Melbourne is widely known as the cultural capital of Australia, but a lesser-known fact is that it is also close to some of the best skiing spots in Australia.
From the ski slopes of Victoria to inner-city charms across Melbourne, discover the state’s hidden charms during the upcoming June school holidays.
Hit the slopes
Soak in the vast expanse of Melbourne’s snowfields as you relax at the alpine resorts where ski season runs from June to end-September, or as long as the snow lasts.
Mount Buller is Australia’s most accessible alpine region, about a three-hour drive from Melbourne. It offers different terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. From July 7 to Aug 26, you can even hit the slopes after dark on the weekends during the Twilight Sessions where the hills will be brightly lit until 8.30pm.
There are also plenty of activities to keep the young and young at heart happily occupied. Take your pick from sled dog tours, snow shoe expeditions, toboggan rides and ski lessons from the pros.
More experienced skiers may want to check out Mount Hotham, also known as Australia’s powder capital and Falls Creek, Victoria’s largest snowfield.
Whether you are having some adrenaline-pumping fun on the ski slopes, breathing in the fresh mountain air or huddling over hot chocolate at your ski lodge’s fireplace, you can create plenty of picturesque memories for the family album.
Fine food and wine
Melbourne is filled with gastronomic and cultural festivities throughout the year. In winter, the entire city prepares for the much-anticipated truffle season.
Visit the Truffle Melbourne Festival on the weekend of June 16 and 17. It will be hosted by the iconic Queen Victoria Market, featuring fresh truffle, truffle products and cuisines. There will also be live truffle dog hunts, snacks and live music all through the weekend.
Christmas comes early in Melbourne. In July, Sovereign Hill's Main Street will be decorated with Christmas trees and ornaments. In the daytime, it runs a full children’s theatre programme. At night, it is transformed into a bustling marketplace. Look for the mischievous Gingerbread Man playing peekaboo among the lights. Book your tickets for the Winter Wonderlights in Sovereign Hill, scheduled from June 30 to July 22.
In August, visitors can look forward to the Hot Chocolate Festival held at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. There, adults and children alike can indulge in daily tasting sessions and chocolate-making workshops.
Also, stop in at the popular Winter Night Markets from June 6 to August 29. Be sure to sample the local delicacies and bring home some gifts.
Culture vultures would not want to miss Winter Masterpieces @NGV from June 9 to Oct 7 and Wonderland at ACMI, held until Oct 7. The former features contemporary art from New York’s Museum of Modern Art while the latter is an interactive exhibition that brings you on a whimsical journey into the enchanted world of Alice in Wonderland. It is an innovative showcase of behind-the-scenes features gleaned from the Lewis Carroll classic that will enthrall the whole family.
Visit http://www.visitmelbourne.com/sg for more information on Melbourne’s top attractions and start planning your winter getaway.