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Advice needed Best and economical way to - Mount Hotham

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Angi, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Hi all,
    We are a group of 11 people ( a mix of kids and adults) who are planning to go on a trip to Mount Hotham on end of July for two nights stay.
    What is the best and cheapest way to travel from Melbourne to Mount Hotham as group with bags and kids ?
    Are there any cheap group transfer mini bus services from Melbourne to Mount Hotham?
    Please advice. Thanks.
    Angi
     
  2. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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  3. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    MT HOTHAM
    Remove the stress of driving 5 hours through snow-laden country and click in your skis just over an hour after departure with a private charter direct to Mt Hotham. From $395 PP

    https://www.vortexair.com.au and half a dozen other air charter companies

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Thanks for the suggestions Bogong and Hunter. Is it cheaper to use vortexair or snowball express than driving our own vehicles from Melbourne to Mount Hotham ?
    Also I forgot to mention our group consists of only 3 families, so expenses will be divided in to 3 if we use a different method of transportation instead of our own vehicles.
     
  5. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    If you can hire an 11 seater it might work for you, as long as you are hiring your skis/snowboards.

    Hotham's resort entry price is fixed at $51 for vehicles seating 11 people or less. If the vehicle seats 12 or more, then the entry charge becomes $18.50 per adult and $8.50 per child. You would also have to hire chains for the vehicle and be confident driving in snow.

    The flight option provides convenience at a cost. You also have to factor in transfers from Hotham airport to the resort.
    The Bus can be good, but if you are hoping to have 3 full days of activity, you might be hamstrung by the bus schedule times.
    A hire car gives the most flexibility, but possibly high cost depending on everything else involved.
    Of course, you could take 3 cars (or even 2 7-seaters), but then you have to double up on chain hire, resort entry etc. Fuel costs might be a line-ball item on your own cars vs an 11 seater.
     
  6. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Drive your own cars.
     
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  7. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here’s an amusing little price comparison calculation.

    Estimated single vehicle costs from Melbourne comparison rate:

    68 Cents per km x @400km x 2 = $544 (ATO 2019 rate) alternately car hire 4 days@ $160 pd = $640 plus
    Hire chains for 4 days = $66 (if not part of gear hire package)
    Toll in & out of Melbourne: $16
    Overnight resort parking 3 nights/ days $49.50 (online price): $148.50
    Ignore other incidental travel costs.

    Total: $774.50 - call it $775.

    OK, so that’s faking it, as the car is mostly a sunk cost and it’s just the fuel, one doesn’t have to use tolls, one might already own chains, and also have a resort season pass.

    @Bogong - That luxury jet option is looking competitive (of course I’m ignoring airport transfer costs)
     
  8. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Thanks Nezumi. So you think 11 seater will be the cheapest option for us (3 families ) instead of driving our own 3 vehicles. Could you please direct me to cheaper 11 seater mini bus transfer service.
    Thanks.
     
  9. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Thanks a lot Chaeron for cost breakdown. We will not be hiring cars as we already live in Melbourne and we are staying 2 nights only on Mountain. This is our first time trying to go as a group and staying at Mount Hotham for 2 nights.☺
     
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  10. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m reasonably sure the cheapest and most convenient option is taking your own vehicle.

    Don’t underestimate the value of flexibility even if travelling as a group - especially with kids!

    To keep costs down and save time at the resort also pre-book your resort entry online along with ski hire and lift passes.

    While it’s tempting to include free chains in a ski hire package that means you’re driving hire gear up and down the mountain which isn’t ideal for a family.

    You’re better off hiring skis etc. on-mountain.
     
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  11. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    I'd agree with this based on the numbers here. Hiring gear off mountain means figuring out how to transport that gear as well, which, if you don't already own roof racks and a roof top box, could be a big expense.

    When I was suggesting an 11-seater, I tried to be explicit that this was hire and self-drive. I suspect that if you hired a 12 seater, even if there were only 11 passengers, you would be up for the full resort entry for bus passengers. ($18.50 per adult and $8.50 per child) - this would also be the case if you were to engage a private transfer company and get driven to the snow.

    Another option might be to make use of the PTV bus between Bright and Omeo. You would still be up for individual resort entry, but the far is much less than the coaches.
     
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  12. Pink

    Pink One of Us

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  13. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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  14. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    From the accom page, it includes 1 undercover car park. Any other vehicles would need to be parked in the overnight car parks. The fees for this are incorporated into the resort entry fee - you don't pay twice.
     
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  15. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Further we will only have bags no equipments and of course we will have kids with us.
     
  16. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    So to be clear the vehicle that will park in the accommodation will have to pay only resort entry fee
    And
    The other vehicle /vehicles will have to pay for entry fee + over night parking ?
    What about the cost of people getting to the accommodation from overnight parking?
    When you said over night parking are you referring to Hoys at Harrietville?
     
  17. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    This is our first time going to Hotham
     
  18. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    There is only one charge for vehicles that enter the resort and stay overnight, regardless of whether they park in a carpark provided by the accommodation, or in the general Hotham parking: https://www.mthotham.com.au/discover/explore/getting-here/resort-entry#35921-about-resort-entry

    There are separate car parks provided for day visitors or overnight visitors. There is a complimentary shuttle bus that operates from the overnight parking to the village.
    Parking map: https://www.mthotham.com.au/discover/explore/getting-here/parking

    How you park depends upon when you will arrive. If you are staying for 2 nights but intend to make the full use of your first day, you *might* be able to park in the day parking spaces initially to maintain access to your vehicles, and move them to your accommodation/the overnight parking areas once your accommodation is available. I'm not sure on this one, but hopefully someone familiar with the process at Hotham can confirm one way or the other.

    If you are arriving after your check in time, you should be able to dive up to the accommodation with the first vehicle, unload passengers and luggage, then have the driver go park that vehicle at overnight parking and catch the shuttle back. Repeat with the second vehicle, if needed. The final vehicle can simply park in the car park assigned to your accommodation.
     
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  19. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Convenience ?

    You save a few dollars and drive your own cars
    have to hire chains
    Then fit them and remove them loosing 2 hrs plus hassle , poor choice for 2 days for me on the toughest snow resort in the country .....
     
    #19 Hunter, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    You obviously haven't stayed at Ben Lomond. Traveling up the icy gravel road which zig-zags its way up a cliff is rather... um... "character building" and makes the Hotham road look easy and safe in comparison.
     
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  21. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Because children... leave when you need, stop when you need... children & bus transport on a fixed schedule on a 5 hour + journey - less than ideal.
     
  22. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Much the same time as car travel especially if you have never driven to Hotham more if you have to chain up
    Luxury coach, toilets walk around wif fi ...........................

    Take the bus for 2 days every time in this situation
    Not Buller too close
     
  23. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Does anyone here know the cost of getting to Hotham through the park and ride deal at Hoys in Harrietville? (Park our cars there and get transport from Hoys in Harrietville.)

    Or the cost of their below service from Melbourne to Hotham :

    "Hoys Booking Service can organise taxis to pick you up from Melbourne, Albury, Harrietville, Dinner Plain, Omeo - wherever and whenever you need."

    https://www.hoysskis.com.au/travel/

    Tried to contact them without success.
     
  24. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A 2WD vehicle has to fit chains more often than not. AWD and $WD are required to fit them fairly frequently. Do you know for sure that all your cars can be fitted with chains?

    If the weather is bad and you are not used to snow driving then hotham can be pretty confronting. In fact in bad weather you need to strongly consider taking the long way round through Gippsland. Depending on where you live in Melbourne, this can add significantly to travel time.

    As long as the Harrietville rd is open, then parking at Hoys and getting the bus could be a good option. Probably not the cheapest though.
     
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  25. Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Endless Winter Ski Pass: Gold

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  26. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Have to Second the Omeo option. We live in the Caulfield area and the Omeo way may add an hour or so in summer. But in full winter conditions the difference is very small. Not having to fit chains to the SUV is a real bonus. So to is the reduced stress on the up and ESP. the down. Give it a go.
     
  27. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Does anyone here know the cost of getting to Hotham through the "park and ride" deal at Hoys in Harrietville? (Park our cars there and get transport from Hoys in Harrietville.)
     
  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    True budget Skiers for Mt. Hot ham sandwich scale the Bon Accord spur and snow camp near the BA spur hut ruins or near the tree line on the BA spur. Others of this ilk snow camp at JB Hut and ski into Mt. Hot Ham and cheese sandwich with Tabasco sauce.
     
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  29. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us

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    Drive your own vehicles.
    If weather forecast is stormy then consider Omeo route.
     
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  30. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Thanks everyone. At the moment we are planning to drive after comparing the cost of minibus transfers :)
     
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  31. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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  32. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    You definitely have to do that. If the water in your car radiator freezes in the cold weather, it will expand and crack it open. That will render your car undrivable and it will be very, very expensive to replace it.
     
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  33. Angi

    Angi First Runs

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    Thanks Bogong
     
  34. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    BTW, AF also raises the boiling temp of your cooling system - can be mighty handy if you have minor cooling troubles - only
     
  35. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, true,, but not as expensive as smashing the flux capacitor on the under carriage of your car on a protruding rock....
     
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  36. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    And if any of your group has a deisel engine, make sure you put alpine deisel in it in Bright or add the appropriate amount of this to the fuel
     
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  37. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    That sounds like a sphincter clenching contest .
     
  38. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    If you drive from the Omeo side then there are ski hire options available at Omeo and also at Dinner Plain. If you foresee becoming a regular participant in a particular kind of snow sport then owning your own gear is better.
     
  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Myrtleford has Alpine Diesel for sale at the bowsers but I did not see any at petrol stations, last season coming into Dinner Plain/ JB Plain from the Omeo side.
     
  40. dossa5

    dossa5 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just go to Hoys Harrietville, leave cars in their carpark, hire gear from there or on the hill and bus it up
    They have a shop on the hill also. Dont need to worry about car issues.
    No hassle for you.
     
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  41. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    if you've never been to hotham before, this is a good option, especially if the weather is bad
     
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  42. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    all the responses here make it sound very hard.... remember you are visiting the highest village in Victoria, and you will have a great time..... I would suggest if you are leaving from Melb, check the weather and if no snow is forecast head the bright/harrietville way, enjoy the trip, but set aside a good 5-6 hours drivetime for the trip. I would consider only hiring chians off mountain and get the ski gear on mountain.....as otherwise you will be loading up the cars with heaps of ski's, boards, boots et etc.... Take your time driving up the hill, its a great drive and if the weather is clear the views are spectacular. Fit chains as directed (they show you how where you hire them, so take note), once again, not that hard and take your time....If you hire from Hoys in Harrietville they have a fitting service on the road where you must fit. In regards to parking, check out the hotham website, the map will show you where the o/nite parking is...its not too hard to find and you catch the free village bus back. You cars will need anti-freeze, if its a new car, check with the dealership as it might already be in there. If your car is diesel you must have the additive or get alpine mix from Bright...otherwise it won't start when you leave.
     
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  43. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  44. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    Most economical for sure.

    Best depends on whether or not the timing works for you - the buses only run on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
     
  45. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  46. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The highlighted part is the key. In good weather it is a spectacular drive and not too difficult. In fog, snow or very high wind then alternatives make sense.
     
    #46 currawong, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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