Written By Katarina @ cockatoo collection - August 18 2017
So it’s August and suddenly you feel the need to embrace winter and snow in all its glory. But you don’t fancy the investment – either in terms of money or time? If this sounds like you, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to experience snow in Victoria without splashing out on an expensive skiing holiday. And your kids will thank you for it!
Downhill Slopes in Falls Creek
LAKE MOUNTAIN – A ‘TASTER’ ON FUN IN THE SNOW
The closest place to see snow near Melbourne must be Lake Mountain. Just an easy 2h drive and you can have a day out building snowmen, throwing snowballs and tobogganing. However, the resort is pretty small and there are no downhill slopes, so unless you are a fan of cross-country skiing or playing in the snow this may not be for you.
Lake Mountain Tobogganing
We went to Lake Mountain on a Sunday in August and there was certainly enough snow on the slopes. However, be prepared for a full on experience (unless you go cross-country skiing which we didn’t try) as the slopes for tobogganing get really busy. The slopes are not steep so Lake Mountain is ideal for small kids. I think our 9 year old was ready for some more adrenaline – but she still had a great time enjoying games in the snow!
Lake Mountain - Building a Snowman
One thing to keep in mind is that Lake Mountain gets busy on winter weekends. We arrived in Marysville (30 mins from Lake Mountain) at 11am to find that the car park was full and we were turned away! So either arrive early, or have a lazy morning and aim for an afternoon in the snow instead. We ended up visiting Steavenson Falls in Marysville for a few hours until the resort was open again - well worth a visit.
It may also be worthwhile hiring your warm clothes and toboggans in Marysville as we had to queue for a good half an hour for the toboggan hire. Look out for packages hiring both clothes and skis/sledges for a deal. Or plan in advance and buy your winter clothes in the yearly Aldi sale or on Gumtree. The entry to the resort was $56 for a car, which was fair for a day out.
Steavenson Falls in Marysville
BRIGHT: A BEAUTIFUL TOWN WITH ACCESS THE ALPINE NATIONAL PARK - WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG
Now Bright requires a bit more planning as the town is a good 4 hours drive away from Melbourne, and from there it’s another hour or so to the slopes of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.
However, Bright is a beautiful town and well worth a weekend away in its own right. And once you are in Bright, you are on the doorsteps to the Alpine National Park and can easily have a full day on the ski slopes and be back in Bright for the night. And the best bit is that the accommodation in Bright is much more affordable than in the actual ski resorts.
The Alpine National Park - first glimpses of snow
We went to Falls Creek, which was a real alpine experience with beautiful high mountains, amazing views and plenty of snow and slopes. In fact, I found it difficult to believe we were in Australia (although I read somewhere that Australia has more snow in winter than Switzerland!) and the skiing reminded me of my native Finland. In terms of the resort, Falls Creek has everything you would expect - and hiring skiing gear, lessons etc was a breeze.
Downhill skiing in Falls Creek
We had a lovely but tiring day on the slopes and went back to our cosy house in Bright for the night. The next day we took it easy and explored the creek around Bright and soaked in the sun at the terrace of Bright Brewery (highly recommended) where we had a great lunch, before heading back to Melbourne.
The Alpine National Park - on the drive up to the ski resort
AND THERE IS PLENTY MORE…
Of course there are also other places to see snow and go skiing in Victoria. Mt Buller is a 3h drive from Melbourne (stay mid-week and book early for packages) and Mt Baw Baw is just 2 ½ h away from Melbourne, although smaller than Mt Buller.
We still have to see these two places – so please let me know your favourite way to experience the snow!