We survived the drive down to Mt Buller and back surprisingly well. I was amazed at the boys’ ability to just sit and look out the window, without the need for electronic distraction. Well, one was reading, the other looking out the window.
The scenery between the Hume Highway and Mt Buller is stunning, with rolling verdant green hills on both sides of the road all the way to the alpine park. It was a different, deeper green to that in our immediate neighbourhood and I couldn’t stop myself from telling the boys to “look out the window!”, it was so beautiful. Apart from grass, the hills were covered in sheep, with lots of little lambies lying or gambolling around in the paddocks.
Sadly, the complicated and overpriced arrangements to get up the mountain and into our hotel really soured the trip for me.
Not only did we have to pay for unnecessary wheel chains, we then had to pay to get into the alpine village and then for taxis to get us from the car park to the hotel and back. I understand that the village does not have the capacity for parking all the cars, necessitating the below the village car parks, but to charge $13 for a child and $20.60 for an adult one way taxi (shared) to your hotel is absolutely ridiculous for a ten minute trip.
Also, we got into trouble for parking in the wrong place and then, once on the mountain, for tobogganing in the wrong place. Mind you the toboggan run had no snow, but we weren’t allowed on the ski runs. Eventually the ski patrol guy begrudgingly let us stay on the ski run, but by then the moment was ruined and the boys just wanted to go home. Luckily this didn’t happen until the second day, which meant that the boys got some good snow play in on the day we got there.
Also, the snow was horrible. It’s amazing how much the snow coverage shrunk in the six days between booking our accommodation and actually getting there. Only a couple of the ski runs were open and the snow was lumpy and slushy. Since I’ve only ever been to the snow when it’s been fresh and powdery, I found this really disappointing. I guess our snow seasons are not what they used to be, but of course, “there’s no such thing as global warming” according to some.
Still. The whole adventure gave the boys a taste of snow fun and they are already planning a trip next year, for a few more days and with ski/board lessons included. Frankly, that sounds like fun for me, too, because I love skiing and despite not having been on skis for something like 15 years, I would love to get back out there and spend a few days on the slopes.
I’ve already decided on Falls Creek, as their ski school for kids offers half day sessions, allowing me time to do my own thing. Besides, Falls Creek is higher, usually has more snow and I just love it. If I hadn’t been so terrified of all the driving with kids, we probably should have gone there this year.
One lives and learns.
Oh, I can report that the barman at the Arlberg Hotel mixes a mean Margarita.
|View from our hotel room|