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Walk to The Horn on Mt Buffalo

Home > Melbourne > Escape the City | Free | Fun Things To Do | Kids | Walks
by Anita Coia (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne, curious about everything, usually making a living via corporate communications. Visit my LinkedIn profile at au.linkedin.com/in/anitacoia
Published November 20th 2013
Get your quads working on this mountain walk
Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
Fantastic views in every direction from The Horn


Mt Buffalo, in Victoria's north-east, is one impressive monolith. It's sort of a frustrated vulcano - it was formed from molten rock that couldn't actually break through the Earth's surface, so a big bubble of it cooled below the surface. Over time, the surface has eroded, exposing the granite and accounting for its unusual and imposing shape. If you're interested in finding out more about the geology of this imposing piece of rock, you can refer to the very informative "Visit Mt Buffalo" website.

Many areas of Mt Buffalo are accessible to tourists, and during winter there is some toboganing and cross-country skiing. During the warmer months, there are plenty of good bushwalks, and one of the nicest is the ascent to The Horn, which at 1723 metres is the tallest point of the mountain.

The walk up to The Horn is 1.5 km return, and the signs estimate 45 minutes for the walk up and back, but it really depends on your fitness and how much sightseeing you like to do. On a clear day, the views are wonderful. Oh, and of course the time it takes depends on whether or not you have kids - they can slow down OR speed up a walk.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
The adventure commences...


This walk is great for families, as it doesn't take too long, it's really interesting with some "adventurous" (but safe) climbing up rock steps and over boulders, and the 360 degree view at top is really amazing. If you're lucky, you might spot abseilers or rock climbers as well.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
Mid-point seat for a rest and lovely view, thanks to Audax


The track is quite narrow in most places, but there is no problem with traffic coming the other way, as there are many spots to wait and let people pass.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
Lots of climbing, but it's all do-able for little legs


On the steeper bits, there are solid rails and fencing, so there is no risk of someone falling over the side unless they are REALLY determined to do something silly like climbing over the fences.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
Almost there! The final staircase to the summit.


Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
360 degree views from The Horn, the highest point on Mt Buffalo


At the summit, there is a small landing with a guide pointing out places of interest in the distance, and information boards talking about what you can see. There isn't a whole lot of room up there, so on a busy day I imagine you'd have to limit your viewing.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
The walk is safe for kids but you still have to take care in spots


Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
The walk is a varied ramble in bush and rocky outcrops. Hats and sunscreen are essential any time of the year.


The walk is very exposed, so you need to dress for the weather. In cooler months, it would be wise to pack a jacket and a beanie, and in warmer months a brimmed hat and lots of sunscreen. In fact, sunscreen would probably also be required on clear days in winter.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
Back down to the parking area


The approach to the start of the walk is an unsealed road and there is very limited turning ability at the top, so it is definitely not suitable for caravans or any other large vehicle. Parking is provided for about 20 cars. There is a picnic area but there are NO TOILETS so make sure you go before you get here. There are, however, toilets in other locations on Mt Buffalo. Information about the amenities and all the activities available at Mt Buffalo is available on the Parks Victoria website.

Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
There is a very basic picnic area with great views, but NO TOILETS


Mt Buffalo, The Horn, Bright, bushwalking
"Perched like an eagle's nest"

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Why? An adventurous, family-friendly bushwalk
When: Any time
Where: Mt Buffalo National Park
Cost: Free
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