The village environment is something that attracts our guests and staff back year after year, and it’s not just adults who enjoy the unique community feeling that Hotham is known for.
Hotham’s kids have their own perspective on what our winter playground has to offer. We spoke to Isabel, Tavish and Amelia, who are spending their second winter season at Hotham in a lodge managed by their parents in the Davenport area. All three attend the seasonal primary school at Dinner Plain and find plenty to occupy their time outside of school hours.
Isabel (age 10)
I love the endless possibilities! I can ski or snowboard, or toboggan outside. I can build an igloo or hut, make a snow animal, play on the playground or trampoline just outside our lodge.
Offslope: I crochet or play on the iPad, but I really like going outside. I also like going to school at Dinner Plain where we play in the bush or on the huge toboggan mound the snow plows built for us. I don’t think there’s many other schools where you do cross country or downhill skiing or snowboarding, where you have special visitors like Ski Patrol, snow-groomers and huskies, and where you can try biathlon.
We live in a lodge which is fun – we meet lots of people and make friends with the kids of other guests.
Tavish (age 8)
I love everything! I love boarding more than skiing, it reminds me of surfing but it’s easier and I love my boot pads.
Offslope: I play on the iPad or go outside with my friends. I like making toboggan runs high up the hill [Mount Little Higginbotham]. I like it when Dad gets the fire pit going and says he’s invited everyone over and we play on the playground or the trampoline.
Amelia (age 6)
I love all of it, skiing, boarding playing outside, tobogganing, trampolining, visiting friends for cook-ups. I like playing with other kids [who visit the lodge or at other lodges].
Offslope: Sometimes at school we get to do cooking, we made hot chocolate last week. I like seeing my friends at school and doing cross country skiing and biathlon. I like playing in the bush at school and playing ski patrol.
Their mother, Deb, has watched her kids grow in confidence and independence in this environment. Considering they live in a beachside location outside of winter, it’s quite a refreshing change as the kids only saw snow for the first time in 2018.
“Last year, Tavish would run in from school, toss his schoolbag and say ‘See you mum, I’m going out to make snow jumps with my friends, I asked them all to come over.’ He loves the independence of travelling on the school bus by himself, or using the Hotham Village Shuttle bus with his siblings,” she said.
“The kids don’t catch the bus at home, but here it’s really safe, the drivers all know them and everyone watches out for everyone else. They are responsible for getting themselves organised to go out with all their snow gear, and they learn pretty fast if they are not dressed properly for the conditions.”
Deb also appreciates the fact that snow sports are one of the few activities that you can truly do as a whole family.
"We can go out together and spend the whole day skiing and boarding, it's a great way to share experiences regardless of our different skill levels."
Their lodge is in the Davenport region of the resort, an area known for its communal, family feel mainly because it’s where many of the resort’s lodges are located. The area hosts a snowplay area which includes a toboggan run (conditions permitting), a full playground, and a trampoline.
“Even though it’s cold, the kids are outside all the time and it's a struggle to get them in for dinner,” says Deb. It’s also a great environment for encouraging family time. The family shares skiing and boarding lessons together and then they can share their experiences with the lodge’s guests and their children over shared meals.
The network of lodges at Hotham provide an affordable accommodation option if you don’t mind sharing living spaces with other people, and they provide a great opportunity to meet new people, discover ‘insider’s’ information about the mountain, and keep up to date with the activities and events available.
For more information about lodge accommodation, check our website here.
Or find more information about Hotham’s kid-friendly activities and events.
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