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Question Never been to Falls Creek - Seeking advice

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Twinheadedmonkey, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Twinheadedmonkey

    Twinheadedmonkey First Runs

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    Hey,

    Just looking for some advice on driving to FC from Melbourne.

    1. Quickest route? Google says the M31 - how about the B360? Has anyone driven both? I live in inner East Melbourne; so it feels a little like 2 steps backward, 1 step forward going the M31, even though Google says, again, 'its faster'.

    2. What time do you have to arrive to park as close to the FC peak as possible?

    3. In NZ when Chains are required, usually its just the front wheels that need them - is it the same for FC, or are we required to have all 4 wheels chained? (My car is AWD) I can't seem to find a reference to this.

    4. Cheapest accommodation? Luckily my friends have the season all prepaid by their employer; not me. Basically looking for any suggestions on accommodation for the night Sat-Sun; my goal is to do every weekend for the whole season, but its too expensive if I can't do some type of 1 person, 1 night deal. (Most are based on 2 people, 2 nights)

    5. I know a couple places usually discount last minute bookings, which I'll try for - if I do get one of these last minute bookings, what happens to my car, and the 'day' permit I paid for?

    Looking like its going to be a good season this year, fingers crossed it stays freezing for the next couple weeks until I get there!
     
  2. Minion

    Minion Hard Yards

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    1. Quickest route will most likely be straight up the Hume
    2. You park at the base of the village at Falls and either walk or get oversnow to your accommodation. Overnight parking will depend on how busy the resort is. You will be directed where to park and they will ferry you back to the oversnow terminal.
    3. You will have to carry chains no matter what. If you look in the owners manual of your vehicle it will tell you which tyres to fit your chains to.
    4. Club lodges are likely to be your cheapest option, hopefully someone else has some help for you on this.
    5. If you extend your stay you will have to pay for additional parking.
    Good luck in your research and hope you have a good season.
     
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  3. Towie97

    Towie97 Hard Yards

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    5. If you are aiming to ski every weekend you'll want to get a season car pass not just day permits.
     
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  4. Scarecrow86

    Scarecrow86 Hard Yards

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    Only a little to add to the two posts already:

    1. B300 would be quicker than B360 I would think, then up to Benalla? But as mentioned above, would think the Hume would be better/quicker. I take the Snow Road from Glenrowan across to Myrteford then the road through Rosewhite to get to Mt Beauty. Standard travel time from eastern suburbs is probably in the order of 4.5 to 5 hours to Falls assuming a quick stop or two for fuel etc.

    4. Cheapest accommodation is probably off hill, but a 45 minute drive up from Mt Beauty or Tawonga South might be a deal breaker for you. I find it a good drive up and down but it'll add to your day & if you're "burning the midnight oil" to do it every weekend it could be too much. Consider if you need to feed and water yourself - much cheaper off the hill.

    I wouldn't judge if it's going to be a good season just yet - we don't even have lifts open... but lets hope you get to enjoy as many awesome days on the snow as possible!!!
     
  5. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    Iconic :)
     
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  6. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    1. Quickest route is M31... Unless you live in Lilydale you'd be mad to go the other way. Jump on the Freeway in Melbourne and follow it. It'll still be 5-5.5hrs depending on your drive up hill.

    2. First lifts are at 8-8:30. On a Saturday, in fine weather or fresh snow, the main carparks will be full by 9am.

    3. Victorian law dictates you MUST carry chains, regardless of needing to fit them or not. Kiewa Valley Ski Hire in Mt Beauty have good rates for rental and refund a portion if you don't use them. Fitting chains to an AWD is reasonably rare at Falls. If you need to, you're gonna have a good day/weekend. If it's a AWD I assume you'd just put chains on the rear wheels.

    4. Cheapest Accom will be a lodge. Google will be your friend but you should be able to get a bed in a bunk room fro ~$100 during peak season. 1 night stays will be difficult. Better off driving up Friday night, stay the extra night and get at it early Saturday morning. IMO.

    5. You have to buy resort entry passes separate to any accommodation. As suggested, buy a season entry permit (if you will be taking the same vehicle every time), you'll come out in front after about 10 days.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  7. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    From Armadale, I take Dandenong rd onto Queens rd and Kingsway, turn off onto the Westgate freeway, Citylink over the Bolte Bridge turn off onto the Hume Hwy. I follow that all the way to Wangaratta and turn off onto the Ovens Hwy (I find this slightly quicker than the Snow rd and not liable to flooding). Turn off at Rosewhite just after Mytleford and join the Keiwa Valley Hwy through to Falls Creek. Depending on traffic usually takes 41/2 to 5 hours, but I don't travel at peak time.
    Cheapest accom would be a club lodge, but there aren't heaps of those open to casual booking, somehow I suspect you will find it very hard to get weekend bookings all through the season and definitely not just for Saturday night.
    Try Chorkis http://chorkiskiclub.com.au/, or Alpha http://www.alphaskilodge.com.au/content.php?page=rates, you may be better off staying in Mt Beauty.
     
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  8. Twinheadedmonkey

    Twinheadedmonkey First Runs

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    Really grateful you gave the breakdown of your route. I was going to follow the B500 to Germantown and go from there, but given I don't know the roads at all, I'll follow your advice and go via. Rosewhite. GPS once took me through a private road and I was lucky not to beach on the road crown.

    5. Are the season passes locked to one car?

    3. No worries, happy to carry the chains, hate fitting them though.

    2. Awesome. I'll make a point to be there by 8.30-9am (Guess a 4.30am leave time is in order... Shouldn't hit much traffic at least!)

    4. Yeah its not easy, particularly as 1 person. I'm expecting a couple people to come up with me that aren't working up there, but certainly won't be every weekend. I'll just see how I go; I won't be heading up until the 20th anyway so I have some time to do the homework. As you said scarecrow, burning the midnight oil - will try my hardest to get accommodation on mountain; but I will take a look at Mt. Beauty, can't hurt :)
     
  9. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You'll wanna leave earlier than 4. Saturday's are mayhem up there in the carpark. You wanna be there at 8 to be assured a good spot. 9am is too late, even 8:30 is too late.
    Yes, season entry pass is locked to one vehicle.
     
    #9 mick chopps, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  10. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good luck with the accom and have a good season.
     
  11. Karicta

    Karicta A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mick's advice is spot on, but this ^ is often not so. Eg I fit chains to the front of my awd.

    You must check for your specific car. If it has fairly low profile/low clearance you may actually need some fairly rare chains which most hire joints don't have. @snowtyres will likely help you out if you have specific questions about this (I'm sure we must be about due for the annual snow sock/chain thread anyway)
     
  12. Twinheadedmonkey

    Twinheadedmonkey First Runs

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    I remember there's a shop near Ringwood that was good for chains - I'll be down at Ballistyx & Wayne Ritchies this weekend as a friend is kitting up for the season, so I'll find them and drop by for some advice.

    My car's an A45, so I'm guessing I'll need something a little out of the norm, but shouldn't be too bad (I hope)
     
  13. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Twinheadedmonkey likes this.
  14. Twinheadedmonkey

    Twinheadedmonkey First Runs

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  15. Karicta

    Karicta A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Apresski and Twinheadedmonkey like this.
  16. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted

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    This is the link for the Owner Manual for the AWD Mercedes A45
    http://moba.i.daimler.com/baix/cars.../cars/176/en_GB/manual/subchapter_13_76.shtml
    Copy from snow chain section
    "Winter operation - Snow chains"
    WARNING
    "If snow chains are fitted to the rear wheels, they may scrape against the vehicle body or chassis components.
    This could cause damage to the vehicle or the tyres.
    There is a risk of an accident.
    To avoid hazardous situations:
    • never fit snow chains on the rear wheels
    • always fit snow chains in pairs to the front wheels."

    You will also see in the Owners Manual that Mercedes do not approve the fitting of snow chains to 235 40 ZR 18 95 Y XL or 235 35 ZR 19 91Y XL summer tyres supplied with the AWD A45 AMG 4MATIC

    Looking forward to your call
     
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  17. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awd or 4Wd the chains go on the front. Isn't that common knowledge?
     
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  18. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    my Jeep says to use them on the rear wheels
     
  19. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I didn't think it's a blanket rule.
     
  20. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Twinheadedmonkey
    Just trying to think on your possible reason is for doing the early morning drive up on Saturday morning... I've done that drive quite a few times, I've driven up from Albury a lot (1.5hrs), I've driven up the night before. I would drive up Friday night and cop the extra traffic and expense 99 times out of 100. It really is a ball ache from my experience driving up first thing in the morning. Even staying Friday night in Mt Beauty/Tawonga then driving up first thing Saturday morning is a better option.
    If you're driving an A45 surely we can assume it's not the $'s that's preventing you from going up the night before.... Notwithstanding your own personal circumstances I can't think of a single reason why you'd prefer to drive up on the Saturday morning.
    Not trying to be overtly critical or antagonistic, please don't take it that way, just trying to offer the best advice I can from my experience.
    :thumbs:
     
  21. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's not necessarily common knowledge of you've never had the experience before.

    Look at the cost to hire chains for a weekend and the cost of purchasing chains. Work out how many hires it takes to pay for themselves and think about the likelihood of using them in the next few years. The number of times you'll have to fit them per season will be minimal. You can buy ex rental chains from some ski hire shops. Ring Ray's at Myrtleford and see if they still offer that.

    It will be very difficult to find 1 night (Saturday) accommodation either up at Falls or in Mt Beauty. You need to get onto lodges etc now to find out what accommodation is available.

    If you have to leave on a Saturday morning you WILL hit traffic if you're driving out of Mt Beauty after 7:00am and it will be worse after 7:30am

    If you're staying on the hill, (unless a lot had changed) you will have to use the over snow transport to get to your accommodation. Check with FC as to the costs of this (and prepare your sphincter). You need to ring on the Sunday morning to book your oversnow pickup which will drop you back at the village terminal. You then need to get the bus to your overnight car park spot and drive back to load your car. You then need to park in day parking which as mentioned before will be full by 8:00am-8:30am.

    This entire process will take at least 2 hours out of your Sunday. Check with your accommodation if you can vacate your room/bed and store your gear until you're ready to leave in the afternoon. It will still take 2 hours whenever you do it.

    Good luck
     
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  22. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also, it might be too late now, but if you've never been to Falls before, consider doing a weekend or 2 to be sure it's the right place for you, before committing to an entire season of weekends
     
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  23. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Doonks point on purchasing chains is spot on. not sure what chains might cost for your vehicle but at upwards of $20 a day to hire it sounds like you might be better off across the season to purchase a set for yourself.
     
  24. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think chain hire or around $70-$80 per weekend. I have brand new Koenig chains for my 5yr old car. Never been fitted and will be surprised the day they ever do get fitted, but it is a 4WD.
     
  25. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    How do you go steering?
     
  26. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Oversnow isn't necessary for a single guy staying one or two nights, just walk to your accom.

    Re. chains, in 30 years of driving to Falls Creek, I only recall fitting chains a couple of times, 15 years with a 4 wheel drive, 15 with a normal sedan.
     
  27. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agree. The walk is definitely achievable, especially on your own.
     
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  28. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    never used them - just repeating what the manual says
     
  29. Karicta

    Karicta A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I normally walk.

    One year I turned up with 2 slabs, 15 bottles of wine, play station (taken as a DVD player), coffee machine, plus all our bags etc including ski boots, but not skis.

    I did 4 trips up the stairs, and a couple around the roads.

    Nearly killed me, I ain't that fit.

    Coffee machine was awesome though.
     
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  30. Minion

    Minion Hard Yards

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    In the Olden days, it was always chains on the front of a 4WD. Those days are long gone.
    CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL. All cars are different for example new Hilux etc. all have chains on the back (no clearance on the front). Oh and by the way if you have a Volvo XC series you are shit out of luck, Volvo do not recommend fitting quick fit snow chains (which is what your konig, Thule, etc. chains are). It is kind or ironic that they are advertised every year at Falls and yet no one makes mention of the issues with snow chains.
     
  31. Nowada

    Nowada Addicted

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    Chains are for traction. If no traction on the front you have no steering. Heavy snow with chains on rear wheels going down hill = death wish.
     
  32. Karicta

    Karicta A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The reality is that if you need the 'quick fitting chains' chances are pretty high the manufacturer doesn't recommend fitting chains at all, but you gotta do what you gotta do if you ain't prepared to buy a new set of rims and tyres and change out for winter, or snow trips
     
  33. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    3. Chains should always be fitted to DRIVE wheels. When it's an AWD front provides
    I witnessed a people mover coming off the hill last year do a 180 in front of me with chains on the front. He didn't lose steering, the back end came to visit, due to relatively high speed around a corner.
    Thankfully all were ok.
     
  34. Twinheadedmonkey

    Twinheadedmonkey First Runs

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    Honestly no reason, its how I used to do it for Mt. Buller, didn't think it would be too much different, but could be wrong.

    Yeah you're right, I'll do 1 trip first, and see how everything goes, then I'll work back from there.
     
  35. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It is an extra 1.5hrs than Buller so it makes a massive difference especially when instead of leaving at like 5:00am you are leaving at 3:30am. That does not make for a fun day and the return trip is just as bad. If trying to save $$$ I would leave the Friday night and try and camp somewhere so you only have a drive of an hour in the morning.
     
  36. ocker

    ocker Hard Yards

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    * I second the recommendation to drive up on Friday night if you want a full weekends skiing. Driving up on Saturday does not work all that well even for the snow play crowd.
    * I would argue for the reasons stated above about getting from your car to the village accommodation and more that for a weekend staying in Mount Beauty is actually more convenient that staying on the mountain. Read my thinking on this webpage and decide for yourself. http://www.kiewaview.com.au/sub_alpine.htm
    * For future season reference if I was traveling by myself and wanted to go skiing most weekends during the season which is the sort of thing I did in my 20's. I would
    A. Buy an early bird season resort entry. Need to buy before May.
    B. Buy a Hero early bird season lift pass. I think you need to pay the deposit in October.
    C. I would place an advertisement in "This week Falls Creek & Mount Beauty" to rent a B&B spare room in someone's house for the whole season. Many elderly people in Mount Beauty have spare rooms, someone would be prepared to lease you a room for the whole season.
    D. I would book some off-season accommodation in Mount Beauty for a weekend and come up and put notices on notice boards in the coffee shop, supermarket etc advertising room wanted for the snow season. Out of C & D you are fairly sure to find a room to use at weekends which would make it affordable for a single skier to come almost every weekend.
    My suggestions assume that your main focus is to be able to economically ski every weekend and not a focus on Apre Ski and partying.
    On the issue of the best route to Falls Creek. I find that it is a quicker and more pleasant drive to continue on the Hume, passed Glenrowan, passed the Wangraatta turnoff and continue to the the Great Alpine Way turnoff to Myrtleford rather than take the snow road.
     
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