Jayne D’Arcy hits the snow, family style.
There are moments during a skiing adventure when you wonder: “What am I supposed to do with all this equipment?” Take along some kids and you wonder: “What am I supposed to do with all this equipment AND the kids?”. Yes, you’re on top of the world and all you think of is logistics. So I’m super impressed when we hit Mt Buller and discover that the hotel that we’re staying at (Mt Buller Chalet) is also where we’re renting our skiing equipment from, as well as being near the base of the Blue Bullet chairlift that we’ll be using most. A quick walk across the Bourke Street run, dodging snowboarders and skiers, and we’re at the creche at the Buller Kids Centre.
Toddler dropped off, I head upstairs to meet my ski instructor for a private lesson. It’s super convenient. While I’m renewing my skills on the basic run, my son is a “white koala”, learning how to ski metres away. Finally, aged nine, he’s discovering that there’s more to snow than snowballs (though there are plenty of those during our stay).
I’m more focused on getting my ski legs back than watching how my son’s going, and I’m delighted to be getting one-on-one attention from an instructor, though I think he’s taking it easy on me – letting me have more than my fair share of easy descents before we get into more challenging skiing action.
On day two it’s time to test my son’s skiing ability. He starts moaning as we hit the cordoned-off learners’ run for the fifth time, and I show him the alternative: the steepish Bourke Street run. “Well,” I say, pointing down. “This is the next option!”. “Fine!” he says. We catch the lift up and zoom down the run together. The kid can ski! We repeat this until we’re both exhausted, then pick up the toddler and defrost together with a hot chocolate. The kid’s a convert, and after one of the easiest introductions to skiing, it’s easy to see why.
Getting There: Mt Buller is three hours from Melbourne, take the Hume Highway to the Tallarook exit then travel though Yea.
Stay: Mt Buller Chalet offers uber-warm accommodation in the heart of Mt Buller village; doubles with breakfast (with kids staying free) are $530 per night (minimum two nights) from September 7 to October 5. See mtbullerchalet.com.au
The writer was a guest of Mt Buller