Snow bunnies, get ready! Winter is here, the ice rinks are popping up, and the snow is falling!
Here’s a list of the best places to enjoy snow play, skiing and ice skating in the city of Melbourne and beyond in Regional Victoria.
When is 2024 Snow Season in Melbourne & Victoria?
The Victorian snow season usually starts on the Kings Birthday long weekend, which will be Saturday 8 June 2024. It usually ends around September.
Closest snow to Melbourne
The summit of Mt Donna Buang is a great first experience of snow, because it’s close to Melbourne at 1 hour 45 minute drive and free.
There are three toboggan runs plus three moderate walking trails and a scenic lookout. Facilities at the summit include a covered picnic area, gas BBQs, and outdoor picnic tables.
VICTORIAN ALPINE RESORTS
Lake Mountain is only 2 hours drive from Melbourne, so it’s doable in a day. It’s great for families, international visitors short on time and now first-timers.
The mountain offers snow play, tobogganing, cross country skiing, snowboard lessons for kids and snow-shoeing. Read my top 8 tips for visiting Lake Mountain with kids.
3. Mt Baw Baw
As the closest downhill alpine snow resort to Melbourne (only 2.5 hours away) and with a third of the terrain dedicated to beginners, Mt Baw Baw is the perfect holiday destination for families, especially those with little ones. Read my full review.
They have a huge array of snow activities from skiing to boarding, to husky dog sled tours and various events throughout the season. They’ve recently adopted two dingoes as their environmental ambassadors and visitors can also meet them and go on guided walks with Rudy and Warragul.
The mountain has a snow factory, which guarantees snow for the season from the opening weekend through to September 2024, even if the natural snowfall is light.
4. Mt Stirling
Mt Stirling is a cross-country alpine reserve and is relatively cheap compared to other ski resorts. You can also go snow-shoeing and enjoy snow play.
5. Mt Buller
Mt Buller is also possible as a day trip (I’ve done it!) but it is a 3 hour drive there and back, making it a very long and tiring day for little ones. I think it’s far better to stay the night – there are a wide range of hostels, lodges, luxury hotels and private chalets. Read my tips for visiting Mt Buller with kids.
To make up for the longer drive Mt Buller generally has the best conditions of the closer resorts. It also has the largest ski lift network in Victoria, with 22 lifts covering 300 hectares of skiable terrain, plus more than 40 cafes, bars and restaurants and Australia’s highest cinema. The Buller Kids’ Centre caters for children from just three months old.
The kids will make the most of slope of Bourke Street (now with new 6-seater Bourke Street Express chair lift) and there are two toboggan parks. A new ‘mini’ SnowFactory will top up the cover in the snowplay parks and the learner areas at the Ski and Snowboard School.
6. Mount Hotham
Mt Hotham is 5.5 hours from Melbourne. It offers 320 hectares of ski terrain for beginners, intermediate and advanced abilities, with 14 lifts. At 1,861 metres above sea level, Mt Hotham is Australia’s highest alpine village and is the one for serious skiers and snow adventurers.
For families, it offers daycare for kids 3 months to 5 years, free tobogganing and snow play areas, kids snowmobile rides and sled dog tours. Also kids 5 and under ski free and if one parent purchases a full day or half day lift pass, the second parent can purchase the Parents’ Pass – a 3 hour lift pass for only $74.
Dinner Plain is a relaxed village at the bottom of Mt Hotham. There’s no fee for getting on the mountain. Dinner Plain is great for families looking for an easy snow adventure and shuttle buses take skiers on the 10 minute drive to Mt Hotham.
Find Accommodation in Mount Hotham
7. Falls Creek
Falls Creek is a 5 hour drive from Melbourne and is Victoria’s largest skiable terrain. It boasts 92 alpine runs and 21 cross country trails, 14 ski lifts, plenty of retail and rental and more than 35 cafes, restaurants and bars. A large proportion of the ski runs are suitable for beginners. A bonus is that they offer childcare for kids aged 12 weeks to 5 years old.
ice skating melbourne
Find your closest Melbourne ice rink for skating fun! Aren’t we so lucky to be surrounded by so many places to go ice skating in the city?
The Eynesbury Winter Festival is a winter celebration from Friday 23 June running until Sunday 9 July. It’s the perfect place to go ice skating in the city and enjoy some tasty winter food & drinks from Ms Peacock and Birdy & Co. There’ll be so much to see and do, it’s the perfect winter outing for the entire family and should be added to your list of the best ice skating rinks in Melbourne.
It’s FREE to enter the Eynesbury Winter Festival but you will need to pre-book tickets for the ice rink.
Stay tuned for the schedule of exciting events!
9. O’Brien Icehouse, Docklands
Australia’s premier Olympic ice sports venue is open all year round for skating.
As a result, it’s a HUGE rink with great facilities – so anytime you’re looking for a Docklands skating recommendation, this indoors Docklands ice skating rink is one that I’d happily suggest.
10. Olympic Ice Skating Centre, Oakleigh
The training ground for future Olympians has public skating sessions with ample free parking and free skate hire. It one of the nicest ice skating places around that should definitely be checked out by the entire family.
Olympic Ice Skating Centre, 1080 Centre Road, Oakleigh South VIC 3167 03 9579 3755
11. Ice HQ, Reservoir
Ice HQ is an indoor Ice Skating Rink that was once Puckhandlers inline hockey stadium. Now it’s been transformed into a state-of-the-art ice skating centre for ice hockey games, lessons and general ice skating sessions, open 7 days a week.
Ice HQ, 1 Blake St, Reservoir VIC, 3073 03 9478 2876
ice skating victoria
Ice skating is back in Ballarat this winter as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival from 24 June to 16 July 2023!
Take the time to visit the Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights as well as eating and drinking your way through Ballarat’s burgeoning food scene.
Click here for my 10 tips for a family ski trip or snow holiday
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