How long does it take to get up the mountain?
Mt Donna Buang Rd is approximately seventeen kilometres to the summit. Access is only via Warburton Highway. If there are no delays, it takes about 20-25 minutes to drive up from Warburton. The return drive is via the same road. It is a single-lane carriageway in both directions. The road is winding, and tree debris is common, especially when it’s windy. Care should be taken in both directions.
How safe is it to drive?
All drivers should be patient, cautious and drive in a way that's appropriate to the conditions. The grader generally clears the road roughly by 11 am every morning when there have been fresh falls overnight.
Do I need snow chains?
Many people like the added security of carrying chains but generally, they are not needed on a graded road. Chain hire should be arranged before you get to Warburton. This is no signage indicating when to fit chains as the snow line varies according to conditions. It is not mandatory to carry chains.
Please be aware that there are regular reports of black ice, and road conditions will change with additional falls and weather changes, which may mean chains are advisable. Make informed choices and drive slowly, considerately and carefully.
It is not recommended to drive the mountain at night time.
For more details about safe driving during snowfall and inclement weather, visit VICROADS.
Please note: CONDITIONS CAN CHANGE QUICKLY. PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTION OF PARKS VIC AND EMERGENCY SERVICES AT ALL TIMES.
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE MOUNTAIN MAY BE CLOSED FOR SAFETY REASONS.
A digital noticeboard will be set up on the main street in Warburton during the peak season to advise of conditions on the mountain, travel times and other important information. Please check this sign and also the Visit Warburton Facebook page for updates.
Are there any other roads to get there?
No, the road from Healesville is always closed during the winter period. (Don’t let your GPS bring you that way!). Mt Donna Buang Rd (C507) is accessed from the Warburton Highway (C380) township of Warburton. GPS coordinates are (-37.7526564,145.7030014)
Is there public transport?
There is no public transport up the mountain. You can only catch a train or bus from Lilydale Train Station to Warburton.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs and other domestic animals/pets are not allowed on the mountain as it is a National Park.
What facilities are on the mountain?
You will find picnic facilities, BBQs and some shelter at the summit. The Observation Tower is a popular destination all year round. There are public toilets (accessible) and several toboggan runs.
Can I hire toboggans?
Yes, there are toboggans for hire; it's best to hire before you hit the mountain, particularly at busy times.
Can I buy food and drink on the mountain?
Yes, the Mountain Tucker food van is at the summit selling hot food, coffee and beverages during peak periods.
You can also buy food in Warburton to take up with you from one of the many cafes or the supermarket. Warburton is also a great place to enjoy any one of the local cafes or restaurants for a great meal before or after a day at the snow.
What toilet facilities are there?
Toilets can be found at the summit, at Ten Mile Carpark, and in several locations in Warburton (Recreational Reserve, Mayer Bridge, children’s playground on the main street, The Waterwheel Centre).
Where do I park?
There are ample car parks at the summit. Another car park is located at Ten Mile car park (which is a two-kilometre walk up to the summit). The Ten Mile location is also a good spot for snow play if you don’t want to go to the top.
Does it cost anything?
No. Access to the mountain and parking is free.
What should I bring?
Bring all the snow gear you need to keep warm, dry and comfortable. Many shops in Warburton also sell warm clothing, hats, scarves, boots and other necessities, including the pharmacy, hardware shop, supermarket and speciality shops on the main street.
We recommend you bring a change of clothes so you can travel home in dry clothing – especially helpful for children.
We recommend you have in your car:
It starts to get very cold on the mountain after about 4 pm, so it is best to plan your descent before that time. You should also be prepared if you get delayed (a traffic event stops traffic, a blizzard or storm hits) as you could be in the car for more extended periods than anticipated waiting to move on. Always tell people where you are going and advise an expected return home time. Travel with a buddy.
Is there accommodation on the mountain?
No, the closest accommodation is in Warburton at the base of the mountain and only 20 minutes away. See accommodation nearby.
Is there any wildlife?
Mt Donna Buang is a National Park and therefore home to a diverse range of flora and many animals and birds. Depending on the season and conditions, you will likely see lyrebirds and wallabies.
I heard there is spring water on the mountain – is that true?
There is a natural running spring at the Ten Mile car park where spring water can be collected. The water is regularly tested by Parks Victoria and is turned off if reports indicate the water is not safe for drinking. This can happen for various reasons, and service will be returned when possible.
Are there walks on the mountain?
Several walking tracks include a 1 km vertical climb up the mountain from Warburton. Many walks may not be suitable in winter or other adverse conditions. Maps and information can be obtained from the Waterwheel Centre.
If you have any more questions, please drop into the Waterwheel Visitor Information Centre.
Or phone them on 03 5966 9600.
Call 000 in case of an emergency.
HAVE A GREAT TIME ON THE MOUNTAIN
Photo credit: Valdek Gromadzki