1. Park and ride
If it’s just the mountain drive that makes you nervous, relax – you can drive to Harrietville, park your car securely at Hoy’s Harrietville Ski Centre, then grab a taxi or a bus up the mountain.
Hoys Harrietville Ski Centre also has bathroom facilities, a new departure lounge and a full ski hire outlet, so you can freshen up before your trip up the mountain and get your gear there too if you need it.
- Pluses: Easy, secure, no-stress, and you can get everything you need right there.
- Minuses: You are somewhat tied to bus or taxi schedules, but you can plan around that, right?
There’s a bus to suit every need, whether you want to leave from Melbourne or from closer to Hotham.
The Alps Link service is a public transport service that runs between Bright and Omeo that was set up to help locals access education and training, shopping, medical, essential services and sport and recreational opportunities. You can pick up the service at Bright, Harrietville, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Cobungra and Omeo.
- Pluses: Cheap!
- Minuses: Only runs Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but that works especially well if you’re only up for the weekend.
The Alpine Spirit Snowball Express will get you to Mt Hotham on their modern fleet of buses, complete with DVD and toilet.
As well as services from Melbourne, Snowball Express provides services from selected towns in North East Victoria, as well as Adelaide and some South Australian towns, and Albury.
- Pluses: Great for the budget-conscious traveler
- Minuses: You are tied to the bus schedules but, you know, planning.
HothamBus also provides a comfortable way to get to Hotham from multiple locations, including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Albury on theirncomfy coaches that now all have wi-fi and USB charging points.
You can also book your holiday through HothamBus.
- Pluses: They can help you plan a complete end-to-end holiday, no stress!
- Minuses: If you’re just using the bus service, you’re bound by timetable but…planning!
3. Luxury private transfer
If sharing a bus with a bunch of strangers doesn’t thrill you, a luxury 4WD transfer might be more your style.
Alpine Luxury 4WD Snow Transfers will pick you up from the train station, airport or a private address and transport you safely and in style all the way to your accommodation at Mt Hotham.
How the trip goes is completely up to you – you can have a snooze, or stop for coffee and try some local produce. The drivers are very knowledgeable about the route, so can provide you with lots of information along the way.
- Pluses: Private and very comfortable, and you can stop for breaks whenever you like.
- Minuses: A bit pricier but you’ll arrive well rested.
Why drive when you could fly? Mt Hotham boasts Australia’s highest fully operational commercial aerodrome for commercial and private or charter flights.
Hotham is accessible from airports in both Victoria and NSW, with an approximate flight time of 45 minutes from Lilydale, Essendon, or Moorabbin airports, 30 minutes from Albury and Canberra, and 50 minutes from Sydney.
If you’re a pilot, you can fly yourself into Hotham, with refueling and de-icing services available at the airport.
Alpine Spirit Coaches run airport transfers in winter for arrivals to Mt Hotham airport, and will also pick-up from alternate airports if the weather prevents planes from landing at Mt Hotham.
- Pluses: The thrill of flying over Australia's magnificent high country, landing in Victoria's highest alpine resort, and being on the slopes within half an hour of landing. And it’s a much faster trip, less than a quarter of the time it takes to drive.
- Minuses: Services are obviously weather-dependent, and it’s up the pricier end of travel to Hotham unless you’re flying yourself in, but what an experience! Make it possible by splitting the cost with a few friends.
Photo credit: Kirkhope Aviation
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