Buchan is a rural town, consisting largely of farming land and native vegetation. It is surrounded by the localities of Black Mountain, Buchan South, Butchers Ridge, Canni Creek, Gelantipy, Gillingall, Glenmore, Murrindal, Suggan Buggan, Timbarra, W-Tree, and Wulgulmerang. Buchan is the main town and is located on the Buchan River, approximately 75 kilometres from Bairnsdale and 350 kilometres from Melbourne.
While Buchan is best known for its caves, its history as one of the oldest townships in Victoria goes back further than the discovery of the caves. It also has fossils that depict the mega fauna that existed in the region 20,000 years ago. Some fossils are in view on the new Buchan Hotel stone walls. The township celebrated its 175th anniversary in March 2014.