The snow season is now officially open, and after a slow start, regular falls of snow are reported at all the major resorts.
Victoria's seven resorts are just a road trip from Melbourne, and attract over a million visitors each year. Lake Mountain is the closest resort, just 120 km away. But even for the others, the furthest you have to drive only takes about four and a half hours.
Each resort varies in what it has to offer, but common features are equipment hire, training and instruction, or overnight accommodation.
Mt Buller has Victoria’s largest lift network, with 22 lifts capable of moving 40,000 people an hour, giving skiers and snowboarders access to over 300 hectares of terrain, for all levels of ability.
The entry fee for Mt Buller includes entry into Mount Stirling, well known for cross-country and backcountry skiing. You can also enjoy alpine touring, backcountry snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
Falls Creek has Australia’s longest beginner run, with Night Skiing under lights on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Mt Hotham,Australia’s highest resort, has some of Australia’s deepest powder and steepest terrain. Mt Hotham Alpine Village is on a ridge with spectacular views of the Great Dividing Range and its steep valleys. The scenery is like the alps of Europe, Japan and North America.
Lake Mountain is popular for quick day trips or weekend adventures. Thanks to its Wyss Blanc CC 30 snow making machine, it is Australia’s only resort with snow at temperatures up to 25°C.
Mt Baw Baw snowfields are the closest to Melbourne for downhill skiing and snowboarding, with over 30 hectares of downhill terrain, seven ski lifts, several snow play areas, and 10 km of cross-country trails.
Dinner Plain, with no entry fee, is nestled among snow gums at 1562 metres, 10km from Hotham. It is known for remarkable alpine architecture, with around 300 private chalets within walking distance from the village centre. The beginner ski run is perfect for those in the snow for the first time.
For more information, including snow reports, see www.snowvictoria.com.
Long range 7-day snow forecasts are at ski.com.au/snowreport.html.