If you’re keen to get skiing on mountain this year, take a step back and read the fine print before leaving home, as Victoria’s alpine resorts are preparing for a very different start this winter season.
While overnight stays are possible within Victorian resorts, visitor facilities at Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Stirling, Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain are likely to be limited as tobogganing, downhill and cross country skiing is not currently permitted. With this, Essentials suggests packing snow-friendly hiking boots, a picnic hamper and a free spirited sense of adventure in view of ‘scaling’ the peaks atop ski runs on foot while taking in the glorious alpine views.
This year ski season officially kicks off June 22 with lifts and other facilities not operational prior. The up shot of this is skiing beginning closer to mid-winter with weeks of snowmaking improving conditions on the slopes before your arrival.
While visitors are able to enter resorts for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend they must pre-purchase vehicle entry passes prior to arrival – entry is not permitted without a pass. Those staying overnight will also need to pre-book their accommodation.
Ultimately the message from resort management boards is to pre-book everything online, including: resort entry, accommodation and lift tickets (once operational). We also suggest speaking with restaurant and food venues ahead of time to arrange seated bookings or takeaway meals before leaving home.
A good tip is to speak to cafés and restaurants off-mountain to pre-order takeaway or frozen meals. In Benalla visit Rustik Café and Food Store for fresh takeaway meals and to stock up on gourmet groceries and wine; Ginger Baker Café in Bright is offering limited seated dining (bookings a must), plus takeaway meals and tapas; and in Mansfield the The Produce Store has tables open for seated bookings, ready made meals and takeaway coffee. And if their tables are overflowing, The Delatite Hotel Mansfield is your next best option as it’s offering a Queens Birthday all-weekend courtyard BBQ with kranskys, sweet treats and outdoor coffee stations.
As there’s limited operations on mountain at Falls Creek between June 1 and 22, the resort board have just launched a ‘What’s On’ page, showcasing current food menus and restaurant openings. One of the best takeaway offerings is The Frying Pan Inn’s Sunshine Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with sweet potato, eggplant and spinach, served with coconut rice. Possibly the most to fragrant and delicious way to warm up on mountain this winter. fallscreek.com.au/whatsonguide/