Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek are two of the major ski resorts in Victoria, Australia, but which is the best? In this article I’ll compare them in-depth so you can decide which to visit.
Mt Hotham vs Falls Creek
Falls Creek is a larger ski resort compared to Mt. Hotham. Falls Creek is better for beginners and intermediates, whereas Mt. Hotham is the best option for advanced skiers and snowboarders. Mt. Hotham has the best nightlife and Falls Creek is more suitable for families.
|Aspect of the Resort||Best Resort|
|Largest Skiable Area||Falls Creek|
|Most Suitable For Beginners||Falls Creek|
|Most Suitable For Intermediates||Falls Creek|
|Most Suitable For Experts||Mt. Hotham|
|Best for Park||Falls Creek|
|Least Crowded||Falls Creek|
|Snow Quality||Mt. Hotham|
|Best Nightlife||Mt. Hotham|
|Best for Families||Falls Creek|
|Easiest to Travel To By Car||Falls Creek|
|Easiest to Travel to By Plane||Mt. Hotham|
|Best for Families||Falls Creek|
Skiable Terrain and Experience
Falls Creek is a larger ski resort compared to Mt. Hotham with 1112 acres of skiable terrain compared 790 acres. Falls Creek has 92 runs whereas Mt. Hotham has 72 runs. Mt. Hotham has two terrain parks and Falls Creek has 4 terrain parks. The base elevation and summit elevation are very similar on both mountains.
Both Falls Creek and Mount Hotham are good options for beginners and have a decent 17% and 20% share of beginner runs, respectively.
The beginner terrain on Mount Hotham is located high up on the mountain above the village, which does mean that you won’t find many more advanced skiers in this area, however the area is very exposed which means it’s not very reliable. In Falls Creek the beginner terrain is lower down on the mountain.
However, one notable difference is that Falls Creek has more lower-intermediate level terrain so can be good for skiers who are relatively inexperienced but are looking to move up a step.
Falls Creek has a lot more intermediate terrain compared to Mt. Hotham. For lower-level intermediate skiers and snowboarders, Falls Creek offers better terrain. However, for more experienced riders, Mt. Hotham is good as it offers more of challenge.
For advanced skiers and snowboarders, Mt. Hotham is a better option compared to Falls Creek. Mt. Hotham’s is steeper and its skiable area is made up of 40% advanced/ expert terrain and typically attracts more experienced skiers. Falls Creek is okay for experts, but is best suited to beginners and intermediates.
Which is Less Crowded?
Both resorts can get busy during the weekends, however Falls Creek tends to feel the least crowded. Some lifts in Mt. Hotham can get very busy, whereas the queuing time is usually a bit less in Falls Creek. Both resorts are quieter compared to the other major Victorian resort, Mt Buller.
Check out the table below for a full comparison of the Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek mountain stats.
|Statistics||Mt. Hotham||Falls Creek|
|Skiable Terrain||790 acres||1112 acres|
|Vertical Drop||395 m||360 m|
|Base Elevation||1450 m||1500 m|
|Summit Elevation||1961 m||1842 m|
|Green Circle Trails (Beginner)||20%||17%|
|Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)||40%||60%|
|Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)||40%||23%|
|Longest Run||2.5 km||3 km|
|Lift Operating Hours||8:30-17:00||8:30-17:00|
|Night Skiing Available||Wed and Sat||Wed and Sat|
The snow on both mountains is fairly reliable and both areas experience a similar average snowfall/ month and base depth. The powder tends to be a bit better at Mt Hotham and the elevation is a big higher which helps slightly as it is usually colder.
|Month||Snowfall Mt. Hotham||Snowfall Falls Creek||Base Depth Mt. Hotham||Base Depth Falls Creek|
Ski Season Dates
Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek both typically open for the ski season in mid-June and close in early October. Please see the table below for the previous ski season dates.
|Ski Season||Mt. Hotham Open||Falls Creek Open||Mt. Hotham Close||Falls Creek Close|
|2022||11th Jun||4th Jun||2nd Oct||2nd Oct|
|2021||12th Jun||12th Jun||2nd Oct||2nd Oct|
|2020||6th Jun||6th Jun||8th Jul*||4th Oct|
|2019||8th Jun||8th Jun||6th Oct||6th Oct|
|2018||9th Jun||9th Jun||7th Oct||7th Oct|
Not sure when to plan your ski trip for? Check out my complete guide to the best time to ski in Australia for a comparison of all the months.
Comparing Villages and Après Ski
Hotham’s village is near the mountain’s summit at an elevation of 1750 meters which makes it unique in comparison to most other ski resorts. Falls Creek’s village is located at the base and is widely regarded as one of the prettiest ski villages in Australia.
In terms of the atmosphere, Mt. Hotham has a more bustling and lively feel with better nightlife and is usually suits younger people. Falls Creek feels more relaxed and is better suited to families.
- 13 dining/ drinking locations
- 6 sports shops
- 3 supermarkets
- A medial centre and physio
- 2 spas
- 27 dining/ drinking locations
- 6 sports shops
- 1 supermarket
- A medical centre
- A spa
|Winter Activities||Mt. Hotham||Falls Creek|
|Dog Sled Tours||Yes||No|
Location and Traveling
Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek are both located in Victoria and are north-east of Melbourne. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to drive between the resorts. Here is some information on how to get to either ski resort.
The closest international airport to Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek is Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne. The transfer time from the airport is very similar to both resorts. The closest regional airport to Falls Creek is Mt Beauty Airport in Bright which takes approximately 1 hour. Mt. Hotham has its own regional airport which is 25 minutes away from the alpine resort.
|Airport||Time to Mt. Hotham||Time to Falls Creek|
|Mount Beauty (Bright) Airport||1 hour 30 mins||1 hour|
|Mt Hotham Airport||25 min||2 hours 10 mins|
|Wangaratta Airport||2 hours||2 hours 15 mins|
|Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne)||4 hours 25 mins||4 hours 35 mins|
Both resorts are a similar drive time from major locations in Victoria. However, the drive to Falls Creek is a bit easier compared to Mt. Hotham.
|Location||Time to Mt. Hotham||Time to Falls Creek|
|Bright||1 hour||1 hour 30 mins|
|Mt. Beauty||1 hour 30 mins||1 hour|
|Albury Wodonga||2 hours 10 mins||2 hours|
|Melbourne||4 hours 30 mins||4 hours 50 mins|
|Canberra||6 hours||5 hours 30 mins|
|Sydney||8 hours||7 hours 35 mins|
Parking at both resorts costs pretty much the same amount.
- Falls Creek day parking permit is $55
- Mt Hotham day parking permit is $56
Proximity to Other Ski Resorts
Mt. Hotham is located very closely to Dinner Plain Alpine Resort which is a very small location that has 75 acres of skiable terrain and one ski lift. Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek are a similar distance to the other major ski resorts in Victoria and New South Wales.
|Ski Resort||Time to Mt. Hotham||Time to Falls Creek|
|Dinner Plain||15 min||2 hours 15 mins|
|Mt Buller||3 hours 45 mins||4 hours|
|Mount Baw Baw||4 hours 45 mins||5 hours 45 mins|
|Thredbo||4 hours 30 mins||4 hours 30 mins|
|Perisher||5 hours 15 mins||5 hours 15 mins|
Accommodation Options and Price
Both resorts offer fantastic ski-in-ski-out accommodation. In Falls Creek, most of the accommodation is ski-in-ski-out, whereas in Mt. Hotham you also have the option of staying in Dinner Plain which is 15 minutes away.
Mt Hotham Accommodation
- 26 lodges
- 13 chalets
- 21 apartment complexes
Falls Creek Accomodation:
- 4 hotels
- 4 lodges
- 13 apartment complexes
Lift Tickets and Equipment Rental
Lift tickets are the same price at Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek:
- Adult weekday = $148
- Adult weekend = $185
- Child weekday = $81
- Child weekend = $102
There are several places you can rent ski and snowboard equipment in Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek and the prices vary between them. Please see the table below for the average prices.
|Equipment Rental (Daily)||Mt. Hotham||Falls Creek|
|Ski Package Demo||$84||$85|
|Ski Package Performance||$74||$65|
|Ski Package Sport||$64||$50|
|Ski Package Junior||$64||$50|
Prices quoted above are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Based on daily rates when buying in-advance online for tickets and on the day for rentals (better value for money offers are available when booking for multiple days). Prices are in Australian dollars. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.