Snow season starts at Mt Baw Baw

Family fun: Nerine Pearce having fun in the snow with her grandchildren Mimi and Mason. Photographs Zaida Glibanovic



LET it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Unfortunately for snow sports lovers, the snow season has yet to really take off.

Minimal snowfall has meant snow machines are in, but if you’re itching to get out and about, the snow season at Mt Baw Baw has officially begun.

Around an hour’s drive from the heart of the Latrobe Valley through winding forests and scenic views lays the breathtaking Mt Baw Baw Alpine resort, with its peak 1564 metres in the clouds.

Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort is the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, and attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Mt Baw Baw is a year-round resort that caters to snow aficionados in the winter and outdoor explorers, hikers, and bike riders in the summer. Due to the terrain and lift network, Mt Baw Baw snowfields are good for novice to intermediate snowboarders and downhill and cross-country skiers during the winter. You’ll have a terrific time with 30 hectares of groomed slopes, seven ski lifts, three snow play zones, Australia’s longest toboggan park, 10 kilometres of cross-country ski routes, and infinite territory amid the snow gums to explore.

Erica Ski Hire is where most Valley locals go to deck themselves out in snow gear and prepare their snow chains as they head up to the High Country.

A family business for the past 33 years, Brooke Campbell and husband Matt Youd took over the business from Brooke’s parents, Trevor and Sue Campbell.

Mr Youd said the start of the snow season has been fairly average so far.

“(Peak times) depends on the year, so last year I think, all the planets aligned, everyone sort of came out of lockdown, snow fell pretty early, we had a very solid season last year,” he said.

“It’s a bit more typical this year so the snow has been a bit hit or miss at Mt Baw Baw and Mount St Gwinear but generally, July and August have a bit more snow up there and a bit more predictable snowfall.”

Despite typical snowfall, the snow season-opening weekend at Mt Baw Baw on Saturday, June 10 was met with minimal snow. However, when school holiday time came around, the mountain tops soon turned white as the snow fell and provided some fresh soft powder for kids to ski, snowboard and toboggan down.

Mt Baw Baw wishes to alert guests that there is currently low snow and limited terrain, encouraging them to check their website’s live cameras and snow reports before travelling.

The resort hosts a number of special events during the snow season, including night skiing sessions, live music and themed events.

The slopes attract many people from all walks of life, especially young families.

The Brady family from Mornington peninsula, also owning a farm in Yarragon, were keen to share their experience with the Express.

Nerine Pearce went to the snow with her daughter and grandchildren Mason and Mimi.

“We’ve never really been to Mt Baw Baw before,” she said, but now having had a taste of what the resort has to offer, the grandmother said it was a good experience.

“It’s good for young kids starting out and people just starting to learn,” she added as she helped young Mason off his snowboard.

When it comes to prices, Ms Pearce said, “it’s not bad,” in comparison to other day trip activities she and the grandkids have been on, especially down suburban areas.

Six-year-old Mimi had an absolute blast building her snowman, Olaf, named after the Disney Frozen character.

When asked what she had been doing with her time in the snow, young Mimi said with a smile from ear-to-ear that she had been “making snowmen, on the snowboard but mostly playing.”

Mimi’s favourite part of the snow was too hard to put a finger on, so she answered with “everything”.

Upon the Express’ visit, Mt Baw Baw only had one lift in operation for the small Hut Roll slope.

If you wish to see some real snowfall, it is best to wait and watch the weather, otherwise feel free to head up to the high country and enjoy the many other treasures to be found.

Shred: Mt Baw Baw still has some terrain available to ski down.
Deceiving: With the snow season yet to fully take off, fake snow has been made for Mount Baw Baw.