AFFORDABLE SNOW HOLIDAY
Harrietville's history is intertwined with the snowy alpine peaks that surround it. Today it remains a practical and more affordable place to stay for ski and snowboard trips to nearby Mount Hotham or toboggining runs and sled dog rides in Dinner Plain. Here are some tips for an affordable snow holiday that doesn't compromise on fun.
SKI & SNOW CHAIN HIRE
Hoys Harrietville Ski Centre is conveniently located on the Great Alpine Road in Harrietville, which is the last village before entering the Alpine National Park and Mount Hotham Ski Resort, just 30km away. Pick-up your snow chains here before heading up the mountain – a mandatory requirement during snow season – and take advantage of the Hoys chain fitting service their customer's receive at the chain bay on the mountain. Hiring your gear off-mountain is also a good way to gain extra time on the slopes. The store has a great selection of downhill skis, snowboards and clothing for hire and sale.
SKIING & SNOWBOARDING
Mount Hotham is the highest ski resort in Australia and is renowned for its 360° mountain views and steep technical runs. It also has a great range of runs for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The resort has 12 chairlifts and three terrain parks spread over 320 hectares of alpine terrain. Book in for group or private ski or snowboard lessons to enhance your skills, or go for a backcountry tour. There is a resort entry fee for all visitors to Mount Hotham during the snow season. Information about resort entry and lift passes is available on the Mount Hotham website.
TOBOGGANING & SNOW PLAY
Dinner Plain Alpine Village, just 43km up the road from Harrietville, is Australia's highest freehold village, which means there is no resort entry fee to visit. Just drive straight through Mount Hotham without stopping to save on fees. Dinner Plain is one of the best snow destinations for families, with an excellent toboggan slope, snow play areas and sled dog rides. Parking is available on Scrubbers End near the tobogganing area.
Not only is Dinner Plain free to enter for day trippers, but it has 35km of groomed and free-to-use cross-country ski and snow shoe trails, of which 37% are rated Beginner, 37% Intermediate, and 26% Advanced. The trails follow scenic routes through the whimsical snow gum forests around the village. The 12km Brabralung Trail to Mount Hotham (24km-return) passes through JB Plain, which has great views out to the Dargo High Plains.
If you would prefer to leave your vehicle in Harrietville and ride up the mountain, there are a few options to take you there. The Alps Bus Link service from Bright to Omeo runs three days a week and is the most affordable way to get to Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain anytime of year, although services times are limited. During the snow season, there are more frequent bus services to choose from. These include Snowball Express and HothamBus. Private taxis and transfers can also be arranged with the Snowline Hotel Charter Bus Service, Hoy's Snow Travel Booking Service, Alpine Spirit Coaches and Snowdog Transport.