Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain (and ski-hire/lesson questions)

Rush

Pool Room
Jul 26, 2000
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Ok, everyone knows that Melb-Harrietville-Hotham is about 1 hour faster than Melbourne-Omeo-Hotham assuming good conditions.

What about to Dinner Plain? How far down the Alpine Rd is Dinner Plain by car (assuming good conditions)? It is pretty much the same time from inner Melbourne?
 

rangerider

A Local
Jun 14, 2008
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

If you're coming from Bright, DP is about 10-15 mins past Big D.
 

Flakey

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May 2, 2006
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

PG, your time estimate assumes traveling from the city centre, as from certain Melbourne suburbs many of us travel via Omeo as it's quicker; especially for those traveling to DP. The Omeo drive gets the hard driving over and done with earlier in the Bruthen to Swifts Creek section, compare with the Bright route where you tackle the tough Harrietville to Hotham section at the end of the drive (often late at night). Omeo is the leeward side, so there is less snow to contend with even in a big dump .. chances are you won't need chains to reach DP even if you are in a 2WD ... but play that one by ear and be sensible about it (as I know you would)! The Bright approach is the windward side so gets greater fog and accumulation of snow so can be a far slower trip up the mountain ... the usual Bright to Hotham trip of approx 60 mins + 15 to DP can take many hours in tough conditions while the leeward Omeo side should never take longer than 35 mins even in heavy snow road conditions to DP (50 mins to Hotham). Others benefit of the Omeo side – you don't need to go past the ticket boxes on your way to DP, and you don't get the traffic holding you up on the busy side of Hotham.

Rangerider's estimate is spot on from DP to Hotham.

If you want more info check out my blog with details of the pros and cons of both approaches to Hotham – Flakey's Hotham Blog

When are you heading up to DP?
 
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Flakey

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

I should add ... there is a HUGE dump about to fall!

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Rush

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

I'm heading up to DP sometime between August 8th - 15th. I'll pick a weather window which has blue skies and no wind, as I'm taking up #1 to put him on skis for the first time.

I've been up the Harrietville road loads of time (but never behind the wheel)..never been via the Omeo route. I'll be driving up during the day, don't want to rush the drive and we'll need plenty of wee pit-stops along the way.

BTW I find the use of the acronym 'DP' a bit disconcerting..but that's probably due to some of the other websites that I frequent.
 

Yardsale

Part of the Furniture
May 22, 2001
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

Never thought about that...

...but you can come at it from both directions!
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rangerider

A Local
Jun 14, 2008
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

You might want to go the Bright way if you're worried about DP.
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Quite a nice drive coming from the Omeo side. The road runs along side the Tambo river and is usually pretty deserted.
 
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Rush

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

See, now I've just ruined for everyone haven't I?

BTW is there ski hire in Dinner Plain? What is the ski school like? (assuming there is actually snow on the ground).
 

rangerider

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Jun 14, 2008
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

Yep completely ruined the place for me.
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There is a hire shop in the main drag. The little run out the back is good for beginners if it has snow on it too. Last time I was up there they were charging $50 for just 1 T bar but it costs nothing if you have a Hotham tic.
 
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Rush

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

I need ski hire for a 4 yo .... i.e. kiddy boots, skis and a helmet (and goggles as well).

Is the hire shop you speak of Hoys? If so I'll give them a call.
 
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Heli

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Jun 15, 2000
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

There are two ski hire outlets: Hoys in the new Kastran Korner, and the old company owned hire shop immediately across Big Muster Drive.

As for driving up, the road along the Tambo River is by far the nicer drive, and far less stressful than the Harrietville route, but it depends where in Melbourne you depart.
We're Macedon Ranges, so to take the LaTrobe Valley adds 2 hours for us: but from the eastern suburbs it would probably be line-ball for time to DP whichever way you go.
 

Flakey

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

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Yes, PG there is ski hire at DINNER PLAIN. I think it's Hoy's and maybe there's a new one in the new Castran Corner building too? There's the Cobungra Platter ski run there too, and I think they may have lessons though I'm not sure ... it's the one run I haven't skied! Chances are you'll end up at Big D for your little man for lessons ... it's ideal as the whole area is set up for kids and beginners and is pretty much self-contained (with the exception of ski hire and ticket sales which are done at Hotham Central). Consider placing him in the Milo Mighty Mites for lessons ... they have a ball and leave you to ski free for most of the day before meeting up with them around 3pm for a bit of afternoon ski fun, so they can show you what they've learned. There tends to be less tears if mum & dad are not around! Kids Zone stuff is brilliantly run!
 
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snowchasser

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

Yes, DP is only 15 min from hotham and about 40 min from Omeo from the other end (in summer and without snow on road). I also have a young child and drive Melbourne to DP/hotham lots but to be honest with you, many times I've driven up the Bright side to DP and the visibility can be very, very poor the harrietville-hotham approach, even during the day. My advice to you is to leave Melbourne by 10am and try and be at harrietville ready to climb the mountain no later than 3pm. I've found over the many years of doing this and many times every year that climbing the mountain after 3 or 4pm can be hair raising with poor visibility and a little one in the back complaining or crying or wanting to go to the toilet. I now travel with a 'potty' for my child for the those quick stops and it's come in handy for that 1 hour drive up the mountain.

There's 2 ski hire places at DP- opposite each other (Hoy's and Pinnacle). They have everything. The DP ski run is good for beginners and it will cost about $40 or $50 a day. Can I recommend putting your child in the ski school at hotham's Big D. Depending on the age of your child, the 1/2 day (morning session) is a good one for young children 3-5 yrs. There's NO ski school at DP but you can book a private lesson for your child at DP- not cheap!!!!!!! Milo Mites at hotham's Big D is very well run and you won't be disappointed as a parent. They are great with the young kids.

Go into the DP Visitor Information Centre and ask if there's FREE children's activities (4.30-5.30pm) that week. I think they do this everyday in July and August- not sure though. I put my child in these fully adult supervised and well organised activities when I was up in early July and he loved it. It's FREE and you can drop off and pick up - which means 1 hour of peace to grab a drink or coffee.

Harry the Dragon is on at the Big D Wednesday and Sat at 4pm. Highly recommend this for your child.
 

Rush

Pool Room
Jul 26, 2000
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

I'm not yet sure I'll throw him into a half-all day ski school program.

He goes to childcare 3-days a week...and I think he likes it but he doesn't really love it. Judging by the program they spend as much time indoors playing games than they do on snow.

I'm not sure he'd be too thrilled with the idea of going 'on holiday' with Dad only to be stuck inside at childcare again. I don't blame him and I'd much prefer to spend more time with him too (unless its a 30 cm powder day
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).

I'm almost more inclined to spend the same money on a private lesson for 'us'. I can teach Lucas to side-step and get him straight-running. I'm not so sure how to teach a 4 y.o. to snow plough though (as I learnt to do it over 20 years ago). This way I can hear what the instructor does and what techniques they use, and then repeat them myself. Plus it gives me an opportunity to take photos/videos of him.

I'm done similar things with the wife and it has worked well, i.e. I watch and listen to what the instructors do and just repeat the exercises/drills with her.
 
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skimax

Old n' Crusty
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Jul 25, 2000
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

all said above,
your tickets at hotham are good for the dp lift so if the little one needs a break dp is the place to be , then out for a ski , toboggan in the afternoon , close to home , no logistics involved.
PG i live in a similar part of melb to you , bright side is quicker to DP , we prefer it but that said the climb and vis are not everyones cup of tea.
On the omeo side its longer but less snow vis hassles by a long way , but the road out from bairnsdale via bruthen has quite a few curves hills in it for the first 40km so its not free of windy bits either .
 

IcepiK

Hard Yards
Jun 30, 2005
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

PG is you are at DP weekend of the 14th - 15th expect lots of sleddogs. That weekend is the annual ADVANCE sleddog challenge and the village is full of sleddoggers from across Australia and New Zealand. An amazing event to watch and cannot be seen anywhere else in this Australia. See http://www.sleddogchallenge.com Flakey has a blog with great pics also http://blog.robyngrove.com.au/2010/06/29/gone-to-the-sled-dogs/

I often travel the Omeo route to DP as I often see my family in Lakes Entrance on the way. I find at night there is a lot more wildlife on the road travelling the Omeo route.

Cobungra Plato stpped running last Friday I think, due to insufficient snow. Still plenty of snow play to be had though. Looks like fresh snow will return to DP across the next few days. Still waiting on the annual southerly that comes in once a year and usually hammers Baw Baw and DP with deep snow!!!!!

Enjoy your stay..............
 
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Flakey

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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

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IcepiK

You are spot on about the wildlife ... on Sunday night the wombats were out to get us! Consider the following:

Warning

“The creature that kills the most people each year is the common Wombat. It is nearly as ridiculous as its name, and spends its life digging holes in the ground, in which it hides. During the night it comes out to eat worms and grubs.

The wombat kills people in two ways:

First, the animal is indestructible. Digging holes in the hard Australian clay builds muscles that outclass Olympic weightlifters. At night, they often wander the roads. Semi-trailers (Road Trains) have hit them at high speed, with all 9 wheels on one side, and this merely makes them very annoyed. The express this by snorting, glaring, and walking away. Alas, to smaller cars, the wombat becomes an asymmetrical launching pad, with results that can be imagined, but not adequately described.

The second way the wombat kills people relates to its burrowing behaviour. If a person happens to put their hand down a Wombat hole, the Wombat will feel the disturbance and think "Ho! My hole is collapsing!" at which it will brace its muscled legs and push up against the roof of its burrow with incredible force, to prevent its collapse. Any unfortunate hand will be crushed, and attempts to withdraw will cause the Wombat to simply bear down harder. The unfortunate will then bleed to death through their crushed hand as the wombat prevents him from seeking assistance. This is considered the third most embarrassing known way to die, and Australians don't talk about it much.â€

From an article entitled “The Confusing Country†by Jeremy Lee.

[NOTE: This article was originally attributed to Douglas Adams (of Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame) but has since been found to have been submitted to the H2G2 website by Jeremy Lee in 1999.]

This is the unseen reality of the Great Alpine Road wombat ... like Jekyll and Hyde!
combat%20wombat.jpg
 
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rangerider

A Local
Jun 14, 2008
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

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The shortarse little buggers are just the right height to take out your radiator too. Not a good thing in that remote neck of the woods.
 
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Heli

A Local
Jun 15, 2000
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

The BMW Motorcycle Club of Victoria have an annual "Icicle Ride" from 11 pm until 6 - 7am every mid July. Last weekend's ride had one rider hit & killed a 'roo, and two riders hit the same wombat
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Amazingly, the riders and bikes all survived, although the roo collision took the bike and rider out an hour or so later when wisdom prevailed. The wombat had a Very Bad Headache, and both bikes and riders continued and finished the ride
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Bit OT, but I still prefer the trip to DP via Omeo, apart from the extra 2 hours on the road for me
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Yardsale

Part of the Furniture
May 22, 2001
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Re: Stupid question - Melbourne to Dinner Plain

Says a lot about the quality of BWM bikes that they can survive impact with a wombat. I know most other bikes would be a mess of bent forks and missing plastic.
 
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