Perched in the hilltops of the Snowy River country, Buchan (pronounced buck-en) is a little town in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. With a population of just over 300 people, a town of its size would usually be overlooked by tourists. But Buchan's biggest claim to fame is the phenomenal limestone cave system which stretch for kilometres underground, formed 400 million years ago by underground rivers.
The easiest, simplest and most popular way to get to Buchan is by car. The town sits at the intersection of 3 major roads, which spoke out in opposing directions. Bruthren-Buchan Road enters from the south-west and is reachable from Bruthen in 40 minutes (50 km), Bairnsdale in an hour (75 km) and Melbourne in about 4 and a half hours (360 km). Buchan-Orbost Road approaches from the south-west, where the town of Orbost is 45 minutes away (60 km). The northern route does a large loop through the Snowy River National Park with no major towns, before reaching the Bonang Highway which heads into New South Wales.
Without a car, you will need a little more patience and time to spare. From Melbourne, a V/Line train will need to be caught from Southern Cross Station to the regional city of Bairnsdale, the end of the line of the same name (timetable). Then from the train station, the Route 12 Dyson's coach needs to be caught towards Gelantipy (timetable). The coach takes a moderately-long detour through Lakes Entrance before working its way to Buchan at Stop 13. Unfortunately, it only runs once every Wednesday and Friday, leaving Bairnsdale at 2:50PM, arriving at Buchan at 4:40PM. In the opposing direction, the coach departs Buchan at 9AM reaching Bairnsdale by 10:52AM.
If relying on public transport, a good itinerary would be to arrive Wednesday, stay for two nights leisurely visiting the local attractions before heading back on Friday. Remember to arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes early. This is not a bus you would want to miss, or risk waiting five days!
There are no local buses or taxis. Car is the best way to get around town and the nearby region. However, the town itself is quite small, and it is possible to walk or cycle between accommodation and sights like the Buchan Caves.
- Avenue of Honour, Buchan South (8km south of Buchan). An Anzac memorial remembering those who died in the Great War, with a tree planted for every soldier who died.
- Murrindal Bridge, 303 Basin Rd. A unique wooden bridge built in the 1920s. It is listed on the National Heritage Register as one of the only bridges of its kind in Australia.