Driving Routes, Road Conditions and Parking
It takes approximately 4.5 hours from Melbourne (via Bright) and¬†8 hours from Sydney to drive Hotham Alpine Resort.
Hotham is located at the crest of the Great Alpine Road, the highest bitumen road in Australia. By road the resort is 357km from Melbourne, 746km from Sydney and 882km from Adelaide.¬†
Diamond pattern snow chains (ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted) are now mandatory for all vehicles at all times during the declared snow season and must be fitted where directed. It is a legal requirement for all vehicles entering the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort, and it is also a safety measure.
You can hire chains at the base of the mountain, in Harrietville from Hotham Sports or Hoys Ski Centre or in Omeo from various Service Stations. Hoys chain fitting service operates on the Harrietville approach of the Great Alpine Road when vehicles are required to fit them. This is a free service for Hoys chain customers.
Please note, if the weather is producing snowfalls or low visibility, there may be delays on the Great Alpine Road. If guests are coming from Melbourne during these times we recommend using the Great Alpine Road via Omeo as an alternative route to getting here.
Download the Great Alpine Road Chain Bay Map
Firstly before you leave home,¬†check that you have organised your resort entry permit which has to be pre-purchased before your arrival. We¬†have an exciting¬†new resort entry system that was launched this season¬†called¬†Alpine Easy Access. It's a simple process that allows you to organise your resort entry conveniently online¬†or over the phone with no more stopping required at the resort entry points. Click here¬†to go the resort entry information page and payment gateway for prices and further details.
Route 1. Take the Hume Hwy to Wangaratta then the Great Alpine Road direct to Hotham, or the Snow Road via Milawa & Oxley to Myrtleford, Bright,¬†Harrietville¬†& Hotham. Travel time around 4.25 hours with a distance of 380km..
Route 2. Take the Monash Freeway (which turns into the¬†Princes Hwy) to Bairnsdale, then Omeo, then the Great Alpine Road to Hotham past the Hotham Airport and Dinner Plain. Travel time around 5.5 hours with a distance of 460km.
Route 1. Take the Hume Hwy to Albury-Wodonga and follow the snow signs to Yackandandah then turn off to Myrtleford. At Myrtleford turn onto the Great Alpine Road to Bright then Harrietville and Hotham. Travel time around¬†8 hours.
Route 1. Take the Mallee Highway to Ouyen, connect to the Murray Valley Highway to Swan Hill, the Midland Highway to Shepparton, then take the Hume Highway to Wangaratta, followed by the Great Alpine Road direct to Hotham. Travel time around 12 hours.
Route 1. From Brisbane drive south along the Newell Highway across NSW via Tocumwal and Cobram then across to Wangaratta. Take the Great Alpine Road direct to Hotham via Bright and Harrietville. Travel time around 15 hours.
Route 1. Take the Sydney Newcastle Freeway, connecting with the M7/South Western Freeway and Hume Highway to Goulburn and Albury-Wodonga. Then follow the snow signs to Yackandandah then turn off to Myrtleford. At Myrtleford turn onto the Great Alpine Road to Bright then Harrietville and Hotham. Travel time around 10 hours.
Snow Chains for your tyres
- Fit chains at bays where you see the "Fit Chains Here" sign.
- Always fit chains to driving wheels only. When required, 4WD vehicles should fit chains to manufacturers recommendation.¬†
- Diamond¬†pattern chains are now mandatory for all¬†vehicles entering the Mount Hotham¬†Alpine Resort.¬† Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time.¬†
- Chain fitting bays are safe, designated areas. They are level and make fitting easier.
- Chains are hard to fit on slopes and you will obstruct other vehicles and snow clearing equipment. It is also dangerous.
- At all Victorian resorts, you can be fined for not carrying and fitting chains as directed. This is a state law.
- If it has not been necessary to fit chains when travelling to the resort, it is advisable to fit them upon arrival in preparation for the return trip.
- It is quite difficult to fit them to cars covered by snow.
- Do not drive faster than 40kph.
Chain Fitting Checklist
- Fit chains to driving wheels only.
- Always test fit chains before a trip.
- Fit at fitting bays on level ground.
- If chains fall off or loosen when a vehicle is in motion stop and check brake lines for damage, before retensioning.
- Carry a torch, plastic garbage bag (or tarp) and gloves to make fitting easier.
- Use correct fitting diamond pattern chains. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time in the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort.
- Tyres must be in good condition with minimal wear.
- Chains alter your car's handling, take time to readjust your driving and take care!
Parking at Hotham
If you are driving to Hotham you will need to park your car in an appropriate car park depending on whether you are visiting for the day or for an overnight period.
A Resort Entry fee is applicable to all motor vehicles stopping in a Victorian Ski Resorts during the declared snow season.
Day permits can be purchased via Alpine Easy Access prior to arriving at¬†Hotham . Season Entry Permits are also available and provide great value if you are planning to visit the resort for an extended period of time. Please take the time to consider which option offers the best value for you.
For day visitors, parking is available in the Corral Day Carpark in the heart of the Village and along the Great Alpine Road towards the Davenport end of the village, until 11pm. Parking attendants are often on hand to direct you and you are asked to observe all parking directives and signs.
If you have kids then you should head to the Big D Centre, that is located half way along the village and park in the day car parking area adjacent to the Centre.
For overnight visitors, carparking is available below Bus Stop 8 towards the Wire Plain cross country area, depending on demand. Look for the large red sign indicating the start of overnight parking. Getting back to the village is easy with the free village transport service that will collect you from within the overnight carparking zone. If in doubt with where to park, please check with the Resort Management Office or ask a parking attendant.
On Friday night parking attendants are on duty until 3am to assist and direct arrivals to overnight carparking areas.¬†
The Daily Snow Report on this website includes a road report.
For any further information about road conditions please phone Resort Management on 03 5759 3550.¬†
- Park only where directed. If you do not, you run the risk of another vehicle or snow clearing vehicle, running into what looks to the driver like just another drift of snow.
- Do not apply the handbrake: moisture can freeze the cables and brake linings.
- Leave the car in gear with the front wheels turned away from the slope.
- Always park as close to the bank as possible, to leave room for two-way traffic.
- Do not use rocks to chock wheels as they may damage snow clearing machines.
- Remove wheel chocks from parking area when leaving.
- Even if chains were not required to enter the area, it is advisable to fit them when parking. It is much easier than trying to fit them later for the return trip if weather conditions change or the vehicle is snowbound.
- Cover the radiator to help prevent freezing.
- Periodically clear snow from on and around the vehicle.
- Lift wipers from windscreen or place in a plastic bag if parking for an extended period so that wipers do not stick to the glass.
- Cover door locks with masking tape to stop locks freezing up.
- Don't use wooden chocks, these tend to slip on icy surface.
- Clear all glass and mirrors of ice before attempting to drive away from snowfields.
- For fast demisting of the front windscreen, use the car's heater and fan in conjunction with the vehicle's airconditioner.
- Warm the engine for a few minutes before driving off.
- Motoring on alpine roads not only requires concentration and adept driving skills, but also a lot of patience. Keep your cool if stuck in a long queue of traffic, and always follow directions by resort staff and road signs. They are there for your safety.
- Important note for diesel vehicles: If you drive a diesel vehicle we recommend that you fill up in towns closest to the mountain who supply alpine diesel as the cold temperatures in the alpine environment can affect diesel fuel. Please ensure you check with your owner/operators manual for any advice on entering alpine or cold climate areas.
Severe Weather Events
During significant weather events road closures along the Great Alpine Road between Harrietville and the Mt Hotham Resort may occur.
Road closures occur partly due to poor visibility and deep snow on the road. However one of the main contributors to closures are vehicle drivers not fulfilling their responsibilities and requirements, consequently causing road blockages.
A road management strategy has been agreed between Vic Roads, Victoria Police and the Board for significant weather events.¬† This strategy involves tightly managed vehicle movements from Harrietville to the Mt Hotham Resort and return. It might also include convoys to and from the Resort.
In convoy situations some vehicles will have priority over other vehicles i.e. buses and coaches/heavy trucks.¬† These vehicles will form the head of the convoy behind the nominated convoy leader (and often a snow clearing vehicle). They provide packing of the roadway in advance of the smaller vehicles.
The key issue is one of ROAD SAFETY and if you continue on your journey in non compliance with the regulated road safety requirements you can expect to receive an infringement notice from Victorian Police.
We appreciate your cooperation. Upon your safe arrival at the Resort our staff will seek to ensure you have a most enjoyable and happy stay. Or upon your departure we wish you a safe trip home.
Thank for your assistance in helping all of us to remain safe.
Renault Alpine Driving Tips
Driving in the snow is very different to driving under normal conditions. Watch the Renault Alpine Driving Tips video to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey when driving to your destination in Alpine areas, featuring expert advice to ensure you are prepared for your next trip. Take care and enjoy your trip to the mountains.
For more information about driving to Hotham Alpine Resort contact:
Mt Hotham Resort Management Board on¬†(03) 5759 3550 or head to www.mthotham.alpineeasyaccess.com.au