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Overview

Buchan Caves Reserve walks

Hidden away in a picturesque valley in East Gippsland and home to some of Australia's most spectacular limestone caves, Buchan Caves Reserve also boasts an impressive collection of walking tracks and trails.

Enjoy a wander through the temperate rainforest, taking in the moss-covered rocks, fern glades and sprawling kanooka trees, and watch as the rock type changes from grey limestone to Snowy River volcanics.

Wildlife abounds in the reserve, with kangaroos, brush-tailed possums and over 100 species of birds calling the area home. See king parrots, white winged choughs and currawongs in the trees and listen out for the calls of bellbirds, lyrebirds and boobook owls as you walk.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that have good tread for the short easy walks. Longer walks are more demanding and require a reasonable level of fitness, good boots and plenty of water.

Make use of the electric and wood-fired barbecues to enjoy a family picnic, before or after your walk. There is also a playground and a swimming pool for the warmer months, which is fed from an underground stream.

Moon Hill Walk

Location: Buchan Caves Reserve
Distance: 0.5km
Duration: 30 minutes return
Grade: Moderate

Set out on this short walk that leads to viewpoints overlooking the reserve and the Buchan Valley. The trail passes by Moon Cave, so bring a torch so you can explore the entrance. Follow the track past the Devils Punchbowl, a large collapsed cave system, and up to the top of the hill. From here you can see the extent of the exposed limestone on both sides of the valley in the reserve. Continue on a little further to the lookout and be rewarded by beautiful views of the Buchan Valley.

Those with a little more in the tank can press on and join up with the Northern Arm Track, which leads back to the campground. This route adds an additional 30 minutes to the walk.

Spring Creek Walk

Location: Buchan Caves Reserve
Distance: 3km
Duration: 1.5 hours return
Grade: Moderate

Explore this superb walk that splits into the higher Tea Tree Track and the lower Kanooka Track with both routes meeting at the Spring Creek Falls viewing platform. Set off down the track and witness the changing rock types on your left, where the grey Buchan Caves limestone gives way to the older Snowy River volcanic rock. Please be aware that the track has some steep areas on its way up to the falls.

Take the lower Kanooka Track on the way back down. Walk the track that criss-crosses the creek and pass through beautiful ferns and kanooka trees. Keep an eye out for lyrebirds, Gippsland water dragons, kookaburras, king parrots and other wildlife as you go.

Caves Reserve Track

Location: Buchan Caves Reserve
Distance: 4km
Duration: 2 hours return

Discover this two-hour walk that starts opposite the playground and follows a fire access track along a ridge to the northwestern corner of the reserve. Turn left at the intersection to meet up with the Spring Creek Walking Track and the Granite Pools Walking Track. The Caves Reserve Track returns to the campground via the Northern Arm Track.

Granite Pools Walk

Location: Buchan Caves Reserve
Distance: 4km
Duration: 2.5 hours return
Grade: Moderate to hard

One of the steeper walks in the reserve, it makes its way through some tall timber and moss covered gullies. As you climb higher you will take in some wonderful views of the Buchan Valley. Look for Ringtail Possum nests in the tall Teatree. Lyrebirds are also often sighted along this track.

FJ Wilson Interpreted Walk

Location: Buchan Caves Reserve
Distance: 2km
Duration: 1 hour return

This walk is named after Frederick Wilson, who came to Buchan in 1907 from Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains (NSW) and contributed significantly to the development of the reserve. This route begins about 100m east of the Visitor Centre, follows the Royal Cave exit track, and then ends near the Fairy Cave entrance. From here you can return along the main road through the reserve. Discover the 400-metre long Federal Cave that features striking white limestone formations, check out the fossils in the limestone wall built around the exit to Royal Cave, and check out the 'natural steps' – made from the layers of limestone, known as 'bedding planes'.

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