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Best places to see snow near melbourne

8 Best Places to See Snow Near Melbourne

Given Melborune’s cold and chilly weather, is it possible to find good snow near Melbourne? The short answer is yes, Melbourne offers cross-country skiing for intermediate skiers, snow activities for the whole family and ski school for first-timers. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland Mt Hotham’s village will provide reliable snow cover, while Falls Creek offers some of the best ski resorts in the country backed by steep slopes for advanced skiers. Whether it’s your first time chasing eye-catching mountain views or long weekend winter activities for the whole family, our team of expert adventurers and editors have directly sampled and experienced some of the best snow destinations in Melbourne for you.

Best Snow Destinations Near Melbourne at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following options:

Now you’ve read our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: These are the best ski resorts in Australia, according to our team.

Lake mountain snow victoria
Lake Mountain | Image: Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

1. Lake Mountain

Distance from Melbourne: 118 kilometres (2 hours)

  • Pros: It is super close to Melbourne, which means you can easily visit Lake Mountain for a day trip. Great for cross-country ski options and (usually) very favourable snow conditions.
  • Cons: Accommodation and amenities are in Marysville, a bit of a drive from the mountain and where you are most likely to see snow.

The Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is a stunning little mountain during the Victorian snow season. It’s just a few hours from the city, making it really easy for a day trip, with a scenic drive that makes you feel miles away. It’s important to note that there are no actual lakes on the mountain. It’s named after George Lake, but icy activities are provided by the boatload. You’ll find tobogganing slopes and a long tube run, so be prepared for a full day of action. For skiers, expect cross-country trials and for the kids, there is snow play. If you’re not after sliding on the snow, you can grab some snowshoes and head off on any of the five snowshoe trails.

There is no accommodation on the actual mountain at Lake Mountain, as it is for day visitors only, so the closest accommodation is located in Marysville, which is 25- 30 minutes away. Something to consider if you prefer staying on the slopes. Luckily, there’s quite a bit to do in Marysville to keep you busy – we love heading to The Duck Inn Pub for a post-snow feed.

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate – High
Best time to visit: June – October

Visit Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

Mount donnabuang snow victoria
Mount Donna Buang | Image: Mount Donna Buang

2. Mount Donna Buang

Distance from Melbourne: 92 kilometres (2 hours)

  • Pros: Easy to get to from the Melbourne CBD. As well as seeing snow, you can give tobogganing a go for free here and be back in your own bed by 9 pm. Rewarding views from the summit.
  • Cons: If you have kids, there is not much available for the whole family. You will also only see snow here if you come during the winter months.

Mt. Donna Buang is one of the closest mountains to Melbourne, making it perfect for a day trip. This little spot in Warburton in the Yarra Valley is just two hours away from the city. Check out the toboggan rental with three unique toboggan-specific runs. To seal the deal, it’s a completely free spot to enjoy toboggan runs and snow play. This is all you will find for the kids, however, as you won’t find amenities or snow runs for skiing suitable for little ones.

This is really suited for those who don’t want to make the trip to Melbourne’s larger mountains, and for those who want to see snow and be back in the city before dinner. In saying that, there’s not too much in terms of accommodation options. We recommend waking up early and heading home late, and after a jam-packed day, you will be out as soon as your head hits the pillow.

at 1250 metres above sea level, snow always falls here, but only during winter and typically only higher up the summit.

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate
Best time to visit: June – August

Mtbawbaw snow victoria
Mount Baw Baw | Image: Mount Baw Baw

3. Mount Baw Baw

Distance from Melbourne: 176 kilometres (3 hours)

  • Pros: Baw Baw village offers many accommodation options. It is also small, quaint, and easy to get around.
  • Cons: Snow here melts very quickly and it tends to rain quite a lot. Mount Baw Baw isn’t great if you want to combine seeing snow with skiing if you’re at an advanced skill level, as the mountain is more suitable for beginners.

Smaller than other mountains and ski resorts, Mt Baw Baw offers great downhill skiing and plenty of other fun activities, like tobogganing and snow play. It’s a fair trip from Melbourne, so most people usually come to stay for a few days. Considering it’s such a small mountain, there is a surprising amount of accommodation – choose from on-mountain accommodation such as self-contained apartments, lodges or backpacker-style accommodation at the Alpine Hotel. There are also a few cafes, but you may have to venture to other towns for dinner.

While it does snow here, it melts quickly, as the top elevation is only 1,562 metres and it rains a lot. To make up for this, there is snowmaking to supplement the lack of natural snowfall on the top of the mountain. This means the ski terrain is pretty mellow and a great spot for beginners.

Chance of seeing snow: Low – Moderate
Best time to visit: July – September

Visit Mount Baw Baw

Mount st gwinear
Mount St Gwinear | Image: Supplied

4. Mount St Gwinear

Distance from Melbourne: 196 kilometres (3 hours)

  • Pros: Reliable snow conditions and a great place to bring the whole family. Free entry and plenty of activities available.
  • Cons: No accommodation options on the mountain except for camping. Not many substantial food options.

Just north of Baw Baw and three hours from Melbourne, Mount St Gwinear is a family-friendly winter wonderland and one of the best places to see snow near Melbourne. The entry is free, which is always a bonus. At Mount St Gwinear you will find two toboggan runs (you can hire toboggans from Erica or Rawson,) snowshoeing and lots of cross-country skiing – the first Main Trail departing from the Mount St Gwinear car park is a goodie. Given its high elevation, snow is pretty much guaranteed here over winter, but you won’t get lucky every day.

There is plenty to do for the kids, with snow play and a food van serving up hot drinks and snacks for kids that are getting hangry, plus there is a heated shelter room when you need a place to retreat out of the cold. If you want to stay overnight, the best option is to head to the nearby Baw Baw Village. However, if you’re a camper, snow camping is the way to go – just find your camp and remember to pack your jumper!

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate
Best time to visit: October – April

Mountbuller skivillage popular snow destination victoria
Mount Buller | Image: Mount Buller

5. Mount Buller

Distance from Melbourne: 235 kilometres (3.5 hours)

  • Pros: Not too far from Melbourne and has a great cosmopolitan scene, with plenty to do on and off the slopes.
  • Cons: Snow conditions are known to be inconsistent at Mount Buller. It is also super popular, which means it can get very busy (both in the village and on the mountain) and prices are often on the higher end.

Mount Buller is easily the most famous mountain in the Victorian highlands. You’ll find everything at Mount Buller, from nightclubs to pubs, fine dining and cosy ski lodges. This is the perfect place to settle down with a hot cup of mulled wine by the fire while your friends or family enjoy the ski slopes. From the city, it’s about a three-hour drive. Mount Buller has a structured transportation process that will take you to your lodgings or hotel, so it’s nice and easy, and accessible.

The Mount Buller car park is one to four kilometres away from Mount Buller Village (you can’t access Mount Buller Village with a car as it is pedestrian-only). People tend to panic if they haven’t organised transportation from the car park however, transfers can be bought on the mountain if you haven’t collected them. Mount Buller is a family-friendly mountain, there are plenty of activities for children, and the Mount Buller ski school is perfect for parents who’d like to lay down fundamental skiing foundations for their children. Access to all runs stems from the infamous Bourke Street in the heart of Mount Buller Village and there are runs for all levels – from beginner green slopes to advanced black runs.

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate – High
Best time to visit: July – August

Visit Mount Buller

Snowcamping mtstirling victoria
Mount Stirling | Image: Mount Stirling

6. Mount Stirling

Distance from Melbourne: 261 kilometres (3.45 hours)

  • Pros: Perfect for really immersing in nature and snow camping. Mount Stirling is also cheaper than most ski resorts and offers plenty of family-friendly activities and services. Great for keen skiers.
  • Cons: Given its remote location, you will have to venture to Mount Buller for accommodation (besides camping) and bars and restaurants. Not great for beginners.

Mount Stirling is less of a dedicated ski spot and, with no lifts, is less friendly to newbie snow freaks. But the cross-country trail is a solid journey. Never be deterred by the exercise, for those more experienced in the winter arts Mt Stirling is well and truly up your alley. If you’re keen to get your alpine tree knowledge on, there are plenty of snow gums across a couple of gorgeous trails, with camping spots dotted along for the true alpine explorer to unleash their inner Shackleton. Just don’t forget the snow shoes!

The mountain is just under four hours away from Melbourne, so make the most of the accessible snowfields while you’re there. And if you’re not up for camping, there is no accommodation on Mount Sutlring itself, which means you will have to head to Mount Buller which is about a 30-minute drive, or head to Mansfield, which is a bit further. And the same goes if you want a pub feed or a nice coffee – you will have to make the journey out.

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate – High
Best time to visit: July – August

Visit Mount Stirling

Mounthotham ski victoria snow
Mount Hotham | Image: Mount Hotham

7. Mount Hotham

Distance from Melbourne: 376 kilometres (5 hours)

  • Pros: Not many crowds and easy to access. Great for expert skiers and snowboarders and you will also enjoy spectacular scenery and great snow due to its high elevation.
  • Cons: The village is spread out and lacks the quaint village feel. Not family-friendly, as the kids’ ski area is separated from the main part of the ski resort.

Mount Hotham is a Victorian skiing treasure, most suited to serious skiers and snowboarders. This relaxed alpine village is nestled amongst the best snow cover in Victoria. If you’re looking to head up in peak season, you’ll need to book your ski resort the year before as Hotham is full of snow resorts, but after Falls Creek and Buller, it’s the most famous mountain in Victoria. You also must make a note to ensure you have transport from the car park to your lodge.

Once you arrive, you’ll enjoy night skiing and ski fields full of powder. There is a solid set of three terrain parks and plenty of ski lifts to bring you to the various difficulties of runs. The village sits on either side of the Great Alpine Road in the sub-alpine of the uppermost parts of the mountain, so your chances of seeing snow, both on and off the slopes, are always good.

Chance of seeing snow: High
Best time to visit: June – October

Visit Mount Hotham

Fallscreek snow victoria
Falls Creek | Image: Falls Creek

8. Falls Creek

Distance from Melbourne: 385 kilometres (5 hours)

  • Pros: Convenient accommodation options and lots to do if you love everything après-ski. Great for families and excellent cross-country skiing.
  • Cons: Falls Creek doesn’t cater for advanced riders. Snow cover is inconsistent at times, because the roads in the village are north-facing.

Falls Creek is Victoria’s biggest plot of ski land, making it perfect for cross-country trails and intermediate skiers. Falls Creek also caters for children and people visiting who aren’t avid skiers. If you are heading up with children, you can drop them off at ski school while you and your adult friends take on steep slopes or enjoy the ski resorts.

The village is conveniently ski-in ski-out and combined with lots of bars and restaurants and is ideal for a bar hop. It is hilly and picturesque (careful on the slippery bits, though!) If you’re looking for epic luxury hotels, Falls Creek’s QT hotel is the perfect destination to enjoy the high country in style. Be sure to take a break from the powdery slopes and visit the award-winning Astra Day Spa for a day of pampering and spa treatments.

Chance of seeing snow: Moderate – High
Best time to visit: June – October

Alternatives Places to Snow Near Melbourne

  • Mushroom Rocks: Head just a bit further east into the Baw Baw National Park and you’ll find the Mushroom Rocks Walk. This is a free section of the park and is a lovely walk along the Australian Alps Walking Track. At 1240m above sea level, snow falls here regularly – a tranquil, white-dusted winter wonderland.
  • Mt Buffalo: Three and a half hours drive from Melbourne, you will find Mt Buffalo – a family-friendly, relaxed mountain with lots of snow! You will find endless cross-country trials, tobogganing and snow play. It is free and the snowfall is usually heavy, often exceeding 150 cm in peak season and crowds are pretty much non-existent. For food and drinks, there are a few options but we love the Dingo Dell Café for their delicious hot chocolates.
  • Dinner Plain: Located just 15 minutes from Mt Hotham on the Great Alpine Road, Dinner Plain is Australia’s answer to a rustic, charming ski village (just like the ones you see in the movies.) With plenty to do, lots of accommodation options, cafes and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to relax with a mulled wine, while watching the snow fall out the window.

Why You Should Trust Our List

With an editorial team full of adventurers, Man of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience snow destinations from the best spots near Melbourne. It is also based on our experience, in-depth research and customer reviews of snow destinations near Melbourne. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating Man of Many’s selections. Man of Many has utilised Steve Kavakos’ knowledge of his home city. Our editors have considered travel time, snow cover and accommodation while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few spots outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

Your FAQs Answered

Where's the closest snow to Melbourne?

Mt Donna Buang is the closest spot to Melbourne’s CBD where you’ll find snow.

Does it ever snow in Melbourne?

It last snowed in Melbourne in 1849. But since then you can head to any of Victoria’s snow fields.

How long is the drive to Mt Buller?

Mt Buller is 3 hours and 248kms north east of Melbourne