Long Weekend Getaway in Buchan

Travel period 23-25 April 2014

Situated in a picturesque valley, Buchan is the meeting point of the Snowy and Buchan Rivers. It is best known for its underground caves, limestone cliffs and the majestic Snowy River.

Meeting point of the Snowy and Buchan rivers

Located approximately 350 kilometres east of Melbourne (about a 4.5-hour drive via Princes Highway), this was the town we chose for our relaxing long weekend away; to be surrounded by nature!

Buchan in Brief

Buchan is primarily an agricultural town and one of Victoria’s oldest European settlements. It is rich in pioneering heritage and history including fossils and bones of creatures found in the mega fauna period dating back 10,000 years.

Buchan Valley Log Cabin

We stayed in Clancy cottage. It was very cosy and rustic, we absolutely loved it! It has its own charm and features. The bed was comfy and the kitchen very well equipped. The entertaining area at the back has a BBQ, outdoor seating and absolutely magnificent views of the valley.

The log cabin

The next day we were excited to explore the snowy river country. Here are the highlights of our trip:

Day 1

Snowy River NP

Comprising of a remote wilderness area of nearly 98,000 hectares, the Snowy River National Park protects Victoria’s largest forest wilderness. The road beyond Little River Gorge into McKillops Bridge is one of Victoria’s most precarious, but also offers some truly magnificent scenery.

No caption needed 😉

Adventurous four-wheel driving through the tall forests of the Snowy River National Park and river crossing, is accessible and that is what we loved.

McKillops Bridge

Classified by the National Trust as a structure of ‘Cultural Heritage Significance,’ McKillops Bridge was originally completed in 1936 to replace the previous bridge, that was destroyed by a freak flood.

McKillops bridge

At the time of its construction, the bridge combined twentieth century concrete and welded steel technology with an all-timber stock-bride superstructure of a type that had been built in the 1850s. At this time the structure was regarded as one of the standing wonders of Australian road-bridge engineering.

Day 2

Buchan Caves

Nestled in the foothills of the Snowy River Valley you will find the Buchan Caves, where you can enjoy the beauty of the Royal and Fairy Caves.

The subterranean chambers and passages were carved by rainwater that trickles into the caves, forming stalactites and stalagmites.

Covering 260 hectares, the Buchan Caves Reserve was listed on the National Estate in 2000. It boasts an impressive system of walking tracks varying from short and easy walks to the more challenging.

To understand the geological processes and the creation of the caves, we went on a guided tour of the caves. We opted for the Royal Cave, as it does not require a lot of bending down and stairs that the Fairy Cave system does.

Red and brown colorations are caused by the presence of iron oxide while green is caused by copper.

The caves are lit by electricity and have concrete steps and hand rails. There is natural ventilation and the temperature remains a steady 17°C.

It was an amazing experience, and to think that the elaborate limestone sculptures, calcite-rimmed pools and baroque stalactites and stalagmites have all formed through natural processes over thousands of years.

The calcium carbonate which forms the basis of the limestone formations was produced by the skeletons of shellfish and coral.

Cave Tours Information:

All Cave Tour tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival. Online purchases close at midnight for the following day.

Tour times:

  • Royal Cave: Start of September school holidays until 30 April – 10.00am, 11.15am, 12.45pm, 2.00pm, 3.15pm Monday-Friday with additional tours on Saturday/Sunday 9.30am, 10.45am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm and 2.45pm
    Royal Cave: 1 May until the start of September school holidays – 11.00am, 3.00pm
  • Fairy Cave: Currently closed
    Fairy Cave: 1 May until the start of September school holidays – 1.00pm
  • Limited numbers taken per tour. We recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment particularly during weekends, school and public holidays.
    Buchan Caves is open 364 days a year- closed on Christmas Day.

Tour Pricing:

Single cave tour (Royal)
Adult: $ 23.40
Child: $ 13.80
Senior: $ 19.50 (concession ticket type)
Family: $ 64.70 (2 adults, 2 children 5 – 16 years)
Stair climber: $ 13.70 (call to book)

There is so much to see and do in Buchan. We wished we had more time, as we discovered that two day is not nearly enough to fully enjoy this beautiful town.

Note: The information provided in this post was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service.