Built-in 1910, the Mount Buffalo Chalet is a picturesque alpine building that sits high on a plateau in the Mount Buffalo National Park. Originally designed as a resort for the popular and now defunct Mount Buffalo ski resort, this grand timber building was used as a private guesthouse for wealthy Victorian holidaymakers who wanted to escape the busy industrial cities.
The building was designed by architect George Austin, the public works department’s chief building designer at the time. The original drawings and plans were of a granite building, but the costs were too expensive and it was constructed with a timber frame instead. The chalet has been nicknamed locally the “Grand Old Lady” and it is a symbol of the early days of skiing in Australia.
After World War II, improved access to other locations across the alpine areas of Australia meant that Mount Buffalo became less important as a ski resort, but this did not spell the end for this historic building. After several structural changes with the addition of new wings, extensions, and outbuildings, the chalet remains in a preserved condition to this day.
After being managed by a series of private owners, the chalet closed to guests in 2007. It continues to attract visitors to the windows, where the interior has been maintained and houses old furniture and decorations from the past.
The historical significance of the building helped it secure a place in the Victorian Heritage Register. It is now managed by Parks Victoria, who have spent money on the maintenance of the grounds and ongoing restoration of the building.
Know Before You Go
There is a parking area at Mount Buffalo Chalet. There are many hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties across the Mount Buffalo National Park.