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Mt Hotham
Photograph: Visit Victoria

How to do the snow on the cheap in Victoria

Dreaming of white slopes this winter, but don't have the dollars for a luxury snow trip? No worries

Written by
Rose Johnstone
Claire Mueller

Let's face it: while Victoria has some spectacular ski resorts and snowfields, taking a trip to the snow isn't the cheapest of holidays. Mostly, that's because we have a much shorter snow season than our colder cousins. However, that doesn't mean you need to be rolling in dough to hit the slopes; many alpine destinations offer sweet deals during the winter months.

First, one thing to note: if there's one thing you shouldn't skimp on, it's proper equipment. You can hire all your gear at any of these spots, and it's also a good idea to bring proper thermals, waterproof gear, thick socks and sunscreen.

Looking for more getaway ideas? Check out our guides to the High Country, the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine Peninsula

RECOMMENDED: A comprehensive guide to Victoria's snow season.

How to do the snow on the cheap

  • Things to do

Mt Buller is one of the easiest skiing or snowboarding spots to access from Melbourne. It's about a three-hour drive, and it offers tons of budget options. Booking early is key, and if you stay mid-week, you can take advantage of discounts on on-mountain accommodation and lift passes. If you're taking the family, you'll be pleased to hear that Buller also offers some 'kids stay free' deals. Concerned there's going to be no snow on the weekend you've planned? No problem – Buller has a 'snow guarantee', which means you'll get your money back if the runs aren't open. Check out all the deals on the Buller bargains page.

  • Things to do

This picturesque alpine village is located just two and a half hours away from Melbourne. It's smaller than Mt Buller (with seven lifts), but it still offers great downhill skiing, plus snow play areas for families. Like Buller, going in the middle of the week will save you dollars, and there are deals for families as well as couples. If you're travelling as a couple, you can score two nights of accommodation, resort entry, lift passes and a meal for two at the Alpine Bistro for $1,253. 

  • Things to do

Keen to spend a day at the snow, but not as fussed about downhill skiing? Take the two-hour drive to Lake Mountain, where you'll pay $59 per vehicle to enter the resort. From there, you can choose to go tobogganing on one of the dedicated toboggan slopes, hang out with the family at the Snowman's Village, or try out cross-country skiing. Secure your equipment and clothing hire – without a deposit – with the 'click and collect' online option.

  • Things to do
  • Hotham Heights

One of Australia's highest ski resorts, Mt Hotham has 13 lifts and over 80 runs suited best to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Hotham has 320 hectares of ski terrain, its own airport, 18 restaurants and bars, and even a luxe day spa – but it is furthest away from Melbourne (about 4.5 hours). For a trip that won't break the bank, opt for off-peak dates (June and September) and if you pick up a lift ticket of three days or more, you can ski or snowboard for free after 3pm on the day prior to your selected start day. More info on the website.

  • Things to do
  • Falls Creek

Closest to the border of NSW, Falls Creek is nestled in the centre of the Victorian Alps, halfway between Melbourne and Canberra. Unlike other ski resorts, Falls Creek closes its on-mountain roads to vehicles for the majority of the ski season allowing for an authentic, ski-in, ski-out experience from lifts to the village. Falls Creek caters for all with downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, night skiing and some epic terrain parks for the thrill-seekers. Book online for resort entry starting at $52.50 and during off-peak periods (June and mid-late September) for discounted lift passes.

The complete guide to winter in Melbourne


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