The warmer weather may have well and truly left us but that doesn’t mean we still can’t have fun – right?!! It’s cold, miserable and when the wind decides to blow up from the south it can get downright crappy! That’s the joys of winter, but with the change in seasons comes some fun and adventurous activities that many people around Australia just don’t consider.
If you’re living in Western Australia, Northern Territory or Queensland I bet the word snow would never even enter your daily conversations. Ice, yes maybe, if you need more to float in your glass and keep your drink cool and refreshing. Nevertheless, snow is something us ‘southerners’ occasionally talk about but something few experience, even when its not far from home.
I bet you love going out for dinner? Going to a cafe? Perhaps taking a drive somewhere where the scenery is so magical the experience leaves you mesmerised? Have you ever experienced that? When you’re standing along a hill on a beach, at a majestic waterfall or on top of a mountain and the view leaves you spellbound. You’re looking at something that is so completely amazing that you wonder why you have never travelled to see it before?
I grew up in the small country town of Bright in North East Victoria. Majestic scenery was all in our backyard (in a manner of speaking) Waterfalls, rivers…we had it all, and when winter rolled around we had our glorious mountains to entertain us. Mount Buffalo, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham were our play fields and we loved it. My dad worked for Bright RACV, and each weekend when he was on call he would take my twin brother and I to the mountains and set us free. Friends of the family had a ski hire business and we always had ski equipment. My father would drop us off at Dingo Dell at Mount Buffalo and the women who worked in the cafe and the guys on the ski lifts would keep on eye out for us. My brother and I would ski for an hour, or a few hours. When we saw the lights flashing on top of the RACV truck, we knew it was time to go.
Over the past 15 years it has been my turn to take both my daughters to the slopes, driving up to Mount Hotham each year has been lots of fun for our family. Over the past few years I haven’t put the ski’s on as much, but watching my partner and the girls have fun on the slopes while I relax or catch up with friends has simply been my idea of fun. Whether I am watching my families thrills and spills from the verandah at Swindlers, The General Hotel or at The Big D, it always manages to put a great big smile on my face.
Sitting in front of an open fire with a glass of wine while snow flakes drift past the window is incredibly romantic. A gorgeous meal at The White Room (their lamb is so yummy!!!), a casual pizza at The General Hotel (have fabulous gourmet pizzas!!!), or a delicious dinner at The Last Run Bar (pan fried chicken breast is highly recommended!!!) – there is plenty of fabulous food and cosy dining experiences for those looking for something intimate and relaxing. Want to listen to some music? Both The General Hotel and Swindlers have a DJ or band several nights a week (mainly weekends). The High Plains Hotel at Dinner Plain also has fabulous live entertainment.
Maybe you’re thinking of something indulgent? A lovely relaxing pamper package that might include a facial, massage or spa treatment? Onsen Spa and Retreat has something to suit everyone. You really have to check this place out, it really is heavenly and the staff are fabulous!!! They actually have an outdoor spa. Imagine sitting outside in the snow and relaxing in the warmth and steam of the glorious outdoor spa. It truly is amazing.
I have gone through years worth of home videos and have posted something so you can see just how much fun we had. Mount Buller is great but in my experience you can’t beat Falls Creek or Mount Hotham. Falls Creek is in a basin and more protected from the elements but the “township” is more compact and feels more crowded. Mount Hotham is much more spread out, has fabulous slopes for beginners to the more advanced and I think it tends to get better snow falls.
On average July and August tend to be the best times to go, however this is not always the case. Check out the links below and find out how much snow they have before making any plans. There have been many times over the years when the ski fields have had lots of great snow falls in June and September, so take it from someone who used to work up there and has been visiting these mountains for most of her life – always check out the websites first! I remember several years ago they still had fabulous snow falls in October, rare but true. You just never know 🙂
Winter doesn’t have to be boring – it can be fun, adventurous, relaxing or romantic….whatever you want it to be. Take the kids? Babysitting is available if you want to trek the slopes without worrying about the younger ones or want to enjoy an intimate evening at one of the local restaurants. Plan a romantic ski holiday in Australia, and check out the links below for a fun family adventure or an intimate escape for two……
(Ski hire, lift passes, ski lessons, latest snow fall information, road conditions, resort entry and list of local businesses)
(Ski hire, list of local businesses including Onsen Spa Retreat)
(Great meals, entertainment)
(Flights into Albury)
(Couch service from Albury Airport directly to Mount Hotham).
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