Tell foreigners about skiing in Australia and a lot of them will giggle. It's hard enough for them to believe the sun-drenched lands down under get enough snow to cover the sand. Sometimes I suspect my own countrymen of a similarly skewed mentality; one I could never agree with.
The first time I visited Falls Creek Alpine Resort in Victoria, back in 2005, was during Queensland school holidays in the early half of September. We encountered falling snow before even making it to the ski-in, ski-out village.
When I returned earlier this year in August, every day of snowboarding was preceded or complemented by a fresh dump of powder.
True, four years prior at around the same time, you could see brown dirt poking up through the white.
The fact is we do receive enough snowfall for a fantastic snow holiday, it's just rarely consistent on a yearly or monthly basis. Which is why keen skiers, boarders and snow bunnies need to take advantage of the incredible season Falls Creek is currently hosting.
Here's what's on offer:
Average 90 Centimetres Of Natural Snowfall
As any good powder lover will tell you, there is one key ingredient to a quality ski or snowboarding holiday: snow. Although Falls Creek's season started pretty slowly, there has been a recent influx of fresh snow on the mountain.
August was the resort's best month with an average snow depth of more than one metre. This has shallowed slightly in September to 91 centimetres, but all downhill lifts and runs are currently open, and fresh snow cover has been reported on all back-country areas.
Also, with the help of the snow-maker machines overnight, guests can expect an average depth exceeding 170 centimetres.
Falls Creek's Onesie Weekend is held twice during the season with the second festive weekend taking place 11-13 September. Throughout the resort skiers and boarders don colourful onesies and take part in themed activities on the slopes.
The essence of Onesie Weekend is to simply get a little silly and have fun. However, if you're dressed up you'll also be eligible to resort-wide discounts including two-for-one entry.
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Whether you're learning or mastering the art of skiing or snowboarding, Falls Creek can accommodate with 92 downhill runs incorporating a combination of beginner (green), intermediate (blue) and advanced (black) trails.
Accompanying the marked trails are multiple terrain parks (Panorama for beginners and Ruined Castle for experienced riders) and back-country options that dish out even more challenges for those feeling adventurous.
Two Mountains In One
Falls Creek and neighbouring Mt Hotham have created a dream partnership for skiers and boarders. A ski lift ticket at Falls Creek grants you access to an entirely new resort, Hotham, with 320 hectares of skiable terrain.
Travelling from one mountain to the other takes less time than you'd think, thanks to the Heli Link. This five-seater helicopter can get you across from Falls to Hotham in about six minutes and will still be running until the middle of September.
Activities For The Kids
Falls Creek's family-friendly style means there are plenty of activities for kids including a visit from the resort's resident dragon, Pete. This cuddly fellow hosts his own show every Saturday at the Village Bowl from 5pm.
You can also catch him at Falls Creek's Street Party on Tuesdays at 4pm: a hangout for adults and children with fire pits, marshmallow roasting and games.
There's also the Snowplay Park: an interactive kids' club with mini snowmobiles, trampolines, snowman building and more. Children and adults alike can enjoy the resort's snow tubing and tobogganing facilities as well.
Luxury Ski-in, Ski-Out Accommodation
Since 2013, QT Falls Creek has quickly become one of the resort's most notable hotels. This elegant and artsy establishment is situated right beside the Falls Express lift, which ferries guests to multiple beginner and intermediate runs, and the snow sports schools.
Along with a range of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, QT also boasts two popular culinary hubs: the ski lodge-styled Stingray bar and the interactive marketplace restaurant, Bazaar @ QT.
There's a luxurious day spa, spaQ, which offers rejuvenating massage treatments, facials and nail therapy options. Alternatively, you can soak tired muscles in the private spa on your apartment's balcony.