bogong, Mount Feathertop and Mount Buller. There are native wattles along the way but a must see is the most magnificent snow gum I have ever been privileged to experience at the very tip of The Hump slightly off the beaten track hidden behind The Hump boulder. At the right time of day in mid-summer where the sun sits at just the right spot, this snow gum glows like a stunning rainbow, and you could easily mistake it for the rainbow gums only found in the tropics, a wow moment for sure. Take the time to pause, really pause and breathe in the magnificence of this place that in my opinion is unmatched to anywhere else in Victoria. This is a walk that everyone simply must do at least once.

So you ask, but Lamar did you find what you were looking for? I began The Hump hike lost in my own darkness searching for a way out, something to give me just a glimmer of hope to keep fighting. Not only did I find that, I experienced a moment high up on that peak surrounded by flawless majesty. This felt like new breath injected into my soul, as though the gods Baldr and Iðun had reached out and breathed it to me themselves. I found me. I hope that you explore The Hump trail and find what it is you’re looking for too, be that a spark of your own, a reason to keep living, or a view that you can hold in as much awe as I did that will stay with you forever, bringing a peace whenever you may need it most.


... a must see is the most magnificent snow gum I have ever been privileged to experience ...

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