If you drive a diesel vehicle, you’ll need to fill up with a special ‘Winter mix’, also known as ‘Alpine Diesel’, which is sold in towns close to Hotham such as Omeo, Bright and Myrtleford.
Why do you need it? Well, the short, non-technical answer is that when temperatures drop below zero (Celsius), diesel can start turning into wax or gel. When that happens, you aren’t going anywhere! Your car won’t start or if it does, it will quickly stall, and you’ll have to wait till temperatures rise before you can get going again.
Petrol, on the other hand, doesn’t freeze till about -30 degrees.
Your other option is to use a diesel anti-gel cold weather additive such as Lucas Anti-Gel or Western Oil Icebreaker, which are usually sold at the same service stations that sell the winter diesel. These products are added directly into your fuel tank (follow the manufacturer’s instructions!) before the temperatures drop. If you wait till you have a problem, using the additive will be no good.
And possibly the most important tip – you can’t fill up at Hotham Alpine Resort, there is no commercial fuel supply, so make sure you fill up before you leave Omeo or Bright!