The Buchan Caves Reserve, Tourism Victoria

Population 326

Situated in East Gippsland, Buchan is primarily an agricultural town renowned for offering some of the best caving in Victoria. Although the origin of the town's name is disputed, it is said to be derived from the Aboriginal term for either 'smoke-signal expert' or 'place of the grass bag'.

Visitor Information

General Store, Main St; (03) 5155 9202 or 1800 637 060


Nearby national parks

  • The Lakes National Park

    The Lakes National Park in Gippsland is a birdwatcher’s paradise, a tranquil retreat edged by the blue waters of Victoria and Reeve...more

  • Mitchell River National Park

    Stunning river scenery, thickets of temperate rainforest, idyllic fern gullies and tracts of rugged countryside are the background to a wide...more

  • Croajingolong National Park

    Croajingolong National Park sweeps along the far south-east corner of Victoria for 100 kilometres. This is one of the state’s largest...more

Nearby towns

  • Orbost

    Situated on the banks of the legendary Snowy River, Orbost is on the Princes Highway and surrounded by spectacular coastal and mountain...more

  • Lakes Entrance

    Lakes Entrance is a lovely holiday town situated at the eastern end of the Gippsland Lakes, an inland network of waterways covering more...more

  • Bairnsdale

    An attractive rural centre situated on the Mitchell River Flats and considered to be the western gateway to the lakes and wilderness region...more


Buchan Caves Reserve The reserve features more than 350 limestone caves. Tours of the Royal and Fairy caves run daily. Off Buchan Rd, north of town; (03) 5162 1900. Read More

Snowy River Scenic Drive The drive takes in the Buchan and Snowy rivers junction and runs along the edge of Snowy River National Park to Gelantipy. Beyond Gelantipy is Little River Gorge, Victoria's deepest gorge. A short walking track leads to a cliff-top lookout. Near the gorge is McKillops Bridge, a safe swimming spot, a good site to launch canoes, and the starting point for 2 walking tracks. Care is required on the road beyond Gelantipy; 4WD is recommended. Details from visitor centre.

Suggan Buggan: this historic townsite, surrounded by Alpine National Park, features an 1865 schoolhouse and the Eagle Loft Gallery for local art and craft; 64 km N.

Fishing spots near town

Ninety Mile Beach 37 km

In autumn, large schools of salmon, along with gummy sharks and mulloway, hit Victoria’s beaches. Snapper can still be caught, along with increasing numbers of yelloweye mullet. One of the most popular beaches in... Find out more

Lake Tyers 39 km

Lake Tyers is a few minutes’ drive north-east of Lake Entrance on the Princes Highway. It is one of the most picturesque of the Gippsland Lakes, being surrounded by forest. Covering an area of about 16 sq km, Lake... Find out more

Marlo 43 km

In the annals of Australian folklore, the Snowy River is one of the icons. Anglers know that most of the action is in the lower reaches downstream from Orbost to Marlo where the river flows to the sea. Marlo is reached... Find out more

Lakes Entrance 47 km

Lakes Entrance is an ideal base for anglers wanting to fish the region. Facilities are excellent and it is within easy reach of places like the Tambo River and Lake Tyers. The township is situated along Cunninghame Arm. ... Find out more

Tambo River 48 km

The Tambo River is renowned for the quality of its bream fishing. From the mouth of the river at Lake King upstream past Johnsonville and Swan Reach, anglers can access long stretches of sheltered water above and below... Find out more

Metung 53 km

Metung, on the western shore of Bancroft Bay, is a major centre for the cruise-boat industry. Whether you own one or want to hire a live- aboard boat for a few days, Metung is a prime spot. Surprisingly, for a town so... Find out more

Nicholson River 54 km

The Nicholson is the shortest of the three waterways in the Bairnsdale area and is more affected by thawing snow than rainfall. The stretch near the railway bridge can be productive. A scenic waterway, it has limited... Find out more

Mitchell River 61 km

The estuary section of the Mitchell River begins at the rock barrier, about 5 km upstream from Bairnsdale. Bream are caught all the way through to where the silt jetties enter Lake King. The jetties look like two long... Find out more

Lake Victoria 73 km

This lake joins Lake King at the popular boating and fishing town Paynesville, opposite Raymond Island. The piers on both sides of McMillan Strait here are popular with anglers, especially lure fishers who have found the... Find out more

Bemm River 78 km

Bemm River is located on Sydenham Inlet Road about halfway between Orbost and Cann River. In estuary terms, this waterway is a superstar, regarded by many as Victoria’s best bream and estuary perch fishery. It may... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Cruises - around Lakes Entrance 45 km

More than just a cruise, a one- or two-hour Sea- Safari out of Lakes Entrance is an opportunity to add to research about the area. You will help document seabirds, marine life – including seahorses with an... Find out more

Bushwalking Alpine National Park 71 km

Covering a vast 6460 square kilometres, this is Victoria’s largest national park and cradles the state’s highest mountains and dramatic alpine scenery, as well as the major downhill skiing resorts. The park... Find out more

Mitchell River National Park 74 km

Although only 11 900 hectares in size, this rugged national park contains some of the best forest country in Gippsland. Great for experienced rafters, kayakers and canoeists, it also has some superb bushwalks. With a... Find out more

Rafting - Mitta Mitta and Murray Rivers 82 km

Adventure Rafting Victoria only takes a few months off, from April to June, and runs exciting day trips down the foaming Murray Gates, and two-night paddles down the Mitta Mitta, staying overnight in the legendary Blue... Find out more

Campsites around town

Buchan Caves camping area 1 km

A fantastic subterranean world is only one of the attractions in the Buchan Caves Reserve. Here you’ll also find a swimming pool fed by an underground stream, an informative display in the visitor centre, and lots... Find out more

Balley Hooley camping area 8 km

Balley Hooley sits on the south-western fringe of the national park, due east of Buchan – access is signposted off the Buchan–Orbost Rd. Canoeing is a real treat along the Snowy River here, with its rapids,... Find out more

Raymond Creek Falls camping area 12 km

This tiny campground, comprising just 4 sites, is situated near  a waterfall (it’s about 1.5 km from the camping area to the falls) that pitches 20 m into a deep foaming pool, accessed off Yalmy Rd –... Find out more

Jacksons Crossing camping area (bush camping) 18 km

This is a delightful camping area. Access to the bush-camping site, on the banks of the Snowy River, is via Varneys Track, off Yalmy Rd. A 4WD is needed to reach this isolated spot in the south of the park, although... Find out more

Hicks camping area 19 km

Hicks camping area is in the south of Snowy River National Park, beside the Yalmy River. It’s accessed off Varneys Track, which runs off Yalmy Rd. A 4WD is required to reach this spot, and note that access is... Find out more

Woods Point camping area 21 km

This idyllic campground is beautifully positioned on the shores of the Snowy River. Water-based activities include canoeing and rafting, while throwing in a line may reward anglers with Australian bass. There are also... Find out more

Timbarra camping area (bush camping) 23 km

The Timbarra bush-camping sites are tucked away beside the Timbarra River about 23 km north-west of Buchan. There is little in the way of facilities, which leaves you free to prioritise fishing and swimming in the river.... Find out more

Camerons Arm camping area 32 km

This is the northernmost camping area in the park, the closest to Nowa Nowa – take Lake Tyers Rd off the Princes Hwy east of the township, then turn west on Camerons Arm No. 1 Track. Canoeists can roam up and down... Find out more

Ensay Recreation Ground 33 km

The recreation reserve at Ensay, on the Great Alpine Rd about 80 km north of Bairnsdale, is centred on the small township’s sports facilities, including a large oval and tennis courts. There’s plenty of space... Find out more

Bush camping 34 km

Bush camping permitted on the east side of Nowa Nowa Arm away from established picnic areas and at least 50 m from the lake. Contact ranger for details.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Orbost Caravan Park 34 km

The centre of town is only a short 500-metre walk from this park, which is situated off the main highway. It has large shady trees, good basic facilities and is conveniently located for an overnight stop; it is around a... Find out more

Lake Tyers Camp and Caravan Park 41 km

This beachfront park is owned and operated by the Uniting Church. It is a great family park, ideal for a beachside holiday. The park operates in conjunction with a school camp and the consumption of alcohol is permitted... Find out more

Lakes Entrance Tourist Park 43 km

This owner-operated park is on the eastern edge of town and very convenient for a stopover. It has good facilities and caters for most needs. We stay here. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Eastern Beach Tourist Park 44 km

Just off the Princes Highway and easily accessible, this is a large spacious park where you can walk to town along the waters edge, Great for a family holiday. We like it. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Koonwarra Beach Resort 45 km

Easily accessible on the Princes Highway, at the eastern end of Lakes Entrance, this park is just a short distance from the town centre. It is ideal for a short stay or a family holiday in this popular destination.... Find out more

Waters Edge Holiday Park 45 km

This good quality park is suitable for a few days in Lakes Entrance. It is on the Princes Highway, across the road from the water, and not too far from the centre of town. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Bairnsdale Holiday Park 58 km

There are many caravan parks in Bairnsdale but this is one of the few with a large number of tourist sites. Located on the Princes Highway, it is well suited to a family holiday or just a couple of nights. Bookings are... Find out more

Mitchell Gardens Holiday Park 60 km

This park is at the river end of the main street (Princes Highway), just 500 metres from the centre of town. With beautifully maintained surrounds, the park is located on the banks of the Mitchell River. Bookings are... Find out more

Lake King Waterfront Caravan Park 62 km

With absolute lake frontage, this neat park has its own jetties and boat ramp and there are waterfront van sites available. This is good value. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies to... Find out more

90 Mile Beach Holiday Retreat 90 km

This camping park on a private farming property is just a stroll away, over the sand dunes, from the fabulous Ninety Mile Beach. The owner-operated park is reached via some 5 km of unsealed access road but the journey is... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Parks Victoria Wilderness 
Retreat Buchan Caves

Situated near the town of Buchan, this comfortable bush camp offers a unique camping experience in five spacious elevated permanent tents. Each tent is insect-proof with a large sundeck and can accommodate a family of... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Jacarri Eco-Cottage, Goongerah 50 km

This rustic little cottage in East Gippsland sleeps four, and has solar power and a dry composting toilet. It has been built with sustainable timbers and uses a water wheel to fill the water tank. Organic fruit,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Tambo River rest area 32 km

49km S of Omeo (L) or 72km N of Bairnsdale (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Newmerella park area 35 km

At Newmerella

Adjacent to the highway in the middle of town.

Burnt Bridge rest area 38 km

10km NE of Lakes Entrance (R) or 49km SW of Orbost (L)

Secluded in the forest just off the highway.

Log Crossing rest area 42 km

T/O 26km E of Bairnsdale (L) or 9km W of Lakes Entrance (R)

Secluded in the forest 2.5km (unsealed) north of the highway. 

Doctors Flat rest area 43 km

33km S of Omeo (L) or 88km N of Bairnsdale (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Murrungower rest area 45 km

16km E of Orbost (L) or 59km W of Cann River (R)

Secluded forest setting just off the highway. 

Lakes Entrance park area 46 km

At Lakes Entrance

Overlooking the river near the information centre.

Nicholson park area 52 km

At Nicholson

Overlooking the river on the east side of town.

Bellbird Creek rest area 59 km

39km E of Orbost (R) or 36km W of Cann River (L)

Adjacent to the highway near the hotel.

Bemm River rest area 65 km

45km E of Orbost (R) or 30km W of Cann River (L)

Secluded in forest just off the highway.

Oriental Claims park area 68 km

107km SE of Bright (L) or 2km NW of Omeo (R)

At a historical site beside a creek 500m off the highway.

Lookout rest area 70 km

102km SE of Bright (L) or 7km NW of Omeo (R)

Just off the road at the lookout.

Victoria Falls camping area 80 km

89km SE of Bright (L) or 20km NW of Omeo (R)

Secluded area 600m off the road.

Providence Ponds rest area 92 km

17km E of Stratford (R) or 35km W of Bairnsdale (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Thurra River rest area 97 km

11km E of Cann River (L) or 98km SW of Eden (R)

Secluded off the highway in the forest.

What's on around town

Foothills Festival: Jan.

Canni Creek Races: Jan.

Rodeo: Easter.

Flower Show: Nov.

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