What’s new at Victoria’s ski resorts this winter

Travelling Well | Tianna Nadalin, Robert Upe | Posted on 15 June 2021

Victoria's snow season has officially started. Here's what new at the resorts.

After a year off the slopes, Victorian snow bunnies are excited to plough back to their favourite alpine regions. And Victorian ski resorts are gearing up for a big winter, with early snow fall and an easing of restrictions seeing 2021 shaping up to be a bumper season.

Australian Ski Areas Association CEO Colin Hackworth adivses keen holidaymakers to book ahead this winter, with resorts already reporting strong bookings after last year’s interrupted season.

While no longer mandatory,  it is also recommended that Melburnians wanting to visit the snow should get tested and return negative COVID-19 tests before heading to the alpine resorts, particularly if they're planning to stay overnight.

So, if you missed your annual snowboard break or ski escape in 2020, here’s a rundown of what’s new at the snow in 2021.

Couple catching ski lift

Get ready to feel on top of the world at Mt Hotham. Photo: Visit Victoria


What's new at Victoria's alpine resorts in 2021

Mount Buller

There is no shortage of cool new goings-on at Melbourne's closest alpire resort, Mt Buller. For lovers of après ski (literally "after ski"), the iconic ABOM Hotel's newly opened Moosehead Whisky & Blues Bar is destined to be the go-to spot for live music and mellow slope-side cocktails.  

Resident cafe, restaurant and wine bar Snow Pony is upping the food ante this winter with a fresh new menu that will be plating up modern Asian tapas. True to style, the cocktail list this year is also set to put a little fire in your belly after a full day on the slopes, with cracking concotions including the Hot Buttered Bourbon (hello, warmed bourban, winter spices, hot apple cider, creamy butter and beef jerky), mulled hot chocolates and Thai basil and chilli infused margaritas served over watermelon. The cosy corner is also planing to introduce live music in the evenings.

Art lovers will enjoy perusing magnificent snow and surf-inspired scenes at HarroArt Gallery, a new art space that showcases majestic works by internally lauded photographer Tony Harrington as well as a rotating line-up of local artists. 

Mt Hotham

Love exploring the sparsely inhabited backcountry terrain? Guided tours will be available at Hotham this winter, with options for everyone from intermediate to advanced skiers who haven’t been game to try backcountry.

This September, Mount Hotham will, once again, host Australia’s only Backcountry Festival, a celebration of human-powered winter sports including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark and alpine touring and split boarding. There will be a program of tours and workshops, an outdoor ski-in bar, a speaker's program, film night, demo village and social events aplenty.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to wake up in a snow globe, why not spend a night in an igloo? The experience kicks off with a sunset snowshoe tour to a hidden eco-village, where you can warm up with a glass of Glühwein or heart-warming hot chocolate before being treated to a delicious French cheese fondue dinner in a heated tipi. You'll then spend the night under layers of cosy sheepskin blankets in your very own igloo. 

Miss Mary, which is located downstairs at Hotham Central, is the place to go for cocktails, craft beer and local wine, with a modern-fusian menu slinging southeast Asian inspired eats. Don't miss the confit duck rendang or the sticky pork belly with pineapple, salted caramel and chilli and lime salad. 

If you're more of the adventure type, Dinner Plain claims Australia’s longest toboggan slope at 100 metres.

Falls Creek

As far as alpine villages go, Falls Creek is one of the prettiest. And, over the past two years, $1.88 million has been invested in snowmaking and snow grooming machines to add to the resort's whimsical appeal. See the shiny new snow guns and slide along their fresh powder on Wombats Ramble, Main Street and at the base of Drovers. 

If eating and drinking are your thing, Lakeside Lodge is undergoing a major renovation with a new bar and eatery open to guests and public, meanwhile Elk at Falls has a new outdoor spa pavilion, open until 9pm daily. There are three six-seater hot tubs with views to Spion Kopje (open to guests only). Also new for the season is Bob Sugar, which will be bringing a modern Asian fusion menu to the mountain from its Elk outpost. And, for a true alpine dining experience, the five-course desustation is back on the menu at Summit Ridge

For a little relaxation and indulgence, head straight to Astra. Bliss out with a hot stone massage at the on-site spa before heading to the restaurant for a three-course feast ($85) accompanied by some of the best wines on the mountain. Hello miso-braised Wangaratta lamb with black garlic and broccoli, washed down with a glass of Beechworth nebbiolo. Heaven. And live music fans, listen up. ARIA award-winning Melbourne ska musician Nicky Bomba will be taking to the stage at Astra Lodge on July 28.

Mt Baw Baw

One of the state's most family friendly alpine areas, Mt Baw Baw, will play host to a range of activities for novice skiers, snowboarders and snowplayers. This winter, there will be two cafes, the pub and a fine-dining restaurant in operation, with a affordable accommodation ensuring a strong family vibe.

Dingo walks (which are popular in summer) are starting up in winter for the first time, so lace up your snow shoes and get ready to ramble with the resort’s two alpine dingoes. And if you're not up for a wander in the snow, dingo cuddle sessions are also available.

Head up to the mountain on 26-27 June for the inaugural Baw Baw Blues Weekend. Take in the dulcet tones of soul singer Aaron Pollock, while kicking back on a hay bail and tucking into southern American-style eats at the pop-up food shack. Or enjoy a white Christmas over Baw Baw's Christmas in July weekend (17-18 July).

Lake Mountain

With more than 35 kilometres of world-class trails, Lake Mountain is the go-to destination for cross-country skiing. It's also a great place to start for novice snow enthusiasts, offering myriad easy runs for people who are just finding their ski legs. The family-friendly destination is also Victoria's beginner toboggan capital, boasting three toboggan runs for some truly unadulterated fun.

While equipment hire is available on the mountain, there is no on-mountain accommodation. If you're not keen to make the two-hour trek back to Melbourne, nearby Marysville offers boutique local accommodation as well as gear hire.