At 1,861 metres above sea level, Mt Hotham is Australia’s highest alpine village, this is the one for serious skiers and snow adventurers. The picture postcard setting with incredible views offers the whole range of accommodation from budget to luxury and the 13 ski lifts cover terrain suitable from beginner to advanced. The many experiences include scenic chairlift rides, snow stuff park with plenty of snow play fun, night skiing, helicopter tours, Brown Brothers Sparkling Sunset Tours and more.
What’s new in 2019:
- Hotham’s backcountry tours: The best spots are not always marked on a map and this season, Hotham introduces guided tours into its renowned backcountry terrain. From introductory to private tours, skiers are offered a chance to step outside the comfort zone within the safety of expert instruction from a Hotham guide.
- Hotham tracking app: Hotham provides the newest and latest mountain tech as it introduces a new mobile app. The app will let skiers and boarders find friends, tally the season’s vertical metres, find real-time snow data, and even see how they stack up with the Hotham Leaderboard.
- Brockhoff Hut hideaway: Perched among the action of Hotham slopes, the unassuming stone hut has been transformed to be welcoming hub of heart-warming meals and celebratory toasts to the snow gods. From homemade soups to a glass of bubbles, riders can now have the ultimate ski in, ski out food stop while enjoying the renowned views from the deck.
Between 1,210 and 1,830, the more boutique Falls Creek Resort offers families and couples a premium, relaxed option for a snow retreat. There are 14 ski lifts, plenty of retail and rental and more than 35 cafes, restaurants and bars including QT Falls Creek. Top experiences include cross-country skiing, snow tubing, mini snowmobiles, scenic chairlift rides, snow biking, night skiing, helicopter tours, museum and more. Falls Creek is a 4.5 hours drive from Melbourne.
What’s new in 2019:
- Falls Creek Freeride Series - six events throughout the season for each discipline. Rails Under Lights, Board Lounge Showdown and Rider X all offer the opportunity for boarders and skiers to showcase their skills to be crowned Falls Creek first freeride male and female champion at the end of all events.
- Apartment 3 - Elk at Falls lodges and accommodation introduces a seductive New York style late-night après ski destination with a 50 seat lounge and bar. Adults only Apartment 3 boasts luxurious velvet finishes, sensory lighting and curated playlists to provide an intimate space with a feeling of glamour. Spirits have been carefully selected to showcase Australian distilleries.
- Wren artwork - A new addition has been made to the village’s series of public artwork. Michael Laubli, a local artist who created the Throne of Skis at Windy Corner as part of the artist in residence program, fell in love with the landscape and community of Falls Creek, and felt compelled to use his creativity to create The Wren as a gift. The Wren is lovingly created from recycled skis that Michael salvaged from Falls Creek’s hard rubbish collection.
As one of the closest resorts to Melbourne, (two and half hours drive) Mt Baw Baw offers families and first-timers a chance to dip a toe in the snow and see if they like it. With guaranteed snow from the opening weekend though to October 1st, there is plenty of time to learn to ski or snowboard with lessons for all ages. Howling Huskys Tours are a great way to experience the beautiful dogs who live on the mountain. The wide range of tour options include a 45 minute family friendly tour (cuddles and photos included), to the 30 minute ‘Dog Sled Dash’ dog race. There is plenty of accommodation at the resort and three snow play areas for tobogganing, snowshoeing and snowmobile rides. Advanced skiers will not be forgotten with a terrain park offering jumps for advanced skiers and boarders.
What’s new in 2019:
- Guaranteed snow: Thanks to their TechnoAlpin Snow Factory, Mt Baw Baw can now guarantee snow on its toboggan run, complete with magic carpet for an easy ride to the top. Guests can also enjoy guaranteed snow on beginner areas, with skiing available from the official season opening on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
- Food trucks galore: On major event weekends visitors can enjoy multiple themed food trucks, including Indian and Japanese cuisine and more, allowing for a wider range of food options on the mountain.
- Yukigassen: This year Baw Baw will kick off Yukigassen - a fast and fun Japanese snow fighting competition. Mt Baw Baw will host the National Championships with the winner getting a place in the International final in Japan. This event is also available for groups and schools all winter.
Perhaps a favourite with Melburnians for its buzzing village vibe and range of activities and venues on offer, Mt Buller sits at 1,805 in elevation. It’s only three hours drive from the city making it do-able for a day trip, but far better to stay the night at one of a wide range of hostels, lodges, luxury hotels and private chalets and take the daily shuttles up the mountain. Buller offers Victoria’s largest lifting system, with 22 lifts covering 300 hectares of skiable terrain, plus more than 40 cafes, bars and restaurants and Australia’s highest cinema. The Buller Kids’ Centre caters for children from just three months old.
What’s New for 2019:
- Express chairlift: Mt Buller will launch its new $6m chairlift this winter. The gleaming 6-seater Bourke Street Express will whisk skiers up Bourke Street in just over two minutes.
- Koorooa Hotel re-opens - Mt Buller’s famous Kooroora Hotel has made way for a stylish new version including a new retail and rental precinct.
- More snow: Buller’s famous 'snow guarantee' goes up another notch in 2019. A new 'mini' SnowFactory will top up the cover in the snowplay parks and the learner areas at the Ski and Snowboard School. Skiers can book with the confidence of more snowballs, plumper snowmen and more beginner turns.
- Park & Ride Snowplay Express: A great new service rolls out for peak weekends in July and August this winter. Day visitors save money and skip the worry of wheel chains and driving in the snow by parking at Mirimbah and taking the free shuttle up to the village.
At only two hours drive from the city, Lake Mountain offers an easily-accessible day visit, as well as low-cost skiing on cross-country trails. It’s great for international visitors short on time and first-timers looking for a taste of snow action. Snow clothing and equipment hire can be ordered online to click and collect. Toboggan slope, snowshoeing, flying fox, laser skirmish, snow tubing and cross-country skiing are all on offer with guaranteed snow for tobogganing and snowplay thanks to state of the art snowmaking systems. The on mountain dining at Lake Mountain Café makes it easy for families who may need quick and regular respite from the cold. Accommodation can be found nearby at Marysville, Buxton, Narbethong and Healesville.
What’s new in 2019:
- Magic Carpets – Brought in at the end of the 2018 season, the new magic carpets at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort have been hugely popular. Snow-goers simply step on the carpet (like a snow travelator) and the carpet does all the work, taking tobogganers and skiers up to the top of the slope - and saving daddy's legs!
- Guaranteed snow:Lake Mountain Alpine resort has had a snow guarantee for its village toboggan run for many years, however with a new TechnoAlpin Snow Factory, the resort can now offer a greater level of snow on both the Village and Koala creek toboggan runs from opening weekend, as well as a dedicated cross-country loop if mother nature doesn’t come to the party on time.
Close to Mt Hotham – which is around four and a half hours from Melbourne – Dinner Plain offers a more relaxed vibe and no fee for getting on the mountain. It’s great for both families looking for an easy alpine adventure, or for those who want the best of both worlds, with shuttle buses taking skiers on the 10 minute drive to Mt Hotham. The Snow Park is perfect for beginners and families, with gentle slopes and lessons available and activities including tobogganing, snow tubing, night skiing, snow play, skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding. Dinner Plain is home to Blizzard Brewing Company, Australia’s highest brewery, and the Onsen Retreat + Spa, a Japanese-inspired 40 degree outdoor Onsen perfect for bathing and restoration after skiing and snowboarding.
What’s new in 2019:
- Photographer Karl Gray has opened a new gallery space and will offer workshops around the Dinner Plain/Mt Hotham area for keen amateur photographers.
Last but definitely not least, Mt Stirling is only three hours drive from Melbourne and features an authentic alpine adventure with mountain huts, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and more. It’s an easy and scenic drive from Melbourne through the Yarra Valley to Mansfield. The mountain and offers 68km of cross-country ski trails and cross-country ski lessons for all ages and levels.
Mt Stirling is also home to the Alpine Winter Camp, a unique ski-in, ski-out accommodation option above the snowline. Operated by Stirling Experience, the camp features a central tepee for dining and socialising around the pot belly stove, and seven accommodation tents on raised, insulated platforms. Meals can be delivered.
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