A ski resort in summer? Yep. It’s been a hell of a year, and it’s time to flip it on its head. Think fresh alpine air, an escape from the crowds, and mountain top adventures.
We love the mountain in summer. In fact, in Falls Creek, the local saying is ‘They come for the winter, we stay for the summer’. The green season is stunning. And it is undiscovered. Did you know that the Rocky Valley Dam is Australia’s highest significant body of water? I’m not going to pretend that the water temperature is tropical… far from it. But a wetsuit and a kayak will be all that you need. Stand Up paddle boarding, sailing, canoeing and fishing compete for your time too. Explore the surrounds of the lake for hidden swimming spots and water holes.
More into riding? then you probably already know all of our secrets. Falls Creek is home to over 46km of mountain bike trails from beginner greens all the way through to difficult black. Plus, there are more to come! Currently 11 additional kms under construction. Is Gravel Riding your thing? then head up toward Pretty Valley road and beyond to discover Cope Saddle Hut, Wallace’s Hut and the multitude of vista filled tracks. Road cycling? well… I’m going to leave that climb to you, but there are plenty of places to refuel and unwind after you have conquered the peak.
There are walks and hikes for both big and little legs, wanderers to athletes, 30 minutes to multi-day. Resident experts Homepage – Falls Creek Guides are a perfect way to discover the undiscovered either on foot, or why not try an e-bike?
Still searching for more… how about some tennis, with equipment hire from the visitor information centre, or disc golf. Pop down to Mt Beauty for an afternoon for a round of golf with the kangaroos, or head across to Bright for the day.
I have left the best for last- the scenery, the views, the spectacular surrounds. Perhaps just pack a picnic and soak it all up. Whatever your preference, there really is a magic about the mountains in the summer.
We are progressing mightily quickly through the Schitts Creek seasons here at Lakeside Falls Creek. While the Rose’s had time to wallow in missing their creature comforts, we have not even had time to notice that we don’t have a wardrobe. And I am not referring to a ‘wardrobe’ as multiple clothing options, I am referring to the literal wardrobe- you know, the place where you actually hang the clothes?
Life has been hilariously crazy. We have a huge commercial style laundry, but it is 4 stories down, and you can never actually be sure if the washing machine will drain properly or not, so I am building up a great set of ‘stair legs’ completing that chore. We set up the bar area, only to demolish it again so now have wine and martini glasses sitting on every flat surface.
We have replaced all 16 guest toilets and vanities, but couldn’t actually find a toilet that was useable for a couple of days. The plumbers have been amazing, working tirelessly to get us ready for opening, but they often just show up when they have the time and turn the water off to do their thing. It has become habit to fill multiple vessels with water every morning, ‘just in case’.
The bright blue carpet is no more in the guest areas, but we are super lucky to still have the pleasure in our own rooms.
We thought we had picked an easy job re-painting the ski storage room yesterday, only to find that the ski racks were designed pre-snowboard days! Poor Johnny Rose has had to angle grind all the racks to make them large enough for these new-fangled ‘board’ contraptions.
But how is the little one going at his new school you ask… well I am thrilled to say that he is settled as though he has always been there. He has made friends, and taken a liking to running at altitude. He regularly mountain bikes in his ‘backyard’, and is genuinely one happy little being.
And what of Moira Rose? Well, I left my make-up and hair straightener in Geelong on my last trip. You can only imagine the calamity! I had a demolition disaster as a cupboard fell on my thigh and tore my LuLu Lemons (that hurt way more than the slicing open of said thigh) and I can’t remember the last time I wore earrings due to needing a beanie EVERY DAY because it is sooooo cold.
But still, no complaints. This is fun. We are together…living the dream.
As you then drive a little further up toward the village, there are tons of resort workers at the rescue directing you where to stop, where to unload and where to park.
If your accommodation is in the village proper, you are most likely going to need oversnow transport. Check with your provider, but generally speaking, the more central the location within the village itself, the more likely you are to need it. If you are staying at Lakeside Falls Creek, then you definitely do.
So, on arrival, pull into the ATS terminal. ATS stands for Accommodation Transfer Service, and is run like a ferry terminal. You unpack your luggage from your car onto a trolley. Then you head in and check-in (if you have pre-purchased your transfer online). If there are 2 adults in the vehicle, then I recommend one of you organising the luggage and transfer tickets whilst the other heads back in to the car and takes it to park.
There will be a staff member there to direct you on available parking spaces. They will then direct a mini van to follow you and it will pick you up and take you back to the ATS.
Once all passengers and luggage are together, you can load into the ATS vehicle. You will be dropped at the door of your accommodation. The kids love the adventure of the big snow cat.
Are you coming to Falls Creek for the first time? Or maybe it’s just been awhile. It can be so hard to know where to start. Here’s a few pointers from us, having been a family that prior to purchasing Lakeside Falls Creek, have been coming up for one week a year since our 20’s. (We won’t talk about how many years that is!)
Let’s start with beginners:
As a beginner, you need to start your day at the Falls Express Chairlift in Slalom Plaza. This lift is accessible without putting your skis or board on, and takes you directly to the learn to ski and ride centre. If you are starting here for the first time, I recommend hiring your skis through a Falls Creek outlet Homebase Falls Creek Ski Lifts Outlets – Falls Creek. Homebase is located at the bottom of the Falls Creek Express so you don’t need to navigate anywhere with skis on until after your first lesson. They are not always the cheapest, but for the convenience of location it is worth it. Next visit you can try out one of the other rental outlets in the village.
Pre book your ski hire online, as the queues can be long here and it is frustrating when it takes up your valuable on-mountain time. There are discounts available too for advance purchase. Give yourself plenty of time to get fitted before your lesson starts.
If there are a few of you at the same beginner standard, consider booking a private lesson. You will get more attention and learn a lot more. Once you split the cost amongst you, it can work out the same price as a group lesson.
If it is within your budget, always book your kids into ski school. Group lessons are available for children, but ski school will get your kids moving faster. You can select half day or full day. We have always chosen full day, as the kids are fed lunch and it gives you a little more time to get the hang of things on your own.
For all things ski school, visit Junior Workshop – Falls Creek Ski LIfts (skifalls.com.au). It can be a chaotic time dropping your kids to their class. We have always found that it works best if you have already discussed with your children that they may not be placed together with siblings or friends (each child is placed in the class best suited to their ability), and to let them know that as soon as you have dropped them with their instructor and signed in, that you will be leaving them. There is simply no room for adults to hang around at the drop off point.
Pack a few little snacks in your children’s pockets (and your own for that matter) like protein bars or mini chocolates so that if they are hungry before the group stops for lunch, they have something to get them through.
Don’t be late for pick-up. After an adventurous day touring the mountain, your kids will be very eager to see you. Make sure that you are there on time as directed by their instructor to collect them. Our kids have always loved showing us their new skills or taking us on a tour to a run they found for the first time after their session has ended. But usually, that’s about all the energy they have left. Don’t be surprised if by 3.30pm or 4pm, they are ready to call it a day.
At the end of the day, if everyone has had a lesson of some sort you should have all the skills that you need to follow a home trail back to your accommodation. In Falls Creek, all home trails lead back to the village so you won’t get lost. Ask you accommodation provider to show you which is the best trail to take to minimise any uphill walking.
Not a beginner, but just a bit rusty?
You should be ok to ski down to your preferred lift for starting your day on the village roads. This means that you can choose to hire your skis anywhere. A couple of the outlets actually deliver to your lodge and pick up which is super convenient.
If you think you can manage a bit of skiing straight away, then catch the Eagle chair up top to start your lesson. It is just a short traverse across to the meeting points, and you avoid the madness that is all of the beginners hopping on the Falls Express.
Lessons of some description- private or group, cannot be underestimated. If it’s been a while, or if you have only ridden a couple of days previously, a lesson is the perfect way to improve your skills and gives you a far greater control and lesser likelihood of sustaining injuries.
Competent but new to Falls?
Excellent… jump on the Eagle chair in the Village Bowl and you will find yourself with easy access to Scott Chair and Ruined Castle areas. Mostly all blue runs. You can also take Britt’s cut-through down to the Lakeside poma from here.
The Summit chair gives access to the majority of black runs, and with a small traverse can also lead you to the start of International and The Maze area.
What Lift Tickets do I buy?
Great question. At the time of writing, the resort is yet to release their day ticket pricing. However, the Epic Australia Pass is on sale, which is unlimited skiing and riding for the season here and at Hotham and Perisher, and has some additional perks for international resorts (should we be able to make it overseas). If you think you might be on the mountain more than 6 days, I would seriously consider purchasing one of these.
Welcome to our weekly blog: Schitts Creek at Falls Creek. Why the name you ask? Well, we have uprooted our family and moved from our beautiful, comfortable home in a gorgeous area of Geelong, with everything we may need at our fingertips to two side by side motel rooms in the alpine village of Falls Creek. Forty minutes from our nearest small town and an hour and 40 from our nearest big-ish regional town.
If you have watched the series, this is the point where you imagine me as Moira Rose, in my favourite dress, locked in a cupboard drowning my sorrows!
Thats not the case at all though (yet). We are actually super excited. We have bought a ski lodge. We love Falls. It has always been our happy place. A place where our smiles are instantaneous and genuine. Where our laughter comes way more easily and lasts a little longer. This is our dream come true.
There will be bumps in the road we know. Starting with how on earth we are going to get a lodge style hotel open to the public in only two and a half months!? We have royal blue velour carpet to contemplate, and red mosaic tiles. Our doors are painted red to complement the tiles, and the trims are royal blue to compliment the carpet. As the outgoing owner said to us, it’s ‘Shagadellic baby!’
We have boilers to learn how to use so that we have heating in the snow, commercial kitchen appliances to master, and a bar to stock. Beds to make and a lounge to furnish, a games and rec room to set up and ski storage and drying rooms to fit out.
Today I walked past the local primary school, and saw the twelve kids that attend, all playing together in one big group. Five year olds, up to Eleven year olds. It was beautiful, and heart-warming, and then that moved on to anxiety provoking and nerve wracking as I wondered how our ten year old would fit in to this close knit group. How he will go leaving his gorgeous little group of friends behind, and how much change he is going to have to cope with.
Let’s face it, there is not going to be a lot of sleep over the next few months, but it will all be worth it in the end….I hope!