Tips for your trip

The Marysville and Lake Mountain region is a fantastic place to bring your family for a day out. The drive up from Melbourne via the Black Spur is spectacular, with towering mountain ash and lush green tree ferns; the cafes and shops of Marysville are welcoming; and you never tire of the beauty of fresh snow clinging to the snowgums. Add in the thrills and spills of the toboggan slope and some of the most scenic cross country trails in Victoria’s alpine region and you’re bound to have a great time.

Lake Mountain is the closest alpine resort to Melbourne (90 mins) and despite being smaller than Victoria’s other alpine resorts it has everything you need for a day of snowplay or cross country skiing. There’s warm shelter, toilets and a cafe/restaurant, and all the car parking is within a short walk of the main shelter and toboggan slopes.

At 1,480m above sea level Lake Mountain gets its fair share of snowfall during winter, but even if natural snowfall is poor Lake Mountain’s 3 hectares of snowmaking areas allow the toboggan runs to be open throughout the season. Combined with the easy access from the car park, the snowmaking and family atmosphere means Lake Mountain is a great place to introduce your family to snow for the first time.

On the snow you can toboggan on one of two slopes (snow-permitting), build snowmen and join in a snowball fight in one of the snowplay areas, and snow-shoe or cross-country ski the 30km of trails.

Tip: On the busiest days the car park can fill up by around 11am, which can cause long queues on the road up. To avoid disappointment be sure to get there early in the day if the prediction is for great snow or good weather.

What to wear

Taking your family to Lake Mountain for a day at the snow is great fun … if you’re well prepared for the cold. Up on the mountain it could be foggy, windy, snowing or all three. To stay warm and comfortable in alpine areas the key is to keep your head, hands and feet warm, and to dress in layers of breathable fabrics:

  • Base layer. Merino or polypropylene thermal underwear is best. Merino is more expensive but has excellent temperature regulating properties. The specialist outdoors shops such as Kathmandu, Mountain Designs and Snowgum and the more general outdoors chains like Ray’s Outdoors and Anaconda usually stock a good range of base layer clothing, and we sell some items too (call us for details).
  • Mid layer. Polar fleece clothing is the best combination of weight and warmth for your mid layer. Hoodies/sweatshirts/trackies are not usually warm enough on their own and they get wet very easily, but they can work OK with a thermal base layer and a proper waterproof outer layer.
  • Outer layer. When you have a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants you simply don’t notice the weather. They’re expensive to buy but worth every penny when the weather’s poor. Luckily, they’re cheap to rent! You can hire your outer layer jacket from us from just $8 a day for adults and kids.
  • Gloves and boots. Keeping your hands and feet warm and dry at the snow is super important, especially when conditions are damp. Waterproof and insulated gloves and boots are the key – we hire snowboots at $10 a day for adults and $7 a day for children. For safety and hygiene reasons we don’t hire out gloves but we do sell a good range at competitive prices.
  • Beanie. You lose most of your body heat through your head, so wearing a beanie is a really easy way to stay warm.
  • Goggles or sunnies. Sunnies are usually OK, but goggles are better. You’ll definitely need goggles if the weather’s terrible or you’re planning to really carve it up on the toboggan slope.

Food options

Lake Mountain has a cafe/restaurant with a range of food options at reasonable prices but it can get busy, especially on sunny days. Many visitors opt to bring a packed lunch or buy it in Marysville on the way up, leave it in the car and then fetch it when it’s time for a snack. The car park at Lake Mountain is only a short walk from the toboggan slopes and the main shelter.

Driving in alpine areas

Fitting chains in heavy snow

Fitting chains in heavy snow

The road from Marysville to Lake Mountain is a relatively easy road to drive but it can become treacherous in wintry conditions. Snow and ice patches can easily catch out novice drivers, and foggy days with low visibility are common, so take your time – accelerating, turning and braking smoothly. Remember it’s safer to pull over and let other vehicles pass if you feel like you’re holding others up.

Lake Mountain Resort sometimes requires 2WD vehicles to carry chains. They let us know daily so ask us when you arrive at our shop. We will help you with the right size for your car and show you how to fit them. 4WD/AWD vehicles do not usually need to carry chains to Lake Mountain.

We hope those tips help you plan your day. If you have any questions about what to expect or what to plan, just drop us a line. We’ll be happy to help!