The Hotham Alpine Resort lies at 1750 metres just below the summit of mighty Mt Hotham in Victoria. Located in the Australian Alps National Park, it provides visitors with a classic Australian winter wilderness with plenty of beautiful snowgums, spectacular views and undulating mountain ridges. Hotham Alpine Resort is the only ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere where the village is located on top of the mountain. There are 72 runs with Spargo’s being the longest downhill run at 2.5km. All up there are thirteen lifts and four (snow dependent) terrain parks.
Hotham is known for a lively après ski culture, with more than 20 bars and a range of restaurants to suit all budgets, plus two beautiful day spas. There’s loads to do on the mountains with skiing for beginners right through to professionals. There’s great snowboarding, terrain parks and cross-country trails, too. And you’ll find plenty of snowplay options in the resort along with unique activities such as winter dogsledding, kids snowmobiling, free kat skiing, sunset tours and grooming tours.
Getting to Hotham
Mount Hotham is a four-and-a-half hour drive by car from Melbourne; or about eight hours from Sydney. During the declared winter season (early June – early October), a Resort entry fee applies to all vehicles and these can easily be purchased online. Diamond Pattern Wheel Chains must be carried, and fitted where directed, during the declared winter season – you can hire these before getting on mountain in Myrtleford, Harrietville, Omeo and Melbourne.
Once at Hotham, parking is available for both day and overnight guests.
If you’re looking to stay off-mountain, check out Harrietville or Bright. As an added bonus, you can use these locations to ski at both Hotham and Falls Creek. A great way to check out two of Australia’s best snow locations in the one trip!
Don’t feel like driving? Mt Hotham boasts its own airport (20km from the resort) which is also Australia’s highest fully operational commercial aerodrome for commercial and private flights! Hotham is accessible from airports in Victoria (Lilydale, Essendon or Moorabbin airports – approximately 45 minutes), New South Wales (Albury – approximately 30 minutes or Sydney – approximately 50 minutes) and the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra – approximately 30 minutes). Once you arrive, coaches are available for airport transfer to take you to the resort.
Getting around Hotham
A free Village bus service is provided as part of the Resort entry fee. The bus service operates daily from 6:45am until late and operate between Wire Plain Cross Country Shelter and the Corral Car Park opposite Hotham Central. The bus service operates on a hail-a-bus system – by using an app on your phone you can hail a bus to collect you from one of the fourteen bus stops. You can even track the bus by GPS so you can stay inside in the warm until it gets closer!
Best skiing at Hotham
The official ski season at Hotham is from the second weekend in June to the first weekend of October. The best snow however is in July and August.
There are 13 ski lifts to get you to the skiing and snowboarding tracks where you can explore more than 320 hectares of snow fields, complete with downhill runs, cross country trails, jumps and terrain parks.
The longest run at Hotham Alpine Resort is Spargo’s and is 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi). Mt Hotham features a good mix of standards from beginners (20%) to intermediates (40%) and advanced (40%). The resort is home to one of Australia’s most difficult runs, the steep Mary’s Slide. It is also home to Australia’s only biathlon range.
There are two terrain parks – the Basin Rail Park which has beginner, intermediate and advanced boxes and rails; and the Summit Terrain Park which features mixed level jumps, rails and boxes. There is also a Skier Boardercross Course (SBX course) which has berms, jumps and rollers and is available for use outside of training hours / events.
Night skiing is on offer on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s.
Staying at Hotham
You can stay at Mt Hotham Village or in one of the neighbouring towns when skiing at Hotham. At Mt Hotham Village there are plenty of lodges, chalets and other accommodation types. Off-snow, check out Omeo (approximate 50 minute drive), Harrietville (approximately 40 minute drive), or the larger town of Bright (approximately 1 hour drive). As an added bonus, Falls Creek is only a 1 ¼ hour drive from Bright so you can sample two ski locations in the one trip!!
Playing at Hotham – for the kids
Mt Hotham is a great place to take the whole family, and there are plenty of things to do. Hotham has a daycare centre which caters to children aged from three months. For kids wanting to learn how to snowboard or ski in a safe place, Hotham365 is Australia’s only indoor training centre located in a winter resort. Outside, there are fun ski programs for 3-5 year olds, and 6-14 year olds (skiing) and 7-14 year olds (snowboarding).
Families can also head out on a snowshoeing adventure and check out some of the 35km of trails – access to these trails are included in your resort fee or you can go on a guided adventure with local operators.
There’s also kids snowmobile rides, tobogganing and snow play. And on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s kids (and big kids) can dance and sing along with Harry the Snowdragon, Hotham’s mascot.
Playing at Hotham – for the adults
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’ll find just what you’re after at Hotham.
With a skiable area of more than 320 hectares, go exploring on the downhill runs, cross country trails, jumps and terrain parks. For true daredevils (who are also experienced skiers / snowboarders), check out the most difficult run, the steep Mary’s Slide. Not only it is steep, but it is narrow, and it becomes steeper and narrower the lower you go. Eventually it drops off sharply into the icy water of Swindlers Creek so be careful you don’t end up in the drink.
If you want to try other activities, you can go husky sled dog riding or take a helicopter over the mountain. And if you’re interested in a truly beautiful experience, consider an alpine nature experience with snowshoeing, gourmet meals, and the option of staying overnight in a luxury snow dome!
Once you’ve finished with the snow for the day, the Village has coffee shops and cafes, restaurants and retail outlets. Don’t forget to check out the day spas for true relaxation!