You can drive, fly or catch a bus to Victoria's snowfields. Most of Victoria's alpine resorts lie to the north-east of Melbourne. Over-snow shuttles in the skifields whisk you and your gear to your lodge on the final leg of your long journey. Just how you and your group get to that point depends on the method of transport you choose.
Driving distances and approximate travel times from the city:
- Lake Mountain – 120 kilometres, 2 hours and 10 minutes
- Mt Baw Baw – 175 kilometres, 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Mt Buller and Mt Stirling – 240 kilometres, 3 hours and 15 minutes
- Hotham and Falls Creek lie further to the north-east, 375 kilometres, approximately 4 and a half hours drive
Mountain roads are usually cleared of snow, but you will occasionally need to fit chains to your tyres for better grip. It is compulsory to carry chains at all times in the mountains and fit them when directed. Hotham, Mt Buller and Falls Creek have chain-fitting bays and some resorts have staff available to assist guests to fit their chains. Chains can be hired at ski shops in Melbourne or at the towns at the base of each ski area.
Travel in daylight hours whenever possible. It is difficult to judge distances in the snow at night, even if you’re an experienced alpine driver. To avoid engine damage from low temperatures, make sure there is anti-freeze in your radiator.
If you drive a diesel-powered vehicle, fill up with alpine-mix diesel from a service station close to the snowfields to prevent the fuel from freezing. Dual-fuel vehicles (LPG/petrol) should switch to petrol before entering alpine areas. Before you drive up the mountain, make sure your tank is topped up: bad weather can cause delays and you may need to keep your motor running. There are no fuel stations at the top for the public.
Buses are a great way to get to Victorian alpines resort without the hassle of having to organise chains, directions and car parking.
The Lake Mountain Snowbus runs from Marysville on weekends during snow season and during the week in school holidays. Fares include gate entry and give you four hours at the snow before your return trip. See lakemountainsnowbus.com and lakemountainresort.com.au.
Dreamtours operates buses to Mt Baw Baw from Federation Square, Melbourne, and Williams Landing railway station in Point Cook. See dreamtours.com.au and mountbawbaw.com.au.
Mt Buller transport options are available from Melbourne, Mansfield, Merrijig and Mirrimbah. For more information see mmbl.com.au and mtbuller.com.au.
Hotham is the only Victorian ski resort accessible by public transport via the Alps Link bus from Bright to Omeo via Harrietville, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and Cobungra on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Alpine Spirit Coaches runs charters and operates the Snowball Express on Saturdays and Sundays from Melbourne through Myrtleford, Bright and Harrietville to Mt Hotham. Hoys Harrietville also offers a Park 'n' Ride option – leave your car in secure car parking and and catch the Snowball Express from there. See snowballexpress.com.au, hoysskis.com.au and www.mthotham.com.au.
Falls Creek is accessible from Melbourne, Albury, Bright and Mt Beauty with Falls Creek Coaches. There is also a Park 'n' Ride option at Mt Beauty. Visit fallscreekcoachservice.com.au and fallscreek.com.au.
Hotham Airport is 20 kilometres from Mt Hotham Ski Resort. Charter services are available but there are presently no commercial flights. Arrange to link by bus from the airport to the resort with Alpine Spirit Coaches.
Qantas flies to Albury airport from major destinations around Australia. Link from the airport to Falls Creek with Falls Creek Coach Service.