Mt Hotham

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Mt Hotham Ski Resort Australia
Mt Hotham Ski Resort Australia
Views from the Hotham Alpine Resort
Views from the Hotham Alpine Resort
Mount Hotham Resort Victoria
Mount Hotham Resort Victoria
Mt Hotham Resort: Hotham Central
Mt Hotham Resort: Hotham Central
Big D at Mount Hotham is a great beginners
Big D at Mount Hotham is a great beginners' area
Mt Hotham Ski Resort has a good amount of snowmaking
Mt Hotham Ski Resort has a good amount of snowmaking
The Basin terrain park is rather small
The Basin terrain park is rather small
Looking at Mt Hotham from nearby Dinner Plain
Looking at Mt Hotham from nearby Dinner Plain
Some of the famous Hotham sidecountry
Some of the famous Hotham sidecountry
A major strength of Mt Hotham is the sidecountry
A major strength of Mt Hotham is the sidecountry
Hotham Central houses a lot of the facilities & services
Hotham Central houses a lot of the facilities & services
Powder day at Mt Hotham Ski Resort
Powder day at Mt Hotham Ski Resort
The Summit chair lift at Mt Hotham
The Summit chair lift at Mt Hotham
Hotham Heights chalets are ski-in ski-out or close to the slopes
Hotham Heights chalets are ski-in ski-out or close to the slopes
Early morning groomers at Mount Hotham
Early morning groomers at Mount Hotham
Powder day at Hotham: The Chute
Powder day at Hotham: The Chute
Hotham backcountry
Hotham backcountry
Mount Hotham Resort
Mount Hotham Resort
The imposing Mt Feathertop
The imposing Mt Feathertop
Mt Hotham Ski Resort Victoria
Mt Hotham Ski Resort Victoria

Mt Hotham

Readers Ratings

Mt Hotham

Mt Hotham3.5/512
Mt Hotham3.5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
    83%
  • Would Revisit
    83%
Wagner Custom Skis

Mt Hotham Ski Resort

Mt Hotham is considered by many to be the Australian ski resort for serious skiers and boarders. Unlike Falls Creek which is known for its family friendliness and intermediate terrain, and Mt Buller where Melbournites go to strut and be seen at the après ski scene, Mount Hotham is where the real skiers and riders go. That doesn’t mean Mt Hotham isn’t family oriented or doesn’t have vibrant après-ski festivities. It’s just that the advanced and expert terrain is what makes Hotham ski resort stand out, not only from its Victorian counterparts but from all Aussie ski resorts.

Mount Hotham is somewhat unique in that it’s mostly an “upside down” ski resort. The village sits either side of the Great Alpine Road in the sub-alpine of the uppermost parts of the mountain. Only a few lifts rise above the road whilst most of the slopes drop down from the village. The mountain is very very old (much older than the grey haired Austrian Zirky who graces the slopes!) and very eroded. Mt Hotham Ski Resort is rather flat on the top where the beginners’ runs are, whereas the slopes get steeper as they drop into the valleys.

Pros & Cons of Mount Hotham

Pros
  • Hotham is hot! It is the best place in Australia for in-bounds advanced and expert riders by a country mile.
  • Several black runs are usually groomed, and the steep groomers are great for upper intermediate riders as well as more experienced riders.
  • The backcountry terrain in close to the Mt Hotham Ski Resort is the best of the Australian ski resorts.
  • Hotham is great for storm skiing. When other Aussie ski resorts have key lifts on wind hold, with typical wind direction, the Heavenly Valley and Village chairs are still able to run.
  • The elevation of the Hotham village provides for some spectacular scenery from many of the lodgings. Views of Mt Feathertop from the slopes are also lovely.
  • Having an airport nearby is rather unique.
  • It’s much easier to access Mt Hotham accommodation compared to Falls Creek and Mt Buller where you generally have to catch an expensive snowcat or snow taxi.
  • Mt Hotham is significantly less crowded than Mt Buller.
Cons
  • Some of the best advanced terrain funnels into one sloppy mess of a run (Slalom Gully) where fast skiers and rank beginners combine, making it rather dangerous. It provides an amazing spectator sport for those sitting on the HV chair lift!
  • The village is rather fractured and spread along a road. It’s not a quaint village where you can wander around, but if you want this you can stay at nearby Dinner Plain.
  • The kids’ ski area is separated from the main part of the ski resort, making it somewhat annoying for parents to drop-off and pick-up kids from ski school.
  • All the lifts are slow fixed grip chairs. There has been no upgrade of lift infrastructure since way back in 1997, which almost sounds unbelievable.
  • Other cons such as the high expense and the variable snow (quality and quantity) are common across all Australian ski resorts.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Hotham Alpine Resort is on the Epic Pass and Epic Australia Pass so the season pass is great value, but the lift lines have increased since its inception.

Mt Hotham Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Mt Hotham ski resort is reasonably sizeable for a Victorian ski field with a vertical drop of 395 metres (1,845 to 1,450 metres) and 320 hectares (791 acres), although the official “skiable terrain” is only 245 hectares (605 acres). Of course the size of any Australian ski resort is dependent on the snow cover at any given time and the proportion of runs that are open!

The Hotham ski resort has good terrain for novices and intermediates, although the resort tends to cater much better to strong intermediate riders rather than those wanting to ride “light blue” runs.

The official terrain stats are 20% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 40% advanced trails, so it has the greatest proportion of black trails in Australia (and that’s not even counting the off-piste terrain). Heavenly Valley is a renowned area for advanced riders with a range of steep gullies that provide lots of terrain variety, whilst the One Tree Hill area has some interesting tree skiing (which sounds rather paradoxical).

Experts head to the double black slopes in the “Extreme Zone”. This area has a few cliffs, super steeps, and tight trees, so it’s only for experts, but it’s not really that extreme when you compare it to some of the super gnarly terrain overseas.

Mount Hotham ski resort has 12 lifts (not including magic carpets) and there’s also one lift at Dinner Plain. Impressively eight of the lifts are quad chairs, although they are all slow fixed grip chairs, and it can get mighty cold because they move along at a thumb twiddling pace.

Mt Hotham Snow

Mount Hotham gets more natural snow than the other Victorian ski fields, but at only 3 metres per season on average, this is reasonably low compared with North America and very low relative to Japan skiing. Hotham Resort has snowmaking facilities on some of the main trails to supplement the natural white stuff.

Mt Hotham Ski Resort has been dubbed the “powder capital of Australia”. It’s true that Mt Hotham potentially has the best snow in Australia but you’d need to keep your expectations in check with regards to the definition of “powder”. As with the other Aussie ski resorts, the snow conditions can vary significantly and sometimes that 4 letter swear word starting with “R” can attack the snow. However Mt Hotham has the advantage of decent elevation which helps with the snow conditions, particularly relative to Mt Buller.

Where is Mt Hotham?

Mt Hotham is a 381km drive northeast of Melbourne (approximately 4.5 hour drive) and 710km southwest of Sydney. The little alpine village of Dinner Plain is 11km to the southeast, whilst the town of Bright is 55km to the northwest. There is an airport located about 20km from the ski area for charter flights. Bus transport to Hotham from Melbourne is also available. For those driving to Mt Hotham, chains are mandatory and resort entry fees need to be paid to park at Mount Hotham.

The Mt Hotham road from Harrietville is the most challenging of the Australian ski field roads. To put it into perspective, the Hotham road goes up to the same elevation as Charlotte Pass Ski Resort, yet the Charlotte Pass road is closed during winter and only accessible via snowcat/oversnow transport. If you’re new to driving on steep snowy roads, don’t make Mt Hotham your destination for sightseeing at the snow. There are better places in Victoria for that.

Mt Hotham Accommodation

The Mount Hotham village is perched up high at 1,750 metres of elevation, so some of the lodging provides amazing views across the alpine areas. The village is spread out along the Great Alpine Road on a ridge. Free buses provide transport between the different accommodation zones and ski areas.

The Central Hotham area provides a little bit of ski-in ski-out accommodation in large chalets. Other Mt Hotham accommodation includes apartments and lots of club lodges, many of which are not ski-in ski-out.

Mt Hotham Accommodation Listings

Lots of people choose to stay in Dinner Plain (11km away). This charming village is popular with families, and most of the Dinner Plain accommodation consists of houses. A bus service connects Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham.

Facilities

The full gamut of amenities is covered at Hotham including snowsports school, child care (not operational since Covid), grocery stores, and a medical centre. There are also various options for Mt Hotham ski hire and snowboard rental.

During the day there are lots of eateries to get a feed and/or a coffee, varying from simple take-away joints to table service dining, to the retro chic Hoff Hut at the Joyce Brockhoff Hut. In the evenings, there are several Mt Hotham restaurants for dining.

Other Activities

Cross country skiing is very popular with 35km+ of groomed trails for varying abilities. The trails connect Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain, so you can always pop down to one of the cafes for coffee or lunch at DP before skooting back up to Hotham.

There are also a few activities for non skiers at the Hotham Alpine Resort. See the Mt Hotham activities page for more information.
No listings were found for Mt Hotham.
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