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Ease into an Aussie alpine adventure in Victoria’s snowfields

Figgle skiing, snowgaining and telemarking are just a few of the newer challenges available at Victoria’s snowfields this winter as each year the three major snow resorts of Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek expand the events and activities on offer to ensure there is literally something for everyone from toddlers to aspiring Olympians.

Victoria’s snowfields are located in the High Country, north east Victoria, from three to four hours drive from Melbourne. The 2014 snow season officially starts on Saturday 7 June and runs through to 28 September. Whether it’s building a snowman, snow tubing, or traversing down a black run – it’s easier than ever for families and groups and individuals to experience the thrill of a ski resort in a fun and stress-free way.

As the most accessible major snow resort in Australia, Mt Buller, located an easy three hour drive from Melbourne, kicks off its season with a festive opening weekend on June 7 – 9 including fireworks and free entertainment across the mountain. Visitors to Mt Buller this season can enjoy a completely revamped Village Square Plaza (formerly Cow Camp Plaza), which has undergone a major renovation to double the seating and dining capacity of this popular day visitor facility. Also new this winter is the Mt Buller Sculpture Park Walk, a diverse collection of sculptural pieces dotted throughout the Mt Buller Village which are on display year-round. A free Mt Buller Walks app can be downloaded for an informative guided audio tour.

The Mt Buller Village is located right in the heart of the snowfields, featuring 7,000 on-mountain beds ranging from basic to luxurious accommodation and more than 30 retail outlets, cafes and restaurants. The resort features the largest lifting capacity in Victoria, with 22 lifts servicing over 300 hectares of skiable terrain. A range of on and off snow activities and events will keep everyone entertained, including ski and snowboard lessons, snowshoeing tours, movies at the cinema, scenic helicopter flights, kids’ activities and much more.

Known as the powder capital of Australia, Hotham Alpine Resort is also one of Australia’s highest alpine villages. Hotham is built on a spectacular mountain ridge, the resort features majestic views and terrain to suit all abilities. The village has a snowsports school, day-care centre, day spas, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. The huge range of day and night activities includes sunset and grooming tours, snow kiting, dog sled adventures and mini-skidoo rides and a Toboggan Park for the kids.

New for 2014, Burton Riglet Park is a snowboarding haven for children aged 3-6 years. Children as young as three can experience the thrill of snowboarding as they are towed through Hotham’s new Burton Riglet Park. The Park is a specially-designed area of flat terrain at the Big D, home of the Kids Snowzone, that features small bumps, ramps, rollers and toys that help teach children the fundamentals of balance and stance on a snowboard.

With access to 4,500 beds in Hotham and 2,500 in Dinner Plain, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit every budget at Hotham Alpine Resort.

Regarded as Victoria’s largest ski and boarding resort, Falls Creek has a multitude lift passes, packages and events designed to make the most of both time and budget on the mountain. Packages are especially great value for families, there are kids ski free deals and a mums ski free / coffee club for mums with kids in the Snowsports School.

Also for first timers, the 1234EVER Pass gives beginners the chance to learn to ski or snowboard in June, and then ski/ride the rest of the season for free. The package starts with a four day Learn to Ski or Snowboard program, including lifts, lessons and rental equipment and clothing, for AUD$499.

Falls has terrain suitable for beginners and offers the best blue runs in Australia.  With the Falls Creek Classic Sled Dog race, snowtubing, night skiing and the only ski resort in Australia where adults can hire and drive their own snowmobiles – Falls Creek is determined to ensure that no one is left out in the cold in 2014.

Falls Creek, a unique ski in / out European style village, has over 5,000 beds that suit every budget, from cosy lodge-style accommodation to five-star luxury penthouse suites. The village also has a day care centre, day spa and plenty of shopping, restaurants and night life.

Outside of the big three, two of the smaller resorts are even closer to Melbourne and perfect for day trippers. At Lake Mountain families can enjoy tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and making snow angels. And conveniently located just 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne, Mount Baw Baw is a charming and unique alpine resort with wider cross country trails available allowing better access and enhancing the skier experience.

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