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2020 has dealt a terrible blow to the snow industry, and it’s important to support small and local businesses that keep these regions thriving and tourists coming back, and allowing skiers and snowboarders alike to enjoy the outdoors.
The Mt. Buller and Mansfield area is a picturesque and plentiful region to explore, and there’s still plenty to eat, drink, explore and experience year-round – especially when you’re headed for a snow trip.
Mt. Buller and Mansfield is also steeped in history. Mansfield originally hit headlines in 1878 when Ned Kelly shot and killed three policemen in 1878 leading the area to become known for its Bushranger history. Mansfield also became associated with the Man from Snowy River (see Craig’s Hut below), largely due to the 1982 movie which was filmed in the area. Mt. Buller developed as a ski resort in 1946 and today has become the largest Victorian ski resort. With an extensive history, the Mt. Buller and Mansfield region is a great place for a weekend getaway (whether it’s snowing or not), so we have rounded up the best way to experience this region - no matter the weather or season you’re planning to visit.
Known to locals simply as 'the produce store', it’s commonly known as the place to eat, meet and relax in town – and there is a reason why it’s always busy. As one of the trendiest spots to eat in town (picture high ceilings and rustic vibes), with generous sizes, affordable prices and some of the friendliest staff you’ll meet – it’s the perfect spot to kick off your trip to Mansfield.
68 High St, Mansfield | Open daily, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Most visitors to the region already know ‘you’ve got to grab a pie in Mansfield’ and Mansfield Bakery is the place everyone talks about. Whether you’re after something savoury or sweet, there is a huge selection of choices, plenty of parking outside making it a great place to stop in for a bite. PS we recommend the pepper pies and the sausage rolls!
31 High St, Mansfield | Open daily, 6:00 am – 5 pm (4 pm on weekends)
Whilst renowned for their various blends of coffee and unique brewing methods (they are a coffee roaster after all), Mansfield Coffee Merchant also know how to whip up a decent feed – serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again, due to popularity, it can be busy, but the wait for a table is outweighed by a great coffee and scrumptious brekky.
23 Highett St, Mansfield | Open daily, 6:00am – 8pm (3:30pm on Mon & Tue)
A great traditional local pub with a beer garden and bottle shop, the Mansfield Hotel is a fantastic place for a classic pub meal as well some of the most delicious wood-fired pizzas!
As well as classic fare you can also find some unexpected dishes for a hotel including ramen (which is to die for) but we couldn’t write this post without recommending the panko chicken parma!
86 High St, Mansfield | Open daily: Lunch from Noon & Dinner 5 pm to Late, Bar: Every day 11 am to Late
If you’re at Mt. Buller around dinnertime then Kaptan's Restaurant at the Hotel Pension Grimus is a good option for a great feed – dinner bookings are essential so call ahead to reserve your table. The Schnitzel is a Buller iconic meal, but with juicy steaks and a range of options, you are sure to find something to satisfy your appetite. PS you can’t leave without trying the Salzburger Nockerl – the 20 min wait is worth this souffle sensation!
5 Breathtaker Rd, Mount Buller | Open daily, Lunch (Sat & Sun only) 12 - 2 pm, Dinner daily from 6 pm
The Black Cockatoo restaurant at Mt. Buller Chalet Hotel is elegant yet relaxed and will probably give you one of the best meals on the mountain. Architecturally designed paired with amazing views of Mount Stirling, the venue is stunning, and the kitchen proudly serves a ‘celebration of Australian produce’ with a range of wines from some of the best vineyards in the state.
Bookings are essential.
5 Summit Rd, Mount Buller | Open Thur – Sun from 4 pm
Steak lovers look no further than your new favourite – Bos Taurus. Created as Mansfield's first authentic steakhouse style bistro and bar there is not much else to say than simply go here – Best. Steak. Ever! (Oh, and they also have a range of other delicious options).
If you’re still missing the exquisite premium beef, fear not, they also deliver locally as well to Melbourne Metro!
13-15 High St, Mansfield | Open Wed – Fri 4 pm-9 pm, Sat-Sun 12 pm – 9 pm
A contemporary bar and restaurant hiding under the Timbuktu development on Bourke Street ski run, Snow Pony is your go-to option on the mountain whether you’re looking for a delicious meal or a late-night drink. With a striking rustic atmosphere and flavourful food, Snow Pony is the place to make you feel instantly transported and sure to be a highlight of your trip.
231 Summit Rd, Mount Buller | Open daily Mon to Fri 9 am - Midnight, Sat & Sun 8 am – 1 am
Looking for the best place to grab a drink at Mt. Buller, or even better, a place for late-night drinks? Well, Koorora Hotel has got you covered. As the mountains favourite watering hole nestled in the heart of the village square, the Kooroora Hotel also offers a range of decent meals to make sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach.
2/4 The Avenue, Mount Buller | Open daily 11 am – 3 am
A 30-minute drive from Mansfield will get you to the famous Jamieson Brewery and it is a must-visit if you’re in the region. Sitting on the banks of the famous Goulburn river for over half a century and one of the first micro-breweries in Victoria, the Jamieson Brewery also provides a scrumptious food offering, brewery tours, options for offsite accommodation, but foremost, some bloody good brews.
5953 Eildon-Jamieson Rd, Jamieson | Open Wed to Sat 11am – 10:30pm, Sun 11am – 4pm
Whilst only open 2 nights a week, if you’re after some of the best cocktails in the region then Luna is the bar you’re after – we mean how could you say no to a Sticky Date Martini?! With cocktails from $12-$16, if you’re a sweet tooth you’ll love the dessert cocktails but we recommend the premium cocktails especially the Yuzu & Ginger!
1 Chenery St, Mansfield | Open Fri & Sat 4pm – 11pm
With superb beers brewed on-site, Social Bandit Brewing Co. is a great place for casual eating and cold beers. Trust us and treat yourself to the delicious pizzas and pretzels!
More good news, the Social Bandit crew ship Australia wide, so you can get your orders in online.
223 Mt. Buller Rd, Mansfield | Open Thur & Fri 4 pm - 8 pm Sat & Sun 11 am – 8 pm
Who doesn’t love a Farmers’ Market?! Held year-round right in the centre of Mansfield (next to the Post Office), the local Farmer’s Market is a fresh and artisan produce market allowing you to pick up fresh fruit and veg, some gourmet cheese and snacks, as well as a range of other treats!
90 High St, Mansfield | 4th Sat of the month, 8.30 am – 1 pm
There’s no better way to support locals than by shopping at a store where products are created by locals. A great place with wonderful pieces from local artists and creators, as well as handicrafts, you’ll also find interesting homewares, craft, textiles and gift cards.
Established in 1995 by a group of like-minded, locally-based artists and craftspeople, the group members staff the not-for-profit business on an unpaid basis, so drop in and show your support.
82 High Street, Mansfield | Open Thur to Sun 10 am – 4 pm
If you’re a bit of a sweet tooth you can’t pass through Mansfield without stopping at everyone’s good old favourite - Mansfield Sweets. With all the goodies you remember from childhood plus delicious new treats, there’s plenty to choose from to stock your pockets and keep you fuelled for the day.
91 High St, Mansfield | Open daily 10am – 4:30 pm (Mon -Thur), 10 am – 5 pm (Fri & Sat), 10 am – 3:30 pm Sun
A unique marketplace for buyers and sellers of rare & interesting finds, Vintage Traders Emporium is set in an expansive warehouse space allowing you to casually browse all things vintage, retro, antique, preloved & recycled. From furniture and décor to books, fashion and jewellery, there is something for everyone. Keep your eye open for a rare find or collectible item!
10 Crosbys Ln, Mansfield | Open Wed – Fri 12 pm – 5 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 5 pm
A very small place and less hustle and bustle compared to Buller, the Telephone Box Junction at Mt. Stirling is a great place to start your next adventure from, plus it’s a great place for a pretty picture. You’ll find a visitors centre close by as well a café if you need to warm up. If you’re heading to Craig’s Hut (only 19km away, see below) you’ll pass through so make sure to make a pit-stop.
Mount Stirling Rd, Mount Buller
If you’re headed to the wineries of King Valley, halfway between Mansfield and the valley is the perfect place to stretch your legs – Powers Lookout (image above).
Harry Power, who was the last of Australia’s infamous bushrangers, was captured at his hideout on 5 June 1870 yet today it is a famous lookout providing uninterrupted picturesque views of the King Valley 300 metres below; allowing you to imagine life as a bushranger. Power’s lasting fame was guaranteed when he took on 14-year-old Ned Kelly as his ‘apprentice’. Pack a picnic or if you are headed early for a heavenly shot like you are in the clouds, take a thermos for a warm cup of coffee. The Powers Lookout State Reserve is accessed off the Mansfield-Whitfield Road between Tolmie and Whitfield. From the car park, there’s a 10-minute walk to the lookout.
Famous for the Kelly Gang’s Killing Fields, Stringybark Creek is a historical pit-stop to add to your trip. 36km from Mansfield, it was on the banks of Stringybark Creek in 1878 when the Kelly Gang killed three police officers making them the most wanted outlaws in Australia. The Stringybark Creek Historical Reserve features short walking tracks, police memorial, and comprehensive signage delving into history.
Stringybark Creek Rd, Archerton
If you are taking the winding roads to Mt. Buller make sure to take a scenic drive through Merrijig passing through the Delatite Valley. This is a great place to drive through if you’re coming from King Valley or Powers Lookout headed to Mansfield. The valley is scenic and it’s beauty will make you just want to cruise all day.
The Howqua River is the home of the old gold mining area in the region and is set in a pristine, secluded valley that is now a popular spot for picnics, camping, fishing, horse riding or bushwalking. The Howqua River is also a great place to start for some scenic walking trails such as the Howqua river walk or the Bluff Trail taking you 1,725 metres up to take in spectacular alpine panorama views.
Up for a walk? Take a scenic stroll along the Mitchell’s Bridle trail. The 24km trail closely follows the Jamieson river from Granny's Flat Camping Reserve to Mitchell's Flat. The trail is easy to moderate and passes two historical sites, the Quicksilver mercury mine and the remains of the homestead of the pioneer Hoskins and Mitchell families at Mitchell's Flat. With an abundance of natural beauty you won’t be short of photo opportunities.
360-degree views through to Mt. Buller, Lake Eildon, Lake Nillahcootie? Hell yes! Whilst you can drive to the Paps Lookout, if it’s not winter, it’s a great trail to hike. The moderate 9.5 kilometre out and back trail will give you glimpses of native wildlife before taking in the 360-degree views of the mountains at the top. This is one we definitely recommend.
You can’t visit the region without visiting the most famous High Country Hut – Craig’s Hut, home to the story of the Man from Snowy River. Atop Mt. Stirling the hut provides spectacular views of the ranges, is one of the most photographed landmarks and an iconic symbol of Australia’s settler history. You can visit Craig’s Hut by whatever means interest you; driving, horse ride, biking, hiking or even a helicopter ride there and back. Craig’s Hut is remarkable any time of the day but it is something else at sunset.
Looking to soak in some old-world style at a local treasure? Sitting back and relaxing at the Swanpool Cinema will definitely do the trick. The Swanpool Cinema provides the Benalla District with the best foreign, art-house, classics and traditional films and is a not-for-profit community cinema, operated entirely by volunteers! For over 22 years the Swanpool Cinema has been screening movies, usually, as a double feature on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and is the epitome of Australian country hospitality and old-world charm.
2386 Midland Hwy, Swanpool | Check the site for times.
The Mt. Buller and Mansfield area is a great region to get on horseback and take in the scenic beauty. With a range of horse-riding operators, you can take your pick and explore over 60km of trails with guided tours suiting all ages. Scenic horse-riding tours to Craig’s Hut and the Stirling Summit provide great views of the surrounding area.
Puppies and snow, two amazing things combined. Opening in 2014, Australian Sled Dog Tours provide an adventure you are unlikely to forget. Tours operate through the whole season subject to snow or weather, and you even get a meet-and-greet and photo session with your fluffy little Siberian Huskies who will take you out for an adventure. Tours sell out quickly so book ahead.
Corn Hill Rd, Mount Buller | Open daily, 10 am – 5 pm
If you are a history buff make sure to stop off at the National Alpine Museum of Australia who work to collect and preserve the natural & cultural heritage of Australia's alpine regions conveniently located at Mt. Buller at the Community Centre. Volunteer-run and operated, the museum allows visitors to explore Australia’s alpine regions, from history and action of snow sports to the early history of cattle, mining and timber.
Level 1, Alpine Central, Summit Road, Mount Buller | Open Sat & Sun 12 - 3 pm
A zoo in Mansfield?! Yep that’s correct, this hidden secret is a great place for animal lovers and families with a range of exotic and native animals spread out over 30 acres of picturesque parkland. Open daily from 10 am – 6 pm, see majestic white lions or a range of Aussie fauna, and they even have the option to sleepover at the zoo overnight!
1064 Mansfield-Woods Point Rd, Mansfield | Open daily 10 am - 6pm
Located in the High Country of Mansfield, the Alzburg Resort is a great accommodation option year-round. Built around a former convent, the resort has 44 rooms and a range of accommodation options to suit any budget; from motel units to hotel spa rooms and luxe penthouse apartments. It’s a great place to stay for a family getaway, a ski/snow holiday or a romantic weekend. During winter the resort also sells elevator passes and provides coach transfers to Mt. Buller which is super handy.
Ideally located on Mt. Buller for skiers and snowboarders, the Alpine Retreat Lodge offers accommodation with 4 floors of fun! With free Wi-Fi and buffet continental breakfast, it’s a great option for those wanting to wake up and hit the slopes for a day or two.
Travelling with a group of friends, or simply like the luxe life and have money to burn? Check out the Burnt Hut on Mount Buller's ‘Shaky Knees’ run. The whole house can be rented for $2000 per night and is one of the few spots you can ski-in/ski-out. This luxe accommodation has over 3 levels with a huge open-plan kitchen/ living/ dining room and deck - all North facing with full sun and beautiful views over the alps to Mt. Stirling. 4 bedrooms each with King size beds (can be split to 2 king singles), attic above master bedroom with two single beds, as well as 3 bathrooms (1 with spa), wet area, drying room, laundry, sauna, and TV room make this a great option if you’re travelling with mates.
One of Buller’s most loved properties, the Hotel Pension Grimus is your award-winning premium hotel accommodation of choice, family-owned and operated, located directly beside the slopes of Mt. Buller in the heart of the ski village.
With comprehensive facilities, in-house dining at Kaptan's restaurant and Herbie's bar, the spacious chalet-style hotel rooms feature bathrooms with a spa bath, shower and free toiletries, most with a balcony and a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel also has both a ski locker room and drying room.
Whether you're hitting the slopes in winter or exploring the magnificent High Country in summer, Mt. Buller Chalet Hotel is the ideal alpine escape for your stay. Set in the heart of Mt. Buller village only steps away from the main chairlift, Mt. Buller Chalet is an upscale hotel featuring mountain or valley views. With a range of options to suit budgets, some suites offer ski-in/ski-out access, while apartments come with balconies and whirlpool baths. The Chalet features a sauna, hot tub, indoor heated pool, 24 hr front desk and 3 dining options (Black Cockatoo amongst them).
A popular spot for weddings and functions, the Highton Manor has a range of accommodation styles to suit your needs and budget and is a great choice for a romantic weekend away. Completed in 1896 by a local pioneer and set on ten acres of manicured lawns, gardens and vineyard, you can enjoy a glass of wine at this olden day manor outside of town.
With doors opening directly on to the main ski run at the top of Bourke Street, Arlberg Hotel is a great option for winter visitors. Second to none for true ski in ski out, the family-friendly hotel offers both 1, 2- and 3-bedroom motel-style rooms and self-catering apartments and features a bar, sports bar and restaurant as well as rooftop terrace. They also offer accommodation packages so reach out to see what they can tailor provide.
Located at the top of The Fox Chairlift, this Austrian-styled café offers amazing views of Mt. Stirling off the deck on a sunny day and also provides a warm retreat inside when you need a respite from the chill. With fresh hearty fare, you can sit back and relax and enjoy a warm spiced wine or cold beer, before tucking into some fresh pasta, tasty burgers or piping hot wood-fired pizzas.
Open daily 10 am - 4 pm, snow conditions dependent.
Perched at the end of Bourke St, the Birdcage is a great first port of call before hitting the slopes if you need a quick coffee or the place to unwind after a long day on the slopes.
Supplied by Mansfield Coffee Merchants, expect a great coffee at the coffee station, relax in the lounge area, knock a few back during the daily happy hour, or visit at your leisure with the Birdcage serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Open daily 8 am – 11 pm
We can attest to the toasted Reuben and coffee at Grimus Grind, and it’s definitely a place we recommend to slide by. The ski-in / ski-out coffee window beside Hotel Pension Grimus serves up a great coffee, tasty jaffles, and good vibes making it one of our faves on the mountain.
Open daily from 7.30am – 4 pm
Ike’s Bar at the Whitt is an institution. As a favourite après ski watering hole and favourite meeting place, it’s a great spot for a quick bevvy between runs and as a place to hang with mates at night. From ski instructors to first-season visitors it’s an eclectic mix, or if you’re not up for a drink you can make a coffee pit-stop at the coffee garage who will whip you up a decent brew of Dukes coffee.
A cosy bar and lounge which provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, The Loft Bar is perfect for enjoying a casual meal, a glass of wine, chatting with friends or one of the mountains famous Breathtaker hot chocolates. At night the bar comes alive serving up gourmet pizzas and pasta from 4 pm, with a solid drinks list, theme nights and pool table to keep you entertained.
A quick overview for skiers and snowboarders, as well as some of the most notable areas on the mountain.
Number of lifts: 22
Number of runs: 80+
Highest lifted altitude: 1780m
Skiable area: 300 ha
Snowmaking area: 78 ha
Australia’s premier rail event, the Burton Cattleman’s Rail Jam sends the village into meltdown annually. Held once a year the event sees Australia’s best snowboarders competing in the country’s longest-running snowboarding event for a share of $10,000 worth of cash and prizes, with qualifications from 2 pm and finals from 6 pm. If you’re at the slopes the day of the Jam make sure to stop by, you don’t want to miss it!
The Pond Skim is a highlight of the Mt. Buller spring calendar and usually marks the start of the September school holidays. It's all about crazy costumes, silly stunts and a giant outdoor pool party on Bourke St. to celebrate Buller at its best. Watch on as a line-up of skimmers take on the famous Mt. Buller pond in an event that’s sure to entertain.
The ever-popular Little Buller Spur is a wide, cruising slope that leads to the Wombat Chair, and offers skiers a reliable and consistent skiing experience. You can access Little Buller Spur from the top of ABOM Express then follow the signs to Little Buller Spur.
A great choice for intermediates, the Summit is the best place to spend your day, with the Summit Slide and Dam Run on the northern side of the mountain also other great options.
Bourke St is the best place for beginners with the iconic run overlooking Buller village. It is a great place to master turns before going up the chairlift and heading to Burnt Hut Spur.
If you’ve got the money and are after a one-of-a-kind experience then booking a flight with Alpine Helicopters to take you to Craig's Hut on Mount Stirling or up to the Paps is one of the best ways to overlook the whole region. At $240 per person it’s an incredible experience and one you will remember of your trip to the Mt. Buller and Mansfield region.
9 Mansfield - Woods Point Rd Mansfield
So if you're planning a local trip add Mt. Buller and Mansfield to the list, and support country locals and our local ski industry.
Have another great recommendation when visiting Mt. Buller or Mansfield? Or if you’re after any further local tips for the slopes or advice on gear for your upcoming adventure, send us an email or hit us up on Facebook.
✌🏻See you out at Buller!