The Australian snow season runs from early June through to the end of September. If you’re unfamiliar with driving in snow conditions, catching public transport to the ski fields is highly recommended.
You can hire almost everything you need for the snow except goggles, hats and beanies. Ski and snowboard equipment, ski clothing and boots can be rented in the ski villages, which saves transporting it from your point of origin.
Slip on some waterproof gloves, a beanie and scarf and head to the Alpine areas of Victoria to ski, snowboard, toboggan or just have fun. There are six ski locations in Victoria serviced with daily coach services from Melbourne and Sydney or perhaps you can travel by helicopter if the budget allows.
There are also direct flights into Mount Hotham airport. Ski resort entry permits are required if you are self driving, and it is always essential to carry Diamond Pattern Chains for your tyres.
Mount Hotham is the highest ski resort in Victoria and is the go-to location for more serious skiers. A five hour drive from Melbourne will see you nestled in the self contained village on top of the mountain, so plan a day to travel each way to get the most out of your visit.
Mount Hotham has a range of accommodation from self contained apartments, chalets and lodges to motels. You will need several days to experience the 85 marked runs and energy to enjoy the bars and nightlife that Hotham is renowned for.
When you’ve had enough skiing, take the children to the snow play area and have some fun tobogganing or hit the slopes on Wednesday and Saturday to experience night skiing under lights.
The stunning Falls Creek village is where you ski straight from your accommodation to the ski lifts and slopes. Parking is located at the base of the village where you catch a shuttle service to your accommodation.
There are approximately 5,000 beds and car parking for 2,000 cars. Falls Creek has 92 runs with many catering to the intermediate skier.
The selection of quality food in walking distance from your accommodation rivals fine dining in any city, and with more than 35 café’s, restaurants, bars and hotels to choose from, you will not go hungry!
Falls Creek is the perfect location for the whole family offering snow shoeing and cross country skiing, night skiing, tobogganing, snow tubing, and snow biking.
At the end of the day, relax in your spa on the balcony to see the last of the skiers returning from the slopes.
Mount Buller is less than three hours from Melbourne and is one of the most popular ski resorts. Mount Buller has the largest lift network in Victoria, with 25 lifts and is very busy at the height of the ski season and during the school holidays.
The Breathtaker All Suite Hotel boasts Australia’s first Alpine Spa Retreat where you can rejuvenate and relax in a state of the art spa facility. Soak in hot pools, be massaged, soothed and nurtured by skilled therapists in this unique and tranquil environment.
Catering for families, Mount Buller has a range of activities from cinemas to retail therapy and rock climbing. And the free village shuttle from the car park makes it easy to get to your accommodation.
The last fuel stop is Mansfield, so don’t forget to fill up before ascending the mountain.
Lake Mountain is the perfect location for families to have their first time experience in the snow at an affordable price. Just 120 kilometres from Melbourne, it is situated on the great Lake Mountain plateau making it the closest ski and snow field to Melbourne.
The idyllic town of Marysville has a range of relaxed coffee shops set in an idyllic forest location. From here it’s an easy 12 kilometre drive up to Lake Mountain.
Ski hire is available at Lake Mountain along with a bistro and café to sustain your energy levels. You can buy winter wonderland family ski and snow play packages, as well as ski lessons for children and adults. Activities include cross country ski trails, snow shoeing, sled rides, toboggan slopes, flying fox, tube run and laser skirmish and is a great place for snow play.
During the snow season the main gate opens at 7am and closes at 6.30pm. Arrive early to make the most of your day.
Mount Baw Baw is less than three hours east of Melbourne through the town of Noojee. It is a popular daytrip location for skiing, however there are a large number of club lodges to stay a night or two. Some lodges don’t supply linen so be prepared with your own.
With 10 kilometres of marked trails and seven lifts with 16 runs, there is plenty to keep you entertained. This is another great alpine resort for the family with lessons, snow play, snowboarding, beginner and intermediate runs, cross country, dog sled tours and snow fun. Snowboarders should head to the Jeep track for natural tree lined obstacles.
Basic grocery items are available at the Alpine Store in the village, but there is no fuel on the mountain so fill up before going.
Closest to the town of Albury and approximately 3.5 hours from Melbourne, the slopes of Mount Buffalo range from gentle through to intermediate with a few advanced runs.
Because the slopes are gentle, those learning to ski or snowboard will find it fun and easy without the crowds. It offers safe and accessible tobogganing and snow play areas for the whole family. Mount Buffalo National Park offers visitors a winter snow camping experience at two locations. Pitch your tent near the water at the scenic Lake Catani Campground or go bush to the remote Mount McLeod camp area.
If camping is not your style, you will find other options in surrounding towns such as Bright.
Ski hire is available in the nearby town of Porepunkah, and you can hire toboggan equipment on the slope at Dingo Dell on Mount Buffalo. Sip a hot chocolate at the café before hitting the slopes and playing in the snow with the children, or take a short drive to Cresta Valley which has toboggan runs as well as cross country ski trails and toilets.
Visit the Park Office Visitor Centre, 300m from the beautiful old Mount Buffalo Chalet, to collect park information, maps and publications, find out track conditions or just say hello!