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I ski in the land down under

We all know about the arid deserts of Australia and throwing shrimps on the BBQ. But what you may not know is that Australia has snow covered mountains too. The Australian Snowy Mountains or the Snowies, as they are known locally, are part of the Great Dividing Range. This mountain range stretches over 2,175 miles from the northeast tip of Queensland's humid rain forests, down the entire length of the eastern coastline into cooler climes, finally fading into the dry central plains of western Victoria. The parts of the range that run through New South Wales and eastern Victoria get covered with snow in the Australian winter.

Just like Chile (see my article Summer time skiing in Chile) Australia experiences winter in our summer time (June to August) so Australia is a fantastic summer skiing destination too. It is a bit further away from Oakland than Chile, but it is worth the experience. See my article Planning your big trip for information on this.

My brother and I enjoying a Star Burger

While driving to Mount Hotham, one of my favorite ski resorts in the Snowies, my brother and I like to stop at a little town called Omeo. It is located on the Great Alpine Road which meanders through the Snowy Mountains and high plains. I am told that Australia is going through an awful period of drought, but you would never know it from the green fields we drove past on the Great Alpine Road in 2007. In Omeo, a very cute small country town along the way, at Twinkles Cafe one can buy the best burger on planet earth; the Star Burger. It is layered with beetroot, egg, bacon, and is delicious.

After Omeo, you continue along the Great Alpine Road past mobs of kangaroos, emus, and wombats until you reach Dinner Plain. Dinner Plain is a fantastic place to stay as it is only 6 miles from Mount Hotham Alpine Resort and offers superb cross country skiing as well as great accommodation.

Dinner Plain

Mt. Hotham is a very demanding ski resort. The runs are not long in relation to many North American resorts, but are far more difficult to ski. Many of the runs are very steep and snow conditions can change fast at Hotham from powder to ice sheets in one day. At Mt. Hotham we like to say: "if you can ski Mt. Hotham you can ski anywhere". I believe this to be true.

If you are looking for a special summer time ski vacation then you must consider Australia. Of course Australia has many other attractions as a vacation destination, but these are the subject of other articles.

Dinner Plain Video

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