The official start of the ski season is the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June, though there is often not enough snow cover until August, lasting through to early October. During the snow season, an entry fee of $37–43.50 per car applies, depending on the resort. As a rough guide to costs, lift tickets range from $50–115/day, while group lessons cost around $60–70. Full equipment rental is about $85/day. For weather and snow conditions go to ski.com.au or snowaustraliareport.com. For accommodation, phone the central reservation hotlines of each mountain resort.
In addition to the resorts detailed here, there is also skiing at Mount Baw Baw in Gippsland.
Packages and tours
Day-trip or weekend packages are the best way to go, and are far cheaper than trying to do it yourself. The best-value trips are organized by the Alzburg Resort at Mansfield (1300 885 448, alzburg.com.au). The day-tours leave Melbourne early in the morning and arrive at Mount Buller about 2.5 hours later, giving the opportunity for a full day’s skiing (from $90, including entrance fees; a one-day lift/lesson ticket is $115 extra). There’s also a “return another day” coach service, costing $185 and including entrance fees but not accommodation.
It’s also worth checking out the area around Hardware Lane in Melbourne, where such companies as Auski at no. 9 (t 03 9670 1412, w auski.com.au) and Mountain Designs at 373 Little Bourke St (03 9670 3354, mountaindesigns.com) can advise on skiing conditions at the resorts, and sell or rent equipment.