Mount Hotham, Victoria
In the heart of the Australian Alps National Park, Mount Hotham is best known for its snowy slopes, attracting thousands of tourists every winter. However, as the weather warms and the snow melts away, a plethora of alpine trails, bushland and native wildlife are revealed.
Bushwalking/alpine trail running: The bushwalking season opens at the start of November, and there are tracks to suit everyone from beginners to pros. A scheduled free guided bushwalking program operates on most of the major holidays and public holiday weekends between now and Easter.
If you prefer to explore solo, you can take to one of the multiple hiking tracks, including Huts Walk and Cobungra Ditch Walking Track, 10km of track at an elevation of just over 1500m. These also connect to other tracks, including the Hotham to Dinner Plain Ski Trail, accumulating to more than 30km of available track.
The Australian Alps Walking Track (650km) passes through this area and hikers can take on the 60km section between Mount Hotham and Mount Bogong as a five-day hike.
Road and mountain biking: Boasting the highest bitumen road in Australia, the mountain offers 38km of winding roads if you begin your ascent in the valley town of Harrietville.
Note: the steepest sections are at a grade of 18 percent. For those who prefer a rougher road there are many 4WD tracks and fire trails through the bush.
Horse riding: Bring your own horse along and ride through Victoria’s High Country, or take a guided horseback riding adventure. Dinner Plain Trail Rides offers one-hour beginner rides, as well as two-hour, half-day or full-day rides with bookings.
Location: Mount Hotham is 212km northeast of Melbourne. It can be accessed by car from both Omeo (5.5-hour drive from Melbourne) and Bright (4.5-hour drive from Melbourne).
Accommodation: Some lodges are closed for summer but there is still plenty of accommodation options, both in the heart of Hotham and in Dinner Plain, a small town 12km away. Free camping is available at JB Hut, 2km west of Dinner Plain.
Food/drink: Between Hotham and Dinner Plain there are more than 20 different restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars. Larger supermarkets and more restaurants are available in Bright and Omeo.
Maps: Maps are available on the Mount Hotham website.
More info: www.mthotham.com.au/events-activities/summer-activities