Located 350 kilometres northeast of Melbourne with an elevation of 1,723 meters, Mt Buffalo is a sanctuary for cross-country skiing with 14 kilometres of marked trails. The sub-alpine environment caters to experienced skiers who can carve up Cresta Run as well as families, with toboggan runs near Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley. Dingo Dell Café is your one-stop shop for warm drinks and café-style nibblies and will be open seven days a week throughout the snow season. For those looking for a thrilling challenge, there are caving opportunities and The Hump is accessible for ice climbers. Camping is available on the mountain in the warmer months; however, in the winter you can head to the nearby town of Bright where you’ll find accommodation no matter your budget.
Known for its downhill runs and picturesque village Mt Buller is located 208 kilometres northeast of Melbourne in the Alpine National Park. There are nine kilometres of cross-country skiing, two toboggan parks, and 22 lifts to enjoy. Beginners can try their luck on the trouble-free slopes of Bourke St and Burnt Hut Spur, while adrenaline junkies will enjoy black runs such as Chamois. The mountaintop village can sleep 7,000 people with a range of accommodation options available and with 30 bars, cafés, and restaurants you’ll never go hungry on Buller. There is Alpine Spa Retreat, a cinema to spend those chilly nights in, a chapel, a museum for history buffs, a supermarket, post office and physio in case you wipe out. Recently Mt Buller hosted the International Day of Yoga, and the ever-changing event calendar is packed with events for the whole family.
With 92 runs and 21 cross-country alpine trails, Falls Creek is a mecca for skiing no matter your ability. A whopping 60% of the trails are of an intermediate level and the resort is home to Australia’s longest Green run: the 2.2-kilometre Wombats Ramble, which makes Falls Creek the ideal place to perfect your technique. There are also advanced runs including the three-kilometre Wishing Well. The mountain can sleep 4,500 guests and there are a number of restaurants and facilities to cater to your every need. Every Wednesday and Saturday night you can ski under the stars at Wombats Ramble and there are a number of tours from scenic helicopter rides to snowmobiling and snowshoe.
Known as the powder capital of Australia, Mt Hotham features steep valley runs and some of the best back-country ski terrain in the country. Located 357 kilometres northeast of Melbourne and only 20 kilometres away from its own airport, Hotham is characterised by its gullies, ridges, and tree runs and with 40% of the resort dedicated to advanced skiers. For skilled snowboarders and skiers we recommend carving up the area off the Gotcha chairlift, although beginners are welcome at the resort as well with 20% of the terrain set asides for first-timers. Mt Hotham is 1,861 feet high and the resort includes over 18 dining options and can sleep up to 7,000 people. There are four designated snowboarding zones and star gazers can ski both Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Mt Baw Baw
Only two-and-a-half hours outside of Melbourne lies a ski resort ideal for those wanting to learn how to ski and snowboard without having to travel too far from home. Mt Baw Baw is located on the southern boundary of the Victorian Alps and features 35 kilometres of downhill terrain, ten kilometres of cross-country ski trails, snowsports lessons, as well as husky dog sled tours, several family-friendly accommodation options, a village restaurant, and a day spa. There are 15 runs, the longest being 750 meters and with 65% of the terrain classed at an intermediate level you can glide through snow gums without the worry the worry of advanced skiers whizzing past.
Venturing through the stunning Black Spur forest and past the charming town of Marysville will lead you to Australia’s most visited ski resort: Lake Mountain. Only two hours north of Melbourne, the resort comprises 37 kilometres of ski trails ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Lake Mountain is popular with families, and children and adults alike will derive much pleasure from the seven toboggan runs and the 240 meter flying fox. For a bite to eat there’s a bistro located within the main visitors’ centre or you can stop at the Maysville Bakery Café. Marysville is also home to number of quaint cottages and makes for a perfect winter weekend away.