Mt Buninyong is an extinct scoria cone volcano located 15km south east of Ballarat near the township of Buninyong. Unlike most other elevated points of eruption in Western Victoria, it supports some native vegetation.
The summit of the mountain is 745 metres and can be reached by either road or walking track. Superb views of the surrounding landscape can be seen from here.
Mt Buninyong is surrounded by a scenic reserve with an overstorey of eucalypts, a tussock ground cover and a very limited understorey. The remnant understorey has been interpreted in the light of both Mt Buninyong's European history and remnants from associated sites. Timber harvesting and an extended practice of grass fires with follow up grazing greatly reduced the shrub layer.
Before interaction with European settlement, it seems that this important layer was relatively simple in terms of species diversity and distribution. An understorey revegetation project based on this historical understanding will give greater conservation significance to Mt Buninyong. Find out more at the Buninyong Information Centre.
Walks on Mt Buninyong
There are three walks on Mt Buninyong, the Crater Walk with a viewing platform (accessible to people with a disability), the Summit walk (a zigzag track) and the Southern Walk. The Summit and Southern Walks are graded as category three walks.
The City of Ballarat and Mt Buninyong Management Committee have installed interpreted and directional signs located at various points at Mt Buninyong to assist visitors along the walking trails.
The summit of Mount Buninyong can be reached either by road or walking track. From the summit superb views of the surrounding landscape can be taken. All walking tracks indicated on the map above are loops; starting and finishing at this lower carpark:
The Crater Walk – an easy walk, approx 1 km, 20 minutes
The Zigzag Summit Walk – steep slope requiring good footwear and reasonable fitness, approx 3 kms, 1 hour
The South Walk to the summit via Crater Walk – steep slope requiring good footwear and reasonable fitness, approx 3.5 kms, 1 hour
Koalas at Mt Buninyong
Mt Buninyong contains one of the most significant koala habitats within the municipality. The Manna Gum and Messmate eucalyptus trees form one of the last remaining larger remnant forests in the area.
The City of Ballarat along with the Australian Koala Foundation are working together to identify various koala habitats and link these habitats from Mt Buninyong to the surrounding areas. Groups such as schools, landcare and other community organisations engage in revegetation projects aiming at building vegetation corridors for long term fauna conservation.