The pedestrian only ski in ski out snow laden village of Falls Creek is surely the prettiest in Australia with over thirty restaurants. We asked local restauranteur, Barry Iddles, from Elk Restaurant to reveal his insider tips to where to ski, drink, dine and more.
Why did you choose Falls Creek
I operate incredibly busy businesses on Port Philp Bay and found myself getting a little bored in winter, driven on adrenaline and excitement I decided to look at ski seasons for the winter adrenaline fix. I chose Falls Creek as I had a few friends living up there.
Being a family driven mountain, I thought it would be a great opportunity to create a fun and vibrant restaurant. We introduced massive egg and bacon toasties, express lunches, early bird dinners to reward guests with great value meals enticing them in on the quieter times. It is also a quick helicopter ride to Hotham if I need to challenge myself.
Favourite ski/board run
The Maze and Wishing Well – there are a lot of great runs.
Where do you head on a powder day?
The first lift up then its down Last Hoot, head straight across to Darkside which always has plenty of powder and a quick rundown the Y’s. Done and dusted.
Favourite apres spot is Some Place Else. Tuesday and Thursday après, for the retro feel, head to Falls Creek Hotel for Harvey Hour – a bit of an institution.
Favourite on mountain dining
This year sees a transformation to on mountain dining with the TAG group taking over Cloud 9. They have revamped it and it is now a place that is inviting, serving great bbq style and hearty food.
Favourite village dining
I’d be rude not to say Elk. But, really, Some Place Else and Chophouse are both places that offer smart casual dining and are great for families with good value and great flavour.
Must do snow activity
Snow mobile tour with Doug and Noreen is a must, the chopper to Hotham is another must.
Best hot chocolate and coffee
The Pass makes a great hot chocolate and kick arse coffees
If you like buffets head to Bazaar at QT they have an amazing buffet.
Favourite non skiing/boarding activity
Tobogganing at Windy Corner or snow shoeing and a walk along the aqueduct or out to Rocky Valley dam.
Where do you take visitors to impress them?
Up International poma to show them the amazing views from the summit across the whole village, then out to Wishing Well ski run with views down the valley, ruddy trees covered in snow and ice and the longest run on the mountain.
Where would you take a date?
Summit Ridge, subdued atmosphere, great food and extensive wine list.
Best activity in Falls Creek for kids/families?
Night show with synchronized skiing and a fire works display on Thursday night.
What should visitors not leave Falls Creek without doing?
Taking a ski lesson. Some people come up and have a look around. I think it is great to get out and learn the sport. But if you are on a budget at least ride the chair lift up to Cloud 9, the cost is minimal or the gully chair is free to take you up to the village bowl and there is a small toboggan area there.
What item should visitors take back with them?
A jar of Elks Chutney, a hero pass for next seasons lifts, along with amazing memories.
If driving a diesel vehicle up to the mountain make sure you fill it up with alpine diesel in Mt Beauty to avoid it freezing in the injectors in the car park as Falls Creek is pedestrian only and once you arrive you won’t use your car again until you leave.
Perhaps snow chains for your shoes, grab a village map, ride the shuttle around the village to learn where everything is (there is also a free shuttle to the toboggan slope at Windy Corner).
Chat to locals to learn as much as you can about the mountain, take a trip to the museum and check out the history of Falls Creek. But most of all book early for Elk to avoid missing a table.