We had a ‘Buchan’ good time!

Buchan Rec Reserve East Gipsland VIC
Buchan Recreation Reserve

Update March 19:  We’ve just been advised that the Buchan Caves and Reserve will reopen on March 26th in time for Easter.

Pronounced ‘Bucken’ – Buchan in East Gippsland Victoria needs travellers! Please visit and support the community and businesses until the Buchan Caves and campground reopen after the tragic flash floods last December.

Two tourists heartbreakingly lost their lives in the flash floods on Boxing Day. However, the community is still reeling – we are told businesses are closing without the regular visitor numbers.

When we visited, locals were not sure if Buchan Caves was opening in a week or closed for a year!

In response, the community has opened up the lush recreation ground for camping. When you visit be sure to park along the creek, not on the oval. Sites are very grassy, facilities include toilets and pets are allowed.

It is only $10 a night per site per night, with a maximum stay of 72 hours.

Buchan is not just about the caves. Here’s some local attractions that will appeal…

So what can you do in Buchan?

Swim at Buchan Bluff
This day use area on the Buchan River is superb! What a cliff backdrop and what a waterhole! We had it all to ourselves on a blistering hot day – so we highly recommend. Find the location in our CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App.

Note – there are no facilities, it was cool to drive to the edge and the waterhole is deep at the bend. A top spot for a picnic, too. It was great when we visited – but after drought or flooding it may not be suitable.

Tennis, anyone?
You can play on the tennis court at the new campground.

Scenic drives
I wish we’d had more time to explore the hikes, lookouts, gorges and waterfalls around this area!

We explored further north and camped at Little River Falls. Leaving the van, we also swam at the historic McKillops Bridge (there is camping available there, too – but no vans). From there we took the Limestone Road to Omeo and up the Great Alpine Road (to more free camps). Check where you need a 4WD.

Travel south to Orbost (can recommend their pink lamingtons!), Marlo (the pub is a must) where the Snowy meets the sea, Lakes Entrance, Nowa Nowa, Bruthen (another great pub) and Bairnsdale (I had fun shopping here).

Free camps
Venture out to excellent free camps in the area! Like Balley Hooley, also known as The Junction, where the Buchan meets the Snowy River. Multiple camp spots are at Timbarra River – bring your fishing gear.

Dine out
Walk over the pedestrian bridge to the main street and find a cafe. The Buchan Caves Hotel looks like a good’un. I read it was rebuilt after it burnt down in 2014 – via crowd funding.

Potter about
Make sure you drop into the sweet Buchan Bakehouse. No, it is not about bread, but delicious pottery. I bought a lovely pink scalloped mug that I will treasure.

The Buchan Rodeo is on Sunday March 31.

Buchan Caves Entance - currently closed -East Gipsland VIC.jpg
Buchan Caves Entance - currently closed

And when will Buchan Caves reopen?

On March 7, 2024, Parks Victoria and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation advised they “remain focused on reopening Buchan Munji (Buchan Caves Reserve) as soon as safe and possible following the devastating Boxing Day floods”.

So, pack the RV or car up and head to Gippsland for a Buchan good time! Check out the CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App and guides for local campgrounds around here.

Download the Camps App for iPhone/iPad or Android




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