HOT TIPS for an Affordable Snow Holiday!

18 Jun 2018 2:15 PM - 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.

Planning an Off-Mountain Snow Holiday to Mount Hotham or Falls Creek

Whether you have never been to the snow before, or you are a seasoned snow goer, there is a lot to organise, remember, buy and pack.  It is worth all the effort though when you hit the mountains, the rush you get when you see that snow capped peak in the distance is the start of something great....

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.

We will start with our HOT TIPS then you can keep going for the details.  We will get the good stuff out of the way, short & sweet!

  • Book your lift ticket package to Mt Hotham or Falls Creek online and SAVE 15% OFF! You can use your pass at Hotham AND Falls so stay off mountain and get the best of both worlds! 
  • EARLY SEASON... Take advantage of Mt Hotham's Early Season Pass giving up to 30% OFF ticket prices! The pass availability and degree of savings is subject to terrain access, lift openings and snow coverage.
  • Once you arrive on mountain, look for the online store express lane @ any of their ticket, ski and ride school or rental outlet counters!
  • Arrange and pay for your Resort Entry before you arrive to save time 
  • If snow play is all you're after then drive straight through Mount Hotham to Dinner Plain to avoid the $50 resort entry charge! *You can stop back at Mt Hotham after 3pm for free, just in time to catch the Harry the Dragon show on Wednesday & Saturday before heading home. 
  • Dinner Plain offers a $152 family pass for 2 adults & 2 children to ski or board.  GREAT beginner run and perfect way for kids to start learning to ski.  Lessons available Sat-Mon.
  • OR you can take the gentler drive to Mount Buffalo, there's a great cafe overlooking the toboggan run and entry is free 
  • Hire your ski gear here so you can save your car space for better things! Book online with Hoy's skis (Harrietville, Hotham & Dinner Plain) and receive 25% off your ski & board hire!
  • Hire your chains through Hoy's skis as well as and make use of their FREE FITTING SERVICE on the road to Hotham - invaluable!
  • Hiring locally also means that you can swap gear on the mountain - nothing ruins your snow day faster than a kid (or adult) with sore feet!
  • ** Mt Hotham & Falls Creek both offer a range of special ski package deals which we have included in more detail below. **
  • Staying in off-mountain accommodation in Bright, Porepunkah, Wandiligong or Harrietville could save you twice or even 3 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 have to offer!  
  • 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 3 days a week for $10.80 return full fare from Bright to 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....

So that's what you should keep in mind if you're tempted by a Bright & Surrounds snow holiday.  For all the details keep reading, we hope you find it useful and inspiring!

Oh, one more thing about staying in off-mountain accommodation.... you get to see this on the drive.... every day...

The Dummies Guide to Snow Holiday Planning


If you're not yet sure which mountain you are going to travel to give us a call to discuss your situation, conditions, what kind of snow holiday you are after.  Every mountain - Hotham, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain, Buffalo - offers a different experience at a different cost.  We can point you in the right direction!  

Don't forget that Falls & Hotham share passes so a 5 day pass gives you entry to both mountains!

Info for Hotham :

Info for Falls Creek :

Info for Dinner Plain :

Info for Mount Buffalo :


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 ski hire with mountain affiliation 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 ski or snowboard for a small fee.

Hoy's Ski Hire have stores in Harrietville, Hotham & DP.

Hotham Sports have stores in Myrtleford (RAY's), Hotham, Falls Creek & DP. 

If you are heading to Mt Buffalo or Falls Creek, from Bright, then pop into JD's before heading up the hill.

We can help you with a couple of great deals!  

Hoy's Ski Hire in Harrietville offers 15% off when you hire chains or book bus tickets OR visit their website to book & pay in advance (easy easy) and receive 25% off!!  We highly recommend this as you are guaranteed your gear ready for your arrival with no mucking around.  Hoy's also offer FREE CHAIN FITTING on the Hotham road.  That is the clincher for me!

If you are in Bright and heading to Buffalo or Falls Creek then visit the guys at JD's ski hire.  They will give you 10% off for being our valued customer.  Their rates are the most competitive to start with.

Let us know if you would like any more specialised advice or assistance.


If you are driving up to any resort in Victoria you MUST carry DIAMOND PATTERN CHAINS.  The cheap ladder & spider chains are dangerous and strictly not classified as legal, huge fines apply if you don't carry chains or have the wrong type.  Any of the local ski hires 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!

Daily buses run from Bright & Harrietville return.  Please see links below for info on timetables, services & rates.

Please note that these rates may fail to add your resort entry charges will be added to the advertised rates. 

If you choose to drive yourself, make sure you have ALPINE DIESEL or ANTI-FREEZE in your engine.  We recommend going to SHELL SERVICE STATION in Bright for the best quality product.



SNOWBALL EXPRESS - operated by Alpine Spirit - High Country Coaches : 

ALPS LINK BUS - Cheap option to Hotham with limited schedule :





If you are driving to Hotham or Falls we recommend pre-purchasing your resort entry prior to heading up. Purchasing on mountain is more expensive, plus more difficult as there is no longer anyone manning gate entry points at Mt Hotham.

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. 

To pre-purchase your resort entry visit the sites below.  Passes can also be purchased when hiring your gear off-mountain.

Hotham Resort Entry :

Falls Creek Resort Entry :


Hotham & Falls use a snow pass system for your tickets.

Purchase your snow pass online then book your tickets to receive discounts.  Book 14 days in advance for the biggest advantages of up to 15% off!


Lift tickets & lessons can only be purchased from Hotham & Falls Creek affiliated businesses.  If you hire your gear from the outlets specified as Hotham Sports then you can purchase tickets at the time of hire.

If you need to arrange lessons and hire outside of this, we recommend doing so prior to arrival to save time....

Take advantage of some great deals on lift pass packages at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek!






Useful Links:

Lift passes :

Lessons :

(See also Kids Lessons, Private Lessons, Women's Signature Program, Racing Teams, Adaptive Disabled Wintersports and more...)


Lift passes :

Lessons :

Speciality programs :

(See also Kids Lessons, Women's Ski program and Cross Country Ski Clinics and more ...)


Lift passes & lessons:


Lessons :


HOTHAM 365 Anti-gravity experience

Other THINGS TO DO at Mount Hotham

Other THINGS TO DO at Falls Creek


Don't forget to put anti-freeze in your engine, if you have a diesel use Alpine diesel.  We recommend going to SHELL SERVICE STATION in Bright for this.

The police will be patrolling the Great Alpine Road heavily in Winter.  Drive safely, for your own safety but also other drivers.  The mountain, and home isn't going anywhere - slow down!  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 & protection. 

For the 'WHAT's ON' in the area visit:

For Alpine weather info:

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.

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


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.

The Base One :

The Base Two :