Mount Buller, often called Buller by locals, is an alpine village and ski resort around 250 km northeast of Melbourne. In winter, the mountain contained 263 ha of terrain for skiers and snowboarders, satisfying a wide range of skiers, from total beginners to ultra-advanced. In summer, Mount Buller has rapidly expanded from just an 'off season' to a significant destination for hiking and mountain biking, with more to come.

Mount Buller village during the snow season

Understand edit

At only 3-4 hours drive from Melbourne, Mount Buller is popular with day trippers from Melbourne, but also boasts 7,000 beds on the mountain. The mountain itself rises to 1,805 m (5,922 ft) above sea level, with average snow depth during winter of 1.5 m. Extensive snowmaking takes place to ensure a longer season.

One thing to note is that skiing in Australia is extremely expensive, and Mount Buller is no exception. Expect high prices, especially for accommodation and food.

Climate and seasons edit

Mount Buller
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: Bureau of Meteorology.
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Mount Buller can be divided into two seasons, winter and summer.

The winter season, dominated by skiing and snowboarding, lasts from the King's birthday long weekend in June through to the October school holidays, depending on seasonal conditions. The mountain is usually busiest during the June school holidays and Victorian Interschools week (21-27 August), where large numbers of families come up to Mount Buller. During these times, it can be very hard to get accommodation, and if you do, expect long lift waits. August is generally the month with best snow, with most to all of the mountain being open. In winter, Mount Buller is very cold, with temperatures regularly below 0°C, so it is important to wear appropriate clothing. Most skiers and snowboarders wear thermals, warm jackets and (most importantly) waterproof jackets and pants, especially in peak season. Even if you are only visiting for snow play or sightseeing, wearing warm clothing is important. It is possible to rent this clothing from Buller Sports (mentioned below).

Snow-wise, Mount Buller varies significantly from season to season, and despite efforts every year, it is almost impossible to predict. If you see incoming snow on the forecast, don't always rely on it, as predicted conditions can change rapidly. A large part of the resort has a sunny northern aspect, which means snow melts quicker, and Buller tends to retain less snow than the other Victorian resorts. Luckily, Mount Buller provides a snow guarantee, which provides a full refund on prepaid accommodation, lift ticket, rental, lesson packages and toboggan park entries, provided you apply before 5PM the day before your planned arrival. In the early and late portions of the season, where snow can be scarce, it applies if Bourke Street Express is not running, and in peak season, if Bourke Street Express and less than three of a variety of other lifts are not running.

The summer season, dominated by mountain biking and hiking, lasts from early December to early April, with peak season being summer school holidays from opening to late January. However, the mountain tends to be much less busy in summer than in winter. In summer, the weather warms up to a rough average maximum of 15°C, however it is still often cool enough for multiple layers of clothing. Many places, including some of the locations mentioned in this guide, are closed in summer.

Get in edit

By car edit

There is only one paved road into Mount Buller, the Mount Buller Road (C320) which starts in Mansfield, a small town located 55 km away. Most of the Mount Buller Road is fairly safe and easy to drive, but the road starts getting complicated once you drive past the Sawmill Settlement as the road begins climbs up the mountain. Extreme care is needed to navigate the road up the mountain with many blind corners and natural hazards such as ice and loose rock falling onto the road. The maximum speed limit is 60 km/h in good conditions, if the weather deteriorates, the safe speed can be reduced to 40 km/h (25 mph) or less.

If you are departing from Melbourne, leave at about 8:30 to 9AM to arrive in Mansfield to arrive at around noon for lunch. Stop at the Mansfield Bakery for award-winning pies, or go to the Mansfield Coffee Merchant for a more gourmet meal, with great coffee.

To get into the resort, you must pay for resort entry and have it available to display upon entering the resort, this can be done here. Cars also have to carry wheel chains if they are visiting the resort. You will also need to book Rideshare or private transfer, this can be done here. Note that Rideshare can be busy and delayed both entering and exiting the mountain, and the options for private transfer are very expensive. All cars visiting Mt Buller must carry diamond-pattern wheel chains, these can be hired from Buller Sports in Mansfield.

By bus edit

As explained above, the road up to Mount Buller is difficult to drive, so taking a bus can be preferable if you are not confident with driving the road, or do not drive at all.

For a direct route with a full days' skiing, Altitude Tours runs a bus at 5:30AM from the Old Melbourne Gaol to Mount Buller, with a return bus leaving at 4PM. This bus stops off at Box Hill and Glen Waverley, in Melbourne, and at Alzburg Resort, for ski and equipment hire, along the route. It is also possible to get a full day tour from Melbourne, of which there are many options, such as Mt Buller Tours and Adventure Snow Tours.

During winter, there is also a V/Line "snow coach" service that runs from Southern Cross to Mount Buller, which must be reserved through one of the options on the V/line website[dead link]. This consists of a V/line coach to Mansfield, a coach from Mansfield to Mount Buller provided by Mansfield Mt Buller Bus Lines, and the Rideshare service to accommodation.

By air edit

There are some companies that offer helicopter trips to Mount Buller from Melbourne, such as Microflite and Mile High, however these are expensive and are often cancelled or delayed due to wind or visibility issues.

If you are travelling interstate or internationally and wishing to fly, Melbourne Airport will be your best option, as it is the largest airport in Victoria, and closest major airport to Mount Buller. From here, it is easiest to use another of the options listed to get to Mount Buller.

Get around edit

 
Village Square at Mount Buller, facing the Bourke Street Express lift

To get around the Mount Buller village, there are free village bus services available for you to catch to allow you to reach the slopes from different points such as Chamois, Village Plaza, Ski School and Bourke Street. The buses are equipped with special clamps to secure your skies or snowboards on to remove the hassle of bringing your snow gear inside the bus and upsetting other users. There are three routes, all starting and ending at the 1 Village Centre; to the top of Summit Road, along The Avenue and around Stirling Road and the south side of the village.

See edit

It's possible just to enjoy the view of the many mountains surrounding Mt. Buller, which provides a memorable day out in itself.

  • 1 Mount Buller Summit. In summer, it is possible to hike or drive up to the Mount Buller Summit, which offers incredible views across the Mount Buller Area.
  • 2 Summit Nature Walk. Starting at the top of the paved section of Summit Road, the Summit Nature Walk offers great views of the area on a dedicated path. The trail is quite easy, but has stairs and steeper parts at times. The Summit itself is very steep, and proves a challenge to walk up.
  • 3 Gnome Roam. The Gnome Roam is a fun guided train around the Village for kids, starting and ending at the Clock Tower in the Village Square. Download the Mount Buller Walks app to get an audio tour of the route.
  • 4 National Alpine Museum (National Alpine Museum of Australia), +61 418 976 338, . The National Alpine Museum houses around 25,000 pieces of alpine memorabilia on Level 1 of Alpine Central.    
  • 5 Sculpture Walk. Starting on Stirling Road and going up Athlete's Walk, the Sculpture Walk is a series of sculptures, which can be accessed year-round. Again, use the Mount Buller Walks app for a guided tour.

Do edit

 
Baldy run, on the Abom chairlift

Skiing and snowboarding are the main choices of activity for many visitors. However, there are some other activities that you can do if you are not a keen skier or snowboarder. There are snow shoe activities and sightseeing available. See the Buller website for more details.

  • 1 Mount Buller Cinema, +61 493 472 589, . Enjoy a movie at Australia's highest cinema with movies for young children to adults, check the timetable on the website for information.
  • 2 Buller Air Zone, . The Buller Air Zone, located on Level 2 in the Alpine Central building, is an indoor trampoline park including five high-performance trampoline, a large inflatable air bag, a bouldering wall and a rock climbing wall.

In Winter edit

Skiing and snowboarding edit

Ski lessons at Mount Buller

It's important for skiers and snowboarders of all levels to get lessons to learn and develop new skills. Thankfully, Mount Buller has a fantastic Ski and Snowboard School, with options for all ages and levels. For kids, the Bunyips (3-6 years old) and Buller Kids (7-14 years old) programs, are best suited, with a variety of ability levels and small groups. These come in either morning, afternoon, or all-day lessons. For people aged 15 and above, group lessons are available for 1st time, beginner and intermediate skiers. 1st time lessons run for 2 hours starting at 9AM, 11AM and 1:30PM, and beginner and intermediate lessons run for 2 hours starting at 10AM and 1:30PM. For advanced skiers and snowboarders above the age of 15, private lessons are the best choice, which run throughout the day, and are also suitable for people wanting one-on-one lessons or families of a similar skill level.

All of these options are available for booking through the website, however there are limited spots, so it is important to book early. In the early 2020s, Mount Buller has had a shortage of international ski instructors, so advanced lessons have occasionally been cancelled. All ski lessons start from Helicopter Flat, in front of the Ski School building and next to the Abom Express lift queue, except for Bunyips, which meet inside the Ski School building. Snowboard lessons meet across Bourke Street from Helicopter Flat.

Skiing and snowboarding is a very common activity on Mount Buller, and many people come exclusively to do so. Mount Buller has an extensive network, comprising of 88 trails served by 20 lifts. Lift tickets can be bought on Mount Buller's website, with prices changing throughout the season. When skiing or snowboarding, remember to abide by the Alpine Responsibility Code. The one thing to remember, even if you are an advanced skier, is to know your limits and to not push them. Pushing your limits can often lead to accidents, which could leave you seriously injured and out of pocket.

  • Beginner (Green Circle): The beginner runs on Mount Buller are Bourke Street, Baldy and Burnt Hut. The slopes on these runs are gentle and easy to slide down on. Burnt Hut is slightly steeper, but the scenery is a lot nicer than Bourke Street, with trees on both sides. Bourke Street is ideal for beginners who wish to stay near their accommodation, since it is right in the middle of the Mount Buller Village, and a newly-built six-pack chairlift, Bourke Street Express, is very fast despite the previously-long lines. Baldy ends at the top of Bourke Street, and is quite flat, making it harder than Bourke Street. All of the beginner runs are available from the Abom chairlift.
  • Intermediate (Blue Square): Two very popular intermediate runs are the twin runs of Wombat and Little Buller Spur, located near the top of Baldy. Groomed most days and covered by snowmaking, the runs are suitable for many intermediates wishing to move up from green to blue. However, the runs get a bit busy on Sundays and school holidays, and the chairlift serving them, Wombat, is very old and slow. Another easy run is Skyline, accessible from Baldy, however it is served by a T-bar, which can be difficult for skiers and especially snowboarders who have not used them before. Family Run is very easy, too, and used to be marked as beginner. It does have a small uphill part, which can be annoying to get up. A slightly more difficult run is Standard, located at the end of Skyline. It can, at some times, get somewhat choppy or icy in some parts. Other runs similar to Standard are Shakey Knees, Tirol, Summit Blue and Chamois. The most difficult blue run is Summit Slide, which is considered 'double blue' by some skiers and snowboarders. It is covered by moguls, or bumps, and is somewhat steep. It is usually used as an introduction to moguls before moving onto other runs with steeper, larger moguls.
  • Advanced (Black Diamond): Mount Buller has a large variety of advanced runs, from easy black runs to very steep terrain. The easiest black run on the mountain is the chain of Summit Black and Howqua, followed by Dam Run and Yurredla. These are all not as steep as most advanced runs, and tend to get good snow cover. Summit Black and Howqua have snowmaking, furthering snow cover. A good run in the middle difficulty of advanced runs is Men's Downhill, which has snowmaking and is very popular on a good day. Chalet Creek is a similar steepness but more technical, as it doesn't have as good snow cover. The runs on the Bull Run bowl, encircled by Standard, is also in the middle range, although the upper runs such as Hogg's Back and Sun Valley are more difficult. The most prominent run in the Bull Run bowl is Fall Line, which offers the most difficult moguls on the mountain and is very popular with mogul skiers on a good day. The most difficult advanced runs on the mountain are the runs on the Summit, including the Fanny's Finish and Summit Ridge areas. These are very steep and can get very icy at times.
  • Extreme (Double Black Diamond): Mount Buller has both on and off-piste terrain. As of 2023, Mt Buller has declared two runs as double black runs: Plug Hole, accessible from the Bull Run chair, and Fanny's Finish, accessible from the Summit chair. There are two locations where off-piste double black runs can be found. The first is off of Summit, past Fanny's Finish, where the Chutes are located. There are much more well known than the double blacks located in the second location, off of the Canyon Trail, near Chamois. Only the most experienced skiers should ski in these areas, and help may be a long way off if anything happens. Skiing the Chutes will also result in a walk back up to the Howqua chairlift if you go down too far.

Tobogganing edit

There are two toboggan parks in Mount Buller; the 4 Village Toboggan Park, right near the Village Centre and Alpine Central, and 5 Celia's Toboggan Park, at the base of the mountain. Celia's can be accessed using the Northside Express chairlift, which is walkable from the Village. As of the 2022 season, you cannot bring your own toboggan onto the mountain, instead, you must hire them or book a toboggan park ticket from the Buller website, this has been done to reduce the number of people tobogganing on the slopes or in between buildings, both possibly dangerous situations.

In Summer edit

Mt Buller offers a series of activities in summer, including a large mountain biking network, multiple nature walks and a large hiking network. Mt Buller also is the home of the Australian Alpine Epic, a 51km mountain bike track from the Village to the town of Mirimbah, and is one of the few IMBA Epic-accredited trails in the world.

Buy edit

  • 1 Buller Grocer, +61 3 5777 6133. Buller Grocer is the only supermarket in the Village, and sells normal supermarket products, with a focus on food. It is expensive, so it is advised to bring some food with you if possible.
     
    Mount Buller Village Centre
  • 2 Buller Sports. Buller Sports, on the mountain and in Mansfield, offers equipment hire for skis and snowboards, and wheel chain hire, a necessity as all cars on the mountain, including off the Village, must have wheel chains, and 2WD vehicles almost always need to use chains.
  • 3 Grimus Ski Centre, +61 3 5777 6396, . Another ski hire location, Grimus Ski Centre also has a shop where you can buy gloves, goggles, helmets and other ski equipment. They also have a tuning centre and a 'ski depot', where ski equipment can be stored securely.
  • 4 Snowfox, +61 419 526 344, . Snowfox offers designer skiwear for men and women, and a variety of alpine homewares and toys. Snowfox is very expensive, so be prepared to pay.
  • 5 Ski and Snowboard School. The ski and snowboard school offers ski and snowboard lessons for all ages. The School offers private lessons, and the following programs: Bunyips, for 3-6 years old, Buller Kids, for 7-14 years old, and teens and adult group lessons for beginners and intermediate skiers.
  • 6 Mirimbah Store, +61 3 5777 5846. Mirimbah store is the last place to get fuel before entering Mount Buller, so it is essential to stop here to refill if necessary. The Store also sells alpine diesel, which is a must for diesel vehicles.

Eat edit

Mount Buller offers a variety of restaurants, from cheap-and-cheerful to luxury options. Due to the limited number of eateries, it is important to book tables, especially if you are with a larger group or visiting during busier times.

 
Map of Mount Buller (some locations offscreen)
  • 1 Burger Haus (in the Molony's building), +61 3 5777 6309. Delicious burgers near the Bourke Street Express lift and George's Ski Hire. Can get busy quickly, as the area it is in is not very large.
  • 2 Pat's Italian (Village Plaza), +61 3 5777 6494. Serves great Italian food, with a wide pizza and pasta menu.
  • 3 The Whitt, +61 3 5777 6024, . The Whitt serves 'modern Australian-style cooking with a European flair', according to its website, and is a good option for families as it has a games room. Book early, as it gets very busy, and some days are reserved for Ski Club of Victoria members.
  • 4 Enzian Restaurant, 8 Chamois Rd, +61 414 312 177, . Within the Enzian Hotel, this hidden gem has a modern menu within a wonderful Austrian lodge atmosphere.
  • 5 Duck Inn, +61 3 5777 6326. The Duck Inn offers a variety of food for all ages, and an extensive drinks menu. It is quite far away from much of the Village, so either use the shuttle service or prepare for a long walk.
  • 6 The Villager (in the Village Centre), +61 3 5777 6167, . Pub-style food for all ages.

On-mountain eateries edit

Mount Buller has a variety of eateries located on the ski fields, meaning that skiers can have lunch without having to return to the village.

  • 7 Tirol Cafe (at the top of The Fox chairlift), +61 3 5777 7969. On-mountain Italian food, with a great view of the slopes. You can walk to it in good visibility, as it is not too far from the Village, but expect food waits of over 30 minutes unless you arrive early.
  • 8 Koflers Hutte (between Howqua and Koflers lifts), +61 3 5777 6241, . Enjoy a variety of snacks and meals while admiring the view of the mountain. Koflers does get busy quick, so arrive and order early, or sit outside in what is a better view, but frigid.
  • 9 Wombat Skiosk (at the bottom of Wombat run). Offers drinks, a variety of snacks, and hot dogs. Not as busy as some of the other on-mountain locations, however is not always open.
  • 10 Spurs (at the top of Northside Express), +61 3 5777 7963. Inside, Spurs offers mainly café food, with a variety of options for lunch. Outside, Spurs operates a smokehouse, with an American-style menu. With beautiful views of the mountain inside and out, Spurs is a licensed venue with a bar. Despite its popularity, especially with day trippers, Spurs rarely gets full due to a massive seating capacity.

Drink edit

  • 1 Kooroora Hotel, 2/4 The Avenue. Large bar with music as well as dining options.
  • 2 Moosehead Whisky and Blues Bar, +61 3 5777 7901. Moosehead serves a series of drinks, including whisky, as well as snacks and live music on Saturday nights.

Sleep edit

Mount Buller has many type of accommodations, ranging from upper class hotels to backpackers lodges.

Budget edit

  • 1 Buller Central, +61 499 004 946. Buller Central offers small, cheaper hotel rooms in the middle of the Village, and is close to the Bourke Street Express lift and many dining options.
  • 2 Schuss Ski Club, +61 3 5777 6007, . Schuss Ski Club is one of the many ski lodges on Mount Buller, which are all somewhat similar. Small bedrooms sleeping 2-4 people are on offer, with communal facilities such as bathrooms, lounge rooms and kitchens. Lodges such as Schuss are much cheaper than booking apartments, however they are not for you if you want private facilities.

Mid-range edit

  • Alpine Holiday Rentals, +61 3 5775 1197. Offers a wide variety of private accommodation scattered on and off the mountain. Especially in busy periods, their options get booked out very quickly, with repeat customers getting prioritised.
  • 3 Hotel Pension Grimus, 5 Breathtaker Rd, +61 3 5777 6396, . Pension Grimus is steeped in Mt Buller local history, founded by Hans Grimus, an Austrian immigrant and former director of Orange Lifts. Pension Grimus offers hotel rooms and apartment and plays host to Kaptains Restaurant (named after Grimus's dog Kaptain), a restaurant that serves excellent food.
  • 4 Arlberg Hotel, 5 Breathtaker Rd, +61 3 5777 6260, . Arlberg, with a great ski-in ski-out location at the top of Bourke Street, offers a variety of motel-like rooms and large family apartments with views of the ski fields.

Splurge edit

  • 5 Breathtaker Hotel & Spa, 3 Breathtaker Rd, +61 3 5777 6377. More expensive option with full apartments, as well as a spa. The hotel offers studio, one, two, three or four bedroom apartments, and is ski-in ski-out.
  • 6 Mt Buller Chalet, 5 Summit Rd (right next to the Village Centre and Alpine Central), toll-free: 1800 810 200, . The Chalet contains pool, spa, sauna and gym facilities, and offers studio, one and two bedroom apartments. Due to its size and price, it's often available when other options are fully booked.

Stay safe edit

Due to the mountainous, isolated nature of the mountain and the danger in traversing the mountain, safety can be a concern. 2 Mount Buller CFA is on the junction of Stirling Road and The Avenue and the 3 Mount Buller Police Station is nearby, on Chamois Close. The 4 Medical Centre and the 5 Ski Patrol are located on Summit Road, at the top of Athlete's Walk. Be careful on Athlete's Walk, as it is very steep and sometimes slippery, although the installation of heaters has remedied this to an extent. Downloading the Mount Buller app is a must, as Ski Patrol can be called using a quick-to-access button on the app.

Cope edit

There is one chapel on Mount Buller, the 6 Mount Buller Chapel, located at the top of Chamois Close, next to the Police Station. There is also an aerial bridge from the Village Centre building to the top of Chamois Close, to access the Chapel.

Connect edit

In Mount Buller, internet can be patchy, and has issues in some areas. Telstra works decently well across most of the Village, however Vodaphone and Optus doesn't work as well in some areas. The internet, no matter the provider, is better on the north side of the mountain. While skiing, there are some towers, however it is difficult to get internet at the bottom of runs.

Go next edit

North edit

  • Mount Stirling is a popular location for cross-country skiing near Mount Buller, with no village and limited facilities.

East edit

  • Mount Hotham and Falls Creek are both ski resorts in Victoria where you can continue your alpine adventure.
  • If you wish to go interstate, Thredbo and Perisher in New South Wales are both ski resort options in Australia.
  • The Alpine National Park is next to Buller and offers a great place to explore.

West edit

  • Mansfield is the closest large town to Mount Buller and a good place to stay for some time, with more restaurants and accommodation.
  • Euroa and Seymour are both large towns further away from Mount Buller with some small heritage locations to see.

Southwest edit

  • Melbourne is Victoria's capital and a large city with many less adventurous things to do.
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