Good news, the closest place to see snow from the Melbourne CBD isn't all that far away. In fact, it can easily be done as a day trip.
The closest snow to Melbourne can usually be found during Winter on the summit of Mt Donna Buang, near Warburton and just 70 km east of Melbourne. For daily snow updates (during the snow season) go to Visit Warburton Facebook page.
With free access to the mountain (yes that’s right no charge!) Mt Donna is the perfect place for families to enjoy a low or no-cost snow experience and is especially popular for first-time snow outings.
The pretty village of Warburton lies at the base of Mt Donna Buang and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to fill hungry tummies with a variety of delicious meals and snacks either before or after you visit (or both).
On weekends you will also find a food van on the mountain that has plenty to tempt you with hot chips, hot chocolates and other popular ‘snow’ treats.
The trip up the Mt Donna Buang is approximately 17 km and there is generally no need for chains; however, on busy days, travellers may need to be prepared to wait for access and depending on conditions there may be restrictions in place (and snow clearing each morning) – Parks Victoria and VicRoads are handy information sources on the day. Your patience will ensure everyone has a great time.
Essential snow updates can be found each morning on the Visit Warburton – The Waterwheel Facebook page – the official site for Warburton Valley - so be sure to like the page to stay in the loop.
Snowfalls can be generous but at times unpredictable, so always check weather conditions before you set off. You can also pop into our Visitor Information Centre - The Waterwheel - on the main street of Warburton to chat with one of our volunteers and pick up some maps.
Once you're on the snow-capped mountain, there's a wonderful toboggan slope (you can hire toboggans in the township of Warburton and on the summit) and an excellent climbing tower with views all the way back to Melbourne on a clear day. Children and families will enjoy the wide open spaces for making snowmen and general snow play.
For the adventurous at heart, there are several walking tracks (but be sure to be safe and let people know where you are going) and for cycling enthusiasts, check in with Doug at Cog Bike Shop for super snow cycling experiences.
Make sure to dress warmly and pack a dry set of clothes so that when you come off the mountain you can relax and enjoy all the other activities Warburton has to offer. A wander on the main street will delight the senses and provide you with a relaxing outing too, and the Rainforest Gallery – halfway up the mountain – is a wonderful elevated walk through the tree tops – you might even see the ubiquitous lyrebird!
Since the closest snow to Melbourne is only an hour away, why not turn your day out in Warburton into a winter wonderland break? Stay overnight, get cosy in a B&B and take the time to slow down and enjoy a true experience of nature in all its finest. Warburton is where it all begins, including great childhood memories.
Like the Visit Warburton – The Waterwheel Facebook page here – the best local source for snow updates and essential local information.