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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mt Donna Buang - June 2009 snow trip

On Monday June 15 2009 I went up to Mt Donna Buang, about 80 km east of Melbourne.

At 1250 m, the summit had about 20 cm of good early winter snow, and the road was closed at the car park.

From there it was a 500 m hike up to the top, along a very icy and slippery road!

It was sunny, with several Snowmen having been built by kids! The Lookout Tower was closed for the winter - temperature at 1 pm was 6 degrees.

My visit included a short hike down the Mt Victoria Track, but snow drifts were up to my knees and the track was impassable.

The other main track from the summit goes to Mt Boobyalla, and on to the Dom Dom Saddle, also closed for the winter.

Nearby is Management Rd 2 - this is gated and marked "Melbourne Water - Entry Prohibited". This road joins with the Boobyalla Track further down the mountain.

There were excellent views from the summit across the Alps and ranges, with snow covered Lake Mountain visible, as well as Mt Baw Baw.

On this occasion, admission fees were hot being charged, and the hot-dog trailer van which comes up from Warburton was absent!

So I had to be content with my hot mushroom soup from the thermos!

There is no cross country or downhill skiing at Donna Buang. In winter, the resort offers snowplay, sightseeing, and tobogganning.

Until the late 1930s, there was a ski village at Donna Buang, near the present day main car park, and downhill skiing was popular, but this was almost totally destroyed in the Black Friday bushfires in 1939. What remained was dismantled and rebuilt at other snow centres, such as Mt Buller.

The Donna Buang Rd was built in the 1920s, and members of the newly formed Melbourne University Ski Club, formed in 1929, visited the region often.

The downhill ski-run was subsequently closed down and became the toboggan run.

The lookout tower is the third generation - the first was a wooden structure built in the 1920s - this was replaced around 1940, itself later replaced by the present steel tower.

There are good signed lookout points on the Donna Buang Rd on the way up, past the Acheron Way turnoff.

See the full set of
Photos of my trip!

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