Mt Buffalo Chalet redevelopment
Brief background and history
The Mount Buffalo Chalet is located in the Mount Buffalo National Park and has a unique place in Victoria. Since being built over 100 years ago, it has held considerable historical and cultural significance.
The Chalet has been closed since 2007 following extensive bushfires in the Alps that impacted the national park and access to the Chalet.
In May 2013, the Government announced plans to develop a day visitor facility at the Chalet, comprising an information centre, activity centre and cafe space. The decision was made after an extensive public consultation process and market testing.
The development of the day visitor facility aims to open the Chalet again to the public and to make the site ready for further investment when the opportunity arises.
Heritage Victoria has now approved the heritage permit. The redevelopment project is anticipated to go to tender in Spring this year. Renovation plans will improve access to the Chalet with a new visitor entrance and portico on the north side of the building and a larger car park and bus bay area to accommodate sightseers (artists impression shown above).
For more information visit parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/mount-buffalo-national-park/plans-and-projects/mount-buffalo-chalet
In the future, visitors to the Chalet will also be able to enjoy a new terraced café and tourist information area. The café will open up new viewing areas with a decked terrace on the south side of the building offering panoramic views out across the Gorge. The project will include demolition of some outbuildings and more recent additions which will make way for new landscaped gardens and walking trails behind the building. Other works will include extensive heritage repairs, room refurbishments and services upgrades.
Plans are available at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) website:
What is happening to the Mount Buffalo Chalet?
The government is proceeding with a redevelopment of the Mount Buffalo Chalet to provide a day visitor facility.
The redevelopment involves removing some more recent additions at the rear of the Chalet building and refurbishing the remaining buildings.
The aim is the make the site operational, open to visitors and ready for future investment when the opportunity arises.
Will the government fund redevelopment of the Mount Buffalo chalet?
The Victorian government understands the importance of the Mount Buffalo Chalet to the community and is committed securing a viable future.
Proceeding with the day visitor facility redevelopment with this $7.5 million government investment will mean that the site is kept open and operational.
The aim is to make the site ready for future investment by the private sector when the opportunity arises.
What future development options will be considered?
Future investment opportunities will include any viable solution that is supported by the market and local community and meets the requirements of the government's Guidelines for Tourism Investment Opportunities of Significance in National Parks.
This could include eco-tourism activities, a restaurant or accommodation.
How will environmental, historical and cultural values of the Mount Buffalo Chalet site be protected if there is development of the site?
The National Parks Act 1975protects the park and its values.
Any future use of the Chalet will also have to complement its setting within a national park and meet the Guidelines for Tourism Investment Opportunities of Significance in National Parks.
Why has it taken so long to do something about the Chalet?
The government has been working with key stakeholders on this issue aiming to find the best option for the Chalet and the community.
We recognise the importance of the Chalet to the national park, the community and the region. We are confident that we have now made the right decision and that the government's investment in the Chalet will have significant benefits for the park, the community and the region for the long term.