So I have been on a little mission over the past month to find the best slopes in Victoria, My trusty twin Britt, adopted sister Tegan and myself have been traveling all over the state skiing and boarding up a storm! It was a heap of fun, especially catching up with friends that I worked and lived with last year up on the ski fields.
We started our journey at Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort. Now this resort is completely different from all the other resorts in Victoria as there are no actual ‘chair lifts’, there are only T-bars and Pomas, which for a first time snowboarder, like Tegan, it can be a little difficult. But the mountain is aimed towards beginners and the runs are easy to tackle.
One of the great things about this mountain is that it is only 2.5 hours away from Melbourne and only takes one tank of petrol to get there and back, so it is a great money saver, especially with the lift tickets only being $50 per day! The terrine park was a little disappointing, with only two rails and nothing more, but I did notice they were in the process of building a few jumps and setting up for a competition. Another plus about the mountain is that there were hardly any people around so we did get free rein over almost everything, the Lifties up there are all friendly and are more than welcome to help you out.
We spent three days up there, two of them we skied/boarded and although it was raining and cold it was still a heap of fun, the village itself is a little small compared to other mountains, with only one retail shop selling gear, there is a lot of choices when it comes to accommodation though and we decided to stay in the Alpine Flash Packers, it was a small and cozy room above a bar and it was great.
After that we went up to Mt Buller with my dad, who loves the snow but only goes once a season…I have tried to talk him into going again, but I can’t make him budge. We went up on a Monday and even though it was the first working day of the week it was still packed, one of the staff did mention that that weekend they had 10,000 people up on the mountain! So Mt Buller has the most runs and chair lifts as well as something called a ‘rope tow’ that almost took my hand off with it, there are a lot of black runs (super advanced) but is a great mountain to learn on as there are heaps of beginner runs. The pros of Mt Buller are that it is only 3 hours from Melbourne (In the opposite direction than Mt Baw Baw), the resort is set up as a town and there is a real ‘community’ feeling about it. There is over 300 hectares of runs and 22 lifts! The runs are a little steep and narrow but are soo much longer than the ones at Baw Baw.
It was sunny when we got there but there was a very cold wind chill, luckily I was wearing one of Pink Rubarb Snows ‘Confessions Of A Snowflake’ Neck warmer! The terrine is challenging and with so many runs to choose from you couldn’t get bored there thats for sure. Most of the resorts in Victoria all have the same pricing for tickets and entry (except for Baw Baw) but unlike Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Baw Baw Mt Buller offer student (uni and high) discounts! so instead of spending $113 for the day it was brought down to a great $90!
Now I am always going to be a little bit biased about Falls Creek because I worked for the lift company and had an amazing time up there. But I have to tell you…It is an amazing mountain. Falls is owned by the Merlin company in the UK, they also own Mt Hotham. The resort really is a ski in and ski out town, everything is easy to get to and the terrine is very varied which keeps you on your toes. If you are a beginner then this mountain is perfect for you as the instructors are amazing and there is a huge beginner run (wombats ramble) which takes you over 3kms of snow, they also offer night skiing along wombats and it defiantly is something to try! We were extremely lucky to have AMAZING weather while we were up there, it was 8 degrees and sunny the entire time, no need for all the heavy and bulky jackets, skiing and boarding around in hoodies was great.
There are two terrain parks, one aimed towards beginners- to intermediates featuring little kickers and jumps and then there is the advanced park over at Ruined Castle…I would only ever attempt that if I was crazy! One of my managers from last year broke his leg in six places yesterday after hitting one of the jumps and he was over 5 meters over the lift line! But the Park Crew do an amazing job keeping both parks looking good and creating new and fun bits and pieces. We spent two days riding and two days driving, Falls Creek is 6.5 hours away from Portarlington, so 5 hours from Melbourne. I am hopping to get back up there ASAP before the snow melts or gets rained away.
So by far my favourite resort in Victoria is Falls Creek!
With so many different places to see, eat and runs as well as extremely friendly staff and the best park in vic, there is no other option, it may be a little far for me to just go up for a day trip but that just means more time in the best place in this winter wonderland!
NOW on the way home from the resorts there are heaps of amazing places to visit and cute little towns that look like they are still stuck in the 1850’s