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Alice Manfield


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Alice Manfield


Related Venue:
Mount Buffalo National Park

Park Type:
National Park

Region:
East

Category:
Ranger Histories


'Guide Alice' Voice of Mount Buffalo

DID YOU KNOW?

When Genevieve Baumgarten, daughter of the famous "Guide Alice", was eight years old she was painting the view from the gorge at Mt Buffalo across to the Victorian Alps when a voice behind her said, "Always put the clouds in first." It was Sir Arthur Streeton!

For Alice Manfield Mount Buffalo was a magical place and she describes it as “taking hold” of her from an early age. From the 1890s until the 1930s Alice shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for Buffalo’s natural features and wildlife with visitors.

Known fondly as “Guide Alice” and dressed in a custom-made tracksuit, this no-nonsense woman led pioneering tourists up the mountain from her father’s Temperance Hotel. Later she guided famous visitors such as Sir John Monash from the Chalet.

The route to the sub-alpine plateau was a rough track, accessible by horse and on foot. Alice was a calm influence on nervous tourists, many of whom were afraid of dingos, insects, bogs on the plateau and (justifiably with no signposts) of getting lost.

As an accomplished naturalist and photographer Alice was a capable guide for visitors interested in studying the flora and fauna. Her book on Buffalo’s Lyre Birds was the first pictorial record of these creatures.

Alice loved the mountain and was happy to spend long periods alone on the plateau at “Granny’s Place”, her family’s chalet. Conditions could be extreme, with storms, bushfires or snow up to eight feet deep when access to “Granny’s Place” was via the chimney! Alice described all these challenges as “thrilling adventures”.

Biographical notes
Born: Nailsea Farm, Buckland Valley 1878.
Married: 1917. One daughter.
Died: 14 July 1960.



 

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