HOT TIPS for an Affordable Snow Holiday!
Think you can't afford a getaway to the Victorian ski fields? Stay off-mountain, save & enjoy!
There's nothing quite like a snow holiday with the kids or friends but it can be hard on the family budget. By the time you have arranged your ski gear, equipment hire, lift tickets, ski lessons, resort entry, and everything else... there can be little left for the most important part - your snow accommodation!
Off mountain accommodation may be your golden ticket to an unforgettable ski holiday, on the snow and exploring the beautiful Alpine Valleys.
As locals we have a few tricks up our sleeve that might make organising a snow holiday to Mount Hotham or Falls Creek easier and save you (quite a few) dollars along the way.
Planning Your Snow Holiday
Which Mountain To Hit
Your first decision is to choose your skiing destination; Mount Hotham, Dinner Plain, Falls Creek or Mount Buffalo. Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain are closest to Harrietville, where we have number accommodation options, while a visit to Falls Creek is best made from Bright. Mount Buffalo is closest to Bright and Porepunkah, and while it offers free access it only has a toboggan run and cross-country ski runs, snow depending.
If you're not yet sure which mountain you are going to travel to give us a call to discuss your situation, current snow conditions, and what kind of snow holiday you are after. Every mountain - Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain and Buffalo - offers a different experience at a different cost. We can point you in the right direction!
Don't forget that Falls Creek and Mount Hotham share passes so a five day pass gives you entry to both mountains!
The best advice is to book early, and book online! The best deals are all online, and by buying early you may also be eligible for extra discounts or offers. What's more, you'll save time when you get to the slopes by not having to buy your tickets there.
- Book your lift ticket package to Mt Hotham or Falls Creek online and SAVE up to 30%! You can also buy a pass that gives you access to both Mt Hotham AND Falls Creek, so stay off mountain and get the best of both worlds! Mt Hotham also has a new 'Midweek Magic' pass, where you get three days for the price of two.
- Once you arrive on mountain, look for the online store express lane @ any of their ticket, ski and ride school or rental outlet counters!
- Dinner Plain, which has a GREAT beginner run, offers a $152 family pass for 2 adults & 2 children to ski or board. This is the perfect place for kids to start learning to ski, with lessons available Sat-Mon. There's also a $12 per person twilight rate on Wednesday and Saturday.
- OR you can take the gentler drive to Mount Buffalo - which is closer to Bright and Porepunkah - where there's NO entry fee and there's a great cafe overlooking the kid-friendly toboggan run (and nearby cross-country ski trails).
What's this? The Resort Entry fee gives you access to Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, and helps pay for essential services such as ski patrol, snow clearing, guest services and much more. It's payable per vehicle or, if you're arriving by bus, per person.
PLEASE NOTE: IF you are driving straight through to Dinner Plain you DO NOT need to purchase resort entry. However, if you stop your car at any time within the resort, especially to drop people off, you will be expected to pay to cover the resort use of those guests.
- Arrange and pay for your Mount Hotham Resort Entry or Falls Creek Resort Entry online before you arrive to save time and money!
- If snow play is all you're seeking then drive straight through Mount Hotham to Dinner Plain to avoid the $56 per vehicle resort entry charge! You can stop back at Mt Hotham after 3pm for free, just in time to catch the 3.30pm Harry the Dragon show on Wednesday & Saturday before heading home.
- There's no entry fee for Mount Buffalo or Dinner Plain.
Ski Gear Hire
We strongly recommend hiring any gear you need when you get here. No need to cart it all up in the car, you've got better things to transport!
Hiring from a company with a presence on the mountain is also recommended. If your boots are too tight you don't want to be stuck with them all weekend. Nothing will ruin your stay faster. You can also switch from skis or snowboard for a small fee.
Hoy's Ski Hire have stores in Harrietville, Hotham & Dinner Plain. Hotham Sports have stores in Myrtleford (RAY's), Hotham, Falls Creek & Dinner Plain. If you are heading to Mt Buffalo or Falls Creek from Bright, then pop into JD's before heading up the hill (they will give you 10% off for being our valued customer).
- Book online with Hoy's Skis (Harrietville, Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain) and receive 25% off your ski and board hire! For this year's ski season they've also added an extra deal - rent any item for four consecutive days, and get the fifth day's hire FREE.
- Hire your chains through Hoy's skis as well as and make use of their FREE FITTING SERVICE on the road to Hotham - invaluable!
If you're a beginner, or you just want to update your skills, take advantage of the lessons on offer at the various ski fields.
At Mount Hotham, click here for information about adult lessons, or you may want to consider a number of other options including Kids Lessons, Private Lessons, Women's Signature Program, Racing Teams and Adaptive Disabled Wintersports.
Staying in off-mountain accommodation in Bright, Porepunkah, Wandiligong or Harrietville could save you twice or even three times the holiday compared to staying in similar self-cater accommodation on the mountain. Book an extra few days and enjoy everything the Alpine Valleys has to offer!
We have some VERY SPECIAL OFFERS available during the ski season (see below). Or just book a seven night stay at any of our properties and SAVE 10% - for bookings made directly through Alpine Valley Getaways only.
- Stay mid-week to get the runs to yourself and some extra cash in your pocket with savings from both accommodation and ski passes.
- SPRING SKIING. Start planning a sunny September spring ski. The best time of year, usually quiet, all accommodation rates are off-peak and bluebird reigns supreme.
- Save on chains and resort entry payment by taking the bus up the mountain. The ALPS LINK BUS runs three days a week for $10.80 return full fare from Bright to Mount Hotham! Hotham Bus, Snowball Express and Falls Creek Coaches also have routes from Melbourne, Albury and Bright to the snow. BUT, don't forget that individual resort entry will be added to all bus fares, they sometimes fail to say that in the brochures. Keep in mind also that if you are heading up on the bus with children you may need to arrive early and stay late, make sure your kids are up to it.
- Read all the way to the bottom for our SUPER HOT DEALS this winter, we have several properties offering book 2 stay 3 and more.
Snow Chains and Travel
If you are driving up to any Alpine area in Victoria you MUST carry DIAMOND PATTERN CHAINS. The cheap ladder and spider chains are dangerous and strictly not classified as legal, and HUGE fines apply if you don't carry chains or have the wrong type. Any of the local ski hire companies can fit the correct chains for your car. If you have a lowered or customised vehicle you may have issues with finding suitable chains.
Contact your chosen ski hire dealer before arriving to ensure you will be able to hire chains at all!
If you choose to drive yourself, make sure you have ALPINE DIESEL or ANTI-FREEZE in your engine. We recommend going to the SHELL SERVICE STATION in Bright for the best quality product.
The police will be patrolling the Great Alpine Road heavily in Winter. Drive safely, for your own safety but also other drivers. Look out for black ice and follow chain directions.
Although we hope you won't need it, we strongly recommend having full ambulance cover and travel insurance for your own benefit and protection.
If you're not keen on driving up the mountain, take one of the daily buses that operate from Bright and Harrietville return. Please see links below for info on timetables, services and rates. Please note that these rates may fail to include your resort entry charge.
SNOWBALL EXPRESS - operated by Alpine Spirit - High Country Coaches : https://www.snowballexpress.com.au/
ALPS LINK BUS - Cheap option to Hotham with limited schedule : http://dysongroup.com.au/alps-link
FALLS CREEK COACHES : http://www.fallscreekcoachservice.com.au/
So that's what you should keep in mind if you're tempted by a Bright & Surrounds snow holiday. FOLLOW US via our social media networks for the latest information. We would love you to share your pics with us! Tag us or #alpinevalleygetaways to allow us to share your photos.
Oh, one more thing about staying in off-mountain accommodation - you get to see this on the drive, every day...
FREE NIGHT Winter deals at Alpine Valley Getaways!
We have a range of properties currently offering a pay 2 or 3 and stay extra for free (all deals are off-peak only)!
Take a look at our range of accommodation specials for families or couples offering FREE NIGHTS below!
Budget off-mountain accommodation in Harrietville or Bright is the 1st step to an affordable ski holiday. We can even throw some luxury your way at an amazing rate. These unbeatable winter accommodation deals offer comfort at a bargain rate.
Get in touch with us if these options don't suit you as we have a whole range of great value winter accommodation, let us help!
Amber Cottage, Bright - Stay 4 pay 3
Racecourse Road, Bright
Amber Cottage at Tudor Village offers great value, family friendly accommodation situated in a peaceful location in Bright close to walking & river trails.
This newly updated 2 bedroom unit features a fully equipped kitchen, open plan living and relaxed comfort at a great price, in a peaceful location. The quiet complex of 6 units features a shared in-ground pool set amongst a landscaped BBQ & recreation area to relax & enjoy the surroundings. Kick back under the shady elms while the kids splash away in the pool!
Your unit features 2 bedrooms with a queen bed in the main bedroom and 2 singles in the second, as well as full laundry facilities. Enjoy a relaxed getaway as a couple or family for the right price!
Alpine Arnica Cottages, Harrietville - Stay 4 pay 3
ALPINE ARNICA COTTAGE 2
242 Great Alpine Road, Harrietville
Alpine Arnica Cottage 2 is a cosy, well appointed, alpine cottage on beautiful grounds.
The kitchenette is well equipped including a microwave, electric hotplates & appliances. The lounge is comfortable and warm and features TV/DVD/CD and relaxing window seat to take in the mountain vista. The bedroom includes a queen bed with electric blankets and amazing mountain views.
Alpine Arnica Cottages are central to all town amenities including cafes and hotels serving quality food.
Arlington, Bright - STAY 4 PAY 3 mid-week
Walkers Lane, Bright
Leave the world behind and experience the Hamptons set amongst a mountain backdrop. Arlington is Bright's newest luxury experience, and an easy walk to the heart of town.
This stunning New England style home offers space and comfort without ever compromising on style or luxury.
Spend evenings in the relaxing Hamptons style lounge, beautifully furnished to bring you together around the stunning wood fire. Curl up with a good book on the luxurious leather lounges admiring the green surrounds.
Spend afternoons on the sunny porch with hanging seat; curl up inside on the window seat, or share a memorable meal together in the beautiful dining area. There is plenty of room to reconnect over a family board game or feast created in your spacious fully equipped kitchen with quality appliances.
Perhaps you could enjoy a BBQ on the rear deck taking in the fresh air, or discover the Rail Trail 10m from your door straight to the centre of town. Enjoy the easy level stroll home after a memorable meal in a chef's hat restaurant!
As you explore this jaw dropping property you will find 4 spacious, beautifully styled bedrooms. Arlington is the perfect destination for 2 families offering a king or queen room, and 2 bedrooms with singles. The queen bedroom downstairs offers quality bedding and a lovely ensuite, then head up the stunning staircase to find perfect family living.
Upstairs, you will find gorgeous views from every direction. Relax in your separate living area or unwind in 1 of 2 upstairs bathrooms with luxurious deep French bathtubs.
The king bedroom opens to your private, luxurious ensuite with French tub, large shower with rainwater head, beautiful robes and a sunny outlook. Across the hall are 2 more bedrooms, each offering 2 singles. All bedrooms just as beautifully styled and offering luxurious appointments and views. A 2nd upstairs bathroom, also with French tub and large separate shower means everyone can enjoy their own space and privacy.
Stepping into the beautiful Arlington is like melting into a page from a magazine. High ceilings, flowing floor plan, luxurious fixtures and furnishings and styling that exudes calm and warmth.
Continue with additions like undercover bike storage, a fully equipped laundry, pod style coffee machine and reverse cycle heating & cooling, and it is a promise that you will return to Arlington... for longer next time.
The BASE Luxury Villas, Harrietville - Stay 4 pay 3 mid-week
4 Camping Park Road, Harrietville
The ultimate luxury pads to explore & experience the Alpine Valleys is here. The Base offers 2 luxuriously fitted villas with views to match, space to shake off the city blues and the ideal location to live the life.
Stay in luxurious comfort with spacious inside/outside living, tall windows to take in the mountains and all the features you could need for ease & relaxation.
The open plan living area features a wood fire and TV/DVD/Ipod as well as reverse cycle heating/cooling throughout. Open out onto the huge deck with Gas BBQ & setting or cook up a storm in your fully equipped kitchen with quality Smeg appliances - or start the day with a Nespresso before a short stroll to a delicious cafe breakfast. The Snowline Hotel, just a skip around the corner offers amazing meals and regular entertainment.
Truly relax & unwind in your huge backlit spa bath, the best way to end a day of exploring, climbing, skiing or simply relaxing with a good book and fresh mountain air!
Retreat to your gorgeous bedrooms, 2 spacious King rooms with mountain views and a 3rd with 2 singles. All beds can be split to create King single beds throughout for maximum comfort for any family or group of up to 6 guests.
Full laundry facilities and large drying room make this the ultimate home away from home.