Family Snow Trip to Lake Mountain August 15 2015
So our daughter is now two and a half, and we have been desperate to get up to the snow for a new experience. She has no fear going down big slides and her favourite movies lately include Happy Feet and Frozen, both featuring snow, so we knew this trip would be a winner.
Off we go to Lake Mountain! We knew we could do it in a day trip, given its only 2 hours from Melbourne, Maroondah Hwy all the way, through Marysville and up the mountain. Instead, we made a weekend of it and stayed in Healesville, and this way we could get on the mountain earlier in the morning. We found a three bedroom place on Airbnb, and stayed with some friends who also had a toddler of similar age.
On Saturday morning we got moving as soon as we could, from Healesville its 30 minutes to Marysville then 20 minutes up to Lake Mountain. There are a few choices for toboggan hire - on the mountain, in Marysville or a few more places just before you reach Marysville. We stopped off at a hire place called Mysitic Mountains Ski Hire just before the turnoff to Marysville, prices were good and service was friendly. Check out their site for prices, but with the clothes we already had, we managed to deck ourselves out with toddler snow boots, adult waterproof pants and gloves and a couple of toboggans for under $50. Also to our surprise there are options for toboggans beyond the basic tray. We chose the "Super Carve" toboggan which is slightly larger with more room to fit you and your toddler, and faster too :) See photo above.
We headed up the mountain, and realise why they say to get there early. The traffic heading up the mountain had quite a long line of traffic, and it took us a while to get through. We have heard that this line can take up to 2 hours if you are after 9:30, and then you may have to park before the gate and wait for a bus up the mountain (nightmare, especially with young kids). We also prepaid our Mountain pass ($55) at the hire shop which allowed us to jump the queue when we got closer to the gate (you can also purchase online).
So up the mountain we go! Our little one was so excited to see the snow for the first time on the side of the road and fresh on the ferns as we headed up (and we were a little excited too). We didn't need chains, but you need to check the Lake Mountain Website on the day that you go up. When we got to the top, a bus took us a short trip from the car park and we hit the slopes!
We started on the beginner slope to get used to it, then on the bigger slope, and then we realised there was an even faster slope! When we were just about buggered walking back up the slope, we made ourselves a snowman. Yes... we had packed ourselves carrots to try and reproduce Olaf from Frozen. Then we had a post toboggan coffee and snack in the cafeteria and time to head home. We were quite impressed with the amenities at Lake Mountain Resort, except there were no lockers.
The next day we went to Healsville Sanctuary, before heading on back to Melbourne with plenty of stories to tell.
Tips for a trip to Lake Mountain:
- Get going up the mountain early so you don't get stuck in traffic, and remember everything takes longer with kids, and allow for stops to the hire shop, toilet, bakery, etc.
- You only need waterproof clothes (with warm clothes underneath), so you don't need heavier snow clothes. Unless of course you are expecting a blizzard.
- You need purpose made snow boots for the snow, don't attempt to wear gumboots.
- There are no lockers on Lake Mountain so only take what you can fit in a small back pack.
- Hire a "Super Carve" toboggan if you have a toddler so you can both comfortably fit on together.
- Bring a carrot to build a snowman.
- Have lots and lots of fun with memories that will last a lifetime!