Winter. I love the thought of a snow filled weekend. I love the thought of skiing all morning and then enjoying hot chocolates and hot cinnamon donuts…and then hitting the slopes again. But I mainly love the thought of a quick trip destination, and this is where Mount Buller takes the cake. Just 3.5 hrs from city door to chalet door, it’s the perfect mountain of choice from the Melbourne CBD.
If you are planning a trip to Buller, drive to Mansfield and I then suggest taking the bus from Mansfield up to the village. Its is efficient and reasonably priced, and certainly takes the pressure off putting chains on your wheels and driving on the icy, steep road. Easy. From the village you can take a free shuttle or taxi to your accommodation. We chose to stay at the Enzian Hotel On Chamois, an old school hotel that was an easy walk from the main village central…and also a ski in ski out for the Chamois Run…which is a Blue Run, but with a sharp right turn turns fully black. It’s less crowded then the main Bourke St Run and a great practice section.
Night One : The Powder Bar located at the base of the Bourke St Run in the main village…is the perfect place to sit, sip and watch the ski and board patrol fly down the slopes. Did someone say Aperol?…Yes they did and I for one am so glad. A refreshing drink, paired with an antipasto platter and the best prosciutto and rocket pizza…ever…a brilliant way to unwind, acclimatise and apres ski…without actually skiing..yet.
Night Two : Skiing is exhausting. It is probably the most exhausting activity to do whilst ‘relaxing’. The layers of warm outfits, the boots, the skis, the gloves, the helmet, the poles..the everything! By the end of the first full day of skiing, every muscle knows its been working. A late dinner at Pats Pizza located in the Central Square was all we could muster. With snow falling and winds hitting 120km per hour…being outdoors for any longer than necessary was a challenge. Pasta, red wine, a hot shower and an early night.
Night Three: Ok..The body still sore and stiff but the mind is ready to check out a more upmarket venue. Mt Buller definitely seemed to be lacking a contemporary bar or restaurant, and I had researched venues to visit prior to leaving Melbourne and all evidence points to The Snow Pony…It is a chic, snow cave combining modern with traditional chalet, log walls, cowhide fire walls, antler chandeliers and my favourite..the dark moody marble bar. Go here. Drink one of the famous ‘winter warmers’…a heady combination of fragrant and definitely potent, mix of Jaegermeister, gluhwein, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Delicious. Upmarket Apres Ski at its best.
So if you are planning a quick weekend getaway, and you want snow, book now. The snow was falling hard and it was the perfect winter wonderland.