Falls Creek plans 2014.

Amelia1810

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This is my first post on the forum, so hello everyone (hope I'm doing this correctly)! Snow addict from hot Adelaide. I have a few questions as this will be our first visit to Falls Creek; the easy terrain is a major appeal as we are beginner/low intermediate skiers. We went to Buller last year at possibly the worst time of the season, still had a heap of fun but here's to better things.

Anyway, I've been planning mine and the +1's trip to Falls Creek this year. We're trapped by Uni holidays in July but looking at 11-18th of July for 7 nights on-snow (Fri-Fri). Unless we skip the last weekend of Victorian school holidays and opt for 13-20th (Sun-Sun), what do you guys think?
We're going to use the company FallsBus (part of HothamBus) for the drive from Adelaide as I can't drive myself and it takes away the stress of chains, etc. The bus doesn't arrive until 4pm at Falls so we can't score on the "free skiing from 1pm" on the day prior to starting our ticket but we'll organise our ski hire that night if we can.

As for accommodation, Chorki Ski Club has the cheapest prices that I've found (bookings open Feb 1st and I'm worried it will fill up) or should I wait for HothamBus to release their packages (have a feeling they're going to use Koki Resort for their cheaper deals), these are open for booking on Feb 7th. Koki is probably the place we'd hire gear from. Or am I completely crazy for wanting to book so far in advance?!

2014 lift prices for Falls Creek (and Hotham) have been released and great news for us is a 5 day ticket is now a "5 of 7 day pass", allowing for rest days priced at $468. The concept also applies for 6 of 8 and 7 of 9 day tickets for anyone interested.

Thanks in advance everyone! These forums are a wealth of knowledge.
 

Apresski

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Hi Amelia, welcome to the forums. I've never stayed or even been inside Chorki, but it's in a great position for access to the Falls Express lift.
The 5 out of 7 ticket used to be available years ago and is perfect if you like to have a bit of time off skiing, or the weather turns nasty.
 

Amelia1810

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Thanks Apresski. The position to the Express lift and also the bottom of Wombats seems ideal. I emailed HothamBus and they said their deals will be online in a day or so and I can email for prices which is handy. Now to start some early snow-dancing haha.
 

currawong

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Falls Creek is a great place to ski, much friendlier vibe and more reliable snow than Buller. None the less, mid July can still be dicey. you can probably count on Drovers Dream, main street and Wombats Ramble being open even a poor year. Hopefully Scott's, Ruined castle and a few others. If you want to overlap vic school holidays you really have to book early. Even 13-20 is SA school holidays, not as busy but still reasonably so. Chorki is a convenient location for delivering/collecting your gear and for getting to ski school and the easier runs. Supermarket is also very handy. If there is not enough snow for ski in/ski out, you will find life easier at Chorki than Koki.

Chorki is a club style lodge, Koki is apartments IIRC. So quite different. I'm not sure if you have to do any rostered chores at Chorki or clean your rooms, or take your own linen - it would be worth asking. There is nothing wrong with that style of lodge, but you don't want any surprises.

Central Snowsports is a very good ski hire, the best IMHO. The outlets run by the lift co may be more convenient and may also have good package deals with lists and/or lessons.
 
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Amelia1810

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I am super keen on Falls; I already have a feeling it'll become our resort of choice! Yeah, I know mid July may not have the best snowfall, but a week later, closer to August, is Supp Exams for Uni if we had any - I may still consider it however (and it seems this week is usually a White Space/Saver week). We were stuck on crazy Bourke St, Shakey Knees and a very patchy Little Buller Spur at Buller last year, lol.
Definitely why I want to book early because it is school holidays! Chorki's location sounds better with what you're saying but yes, is a lodge and we'd need to take linen and tidy our room, kitchen. Chorki and Koki seem to be the only accommodation options we could ideally afford, after researching many places.
Re the gear, if we get a package it's nice to hear Central are one of the best. I'll keep it in mind and its convenience.

Thanks for your input Currawong, greatly appreciated!
 

currawong

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Just to clarify - central snowsports is an independent, not one of the lift company ones. Fall creek sports is the closest lift co ski hire to chorki and may have good packages. IMHO the service and gear at central snowsports is better. It is on the corner of Falls Creek Rd and Slalom St, under Winterhaven restaurant.
 

weerab

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I shared oversnow transport with a family from Perth who had stayed a week at Koki's. They said it was just fantastic with great personal service and attention to detail. I mean, the staff were waving them off at the end of their holiday! The family were originally English and the wife's mother was baby sitting while the younger couple were skiing, a very good arrangement, by the sound of it!
 
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Amelia1810

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Koki is offering a 15% "earlybird" discount which would save just over $200 off the total price. And I can't seem to find if Chorki is covered by the Snow Guarantee whereas Koki is. So thinking we'll go with Koki - saves taking linen and towels and they have a spa/sauna for our day off.

Also thinking we'll take the HothamBus company's Bus'n'Bed deal to give us one night in Melbourne on our final day.

At the start of our trip, is a 6am flight from Adelaide to arrive in Melbourne at 7:30am too much of a risk to connect with the bus that leaves for the mountain at the airport at 10:10am? Otherwise we'll stay a night either side of the trip.
 

currawong

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just factor in that if there is not skiable snow in the village, you will either be walking to and from the lift, or relying on the not very reliable shuttle to get to and from Koki. it is quite a steep walk from the bottom of Falls Creek Express to Koki, although there is an option to use stairs.

as a club lodge, I'd be surprised if Chorki had the snow guarantee.
 
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Stratus

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At the start of our trip, is a 6am flight from Adelaide to arrive in Melbourne at 7:30am too much of a risk to connect with the bus that leaves for the mountain at the airport at 10:10am? Otherwise we'll stay a night either side of the trip.

Heaps of time!
 

cold wombat

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What's the deal with 'single' accommodation at Falls (or should I just go Hotham)? Will try and do a couple of flying visits to Falls and/or Hotham during the season. Not looking for anything fancy- So long as I can rest my head and get a cheap feed, I'll be happy. Drying room will help. More than that, it's a bonus. ;)

Also getting there- Bus service? I'll by flying into Melbourne either late in the evening or very early in the morning (abt 5.30am). Advice?
 

Amelia1810

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For the bus service check HothamBus (do runs to Falls also). They leave the airport at 10:10am daily. Or they offer Bus 'n' Bed, which give you one night accommodation and your ride up the mountain the following day (good if you're coming from interstate). Only know because I've checked them out and will be using them this season!
 

cold wombat

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10.10am. Bugger that. Lose too much time. Might even be better off getting a small car at the airport.
 

currawong

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You could look at the option of flying into Albury, via Sydney. Then it's under 2 hours to falls in a hire car. You should check out the timetable for falls creek coaches too. I doubt that you will get anything at 5:30 though.

I think Feathertop offer a single rate with no supplement. Might also be worth checking out semi commercial clubs like Alpha or Chorki.
 

cold wombat

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Might look at that. How long is the drive supposed to take from Tulla? 4.5 hours according to Mr Google. Realistic for winter?
 

currawong

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4.5 is realistic as long as it is not bad weather. In fact a little less should be legally possible at quiet times. I used to do cbd to Mt Beauty in 3.5 plus ~45mins to falls. tulla should be a bit less, maybe 10 mins.
 
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cold wombat

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:thumbs:

Leave Perth 11.45pm. On slopes by 10am. Gotta be a win. Just hope I can make all the ducks behave at the right time.
 

Stratus

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Why not just arrive a day earlier and catch the bus. What you save on car hire + $40/day resort entry would easily go towards another nights accom and a more relaxed trip. Or are you strapped for time?
 

cold wombat

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Time is the tight one. The idea is to do a couple of short flying visits (either Falls or Hotham) when it's 'on'. Fly out of Perth in the evening, get into Melbourne early hours. Best of all would be to swing a lift with someone else who's up for an early start, but that would be very much a bonus. Didn't realise resort entry fee was that much. Is is possible to park outside the resort and catch a shuttle up? Does that help with the resort entry fee?
 

currawong

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Falls Creek coaches run several buses a day from Mt Beauty. They also provide parking for a fee not sure how the combined cost stacks up against resort entry
 

Stratus

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Here's the full timetable for Winter (peak) bus services (Airport to Falls and Mt Beauty to Falls).

http://www.fallscreekcoachservice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-Winter-timetable.pdf

The shuttle from Mt Beauty to Falls is called "Park&Ride". A return fare is $58 and parking is $5/night. There is no advantage to having your own car on the mountain as all the village roads are closed anyway (you'll have to use oversnow or walk). So the bus is really a no brainer if the timetable fits!

edit: There is a 9.20am departure from Mt Beauty mid week that might work for you. No booking required according to the site.
 
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cold wombat

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:thumbs: Love that!

Just gotta work out Falls or Hotham or a bit of both- Expecting two trips totalling 5 days. Never been to either. What's the trade off?
 

gettingtooold

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IMHO Hotham longer and steeper but more prone to severe weather conditions (which can work in your favour) The ski in ski out village at Falls if conditions are good tend to make it a bit more user friendly plus if you do have a car an early start will get you a park less than 50m from the gully chair. Both are good. Do both.
 
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Slushii

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@cold wombat ^^^ the above is a pretty good summary.

Likewise, if you get up to Hotham early you can get a spot in the Corral Car Park which is directly opposite the Village Chair. For advanced skiers, Mt Loch Car Park is the go, gets you into Heavenly Valley.

If you are thinking of staying off mountain and doing both Falls and Hotham over your 5 day trip, also consider staying in Bright. I used to do that a fair bit.

In Bright: You will have to get across the Tawonga Gap from the Bright side which could be a disincentive - but distance-wise pretty similar to Falls or Hotham from Bright (obvious Falls is a lot closer if you base yourself in Mt Beauty). Time-wise, in my experience, also similar - you have windy roads form Bright to Mt Beauty across Tawonga gap which slows you down, but the drive up to Falls is generally easier than the drive up Hotham, so it, IMHO, evens out.

IMHO more to do and see in Bright and surrounding areas, but it all comes down to if you want to spend more time going up to Falls (then stay in Mt Beauty) or Hotham (then Bright makes more sense as your off-mountain base).

Assuming you are driving. If bus, then it is hard to catch a bus from Bright to Falls, or Mt Beauty to Hotham (but I stood to be corrected as my info is out of date).
 
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Slushii

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ps - I forgot to add that the Heavenly Chair starts running at 7.30am for the Hotham Race club - I've taken advantage of that many many times to ski Heavenly at that time - no crowd, and fresh corduroy on Slalom Gully = WHeeeeeeeee!!!!
 
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cold wombat

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Thanks Slush. Will be two separate trips- Can't go skiing for a week without taking the family, but can sneak away for a couple of days at a time. I guess I'll have to decide what works best given accommodation, transport & snow conditions at the time.

<excited>
 
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Ziggy

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The resort did good snow making and farming last year. Off piste I was piste off.
 

Ziggy

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Not sure there's much link between one season and the next but yes, we're owed. Dunno who to raise that with.

But 'Powder Tuesday' last year was something else.
 

Rocketman34

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Amelia1810 did you end up booking at falls creek? we have been to falls for the last couple of years and the place i would stay is trackers. We love trackers and they really look after you there too. good location ski back to the village bowl and amazing food
 
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