Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Buchan VIC


Postcode: 3885

Buchan is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on Buchan Road, in the East Gippsland Shire near the Snowy River.

It has a population of approximately 134.

The town is probably best known for the limestone Buchan Caves and 1920s parkland which are just beside the centre of the township and is a popular destination for spelunkers..

Buchan is located twenty-six kilometres north of Nowa Nowa on the Princes Highway and 330 kilometres east of Melbourne. The township lies in the valley of the Buchan River hedged by rounded limestone hills.

Pastoralists first entered the area in the late 1830s. Buchan station, taken up in the 1840s, had a succession of owners. To the north were the Galantipy and Black Mountain runs. The name Buchan is thought to be taken from an Aboriginal word Bukkan-mungie to which various meanings have been ascribed. One interpretation is place of grass bag. There were small groups of Aboriginals in the area but their numbers declined rapidly after European settlement. In 1861, Rev. John Bulmer inspected land south of Buchan as a possible site for a mission station. When he moved to Lake Tyers, the remaining Aboriginals accompanied him there. At Cloggs Cave near Buchan, evidence has been found of Aboriginal occupation in prehistoric times.

The caves were closed during the war years, reopening in 1946. In 1984 the Shades of Death Cave at nearby Murrindal was opened for public inspection and adventure cavers explore many of the wild caves in the area. Today over 100,000 people visit the caves annually. The spectacular scenery of the nearby Snowy River, whitewater rafting and trail riding also bring tourists to the area. Also there are three alternative lifestyle communities north of buchan. The Victorian Municipal Directory describes Buchan in 1994.

Sawmilling, tourism and farming have supported a steady increase in population. Services have improved and social and sporting organisations flourished. Buchan’s dependence on the timber industry is reflected by the importance of its annual axemen’s carnival. Another popular event is the picnic race meeting at Canni Creek, south of Buchan where a racecourse has been carved out of the forest.