Hometown Mountain Shoutout: Mount Hotham “Powder Capital” Of Australia

Rouchelle Gilmore | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Just a regular end to a day at Hotham when the sun is out. Photo: Rouchelle Gilmore

Mount Hotham is labeled the ‘Powder Capital’ of Australia. Hotham is an upside-down resort and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The village is on top of the mountain, this makes for some of the best sunrises and sunsets you can ever experience. People say if you can ski in Australia you can ski anywhere, Hotham skiers are die-hard mountain lovers. By far it is the most technical inbounds terrain in Australia. The skiing and riding is a mixture of ridgelines into steep gullies, tree skiing, open bowls, and groomed runs all while surrounded by twisted snow gums.

The resort is located in the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range, approximately a 4.5-hour drive from the Melbourne CBD. Hotham boasts 320 hectares of inbounds ski terrain with 13 chair lifts, 3 terrain parks, and 35km of cross country skiing. There is also extensive access to the backcountry.

When it is on at Hotham, Blue Ribbon is the place to be. Photo: Rouchelle Gilmore

Hotham sits at 1861m with the village height at 1765m, with skiing down to 1450m. The average snowfall is 300cm with a base average of 150cm. There is extensive snowmaking in beginner, high traffic areas, and some more advanced runs. The snow cover typically begins from mid-June till the beginning of September but there can be spring skiing till the first week of October. In the last couple of years, the season has been extended into October after record snow years.

Hotham features a lot of more advanced terrain.

Skiing in Australia can be compared to US east coast skiing, there can be the trifecta of weather wind, fog, and rain. Skiing in Australia is for the adventurous. Especially Hotham with its remote location, the winding road which leads to the resort people get to be completely immersed in the wilderness. This means when there is a big snowstorm, you can get stuck in the Hotham snow globe because there is only one road that goes through the resort, The Great Alpine Road. When the storms happen it usually means the road from the Harrietville approach can be closed or resort management will convoy cars off the mountain. But the mountain can nearly always be accessed from the Omeo side, depending on where people are coming from it might mean a significant detour. In saying this, we do ski in the sun often and it is bliss.

Australian Snowgum Trees
Snowgum trees covered in snow. Photo: Rouchelle Gilmore.

There is more to Hotham than sliding down the slopes. Besides just taking in the serenity, Hotham promotes activities for everyone like tobogganing, sled-dog tours, snowmobile rides, luxurious day spas, and many restaurants and bars to choose from. Fan-favorite bars and restaurants on top of the mountain include Zirky’s, The General, Swindlers, Miss Mary’s for Cocktails. While just a 15-minute drive from Hotham, the Alpine Village Dinner Plain has High Plains, Rundells, and DP Pub. Dinner Plain is also a popular place for people to stay.

Vail Resorts Management Company acquired Hotham from the Merlin Group before the 2019 winter, so it is now part of the Epic Pass or the Australian Epic Pass. Season pass holders can now ski Perisher, Falls, and Hotham with the Australian Epic as well as other places overseas depending on the pass purchased.

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