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Mount Hotham

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Mount Hotham is a ski resort in the High Country of Victoria, Australia, catering to both beginners and advanced.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Mount Hotham has an airfield that is served by a twice weekly QantasLink flight from July to September from Sydney. Otherwise you can charter a plane to fly to Mt Hotham Airport. The closest airport with yeta round commercial flights from Melbourne and Sydney is Albury.

By car[edit]

From Melbourne either:

  • take the Hume Highway to Wangaratta and then the Great Alpine Road through Harrietville, taking about 4.5 hours; or
  • take the Princes Highway to Bairnsdale and turn onto the Great Alpine Road via Omeo and Dinner Plain, taking about 5.5 hours.

From Sydney take the Hume Highway to Albury-Wodonga, and follow the signs to Yackandandah and turn off to Myrtleford. At Myrtleford turn off onto the Great Alpine Road through to Harrietville and Mount Hotham. This is about 8.5 hours' driving.

From Queensland take the Newell Highway to Cobram, then onto Wangaratta and the Great Alpine Road as per the route from Melbourne.

In all cases, cars must carry fitting diamond patterned snow chains when travelling on the Great Alpine Road between Harrietville and Omeo between June 1 and October 10 every year. You must be able to fit them when the signs indicate: there are numerous chain fitting bays located on the road. Chains are available for hire in Harrietville and Omeo. Diamond pattern chains are now mandatory for all vehicles entering the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time.

Resort entry permit at Hotham is $47 per day (2017); all vehicles stopping in a Victorian Alpine Resort must have a valid authorised Resort Entry Permit. This can be paid online in advance or by cash at the resort management office (surcharge applies). Season permits can also be purchased for $525 or at a discounted early bird rate in April. Resort entry permits are based on vehicle registration so stickers are no longer issued. Parking is free until midnight if your first entry of the day is after 3PM. Parking inspections are frequent before 3PM and after midnight when the free evening parking passes run out. If you are just driving in to drop someone off a resort entry permit will still need to be purchased . If you're just driving through from Dinner Plain to Harrietville without stopping, no permit needs to be purchased provided travel is completed within the designated time limit.

Drivers who don't wish to drive in the snow can park in the security car parking at Hoys Skis [1] in Harrietville for $10 a day (cheaper for longer stays) and catch a bus to Mount Hotham.

By bus[edit]

The Snowball Express (tel 1300 65 65 46, fax +61 3 9372 0689, email [email protected]) service runs services to Mt Hotham from Melbourne, Myrtleford, Bright and Harrietville.

Christian's Bus Company has buses to and from Albury airport on Fridays and Sundays during the snow season from June 27 - September 14 in 2008. They depart the airport at 10AM, 1:45PM and 5PM and return 8:30AM, 12:30PM and 4PM. Call Hotham Holidays on 1800 468 426 to book.

Hoys Mount Hotham (tel +61 3 5759 3017) operate a bus from Dinner Plain several times a day, no bookings necessary (timetable [2]). Return trips are $14 for adults and free for children under 15. The ticket includes the drop-off fee at Mount Hotham.

O'Connell's Ome Bus Services offer charter services from Omeo to Mount Hotham. They have many years of safe driving in alpine areas. Contact them at [3] or 0428591377

Northeast Coachlines operates from 2013, offering daily & overnight services from Melbourne plus Sydney to Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain & Falls Creek.

By train[edit]

The nearest train station is in Wangaratta, on the main Sydney to Melbourne line. Travellers would then need to transfer to a bus to Bright and a second bus to Mount Hotham.

Get around[edit]

The Great Alpine Road runs through the middle of the resort (in fact, there's a point on the Sun Run where you can ski over a road bridge). Most runs or lifts to them leave at an easily accessed point on the road. However, parking near the center of the resort is difficult to get, and you may need to park at the edges and catch the free bus to the run of your choice. Be careful of pedestrians: people catching the bus up and down the resort frequently have to cross the road on foot with armfuls of gear, and there are no marked crossings. The usual practice is to give way to any pedestrians.

The village bus service is operated during the Winter ski season by a set of clunky old school buses with big SNOW BUS labels. This free bus service drives up and down the length of the Great Alpine Road inside the resort. Catch it at any of the "Village Bus" bus stop signs which are located near most carparks and major lifts and run end-points on the road. It arrives every 5-10 minutes. Skis must be stored in the holders on the outside of the bus, but snowboards are carried on board. Be careful when waiting for the bus, particularly if waiting on the side of the road that has a drop-off. There are no fences or safety rails protecting you from walking off the edge, although obviously the bus doesn't park right next to it it also doesn't stop far away from it.

See[edit][add listing]

Visitors are treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains but the village itself is all about snowsports.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Ski or snowboard 2017 lift passes cost from $129 for 1 day ($69 for children) to $722 for 7 days ($405 for children). Season passes are available, as are combined lift and hire prices. Season passes are $1,599 for adults during the season. Look out for the Hero Pass offer in September which provides the best value for next year's ski season.
  • Learn to ski or snowboard.

Buy[edit][add listing]

No petrol or other vehicle fuel is available at Mt Hotham, or in the alpine area at all. You will need to travel down to Harrietville or Omeo for fuel.

There are plenty of stores selling skis, snowboards and other gear. By the base of Big D is a bottle shop and grocery store carrying the essentials.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The General Store offers delicious and affordable pizza with the best views and is open all year round.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The two main (and competing) drinking holes are Swindlers at Hotham Central and The General (The Jenny) close to Big D. Swindlers seems to attract the younger, fashion-concious crowd while The Jenny is more down to earth. Both stay open late and often put on live music and DJs. Both get suitably messy as the night wears on with mountain staff trying to relieve the cabin fever.

Other places to go include The Snowbird Inn and Zirky's both of which are located within the village.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Stay healthy[edit]

Medical facilities are provided by:

  • Mt Hotham Medical Centre, Great Alpine Road (At the Hotham Central carpark opposite Hoys and the Transit Centre), +61 3 5759-3551. The Mt Hotham Medical Centre specialises in treating skiing and boarding injuries, although it provides a general practice service. The Mt Hotham Medical Centre is expensive because unlike public hospitals it receives very limited Government subsidy—it does not bulk bill for Australian Medicare card holders. The nearest public medical services are at the Wangaratta public hospital, some 2 hours drive away.  edit

In winter months Ski Patrol will assist injured people on the snow, providing first aid and transferring you to an ambulance or to the medical center as needed. Ski patrol wear red and black jackets with a large white cross on the back and smaller white crosses on the arms. Resort employees such as the lift operators can summon Ski Patrol to assist you. If there is an accident on the snow, someone should be sent down to the nearest lift to alert the operators and tell them where to send the patrol. Flying injured skiiers off the mountain by helicopter is fairly common, make sure your insurance cover this or sign up for an ambulance membership.

Get out[edit]

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