Entry fees and Passes

Suziena

First Runs
Jun 28, 2022
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Hi there,
I have never skied in my life. Me and my friends are planning to head up to Mt. Buller end of July. We will be driving from Melbourne and it will be a day trip. I browsed Mt Buller's website but there are so many different fees and charges which is really overwhelming. I was wondering if someone could point me to the right direction in line to the activities we look forward to attend.
  • I got the entry fee as $50.
  • Is the adult ski lesson worth it? Says it includes lift pass with $2hrs ski lesson at $167.
  • If we don't take the ski lesson but still want to ski, what are the passes we need? The site says it's different for sightseers.
  • Also, where's the most affordable gear hire place?
  • ANY OTHER TIPS?
Thank you in advance!
 

nezumi

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The entry fee covers entry into the resort, parking for your car and the shuttle bus from the carparks up to the main resort area.

If you just want to do tobogganing and snowplay stuff then you don't need a lift pass. There are specific tobogganing areas in the village and near the car parks.

If you *do* want to ski, then for the sake of your own safety and the safety of others around you, please take the lesson. If you decide not to take the lesson, then the first thing you will be doing is walking in skis in a queue to the lift, and when you get to the top of the lift, you have to ski off it. This is unlikely to end well if you have no idea what you are doing at all.

For gear hire, affordable is off the mountain. Hiring on the mountain is generally going to be more expensive, but it does mean that if you need to change anything it's more easily done.

Gloves and goggles are items that you need to buy. Wear sunscreen and lip balm - you're likely to get burnt up there otherwise. Stay hydrated.
 
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djam

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note the sightseeing lift pass is without skis, one ride up and down I believe, on North side express lift only.

The lesson will be worth every cent, if you are not with friends that can ski. You will advance at 10 times the pace you would on your own, and have a much better enjoyment factor.

If you don't take the lesson, then you just need a (lift) day ticket, Adult I expect.

I would recommend hiring on mountain, it will save trying to carry the skis and poles with you, from the car, then the bus and back. Though you then may well need a locker to put your shoes etc. There are lockers in the Village Square plaza building, the building next to the village bus drop off. The lockers are on the far side, from the bus drop off side.

Best to own jacket, pants, hat gloves, goggles to wear from leaving your car.

You should consider taking a bus from Mansfield, more so if chains are required on the day, you then don't need chains ($), or to pay the resort entry (it is included in the bus fare). If you need to fit chains, and then take them off, that could add the best part of an hour to your day, its already a huge day.

The toboggan run access, if your not skiing, is $15 per person, and the toboggan is supplied, you can no longer bring toboggans into the resort, as too many people would toboggan in un-safe areas, like on the ski runs.
 
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willsnow

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I get that you want to be budget conscious, and if you're referring to this First timers ticket of $167.

For Adults (18+). Includes a restricted full day lift pass to 3 First Timer lifts (ABOM Express Chair, Bourke St Express Chair and Bourke St Carpet) and a 2 hour ski lesson (strictly for first timers). Does not include a B-TAG. Does not include rental equipment.

Then I highly suggest you buy that ticket if you've never skied before.

As a comparison, the lift ticket without the lesson costs $154, which would give you access for the whole mountain. However, the first timers ticket can only be used in 3 (beginner) lifts, which is probably for your own benefit as you don't want to be skiing runs that are beyond your ability. And to be honest, you'll spend most of your time on the carpet if you've never skied before.

Sharing a story here. A couple of years ago, I was at Spurs cafe after my last run for the day. I spotted someone who is sliding on his bum in complete distress trying to ski Burnt Hut. I went over and pulled him up and asked if he has skied before or took a lesson. He said that was his first time putting on skis. I then asked him to take off his skis and walked back up the hill, because there is no way he can make it to the bottom of the lift safely and also before the last ride. He did just that after saying 'I should have taken a lesson' to me.
 

willsnow

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Another tip for a day trip is that you really need to leave Melbourne at 5 am to aim to reach Mansfield by 7:30 the latest, so that you can get to the day carpark on the mountain around 8:30. I suggest leaving even earlier if you need to sort out hire gears in Mansfield.

Traffic will be mad during weekend, especially if you leave Mansfield later than 8:30. The later you leave Mansfield, I guarantee your mountain experience will be severely compromised as you'll be stuck in a car traffic, bus queue, rental hire queue etc.
 

CarveMan

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Another tip for a day trip is that you really need to leave Melbourne at 5 am to aim to reach Mansfield by 7:30 the latest, so that you can get to the day carpark on the mountain around 8:30. I suggest leaving even earlier if you need to sort out hire gears in Mansfield.

Traffic will be mad during weekend, especially if you leave Mansfield later than 8:30. The later you leave Mansfield, I guarantee your mountain experience will be severely compromised as you'll be stuck in a car traffic, bus queue, rental hire queue etc.
This times a million
 
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currawong

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I haven't had to help buller daytrippers for many years so i may beout if date. How long does it take to get ski hire sorted on the mountain these days? It used to save a lot of time to hire in Melbourne the day before.
 

Legs Akimbo

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I reckon that after a day you will decide that this is a lot of money for a nothingburger. Unless you are a supremely gifted athlete you will not acquire the skills to have any fun in one day.
 

currawong

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I reckon that after a day you will decide that this is a lot of money for a nothingburger. Unless you are a supremely gifted athlete you will not acquire the skills to have any fun in one day.
sad but often true
but one day can be enough to get hooked, even if you don't get very far on day 1.

it's also worth considering mt baw baw while you are a beginner. not sure what the snow is like there at the moment
 
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JimmyC

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I reckon that after a day you will decide that this is a lot of money for a nothingburger. Unless you are a supremely gifted athlete you will not acquire the skills to have any fun in one day.
This sounds awfully pessimistic. Would any of us be here if we didn’t have an absolute ball on our first day? I don’t think it matters how good you are by the end of that first day. Sliding on the snow is awesome! Presumably the OP is still relatively young, so will bounce if she falls…
I’d say to anyone, go for it. The cost of one day’s fun is no big deal. The cost long term if you get the bug is a different matter altogether.
@Suziena, get the lesson! Even if you’re the only beginner in the group you have the rest of the day to ski with your mates, and you’ll do so faster, more comfortably, and safer than if you skip this crucial rite of passage.
 
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Legs Akimbo

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This sounds awfully pessimistic. Would any of us be here if we didn’t have an absolute ball on our first day? I don’t think it matters how good you are by the end of that first day. Sliding on the snow is awesome! Presumably the OP is still relatively young, so will bounce if she falls…
I’d say to anyone, go for it. The cost of one day’s fun is no big deal. The cost long term if you get the bug is a different matter altogether.
@Suziena, get the lesson! Even if you’re the only beginner in the group you have the rest of the day to ski with your mates, and you’ll do so faster, more comfortably, and safer than if you skip this crucial rite of passage.
I reckon most of us are here because we committed to a few days on our first visit.
 

LMB

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I reckon most of us are here because we committed to a few days on our first visit.
Well yes, but I wouldn’t discount the lure that a single day trip might have. Especially if a lesson is taken. It might be another year or two before a week long trip is planned, but it might plant a seed of interest.

Sometimes people with a desk job and no active hobbies rock up expecting to pick up Snowsports instantly. One lesson is often enough for them to decide to head home and hit the gym in preparation of a week long trip the next year.
 
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JimmyC

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I reckon most of us are here because we committed to a few days on our first visit.
Many of us aren’t so blessed. Not everyone can manage the time or the expense of more than a single day sampler. Skiing isn’t cheap. Never has been, really.
My first time was a single day and my next two or three were also single days later in that same season. I then went years of only having intermittent exposure to the snow. I’m quite a decent skier and will do all I can to keep skiing for the remainder of my days. All because of how I felt on Day 1.
I had fun, regardless of how ‘good’ I was, and was completely hooked from the outset.
I don’t understand why you’d want to poo-poo anyone approaching this however they’re able just because you were lucky enough to have the means to do otherwise.
 
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nezumi

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Many of us aren’t so blessed. Not everyone can manage the time or the expense of more than a single day sampler. Skiing isn’t cheap. Never has been, really.
My first time was a single day and my next two or three were also single days later in that same season. I then went years of only having intermittent exposure to the snow. I’m quite a decent skier and will do all I can to keep skiing for the remainder of my days. All because of how I felt on Day 1.
I had fun, regardless of how ‘good’ I was, and was completely hooked from the outset.
I don’t understand why you’d want to poo-poo anyone approaching this however they’re able just because you were lucky enough to have the means to do otherwise.

While true, part of the issue is that it is so expensive for a single day only and that leads to a correlation, mentally, between cost and enjoyment.

The first-timer single lesson ticket is a good idea, but I'd like to see more in the vein of 3 or 4 day packages for never-ever folks. Something that's long enough to get them hooked.
 

currawong

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I agree that ideally a 3 day stay or more is the best way to start but it's not essential.

TBH I think that for someone who is keen to learn but wanting to minimise cost I would suggest
  1. try cross country first. It's a lot cheaper and you can make more progress the first day. (Lake Mountain is great for this if there is enough snow - looks dicey at the moment though.) Then when you get on downhill gear you will learn faster because you already have a lot of the balance
  2. if there is enough snow, go to a minor resort for your first downhill ski day. that means baw baw in Vic or selwyn in NSW (but sadly not selwyn this year)
I don't think any indoor slopes still exist. If there is still one then it could also be a cheaper way of making early progress.

But if you just want a one day experience of the vibe of a major resort, then go for it.
 
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JimmyC

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While true, part of the issue is that it is so expensive for a single day only and that leads to a correlation, mentally, between cost and enjoyment.

The first-timer single lesson ticket is a good idea, but I'd like to see more in the vein of 3 or 4 day packages for never-ever folks. Something that's long enough to get them hooked.
I totally agree, but cost and value are not always directly related. Students, apprentices, etc who want try skiing are unlikely to be considering a week on the snow for their first time. Regardless of how much more bang for your buck you get that way. The value proposition changes when you have more money.
Maybe the OP lives elsewhere and just happens to be in Melbourne for a different reason. I’m in Brisbane, so a day from here has never been viable but I’d happily squeeze it in if nearby. BTW, the first day I mentioned above was at Mt Washington on Van Is. I was 14, and for peanuts I jumped on a yellow school bus from Nanaimo and hit the slopes for the day with a bunch of school mates. My folks hadn’t skied in decades and even then had not done much. I’d not be a skier now had they not given me that chance for one day of the best fun I’d ever had.
One day might be all someone can manage. And it might give them the time of their life just as it did me.
Anyone who suggests that first-timers should not bother going for just one day needs to get their head out of their arse and stop feeding the Mt Buller stereotype.
 

CarveMan

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The first-timer single lesson ticket is a good idea, but I'd like to see more in the vein of 3 or 4 day packages for never-ever folks. Something that's long enough to get them hooked.
When I taught skiing in Vail 20+ years ago they did their market research and found that it took 3 days to hook a skier, so they did some very competitively priced 3 day packages knowing that they could get someone for life.
 

LMB

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When I taught skiing in Vail 20+ years ago they did their market research and found that it took 3 days to hook a skier, so they did some very competitively priced 3 day packages knowing that they could get someone for life.
While true. And great value. It does miss the demographic that can only give/afford (in all senses of the word) one day. How lucky to be able to even DO a day trip! Wasn’t an option from Perth, that’s for sure!

Skiing is a bit different progression to boarding - boarding is a brutal first day. Getting that first day done on a day trip then heading home to work/school/recover before coming back a week or two later to pick up where they left off might not be too bad of an option. Some are so sore on day 2 it impacts their learning - new muscles being used it’s like re-starting personal training at the gym after a long break. The DOMS the DOMS!!
 
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djam

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I've always said you need 5 days.

Day one, is often a fight, to go, then to stop. At the end of the day your legs (and other parts, body and mind) can be shot.

Day two, you start to move slightly more relaxed, verge of really enjoying the sport. But if day 2 is the end of the trip, you lose a lot of what you learnt by the next time you come back.

Day three
, you can handle most green and start to build muscle memory for turning and stopping.

Day four, you can really start to move around the hill.

Day five, really locks it in, less thinking, more enjoying, enough that on the next trip, you can almost pickup where you last left off.

All this works better with a small group of friends, and how I expect you would do a mid week, ideally, with some that are already skiers/boarders. A group sharing an apartment helps a lot with the costs, cooking most your own meals.

I almost posted this in the earlier reply, but as others pointed out, more then 1 day is a big commitment over a day visit. So this might not apply for the needs of the OP, but others might get something from it.
 

travelislife

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Are you going on a weekend or week day? It can make a massive difference to the experience. Would recommend week day if you can.

You need to be super organised to enjoy it. So you have made the right decision asking on here for tips!

Each year I do a long weekend with friends where not everyone has skiied much. The most frustrating thing is people not being organised (like one friend who rocked up with 2 x left ski boots after driving up from Sawmill, having taken another mates boot who wasn’t skiing that day). It is expensive. So you need to have everything lined up so you aren’t wasting time, waiting for gear, waiting to pay, waiting for anything.

Final word, do the lesson. It’s basically free.
 
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Oldie

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Interesting thread. Brings back memories of my first day on skis at Buller in the early 1980s. Three things come to mind as instrumental in me taking up skiing. Firstly a mate had been sent on training for his job to Germany in the northern winter and he came back very enthusiastic about skiing so at the first opportunity he took me to Buller. He took me into a ski hire shop and I noted with some concern how much my wallet became lighter with just the cost of renting skis, boots and poles! Secondly, My mate told me that there was a free beginners platter on what was known as Hellicopter Flat. This in itself didn't make me a skier, I kept falling off after a couple of metres, but (thirdly),the kind liftie, in just a couple of short sentences explained how to ride a platter. It worked and I was soon getting to the top each time. My mate had explained the basic concept of the "snow plough". I was hooked. How different things are these days!
 
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