Words by Penny Cordner Images supplied
There’s nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn, your car jam-packed with ski gear and your road-trip playlist ready to go. With more than 35cm of snow already hitting some mountains, it’s set to be an epic season. The only downside? A ski trip can end up being a pretty costly getaway.
And that’s why we’re here, to share some of the best deals this ski season and show you how to get more bang for your buck.
This winter, discover Mt Baw Baw’s toboggan park, explore a fraction of Falls Creek’s 90 runs, take in the stunning views at Mt Hotham, or enjoy a drink at one of Mt Buller’s many buzzing bars.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
- The ski season officially kicks off over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June and ends around September (pending the snowfall).
- Prices vary significantly depending on the time of season, length of stay and number of people.
- If you’re flexible on dates, plan your stay at the start or end of the season.
- Unsurprisingly, accommodation is generally much cheaper mid-week, so if you have a few extra annual leave days up your sleeve, consider a trip between Monday and Friday – you’ll also benefit from fewer skiers and fresh powder.
- A number of lodges and apartments offer discounts on equipment hire or meals if you book direct, so be sure to double check.
- Check the advertised price carefully, ski clubs often have member-only prices.
Mt Baw Baw
Just two and a half hour’s drive east of Melbourne, Mt Baw Baw is one of the most accessible mountains for a day trip or short stay. The good news? There are a number of tailored packages available for couples and families looking for a winter getaway.
The Midweek Snow Escape for two (from $1,361) has everything you need to hit the slopes as well as some thoughtful added extras – including a meal for two, a bottle of wine and a husky dog-sled tour. For families, The Weekend Mountain Peak ( $1,967) has you sorted, with accommodation, lessons and ski hire for four.
There are also some great wallet-friendly packages, including the Midweek Bed & Shred (from $166 per person), which includes a two-day lift pass and a bed at the Alpine Backpackers, or the Tanjil Family Supersaver Peak ($821) complete with a stay at their lodge and toboggan hire for four.
Mt Buller is the most accessible major snow resort in Australia, boasting the largest lift network in the state – its 22 lifts are capable of moving up to 40,000 people an hour! And with more on-mountain accommodation than any other ski resort in Victoria, you’re spoilt for choice.
When choosing your accommodation, keep an eye out for the Mt Buller Snow Guarantee. This money-back guarantee means if there isn’t adequate snow before your arrival, you’ll receive your money back on prepaid accommodation, lift tickets, rental and lesson packages. Conditions apply, you can find out more here.
If you’re heading away with the family, look out for the Kids Stay Free logo – this means up to two kids stay free in June and September when accompanied by two adults.
The family-friendly Arlberg Hotel is offering your third night free for all bookings over the long weekend and a 30% discount for midweek stays between the 21 and 25 July, and 28 July and 1 August. Oh, and did we mention kids stay free in the motel rooms all season?
When members aren’t using the Coonamar Ski Club lodge, you can stay from $165 a night, which includes a full breakfast, two-course dinner and bed. They’re also promoting pay 2 and stay for 3 on weeknights over limited dates, check the link for details.
As one of Australia’s highest alpine villages (and the only one with its own airport), Mt Hotham boasts breathtaking views all season long. Four hours out from Melbourne, you’ll discover this stunning terrain, with everything from steeping slopes to gentle beginners’ runs.
Hotham Holidays are keeping things easy when it comes to discounts across their apartments and chalet accommodation.
Visit for two nights or more early in the season, (8 June and 28 June) and save up to 40%, or plan a two-night visit after school holidays and save up to 15% (valid from 14 July to 8 August). They’re also offering a 15% discount for mid-week stays throughout the season.
Keep an on the Mt Hotham website for other deals this season.
Falls Creek is Victoria’s largest Alpine Resort and with 90 runs and 14 lifts, it truly does have something for everyone. The mountain also offers ski-in/ski-out accommodation, and with more than 5,000 beds available, there are some great offers throughout the season.
If you’re planning a week-long stay, check out the luxurious, architect-designed Frueauf Village, where you can stay for 7 nights and only pay for 6. They’re also offering guests a 50% discount on lift tickets, lessons and equipment hire.
Altitude Apartments are offering a huge 50% discount for stays between 7 June and the 22 June and from 8 September to the end of season, as well as other great discounts. The modern, spacious apartments are fitted out with everything you’ll need to relax and reset, and can sleep between four and 12 people.
It’s hard to beat the simplicity and central location of the Falls Creek Country Club, especially if you’re visiting from the 21 to the 25 July. In addition to a 10% midweek discount, if you stay three nights or more you’ll also receive a restaurant voucher. And, if you book direct, you’ll unlock a 20% discount on equipment hire.
So pull out your winter coats and beanies, the only real question is, where are you headed?