A trip to the snow can feel overwhelming if it’s your first time… Where do I park? Where do I stay? What lift ticket should I get? Do I need resort entry? Do I rent my gear? What about lessons? We will cover it all in this blog to hopefully make your trip a little less overwhelming. There are lots of ways to save money when hitting the slopes but it is still going to be expensive. We will share some of our best money saving tips to ease the financial strain.

Need to know before you go

Falls creek resort is around a 5 hour drive from Melbourne, take or give 30 minutes depending on where in Melbourne you live. It is an ideal place for families and beginners with the longest green run (beginner) in Australia and multiple snow play areas. It also has lots of blue (intermediate) and black (advanced) runs.

When should I go?

The is a tricky one because it really depends on
1. The amount of snowfall. The ski season officially begins on the queens/kings birthday long weekend in June. It can be postponed depending on the amount of snow fall. Your best bet for full coverage is the months of July and August.
2. Your budget. The peak season is July school holidays and weekends within June and July. The prices of accomodation sky rocket during these months. If you want an absolute steal on accomodation then head to falls creek in September, it can be a gamble though as not all of the runs will be open if the snow has started to melt.
3. The amount of people. If you don’t mind sharing the slopes, then weekends and school holidays are fine (it’s easier for families as the kids already have time off of school). If you can be flexible it is better to go mid week, especially in August.

We love spring skiing in September and it is more budget friendly. If we plan on staying on the mountain that is the time that we go. In 2018 there was a lot of snow and all of the runs were open, in 2020 some of the runs were closed due to poor snow coverage. It’s a gamble but when it pays off if you get cheap accomodation and lift tickets, minimal people and sunny days!

Where should I stay?

There are lots of options but basically you’ll either be staying on the mountain in the Falls Creek resort area, or off of the mountain in Mount Beauty. We have done both and there are pros and cons to each.

On the Mountain
We always stay at the Falls Creek Country Club
You have your own kitchenette so that you don’t have to eat out, your own bathroom, pool, spa and it is ski in and ski out. It is the most affordable on the mountain and has the best deals in August and September. You can also walk to your accomodation from the car part which means you don’t have to pay for luggage/people transfers. We scored a room for half price!

PROS- Staying on the mountain is ideal to maximise your time skiing and it is also so nice to be able to pop home for lunch and snacks. You’ll also get sleep ins and you can enjoy the nightlife and family friendly activities after the lifts have closed.

CONS – It is a lot more expensive than staying off of the mountain in Mount Beauty

Off the mountain
We love camping at the Mount Beauty caravan park. It is right on the river and the whole area is picturesque. There are powered and unpowered camping site, cabins and yurts. There is a spa that can be privately booked and there is also a communal kitchen and lounge area

PROS – It is more affordable staying off of the mountain. You have access to other activities and areas.
CONS – You will be getting up early to drive up the mountain before it gets too busy and you’ll have later nights. It takes around an hour each way to get to the resort.

Lift passes and Lessons

If you are planning on skiing or snowboarding you are going to need a lift pass to get you to the top of the mountain. If you are tobogganing, don’t worry about about a lift pass as you can just walk to the top of the snow play area.

The lift ticket will probably be your biggest expense on the mountain but there are a couple of ways to save money. If you book 7 days in advance you can save 35% and if you book one month in advance you can save 60%. September has the cheapest lift tickets but remember that the snow coverage may not be great.

You can purchase a one day ticket or a multi-day ticket. You will save money on the multi-day tickets (that is your best option if you are skiing/boarding for multiple days).

This link will take you to the website where you purchase your lift ticket GET YOUR LIFT TICKET HERE

If you are new to snowboarding or skiing, or if you just want to improve your skills you can book into lessons. These can be added on when you purchase your life ticket online. Just like the lift tickets you will save money by booking at least 7 days in advance. There are options for group lessons (cheapest) and private lessons (more expensive). If your child is aged 3 – 6 years they can attend snow club for the day while you go skiing.
CLICK HERE to book your lesson and explore the different options and costs.

Resort entry and parking

Resort Entry is charged at a cost per vehicle for the duration of your stay in the declared snow season (Saturday June 10 – Sunday October 1 for 2023). Resort Entry Permits are required each day you are in the resort (before 5pm). If you arrive after this time, you will not need to purchase resort entry for that day. CLICK HERE to purchase your resort entry. The resort entry covers the cost of parking for the duration of your stay. If you are planning multiple trips, have a look at the cost of a season pass to see if it is any cheaper.

Parking – There are day parking areas and overnight parking areas. The signs will direct you on where to park, your accomodation will also inform you. Some accomodation requires transport from your car CLICK HERE to book your transfer. If you stay at the Falls Creek Country Club you will not need need a transfer from your car as it is walking distance! BONUS way to save some money

Hiring equipment

Before you head up the mountain you will need to rent some snow chains for your car wheels. You may not need to put them on but it is a requirement to carry them. We recommend going to Rocky Valley – Bike, snow, sports to rent your snow chains. While you are there you can also rent your snowboard, skis, boots and any other gear. They will help you to get the right size and ensure that you’re comfortable. They also have great deals such as 50% off your chain hire when you rent a snowboard/skis. If you pay online 24 hours prior you will receive 10% off your entire rental cost.
You can also rent snow jackets and pants so you don’t have to purchase them!

You can rent gear on the mountain but you would then be renting chains at the bottom of the mountain and gear at the top. Little bit confusing!

What should I wear?

The key to being comfortable at the snow is layers that you can add and take off. You want to wear a good base layer (thermals), a thin fleece jacket, a water proof layer (snow pants and jacket or rain pants and jackets). You can rent your snow pants and jacket at Rocky Valley – Bike, snow, sports, alternatively you can purchase a snow jacket and pants from ALDI, or you can often pick them up at the op shop!
In terms of shoes, you can rent snow shoes or your own hiking boots are a good option. Anything that is waterproof. You will receive snowboard boots or ski boots when you rent your board/skis.

Here is a basic essentials packing list for skiing/snow boarding

Thermal bottoms and topFleece Jacket Helmet
Thick socksSnow Jacket (waterproof)Snow chains for car
Gloves (waterproof)Snow pants (waterproof)
Buff/neck warmerSnow shoes (waterproof shoes)
BeanieSnowboard boots/ski boots
Snow gogglessnowboard/skis
Basic essentials snow packing list

Q and A’s

Can I get the bus? I’m nervous to drive up – You definitely can but it’s an added cost. CLICK HERE to enquire. You won’t need to purchase a resort entry pass if you catch the bus.
Do I need to get special fuel? – If your car is diesel then yes. Within the alpine area you can fill up with alpine diesel (it doesn’t go gluggy like regular diesel when the temperature drops below 0 degrees). Your tank needs to be at least half alpine diesel for it to work, and yes regular diesel and alpine diesel can mix.
What if I book and there is no snow? – This is a tricky one, some accomodation places offer date changes.
Will the roads be covered in snow? – Each morning if there is snow on the roads, it is cleared off (snow doesn’t fall every single day). There are signs that tell you how fast to drive depending on the conditions. There are also orange poles with lights to help guide you. Visibility is usually pretty great.
Where do I park? – You can park at the bottom of the mountain and pay to catch the bus up OR pay for a resort entry and part in the day parking area. The signs in the resort tell you where to park. They make it very clear.
Is it going to be expensive? – Short answer, yes. Our 5 day trip with on mountain accomodation in September, and lift passed was around $1800 for the both of us. It’ll cost more in peak season and with gear rentals + lesson. It is worth the money though and so much fun!
What if visibility is bad when i’m driving? – If the visibility is poor on that day you can simply just not drive up, Just like you wouldn’t drive at night if your headlights weren’t working. It is usually very clear though. There are orange poles with lights to guide you. If the visibility is bad on the road, it won’t be great for skiing anyway. Head up the next day!
What is the weather like? – Unpredictable. You might get a day with blue skies and you’re skiing in a t-shirt or it could be raining with strong winds. Pack for any kind of condition. The snow is the one trip that you should definitely overpack for.
Can I buy food on the mountain? – Yes, there is a convenience store (expect it to be about 30% more expensive) and plenty of lovely restaurants and cafes. It’s obviously a lot cheaper to bring your own food!

More questions? No worries! Ask us below

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