Best places for snowplay in Alpine region
Whether you’re ready to give snowshoeing a try, slide down a toboggan run or just build a snowman, you’ll find the best places right here to begin planning your winter getaway. Explore the stunning Alpine region of Victoria and have fun in the snow!
1. Mount Buffalo National Park
Mount Buffalo National Park is a family-friendly, easily accessible mountain with tobogganing and snow play in two separate areas both with free entry and free car parking. Dingo Dell features a toboggan slope and ample room for snow play. There’s also a café and visitor centre with changing rooms, toilets and plenty of indoor seating from which to see the slopes. The café is open 10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday (Monday and Tuesday during peak times). Cresta Valley is located 3km further up the Mount Buffalo Tourist Road and offers more diverse terrain and more space for tobogganing and snow play. Cross country skiers can explore 14km of marked cross-country trails.
Licensed tour operators at Mount Buffalo offer many winter snow experiences, including cross-country ski lessons and guided snow shoe walks. Toboggans can be hired at Dingo Dell. If you plan on bringing your own toboggan, remember that only plastic moulded toboggans are allowed on the runs.
Getting there: Mount Buffalo is 325km northeast from Melbourne along the Hume Highway. Either take the Snow Road exit just before Wangaratta or continue along the highway to the Great Alpine Road (B500) exit. Mount Buffalo is about a 45min drive from popular tourist town Bright.
2. Mount St Gwinear; Baw Baw National Park
Mount St Gwinear offers a family-friendly snow experience with free entry for tobogganing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The snow play area at Mount St Gwinear is an ideal introduction for newcomers, and subject to snow conditions the area is open daily during winter school holidays. There is a large free car park with toilets, warm shelter room, a food van with hot drinks and snacks (on weekends and school holidays) and toboggan hire ($4 p/hr with a $10 refundable deposit; cash only). If you plan on bringing your own toboggan, remember that only plastic moulded toboggans are allowed on the runs.
Ever tried snowshoeing? You can go snowshoeing along the Winter Walking Track that starts at the St Gwinear carpark leading to a lookout (1.2km return). For cross-country skiers, you can explore the 12km of cross-country trails starting with Main Trail that starts at the carpark. There is a loop that visitors can undertake accessing these 4 other trails: Cascades Trail, Saints Trail, Tullicoutty Trail and Gwinear Trail.
Getting there: Mount St Gwinear is 120km east of Melbourne. It is easily accessible from the Latrobe Valley, only 45 minutes' drive from Moe or Traralgon in West Gippsland. The main access to the plateau is from the Mount Erica and St Gwinear carparks along signposted roads off the Thomson Valley Road, north of Erica.
3. Mount Donna Buang; Yarra Ranges National Park
Mount Donna Buang is spectacular at any time of the year. As the snow begins to fall it transforms into a wonderful winter playground. Less than two-hour’s drive from Melbourne, Mount Donna Buang is one of the closest and most popular mountains for a day trip to the snow. There are three toboggan runs, a designated snow play area, barbeques, car parking, toilets and a scenic drive up to the summit. Only plastic toboggans are allowed on the summit, due to safety reasons. Skis, snowboards and non-plastic toboggans are not permitted. Toboggan hire is generally available at the summit. However, no other equipment or clothing hire is available. The summit has an elevation of 1,245m and offers panoramic views over Melbourne, the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Mount Baw Baw and the Alpine region.
Getting there: Mount Donna Buang is 94km from Melbourne near the town of Warburton.
There are of course a number of other snow destinations in Victoria including Lake Mountain, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. However, these snow areas are not managed by Parks Victoria.