Camping during Winter 2012 (July) at Falls Creek

Konrad

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Hi fellow ski fanatics,

My friends and I want to save some $$ and camp near the Falls Creek resort. We all have hiked and camped in snow before and therefore are adequately prepared for the sub zero camping experience.

I have intensively searched the interet in the hope of finding a camping ground within the resort, and have found none. I have the following questions:

1. Does anyone know of any locations within Falls Creek we can camp?

2. Are they any locations just outside Falls Creek that we can camp (within 2km)?

3. Would camping at Mount Beauty be an option?

4. Is there any place to store gear for backpackers during the day at Falls Creek?

Thankyou!
 

Bogong

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Hi Konrad. Welcome to these forums.

* It's illegal to camp inside the Falls Creek Alpine Resort. HOWEVER you can camp in the adjoining state forest and national park. The park starts at the dam wall, so you can camp around Heathy Spur without getting in trouble.

* I haven't camped at Mt Beauty for a while, but there used to be good free camping in a terraced area on the edge of town, just as the road began to climb the mountain. It's an easy 10 minute walk to the bakery for breakfast!
smile.gif


* I think there are lockers at the Windy Corner car park shelter, but you'd better check that.
 
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weerab

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The thing is Konrad, if you camped at Heathy spur you would have to leave your car in the Falls car park and pay $35 or so per day. Even if you came in by bus you would still be up for resort fees.
 

Konrad

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Thanks for the welcome Bogong, and thank you both (Bogong and Weerab) for the great advice and prompt responses. I appreciate it.

Just some followup questions:

1. Is it possible to drive into Falls Creek Alpine Resort, pay the $35.50/day (for 5 days) car parking fee, and leave the car in the same position the whole 5 days (day and night)? I.e. Is the 'day' carpark fee valid for 24 hours?

If this is the case, we will simply leave the car in the carpark during the day (whilst skiing) and then use it as a 'base' throughout the stay (leaving our camping gear in the car during the day, and leaving our skiing gear in the car during the night). So, after skiing/snowboarding, we will dump the gear in the car and each night we will quickly set up the tents outside the Alpine Resort. The next morning, we will pack up the tents and leave them in the car whilst we ski.

Is this arrangement allowed and feasible?

2. If four of us come in one car, do we simpy pay $35.50 all up (for all four of us), plus the additional Ski Lift costs (per person). I.e. is the $35.50 per carload the 'resort fee' that you mentioned earlier?

3. How dangerous is the road from Mount Beauty to the Alpine Resort? I'm an experienced driver, but want to be prepared. I already have Snow Chains, etc. Would just like a heads up.

Thanks a lot everyone!
 

Ulmerhutte

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1. Yes, you can get a car park pass for as many days as you are staying. NB: When it gets busy, you may get parked anywhere between the village and Howman's Gap, which is 6km down the mountain. That would make it a little difficult to do what you suggest.

2. Correct. One fee per car.

3. As far as alpine roads go, the FC road is one of the more easy roads. Yes, you do need to carry chains.
 

chriscross

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Hi, Konrad. The road to FC from Mt Beauty is pretty good and is well maintained during winter. I understand it can be tricky when icy. I have not had to fit chains there in more than 20 years of access (AWD vehicle helps) but you must carry them and the local cops do check. The car park at FC is pretty strictly controlled and if you are planning to stay for a multi day trip then the car park controllers often insist that you move your vehicle down the road (to free up spaces for day visitors and weekenders) requiring you to use the shuttle bus service. I don't know what would happen if you left a car at the Windy Corner car park (the highest one, adjacent to the start of the main xc trails and dam wall access) but it would be the most convenient spot for your purposes.
 

Ulmerhutte

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Where you are parked often depends on when you arrive... afternoon and early evening, you generally get parked down the mountain. Arrive a bit later, and you will get parked in Lower Slalom or Windy Corner, until they get full. As far as I can deduce, that is done more for the convenience of the car park attendants, than anything else.

Day car parking is in separate areas to overnight parking.
 

Bogong

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Other cheapish possibilities include:

* Camping at Mt Beauty; either at a caravan park or the free terraced area above the town (if it's still allowed).

* Staying at Howman's Gap (just before the Falls Creek toll booth, 6 km from the resort). It's basic school camp style accommodation. You sleep in dorms with communal bathrooms and lounge areas. The tariff includes breakfast and dinner.

* Stay in one of the more basic club lodges at Falls Creek. There are still a few with bunk beds and no ensuites where you can cook your own meals. These old clubs can be surprisingly cheap.
 

currawong

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basically if you want to camp on snow near falls creek, you would have to ski in. in which case, you just need to get out of the resort area and away from the dam catchment

i think the arae that bogong is talking about in mt beauty is now the mountain bike park. i'm not sure if it's actually illegal top camp, but not really appropriate.

best bet would be mt beauty or tawonga caravan parks, or mountain creek camp ground at te foot of bogong if you want to avoid camping fees
 
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timonearth

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It's really a shame that Falls and Buller don't have more convenient camping areas close to the resort. I'm going to be spending most of 2012 at Perisher and Hotham because I'm saving $100+ each night by camping in my van. I know Buller has Carters Rd which is better than nothing (just), but I like Falls, wish there was something like Island Bend nearby.
 
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weerab

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I have done a few overnight camping trips from Falls camping at Heathy Spur or beyond and left the car in the top car park but maybe I was just lucky! I think Bogong's free camping area is not an option, times have changed. Staying in mt Beauty wouldn't be a bad option apart from the driving, checkout Mt Beauty website or Stayz. I've also stayed in some of the old SEC cottages and they were cheap in the old days but they are usually renovated and more exy these days. I've also seen people living out of their own caravans in the Tawonga Caravan park and skiing Falls, hot showers are nice after a day's skiing. Good luck with your choices!
 

Snow Blowey

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Konrad - have you considered skiing in NSW rather than Falls Creek. Camping options around Thredbo and perisher are much friendlier. For all the stuffing around at the end and start of each day you would be better off driving the extra 2 hours to NSW.
 

weerab

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Snow Blowey said:
Konrad - have you considered skiing in NSW rather than Falls Creek. Camping options around Thredbo and perisher are much friendlier. For all the stuffing around at the end and start of each day you would be better off driving the extra 2 hours to NSW.
Could be two hours less depending on where he is coming from? That's a really good idea Snowy, does NSW still have that Parks entry ticket thing covering all the resorts, I'm sure it would work out cheaper. Bear in mind that it is the same mountain range it's just more of a "nanny state" down here, everything has to be controlled ( should I have said that?).
 
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Rover

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weerab said:
I've also seen people living out of their own caravans in the Tawonga Caravan park and skiing Falls, hot showers are nice after a day's skiing. Good luck with your choices!

caravan parks are OK..I do this over in harrietville. have done so for 12 years or more. Cheap, don't worry about having to book as there is always space at that time of year. And a nice hot shower at the end of the day !!

The drive up from Mt beauty to falls is really easy...but better than the Hotham road .
 
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Ziggy

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Just picking up on Bogong's point, the YMCA camp at Howman's Gap, though convenient for Falls, is no longer a cheap option. Expect $100+ per day but that includes 3 meals.

If the plan is to camp out for say 5 days at a time, just catch the bus up from Mt Beauty.
 

Apresski

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Pyles Bus is pretty expensive, even their reduced daily return price is $49, makes a bed and 3 meals a day look pretty cheap at $100!
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Alternatively come up the otherside(East) up to the barrier on the Bogong Highplains Rd .Walk up/ski/plod depending on available snow and even base yourselves at MacNamaras Hut which is not too far from the barrier.No entry cost or carpark fee.
Mittugundi a group that takes youths on coarses over winter are based in Shannonvale and can answer questions about this access.
It is possible to ski up along road to Cope Hut/Mt Cope.Chains are good idea 4x4 and chainsaw good idea if accessing this way.
others on Forum can provide Mitts telephone details.
Mc Namaras Hut is a good sheltered spot and has wood floor benches and open fireplace.If you get a chance do recce in car and put out drum with goodies to be used in winter.I would not camp right at this barrier cos of big trees overhead however.There is good camping down in Mitta Mitta valley by the river with no camping fees in the National Park.Even stay at Blue Duck Inn depenging on cost and drive up stay out overnight couple times and then return to BD.This access is on sealed bitumen and barrier closed about Queens Birthday.
party.gif
Access is protected cos of snow gums all way up to Highplains Proper and even in worst weather you could move along this corridor.Faithfuls hut also half way along on way to Cope Hut.Maybe even plant lots of gear/food in 60litre drums before snow comes and then just ski in with light gear and set up say Cope Hut or Ryders Huts then access from East side upto Barrier about 1,300metres from Omeo Highway. Also Mittugundi guys use Kellys Track to another barrier also on eastern side but this requires a 4x4 and chains to a National Park Barrier at about 1,300m then an easy ski protected by snow gums on lee side of hills to Fitzgeralds Hut.This then gives you access to the Nelses/Spion Kopje Timms Lookout/Ropers Hut.You might be able to get a lift up withthem depending when they go out as they used to come up this way regularly over winter.
 
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timonearth

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Still have great memories of mittagundi when I was in year 10. Probably changed my life. Will be re hiking the route in to the camp this spring with an old school friend. Looking forward to concurring track 107 as an adult.
smile.gif


But yep. Agree with currawong, Steve's suggestions great for touring not for spending a day at falls resort.
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Sorry guys!

Maybe tally the cost getting a campervan against costs of resort entry/accomadation.

Maybe park it below resort boundary.There are a few areas that dont prohibit parking.Then drive up to resort ticket office at Howmans each morning parking outside down road.I have left car at turn off to power station on big hairpin bend before.Use free resort shuttle bus to access windycorner day centre at top edge of town.Hot showers/fast food updated weather reports/trail reports.

I used to park other times at Howmans Gap by talking to staff and seeking there permission then i would ski up Road 24 towards ski tows.They used to let me park for free at Howmans Gap Resort which is private property but you must seek permission of owner and comply with whatever restrictions they want.There are parking restrictions all around entry through ticket area and on Rd 24 so read signs and discuss things with owners.Bogong village would be a good place to retreat in campervan.There is a beautiful picnic ground low down in Bogong Village were the two main rivers meet.And i cannot see that sleeping in your campervan would cause any problems for the caretaker of Bogong Village.Good luck.They may well be no camping signs around this picnic ground but as long as your not leaving a tent in the middle during the day the local Bogong Village Ranger isnot ganna be less than friendly.Above information is spot on in regard to the comparison of the KNP were there are numerous camping areas:Island Bend,and those along approach to Thredbo.KNP will have cost per day/week for park entry.Pity Falls Ck has not got dedicated locations like KNP.Parks could i feel develop a few nice camp grounds along the Falls Ck approach.
 

timonearth

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Thanks for the post Steve, some great possibilities but like you I dream of them doing something decent like KNP. I'll be checking out Cobungra near Hotham this weekend, will take some pics but have heard of people camping there quite often. Then I'm off to Island Bend for a few days of hiking and ski boot shopping.
smile.gif
 
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sidetrack

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Just so people know skiing up rd 24 will take about 2.5 hours to get to Ruined Castle. And that's if you are very fit and there's snow the whole way. Just hitch from Howmans.
 

ladycamper

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If you consider visiting Mt Buller there is the free DSE operated Carters Road camp area, about 1-2 km before the tollgates in the Mansfield State Forest. Water (drinkable) available from the banks of the Delatite River, together with a picnic table and longdrops.

Another option is doing Hotham, and camping at JB Plain. There is parking at the side of the road and because its national park there is no resort entry fee except for the days that you park at Hotham. JB Plain is on the range between Dinner Plain and Hotham and 8k from Hotham village. Its near the road, but can't be seen from the road. A modern long-drop has been built nearby. You need to bring water if using JB Plain.

I have used both sites.
 

ladycamper

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You CAN car camp at JB. Just park at the side of the road (on the side travelling toward Hotham) and walk in the 50~100m to your tent. Its not alpine resort area there its national park. There is a generous sealed shoulder around the JB Plain sign. There was, last season, no sign directing people not to park. I have been to JB, but did not drive (I hitchhiked from Harrietville).
 

ladycamper

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Does anyone use the sites with tables near the pondage in Mt Beauyy? I think its DSE or DEPI which they're now called.
 

Belly

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For Falls Creek I would just camp at Mountain Creek at the base of Bogong. Fair way for repeat trips up Falls but ideal for a resort / Bogong combo weekend, done it many times.
 
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ladycamper

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I know the Mountain Creek one at base of Staircase Spur but needed one I can walk to town from in order to hitchhike up the hill, its not dodgy leaving the tent when gone is it?
 

Belly

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Of course it's a risk but I've left it and never had any problems, it's a pretty low traffic area up there. Can't walk into town though.
 

currawong

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There are places near town where you could get away with sleeping in a car, but can't think of anywhere where a tent would really be acceptable.

The caravan park is $30 per night for unpowered site, and you get hot showers, drying room, camp kitchen, common room.
 

currawong

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Does anyone use the sites with tables near the pondage in Mt Beauyy? I think its DSE or DEPI which they're now called.
Not true. Partly AGL, partly local council. Really not appropriate to put up a tent there IMHO. It is the main park in Mt Beauty with kids playground, skate park, bmx track
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Down in Bogong Village I remember heading over the other side of river via the dam infrastructure and there was a small area with a open shelter that was pretty isolated from the main action over in the little Bogong Village..maybe with permission of Caretaker(ranger for Bogong Village ) u could pitch a tent over there and leave things there safely...

and the Aorboretum (sorry cannot spell this correctly) may have some secluded areas that a tent could be left not too far from the carpark!!!!
 
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Ubiquitous Steve

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Probably about time Parks got on board and opened up another camp ground before Bogong Village......like those off main drag before Thredbo...
 
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ladycamper

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The days of caravan parks just charging anything like a wounded bull & assuming the single punter will cop it sweet are gone. The local offering is fairly steep for 1 person, as their facilities are pretty ordinary and 2 persons get the same rate. I'm with the free camping movement. Regions which do not offer free camp areas which are also appropriately located, I bypass altogether - so while say at Lorne a local CP protects its turf with a council funded protection racket, other budinesses lose when free campers bypass their town.
 

currawong

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Realistically, if you are going to have a camping area next to a popular road, there have to be dunnies . I can't see parks or alpine shire building dunnies between Mt Beauty & Falls.

Mountain Creek does provide free camping (at least for now), but it does require you have your own transport. Ditto for some nice spots along the river
 
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Hully

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The other reality is that any new camp area managed and maintained by Parks Vic will have a cost in-line with commercial camping areas, and existing areas will be reverting to a pay for use along those lines. This has already been discussed earlier in the year in the backcountry forum in relation to a released discussion paper. There will also be a nightly cost for camping in undeveloped camp areas (anywhere) in the Alpine National Park.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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Team Bears not looking forward to DSE staff asking us for money to camp on Crown Land Outside National Park Boundary but I suppose that is coming too!!! looks like sad days ahead imo...The SEC had a day shelter beside the Bogong High Plains Rd cos we used to sleep in it (illegally)on trips to the snow but they pulled it down for no good reason I suppose..
the cost of a self composting dunny cannot be really that massive...???

If KNP can manage some little camp areas what is the problem in Vic???
This is meant to be the Knowledge Nation sometimes Team Bears wonder what the tourists can be thinking when they come out for trips to the country side...
 
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skier grl

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Ive done the campinf did at mt beauty caravan park next to the lake was fun swags n all wish was on snow it felt like it was minus 4 with wind chill of minus 16 would of been so much better to actually b on the mountain but now my friend bought a penthouse at qt so no more camping to go falls creek mayb another mountain ut I love falls creek its my favorite ive already bought my season pass for next season the day after I tore my acl lol ohh well im dedicated n giv me something to work towards after surgery lol
 

Moondog55

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I was thinking of plumping a caravan on the old Single mens site below the bridge. That is controlled by VicRoads not DSE Victorian Governments thinking and planning stops at the boundary of the greater Melbourne boundary. Simply too many
 

Ziggy

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Ive done the campinf did at mt beauty caravan park next to the lake was fun swags n all wish was on snow it felt like it was minus 4 with wind chill of minus 16

It gets down to freezing there often enough as cold air pools on the river flat. The Mountain Ck campsite is even colder.
 

Tonka

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Over the dam wall and take the aqueduct to the left, ski a few hundred metres and choose a site.
 
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