Travel

Mountain Treks

The 2400 hectare Park takes in varied eucalypt forest, creek flats, a waterfall, steep escarpments and Mount Buangor, the area’s highest peak. There are picnic and camping facilities along the creek flats. Walking tracks connect the picnic areas and traverse the escarpment to give great views of the surrounding country.

Mount Buangor State Park adjoins Mount Cole State Forest, 60 km west of Ballarat.

Picnicking

Ferntree Picnic Area is on a sloping site that has been terraced to partially overcome the steep gradient. There is an uneven and unstable surface. A toilet meeting many access criteria is situated near the car park. The nature trail that starts at Ferntree Picnic Area has some uneven ground, and steep narrow steps after the waterfall. Bailes Picnic Area is a basic site. The toilets are standard male and female facilities only. There are wood fireplaces.

Middle Creek Camp is relatively flat but lacks defined paths. There is a toilet facility designated for visitors with a disability, meeting many key criteria for access, and also picnic facilities with good shelter and open fireplaces.
For more information:

Camping

* Middle Creek accommodates large groups, caravans and individual sites.
* Ferntree is much smaller and has only five individual sites. Camp fees do not apply.

Walking

* There is a 15 km network of walking tracks in the park, many of which extend into the adjoining Mount Cole State Forest.
* The Waterfalls Nature Walk, which begins at Ferntree picnic area, is a short walk suited to most people. The walk leads to the Ferntree Waterfalls and the upper sections of Middle Creek.
* The Cave Walking Track from Middle Creek campground is a steep and strenuous walk which takes you to a large rock overhang and extensive views to the south and west.

Facilities

* Middle Creek picnic and camping area has toilets, water, fire places, tables and a picnic shelter.
* Ferntree picnic area has toilets, fire places, tables and water.
* Ferntree camping area has five campsites with fire places and tables.
* Bailes picnic area has toilets, tables and fire places.

Heritage

The local aboriginal people were the Beeripmo balug clan of the Dwab wurrung tribe who occupied the area around the Mount Cole ranges to the Fiery creek. Few artefacts have been recorded in the Park but there are many recorded archaeological sites on the nearby plains.
There were a number of 19th century sawmills in the Park. Kosminski’s and Emery’s mills feature sawpits and a log chute for sliding sawlogs downhill from the plateau. GeologyThe rocks of the Park are Devonian granites, intruded into overlying Ordovician sedimentary rocks 350 million years ago. Subsequent erosion exposed and formed Mount Buangor (990m), Sugarloaf (960m) and the steep southern escarpment. The surrounding slopes have built up from outwashed granite sand. Mount Buangor is the highest peak in the western section of the Great Dividing Range.

Fauna

More than 130 species of birds have been recorded in the park and adjoining Mount Cole State Forest. Patient visitors will enjoy bird watching in a quiet corner. Echidnas, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Red-necked Wallabies are often seen from the walking tracks and roads.
There are many nocturnal animals, including possums, gliders, bats and owls, but these can be difficult to see.
Vegetation.
The park contains a variety of eucalypts including Yarra Gums and Manna Gums, which grow along the creek flats and Blue Gums and Messmates, which prefer the south-facing escarpment or the elevated plateau.
Narrow-leaf Peppermint can be found on the dry ridges. Snow Gums grow on the higher peaks and Red Stringybarks colour the western area of the park.
Magnificent tree ferns grow in wet gullies where the lush vegetation creates a cool retreat in summer.
Mount Cole Grevillea and Shiny Tea-tree are found on the elevated slopes.

Looking After the Park

  • All native plants and animals are protected.
  • Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the park.
  • Firearms are not permitted in the park.
  • Stay on walking tracks to avoid damaging ground-cover vegetation.
  • Fires may only be lit in fireplaces provided. No fires may be lit on days of Total Fire Ban.
  • Take your rubbish with you.
  • Please leave the park as you find it.

How to Get There

Mount Buangor State Park is situated 180 km west of Melbourne. Use the Western Highway via Ballarat and Beaufort. Ferntree Waterfalls Road, 15 km west of Beaufort on the Western Highway, provides the main access to the park.
Melway ref: 526 G2P.
Vicroads Country Directory ref: Map 57 E7.