Short trip to Victoria ski hill.

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by Sbooker, Feb 5, 2018.

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  1. Sbooker

    Sbooker Addicted

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    Hi all
    I'm after some advice please.
    My family normally do a short break to Thredbo or Queenstown in August to keep our ski legs between our big northern hemisphere trip each year. We won't be on Mountain Collective this year so we'd like to check out something new. We won't have high expectations for great snow. Just as long as we can get a few days on skis will be great.
    We will ski mid week (Mon to Wednesday August 13 - 15). Looking for advice about which area (I'll post this in Hotham, Buller and Falls Creek spots too) is best for a combination of low crowds, best snowmaking in case of no natural, best mountain (we'd prefer something interesting like Thredbo over Perisher for example) etc.
    I can't stomach the on mountain accomodation rip off so we have here in Australia so we are likely to stay at a nearby town and drive to the hill each day. Suggestion for towns?
    Also does this time frame clash with any random school ski weeks that will make all the ski resorts super busy?
    Thanks
    Simon
     
  2. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    Hotham is not the best for driving up daily. Not so bad from the omeo side. From harrietville side there are days just about every season where road is closed. It's also a fairly slow drive up. A lot is above the treeline - spectacular in nice weather, bleak and even scarey in bad weather. Chains requied on 2wd most days. Other than the drive, Hotham probably ticks boxes. They have some snowmaking on difficult blues (maybe even black??). Staying in dinner plain could be a compromise with accom.

    Buller is reputedly quiet midweek. Drive up from mansfield or closer is prett good, remembering that all vic hills have steeper twistier drives than nsw. Buller has least reliable snow, but IF there is good snow it would probably tick all your boxes

    Falls Creek has the most reliable snow, but snowmaking is restricted to green and fairly easy blues. To be really good, the summit runs need almost a metre and the runs in the maze 1.5 metres. Fabulous in those conditions. In poor snow years it is still better IMHO than buller, but prob more like perisher than thredbo (no tbars though). Falls has the easiest drive and mt beauty is a great place to stay. If is feasible to stay in mt beauty, ski falls most days and drive to hotham one day if conditions are easy - ~90 mins in ideal driving conditions. Same lift ticket.

    You could wait and see what the snow gods bring. If you want to book ahead then falls is safest bet.

    I also think you will find that on snow accom is not as extortionate as in nsw. Might be worth checking. Would want to book early though.
     
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  3. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    But the entry/parking/oversnow/taxis are more so!
     
  4. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    True, but probably doesn't close the gap on total cost to stay on mountain in nsw.
    OP wanted comparison between vic resorts, not vic and nsw. I only mentioed comparison of accom costs because OP may have been unnecessarily cutting out that option based on nsw costs
     
  5. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Something to be aware of though, as those costs don't really exist in NSW. A lot of people got very well bitten when Nat Interschools was at Buller.
     
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  6. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Oversnow taxi is an extortionate racket at Buller
     
  7. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Especially in late September when there's no snow.
     
  8. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Depends on where you are.comibg from? Albury or Tullamarine airport?

    If Albury then Falls or Hotham for the sure, if Tullamarine then Buller is closer.

    The one thing that Buller has over every other hill in Australia is that it's a stand alone mountain peak where you can ski 3 1/2 side of the mountain. Spectacular views as well. Easy acces from Mansfield or the Sawmill settlemet at the base - chech Air BnB. Though if the snow is marginal I'd head north to Both or Falls.

    As said earlier the drive from Bright / Harrietville to Hotham is great, bit often arduous and dangerous.
     
  9. Sbooker

    Sbooker Addicted

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    Thanks. Great info.
    The year before last the cheapest accom we could find in Jindabyne (off the snow) was over $300 per night and that was not booking last minute. The cost to stay at Thredbo was over $800 per night. To put it in perspective we stayed on the snow in Aspen/Snowmass a few months later (peak season over new years) for $250aud per night.

    What is an 'oversnow taxi'?
     
  10. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Oversnow taxi is what you have to take from the overnight carpark at Buller to your accomodation. Even if the roads are clear, you're not allowed to drive to accomodation without a permit, so you are forced into paying quite steep prices for a taxi that might only travel a few hundred metres. This is after paying resort entry and carpark fees.
    http://www.mtbuller.com.au/Winter/p...entry-parking-and-taxi-pricing/oversnow-taxis

    They do have free buses, but you can't take luggage on them.
     
  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    Is it possible to walk it?

    Worst wait ever to check in in the snow was for Falls Creek Oversnow in foul weather. I’d have rathered dump kids at accomodation on foot then go back multiple times and drag the luggage up the snowy hill (and no it wasn’t close nor simple). Standing around in the snow to be gouged by oversnow sucks!
     
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  12. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Yes, depending on where you are staying. But they make it hard
     
  13. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    You could, be a pain with luggage though, pretty steep road. During the last interschools, they gave us a one off permit to drive to accomodation, dump stuff and go back to carpark. Then I caught the bus.
     
  14. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Basically for Buller, 3 nights during the week with a family of 4, it's $160 odd in entry, parking and oversnow.
     
  15. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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