Feeling a little frosty? Rug up, get in the car and hire some snow chains because winter is coming. Whether you just want to build a snowman, or you’re keen to hit the slopes, there’s heaps of magical places in Victoria for you to find snow. From picturesque alpine villages to dreamy national parks, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice.
If you’re going to a mountain resort, the official winter season this year starts on Saturday June 10 and ends on Sunday October 1. If you’d like to see snow in Victoria during this time, you will need to pay a resort entry fee. Keep an eye on snow forecasts if you’d like to try your luck and visit the resorts outside of the declared winter season.
1. Mt Donna Buang
If you’ve never been to the snow before, Mt Donna Buang is a great place to start. Located near Warburton, this mountain is only a two hour drive away from Melbourne, making it a nice spot for day trips. On top of that, Mt Donna Buang is a part of the Yarra Ranges National Park, which means it’s completely free to visit.
Head up to the summit, 1245 metres above ground, and take in sweeping views of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong and Cathedral Ranges, Mount Baw Baw and the Alps. Frolic in the snow, make a snowman and have fun tobogganing. Toboggans are available for hire both on the summit and in Warburton. During peak periods, you’ll find a food van selling coffee and hot snacks. Otherwise, you can find a nice hot meal in Warburton nearby.
Find everything you need to know about playing in the snow at Mt Donna Buang here. Or, check out this Facebook page for local tips and updates.
2. Lake Mountain
At just over a two hour drive away from the city, Lake Mountain is Melbourne’s closest ski resort. You won’t find any lakes up there, as it was named after the surveyor George Lake. You will find plenty of snow during winter, with heaps of activities that are perfect for all ages and skill levels. There’s over 35 kilometres of trails for you to discover. Go tobogganing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing around the little mountain. With gentle slopes, children can also sign up for snowboarding lessons.
For cars, entry during the winter season costs $55.80 if you book online, or $62 at the gate. If you’re not confident about driving in snowy conditions, you can also book a shuttle bus from the Lake Mountain Visitor Centre in nearby Marysville.
You’ll find hot meals and drinks at the bistro on-site during the snow season. However, you can’t stay on the mountain overnight, so you will need to book accommodation at Marysville if you’d like to visit Lake Mountain for more than one day. Find more information about Lake Mountain Alpine Resort here.
3. Mt Baw Baw
Mt Baw Baw is about two and a half hours away from Melbourne. With accommodation on the resort, you can choose to stay overnight, or simply make it a day trip. There’s over 35 hectares of snow terrain and 10 kilometres of cross-country ski trails for you to explore.
They’ve got plenty of winter activities for both beginners and experts, with skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing available. Mt Baw Baw has of skiing and snowboarding lessons available to get you ready for the slopes. If you forget to hire equipment on the way to the mountain, you can find stores in the resort village.
While you’re there, check out the Dingo Resource Centre and book yourself in for an adorable Winter Dingo Encounter. Meet Rowdy, Warragul and Bunji, the resident dingoes, and learn all about this native animal.
Stay overnight at the resort, and check out the restaurants in the village. Resort entry by car costs $55.80 if you book online. Click here for more information.
4. Mt Buller
Mt Buller is a three hour drive from Melbourne. With over 300 hectares of skiable terrain, this destination is wildly popular for snow lovers in Victoria. There’s something for all skill levels, with gentle slopes for beginners and more challenging runs for experts. Mt Buller also has the largest lift network in Victoria, with 13 chairlifts, two T-bars, two rope tows and three magic carpets. There’s three terrain parks for all ski levels, and two toboggan parks. Mt Buller has snowmaking machines, so you don’t have to worry about the weather.
When you’re not skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing, go on an Australian Sled Dog Tour. Meet some huskies, take photos with them, and go on an exhilarating sled ride. If you don’t want to go on a tour, you can still book in a meet and greet session with the dogs. These tours are extremely popular, so bookings are essential.
At the village on Mt Buller, you’ll find lots of facilities to keep you busy, including a cinema, a museum and a day spa. After a day in the snow, explore the village and unwind at one of the restaurants. There’s plenty of accommodation options available, so you can ski-in, ski-out.
This year, day passes to Mt Buller via car costs $53.50 if you book online, and $63 at the gate. Learn more about Mt Buller here.
5. Mt Stirling
Looking to get away from the crowds at Mt Buller? You’re in luck. Just 30 minutes away, you’ll find the neighbouring Mt Stirling. This is the only alpine resort in Victoria with an undeveloped summit, which means you can experience the magic of snow in the semi-wilderness.
There’s over 68 kilometres of maintained trails across the mountain, so you can immerse yourself in dreamy alpine ash forests and snow gum woodlands. Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and admire the beautiful landscape. You’ll find huts dotted around the resort, including Craig’s Hut, the famous location in The Man From Snowy River. Go backcountry skiing or snowboarding and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain. If you really want, you can go camping in the snow. There is an experienced Ski Patrol team to help you stay safe.
The kids will have heaps of fun, with a snow play area and a lovely slope for tobogganing. There is a ski school so you can develop your skills, and hire facilities available. When you’re hungry, pop into the café for a hot chocolate and some hot treats.
During the snow season, day passes for cars cost $53.50 if you book in advance, or $63 at the gate. This fee covers entry into both Mt Buller and Mt Stirling. Learn more here.
6. Falls Creek
The drive to Falls Creek is over four and a half hours away from Melbourne, but it’s certainly worth the trip. With 450 hectares of skiable terrain, this alpine resort has the largest terrain in Victoria. It turns into a picturesque winter wonderland during the colder months, with ski-in, ski-out accommodation, dining and nightlife.
Go skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and back-country touring around the mountain. Have fun tobogganing and go snowshoeing, then stick around for fun events, like meeting Pete the Snow Dragon or seeing fireworks on select nights. Around the village, you’ll find plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as Astra Day Spa, a museum and a supermarket.
Day entry to Falls Creek costs $56 online and $63 at the gate. Plan your trip here.
7. Mt Hotham
Nestled in the Victorian Alps, 4.5 hours away from Melbourne, you’ll find Mt Hotham. With an elevation of 1861 metres, this is Australia’s highest alpine village. Soak in unforgettable, 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges, and breathe in that crisp mountain air. If you’re looking for snow in Victoria, you’ll certainly find it among the stunning landscapes.
Mt Hotham’s village is right at the top of the mountain, with plenty of ski-in, ski-out opportunities. There’s 320 hectares of ski terrain, 13 chair lifts, three terrain parks and 35 kilometres of cross-country skiing for you to enjoy. If that wasn’t enough, it even has its own airport, making Hotham an easy 45 minute flight away from Essendon.
You’ll have plenty of things to do on the mountain, with guided hikes, tobogganing, snow mobile rides and husky sled tours. For something unique, go on an eco-adventure with Alpine Nature Experience. Go on a sunset snowshoe tour to a hidden eco-village, and warm up with a cheese fondue dinner in a heated tipi. Stay in an igloo overnight, and wake up to a hearty breakfast and scenic skidoo ride.
In the village, you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to stay warm. Day passes for Mt Hotham cost $58 in advance, and $63 on the day. Find out more here.
8. Dinner Plain
You’ll find Dinner Plain just 15 minutes away from Mt Hotham. A shuttle bus runs between the two locations during the snow season. Relax in the cosy alpine village and discover historic cattlemen’s huts. Go on an adventure along 35 kilometres of groomed trails, and admire the magical snowgums and views. There’s plenty of room for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
There is a snow play area, so you can make plenty of snowmen. Go tobogganing or practice your skills down the beginner ski hill.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s no resort fee to enter Dinner Plain. You can drive in for free all year round. If you’re itching to check out Mt Hotham, you can access it for a discounted fee via the shuttle bus. Find out more here.