Driving from Melbourne
- 1 Escaping from Melbourne
- 1.1 Hume Highway to Myrtleford – easiest route
- 1.2 Princess Highway route to Mt Hotham
- 1.3 Princess Highway route to Mt Baw Baw
- 1.4 Maroondah Highway to Coldstream
- 1.5 Coldstream to Yarck – easiest route
- 2 Myrtleford to Mount Hotham
- 3 Myrtleford to Falls Creek – easiest route
- 4 Mt Beauty to Falls Creek
- 5 Yarck to Maindample or Mansfield
- 6 Mansfield to Mt Buller
- 7 Maindample to Hume Highway
Escaping from Melbourne
The 3 main routes from Melbourne to the snow are up out the Maroondah Highway, up the Hume Highway, or out the Princes Highway through Gippsland. The Maroondah Highway is the main route to Mt Buller and Lake Mountain. It is also a useful route to Mt Hotham and Falls Creek from the Eastern Suburbs. In poor weather, the Princess Highway provides a more reliable approach to Mount Hotham. Mt Baw Baw can be accessed from the Maroondah Highway or the Princes Highway.
Hume Highway to Myrtleford – easiest route
Follow the Hume Highway past Wangaratta then take the turnoff for The Great Alpine Road. Follow The Great Alpine Road through Myrtleford.
Hume Highway to Myrtleford – alternative route
Follow the Hume past the big petrol stations and Macdonalds near Glenrowan. Approximately 1.2 kilometres after MacDonalds, take the turnoff for the Snow Road and follow this through Milawa to meet the Great Alpine Road just before Myrtleford. This road can be marginally quicker, but it is not quite as well maintained as the Great Alpine Road. It has the advantage of taking you to Milawa, home of Brown Bros wines, Milawa cheese and other gourmet delights.
Princess Highway route to Mt Hotham
Drive east along Princess Highway (A1) to Bairnsdale. Once in Bairnsdale, turn off Princess Highway onto the Great Alpine Road (B300) towards Omeo. Once you are on the Great Alpine Rd, it should be an easy and straight fowards drive following the road as it climbs the mountain.
In Omea, follow the Great Alpine Road (B300) directional sign and you should be heading towards Mt Hotham in no time.
Princess Highway route to Mt Baw Baw
Follow the princess Highway towards Warragul. The Mount Baw Baw turnoff is reached just before the Highway passes through Drouin and is a well marked left hand exit. After the exit the road swings west for approx 1km, before a right hand turn is made towards Noojee. From this point on all intersections are clearly marked with directions and travel distances to Mt Baw Baw.
Maroondah Highway to Coldstream
If travelling to Mt Baw Baw, leave the Maroondah Highway just after Lillydale, turning right onto the Warburton Highway.
Coldstream to Yarck – easiest route
As you leave Coldstream, veer left onto the Melba Highway which takes you to Yarra Glen and on over Mt Slide to Yea. Turn right and follow the Goulburn Valley Highway to rejoin the Maroondah Highway just before Yarck.
Coldstream to Yarck – alternative route
Stay on the Maroondah Highway and drive through Healesville and over the Black Spur. If your destination is Lake Mountain, turn off at Narbethong to Marysville. Otherwise continue on through Alexandra to Yarck. This route includes a beautiful drive through tall forest, and past stunning Cathedral Mountain. It is a little longer than the Melba Highway route. There are few overtaking opportunites over the Black Spur so it can be frustrating if you are caught behind slow traffic. There is much less traffic on this road, and in general it is more relaxed than the sometimes reckless and impatient traffic on the main route.
Myrtleford to Mount Hotham
To travel to Mount Hotham, continue on the Great Alpine Road through Bright and Harrietville. Make sure you have petrol, chains and ant-freeze before going further. The climb to Mt Hotham is quite steep at first, then winds along a ridge to the resort entry near Mt St Bernard. The road becomes more exposed and subject to ice at wind from here. It is not uncommon for this road to be closed for hours or even days. If heavy snowfalls are predicted, it is best to travel to Mt Hotham via the Princess Highway
Myrtleford to Falls Creek – easiest route
After Myrtleford on the Great Alpine Road, head south towards Bright. When you are in Ovens, turn left just after passing the Ovens Pub, and follow the road over Rosewhite Gap to the Kiewa Valley Highway. Turn right and follow the Kiewa Valley Highway to Mt Beauty. This route is the quickest and most direct.
Myrtleford to Mt Beauty – alternative routes
Instead of driving over Rosewhite Gap, you can continue on the Great Alpine Road through Bright, turning off shortly afterwards to climb over Tawonga Gap to meet the Kiewa Valley Highway between Tawonga and Tawonga South. It is a much steeper, windier route than Rosewhite Gap, but makes an interesting alternative.
As you drive into Myrtleford, there is a huge upended tree (The Phoenix Tree) that is a natural sculpture. Just after the tree, turn left onto the road to Yackandandah. Follow the road through Mudgeegonga, then turn right to Dederang and Mt Beauty. This road ends in a T. Turn right and follow the road to the Kiewa Valley Highway just before Dederang. Tunnel Gap road is quite a narrow road. It is the less twisty than Roswehite Gap, although there are a couple of tight blind corners. This road is a good alternative if you are towing a load or have car-sick prone passengers. If it is very foggy, this road will be less effected than the other routes.
Mt Beauty to Falls Creek
Make sure you have petrol, chains and anti-freeze before leaving Mt Beauty. The road winds fairly gently up to falls creek. It is sheltered from the weather and is rarely closed. But it is subject to ice.
Yarck to Maindample or Mansfield
Continue on though Bonnie Doon and over Lake Eildon. If travelling to Mt Hotham or Falls Creek, leave the Maroondah Highway at Maindample, turning left onto the Midland Highway. If travelling to Mt Buller, continue in to Mansfield
Mansfield to Mt Buller
It is important to turn right near the end of Main Street since going straight ahead takes you to the town's fair grounds. Once you turn right after the shopping strip, turn left at the end of the short street. After that, it is pretty much straight ahead all the way to the ski resort gates and the carpark.
Maindample to Hume Highway
Follow the Midland Highway through Swan Pool to join the Hume Highway near Benalla.
Maindample to Myrtleford – alternative routes
There are a network of country roads that will get from Maindample to Myrtleford if a scenic leisurely drive is your aim. This region is rich in history, from gold mining to the Kelly gang and other bushrangers. Good food and wine are more recent attractions.
The road from Mansfield to Whitfield was sealed several years ago and makes a great variation, especially if you want to visit the King Valley wineries. After Whitfield, you continue down the King valley to meet the Snow Road near Oxley.
For the more adventurous:
- You can vary the Whitfield route by turning off to travel through Dandongadale and Lake Buffalo.
- From Swanpool on the Midland Highway, you can turn right to Tatong with its well known pub. Then follow minor roads to Greta South, Greta and the Snow Road.