An alpine view with a story

The history of Mount Buller, Victoria

For the most extraordinary areas in the world, there is usually a story that follows, and Victoria’s famous alpine region, located in the heart of the Shire of Mansfield is no different.

You might come here to ski, check out the amazing views, or simply kick back and relax, but the history of Mount Buller is certainly something not to be missed, and learning about it will only enhance your visit.

History of Mount Buller

Like much of the Australian land, we head back to indigenous culture and many years ago to start this story. In this case we’re taking about the Taungurung people, who have lived in Australia for more than 2000 generations. The Taungurung people lived off the land using all the tools and resources available to them, such as fresh fish and wildlife provided by the plentiful rivers and creeks, food from the trees, and also bark to fashion shelters and houses.

The Taungurung people were mystical in many ways, using the stars and cycles around them to predict the seasons. They identified seven of these seasons, including the flood and fire seasons.

Whilst the original settlers began to build the area into what it has eventually come to be today, this was a long road, and from humble beginnings an industry was born.

Farming families began to settle in the area for the summer months, as well as timber milling workers who followed. We don’t see European settlement in the history of Mount Buller until the 1830s, and eventually the township of Mansfield was firmly set in 1851.

The Gold Rush hit the area in the best possible way, and workers began flocking in hoping to hit it rich for themselves. Because of this, the area became a thriving region, and even today you can still see many leftovers from the mining industry. Unfortunately however, by 1939 the bushfires destroyed much of the area.

An exciting part of the history of Mount Buller is that Ned Kelly himself made several appearances. Australia’s most famous ranger has much history linked to the region, and you can find Power’s Lookout here too which was a hideout for the famous rogue.

We of course all know Mount Buller nowadays for its skiing and alpine lifestyle, and a tourist hotspot indeed. The first chalet on the mountain was built in 1929, which slowly developed towards the resort we all know and love, booming and thriving with tourism.

As you can see when you visit a touristic area, it’s rarely just become that way, and there is always a story to tell behind it. When you learn more about an area, you can truly appreciate where you’re visiting and what you’re seeing. In the case of the Mount Buller region, you are experiencing a long and rich history of struggle, living from the land, industry, and finally rich tourism, which has brought money and much-deserved recognition to this beautiful area. 

If you’re thinking of visiting this magical place, make sure you get suited up in the appropriate gear. XTM Performance has the best value mens ski gear, womens ski gear & kids ski gear on the market!

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