“I hope Baw Baw isn’t like it sounds” my eight year old giggles in the back seat of the car as we wind our way up the mountain of the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne.
“It better not be” my husband replies.
I know what he’s thinking. Skiing after-all isn’t a cheap exercise and he found the receipt and said something I can’t repeat about the $980 I paid for two nights in an en-suite cabin with one bedroom.
Then there was the $110 ski clothing hire (and $90 for gloves I bought), $30 ski and boot hire, $90 ski lesson for the eight year old, $60 ski lesson for the four year old, $60 for chains and $42 we were about to pay (daily) for parking.
We stayed at Cascades Apartments http://www.cascadeapartments.com.au (apartment seven). Our room had a fire, kitchenette, a lounge with two couches which fold out to beds and a small bedroom with a Queen bed and a large bunk overhead. Think old brick ski lodge – fairly dated, but clean and very comfortable.
The proximity is what won the kids over. There was literally snow at the door, and you can don your ski gear and within a five-minute walk be tobogganing on the slopes.
There are a few dining options on the restaurant, but having your own food, particularly for breakfast, snacks and lunch is definitely worthwhile.
The Village Restaurant had a set menu of $40 per adult, while the Alpine Bar was ‘A la carte’ with typical pub style food, large portions and a relaxed atmosphere.
Kelly’s café is a great spot to grab some hot fast food (although the service wasn’t so fast – 35 minutes for a couple of lamb wraps and some hot chips) but it’s conveniently located right near the Frosti Hollow Toboggan Park.
This is the only ‘dedicated’ toboggan area, but take a short walk around the village area and there are plenty of other areas to be found.
The ski instructors were fantastic and the kids were skiing with no poles down the small slopes within an hour. There is a carpet tow lift, which gives the children a fantastic introduction to using a proper ski tow.
I think the reaction from my four year old, who had to be physically removed from the slopes, is testament to how much the children enjoyed it.
Being school holidays there were some great other activities too – face painting, cooking marshmallows over an open fire, a small circus style trampoline for the kids to do some flips, and fireworks.
The little village has a great feel to it, and even without the holiday activities, as a first time ski/snow introduction to kids, I’d think it’d be hard to beat.
So it’s an eight out of ten by us Baw Baw, and you certainly aren’t anything like your namesake.
A few tips – buy chains for the car, check the ski report, take food so you can prepare meals as you wish, take cash (the power went out three times during our stay).
Accommodation options: http://mountbawbaw.com.au/accomodation/on-mountain/
Cascade’s is listed separately and isn’t part of the Mount Baw Baw accommodation offering as it’s just outside of the main gates of the mountain.
It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Mt Baw Baw from Melbourne.
Great tips for firs timers to Baw Baw: http://mountbawbaw.com.au/plan-your-trip/first-timers-info/
This blog post is courtesy of Kirstie Bedford. Kirstie started her career as a journalist covering hard news, but always had a yearning to travel.
Working for Tourism New Zealand in her 20s she was lucky to visit some of the most remote and remarkable parts of her own country, hosting international media to many destinations only accessible by helicopter or boat.
When she got married, it was only fitting that instead of a beach resort, her and husband Dave spent five weeks trekking around Europe.
They returned to New Zealand and several years later moved to Australia, where they’ve been living for seven years, and where Kirstie works as a PR consultant focusing on the food, wine/beverage and tourism sectors.
Kirstie is also a committee member of the International Food Wine Travel Writers Association – Australasia.
With two young boys her travels are a bit closer to home these days, but her bucket list grows by the day and she hopes to one day cross them all off the list – sharing her experiences as she goes.