Best Places Near Melbourne To See Snow 2020
- All Ages
Winter in Victoria is a chilly time, and in the mountain resorts not far from Melbourne in June, that means snow! And good news, white Christmas has come early in 2020 with many resorts getting a strong dusting ahead of their official season, and some even opening early!
Get the winter gear out of the closet. It's the perfect place to take the kids for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway.
There are other soon to be snow-capped options available as well, depending on your budget and your free time. Here’s a snapshot of some of Melbourne’s top choices for a family trip to the snow:
Mt. Donna Buang
Mt Donna Buang summit (1,245m) is located in the Yarra Valley, overlooking Warburton in Victoria only 88km away from Melbourne making it the closest snow destination for a quick day trip. Plus, there is no cost to access Mt Donna Buang. FREE Snow Play...Woo hoo!
It is a very popular destination for Melbourne families to do some snow play and enjoy toboggan runs. There are 3 different toboggan runs, a designated snow play area, barbeques, car parking, toilets and a scenic drive up to the summit. Families are welcome to bring their own equipment. Toboggans are available locally as well.
Mount Donna Buang is a spectacular place to be at any time and a 21-metre high lookout tower on the summit provides panoramic views of the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, and the Alps.
Where: Yarra Valley, WarburtonThe Don Valley Road is usually closed in winter - so drive through Warburton and turn left at the Warburton Motel.
When: June to September. See the latest Mt. Donna Buang snow report.
Falls Creek is Victoria’s largest area of skiable terrain and the fact that it’s home to the National Cross Country Skiing Team is proof that it’s a great location to get your family out and about in the snow.
If your kids also love downhill skiing, there are a total of 90 runs to choose from with a good few catering for beginners. Victoria’s longest green (easy) run is also here while most of the others are for more advanced skiers. For older kids who enjoy the adventure of staying up late, night skiing is also available a couple of times a week.
To help your little ones get the skills they need to keep them safe on the slopes, this resort has a variety of age-grouped classes on offer – for 3-6-year-olds, 6-12-year-olds, and Teen Academy for 13-17-year-olds. A snowboard program is also available for 3-5-year-olds.
Where: Bogong High Plains Rd, Falls Creek
Phone: 1800 2 FALLS
When: Saturday 6th June - Sunday 4th October 2020. See the latest Falls Creek snow report.
Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
This snow-covered slope has a lot going for it – and probably the main thing is its proximity to Melbourne. Imagine seeing snow just two hours from the CBD!
It’s not the place to go to when you’re looking for downhill skiing action but when it comes to other snow activities, Lake Mountain has the whole family covered.
Let’s start with snowmen. Once the kids are done adding the carrot to his nose and you’ve taken you obligatory social media snaps, there are four slopes for tobogganing thrills. If your kids are little, be prepared for a big workout – they’ll probably only last a few trips back up the hill before their legs give way from tiredness, so to keep the fun happening, you might be the one they call on to pull them back up for another turn.
If all that strenuous exercise gets too much, you can move at a calmer pace by hiring some snowshoes and heading out on one of the five snowshoe trails.
Where: 1071 Lake Mountain Rd, Marysville
Phone: (03) 5957 7222
When: Skiing season starts from 8th June 2020. See the latest Lake Mountain snow report.
Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort
It hasn’t got the reputation of some of the other more popular resorts – and it is definitely smaller – but, for travel ease, Mt Baw Baw is the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne. On a good traffic day, it’s about 2.5 hours from the CBD.
The names for the toboggan slopes – including Frosty Frog Hollow and Frantic Frog Park – say a lot about Mt Baw Baw’s kid-friendly focus and the 30 kilometres of cross country ski trails are good for family adventures.
As well as skiing and snowboarding lessons, your kids might also love the Howling Husky Sled Dog Tours. Although you could cram an action-packed day in and still make it home to fall into your own bed, the accommodation options are good, with everything from apartments, lodges and cabins available.
Where: 32 Currawong Rd, Mount Baw Baw.
Phone: (03) 5165 1136
When: Skiing season starts from 8th June 2020. See the latest Mt Baw Baw snow report.
The downhill runs here are loved by skiing fans and because it’s only about a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, it’s one of Australia’s most accessible snowfields. Mt Buller gets very busy but the accommodation at the resort has space for 7000 people!
Kids of all ages are well-catered for, and if your children plan to add snow skills to their trip, they can join in with Bunyips (3 to 6-year-olds), Buller Kids (7 to 14-year-olds), and Buller Teens (15 to 18-year-olds).
For the seriously adventurous kids in your tribe, Team Buller Riders coach kids aged 10 to 18 years old to help them excel at mogul skiing, slopestyle and aerials.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be so structured. A visit here might be just about building a snowman or two, drinking some hot chocolate and falling over a few times on your skis. Just have fun!
Where: Mt Buller is 248kms north-east of Melbourne, via Mansfield.
Phone: (03) 5777 6077
When: Skiing season starts from 1st June 2020. See the latest Mt Buller snow report.
This is an underdeveloped reserve that is definitely aimed at more experienced snow-lovers, but as a place to drive to see the white stuff, Mt Stirling is as good as any.
Cross-country and snowboarding trails are free to access but there are no lifts or other luxuries. Ski patrols and mountain huts still help keep you safe. If getting your kids back to nature is your thing, strap on some snowshoes and get moving. Two walks here do have signs to guide you through the beautiful mountain ash and snowgum forests for that winter wonderland experience.
Where: Alpine Central, Summit Road, Mt Buller. Expect a three-hour drive from Melbourne, via Mansfield.
Phone: (03) 5777 6077
When: Skiing season starts from 1st June 2020. See the latest Mt Stirling snow report.
It’s not an ideal day trip but it is spectacular, with wonderful scenery along the picturesque Great Alpine Road.
Whether your kids are beginners or more experienced – their needs are catered for at Mt Hotham. The resort has 13 lifts that service 3 terrain parks and 35kilometres of cross-country skiing. Snow play? Dog sled tours? Ski school? Snowboarding lessons? Gear hire? Accommodation? It’s all on offer here, at a price. Look out for the amazing Glamping accommodation in eco domes!
Where: Mt Hotham is 372 kilometres from Melbourne, via the National Highway.
When: Ski season runs from June 1st to October 2020. See the latest Hotham snow report.
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