How to have the best Hotham holiday without the chairlifts

Sunset snowshoe with Traverse Hotham

Who needs a chairlift to have fun in Hotham for the next weeks? Not you, no, not you.

Because while the ski lift company is closed until at least August 19, many local tourism operators are still running for local and regional visitors from Victoria, while those in Melbourne are in lockdown and state borders are closed.

Thanks to local guides and businesses you can still sleep over, still dine out, still dance on a table and still have fun on the snow.

Winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and snowplay will be offered at Hotham and Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board will continue to operate reduced capacity ski patrol, village and car park snow clearing, cross country trail grooming and snow play in accordance with our COVIDSafe Operating Plan.

In line with the reduced level of resort operations, the Resort Entry daily price will be $35 per day effectively immediately until at least 19 August 2020. Resort Entry permits must still be purchased before travelling to the resort so we can continue to manage capacity and enable contact tracing in line with current public health guidelines. Visitors without Resort Entry will not be permitted to travel into the resort.

In the meantime Snow Dog Transport can collect you from any Victorian address not in lockdown and get you safely to the alpine areas for you to explore. Dyson’s Alps Link is also running.

Once there, the team at Alpine Accommodation and Travel are still taking accommodation bookings as are Mt Hotham Accommodation and the crew at Altitude Accommodation have lots of self contained lodging too. Add the Ramada Resort and you’ll have a plethora of beds to choose from including Moritz 16 and the hip Burrow and Nest alpine barn as well as Come By Chance Dinner Plain chalet.

Plus the Hotham Central Supermarket (and Hot Doggies) are still open so you can grab some fuel to go for your digs.

Dinner Plain snow slope is open for tobogganing with hours of hilarity and just up the road the crew at Snow Monkey have XC skiing, snow shoeing and backcountry rentals. Word is they may even have skidoos for hire.

Base n Edge in Hotham Central will tune your gear and kit you out for your adventures and down in Dinner Plain you can check out Hoys for various equipment hire and Cafe Play for toboggans.

Traverse Hotham are offering cross country lessons, guided XC Ski tours and even a Sunset Showshoe Experience Hotham. The Stables is open 7 days a week as a cafe, convenience store and visitor centre.

Vic Alps Backcountry and Tirol Sports have backcountry intro tours.

Love dogs? Who doesn’t! Howling Husky Sled Dog Tours will take you on the ride of your life through the woods and back again, plus you get to pat those gorgeous huskies.

Come sundown Alpine Nature Experience will take you on a snow shoe through the forest to a divine rustic chic camp and fondue dinner in a teepee.

When it comes to wining, dining and imbibing there’s plenty open including Mountain Kitchen in Dinner Plain for breakfast and lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 8.30am. The Stables, also in Dinner Plain, is open 7 days for cafe, convenience store and visitor information.

Burgers at Cobungra Burger Bar at Hotel High Plains, The General at Hotham for all day and night dining and Blizzard Brewing at Dinner Plain serves up local brews with a smile. Add Jack Frost Restaurant and Bar for dine in, pick up and delivery, Dinner Plain Hotel for a classic high country pub and Element at the Ramada. Plus Alphutte for pizza.

Now get the team at Free Spirit Photography to capture your holiday.

See, you forgot Hotham even had chairlifts (well, for a moment). They’re back August 19, but why wait till then? Go twice.


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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.