Tips that will help to make your trip safer, if driving yourself.

  • Posted speed limits are designed for ideal conditions; slow down when driving on snow, ice, slush and rain.
  • Overpasses and bridges freeze before other pavement. Use caution at zero degrees and and watch for black ice.
  • Allow yourself at least three time the normal following distance to stop on wet or slick surfaces.
  • Avoid sudden moves by anticipating turns or lane changes.
  • Be familiar with you vehicles braking system and how it operates. Try your ABS in a SAFE place to get used to the feel of the brake pedal under extreme braking.
  • Low beam is more affective than high beam in fog or heavy snow.
  • Check tyre pressure regularly.
  • Be cautious using four wheel drive. Often it does not enhance your braking or steering on slippery roads.
  • New vehicle? Your owners manual may have valuable operating suggestions.
  • Cruise control should never be used in slippery conditions because snow, ice, slush or heavy rain can cause wheel spin and loss of control.
  • Check road and weather conditions before your trip at: www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/alpine.shtml or www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/snowy.shtml

By Bus:

New for 2014: Buss connections from Adelaide to Falls Ceek and Mt Hotham. www.HothamBus.com.au or www.FallsBus.com.au

For the 2016 July holidays:
SA Interschools deal, bus leaving Adelaide, Sat pm, 16 July and returning Fri 22nd from Falls at 5.30pm “$289 per person in family group”

There is internet and USB connections available on the bus.
Contact Wade ph 1300 781 221 or info@fallsbus.com.au

To Victoria’s snow fields

If you ask any seasoned South Australian snow enthusiast how best to drive to the snow, you will get a number of different answers, each deemed to be the best and quickest. Well here is some help for those who feel like taking this trip for the first time.

By Car:

You will need chains if you intend to drive above the snow line. These can be hired in Adelaide or at the larger towns prior to entering the respective resorts.

Generally most follow the route they are familiar with emanating from that first bleary eyed snow trip they went on years earlier …. by bus.

Basically there are three main routes from Adelaide to the mountains, together with a number of derivations from each of these, each with their advantages and disadvantages.

Opt 1.

The way the buses go seems to be the most popular but is the longest route and a bit tedious. The general route is Adelaide, Tailem Bend, Lameroo, Pinnaroo, Ouyen, Swan Hill, Echuca, Shepparton, Benalla; Wangaratta and Bright for Mt Hotham / Falls Creek or Mansfield for Mt Buller. The approx distance via this route from Adelaide is 964km to Mt Hotham, 960km to Falls Creek and 911km to Mt Buller. The advantage of this route is familiarity (remember the bus trip). It has access to 24 hour petrol and road houses at Pinnaroo, Ouyen, Echuca, Shepparton and Benalla to mention a few.

Opt 2.

Via Melbourne and then via the Hume Hwy to Falls and Hotham or via the Melba/Maroondah Highway/s to Mt Buller. This is definitely the longest way BUT it does allow for that overnight in Melbourne for retail therapy and there are plenty of fuel stations, plenty of other vehicles and lots of places to stop and eat. However most people just want to get to the snow as quick as they can, so this is not a particularly favourable way. (It will cost more .. in the shops!)

Opt 3.

More or less directly across Victoria’s central hinterland to the alps. This is the quickest, if you don’t get lost.

The suggested route from Adelaide is:

Tailem Bend, Nhill, Minyip, (turn towards Warracknabeal opposite Dimboola), then to St Arnaud, Inglewood, Bridgewater, Raywood, Elmore, Rushworth, (Euroa, Merton, Mansfield for Mt Buller) or (Violet Tow)n. After Violet town, Freeway, exit onto Snow Road to Milawa.  (You do not drive to Bright for Falls Creek), turn off at C534  before Ovens towards Mt Beauty.  Go to Bright for Mt Hotham only. This is the shortest route and since you don’t travel through a lot of larger towns a higher average speed can be maintained, thus saving time. Of course always obeying the State speed limits. The roads are narrower but generally quite straight but you need to watch the map. Adelaide to Mt Buller is about 853km, Falls Creek about 928km, Mt Hotham about 932km.

There are a couple of off-shoots which may help to make navigation a little easier but add a few km and pass through larger towns. Via St Arnaud and Bendigo, Murchison, adds approximately 8 – 10km and probably 15 to 20 minutes:: via Warracknabeal, Donald, Charlton and Bendigo, Murchison adds approximately 11- 13km, or Bendigo, Seymour, Yea to Mansfield adds about 18km.

On this route 24 hour fuel is available from Adelaide to Nhill, Inglewood (1 km north west of town on Calder Hwy), Bendigo, nearer Mansfield. Other places stay open until late ie Bridgewater, Elmore and Euroa to name a few.

The distances have been worked out from maps and collaborated with actual driving, however different maps and cars give different results. Therefore the distances should only be taken as a guide. However their respective relativities should be around the mark. Travelling the same route over same distance tends to give rise to slight variations each year anyway, due to a number of factors, such as slight variations in the track taken, speedo inaccuracies, different wear on the tyres from year to year and different cars, even though they all travel the “same” route.

To the NSW snow fields

There are basically three ways, via the Alpine Way, through Thredbo, around the highest part of the alps via Tumut or via Canberra depending on conditions. For the Alpine Way choose any of the above routes though Victoria and on to Wodonga or cross the Murray at Swan Hill and travel through either Denilliquin (or Wagga Wagga if going via Canberra). From Wodonga travel via Corryong, Khamcoban and Thredbo. You may need chains or a 4WD to go this way. Check with road authorities about this section and the road through Tumut. The travelling times from Adelaide are about 16 to 18 hours but can be longer, depending on road and weather conditions.

Happy travelling!