Tawonga is an old farming village about an hour south of Albury, near the Kiewa River, at foot of Mt Bogong. In the 1930's the Kiewa hydro scheme was started, on the Bogong High Plains and the Kiewa River. Mt Beauty was the town built as the base for this work. It is about 6km south of Tawonga. It was a closed town that only the company people could get into. Another settlement grew up next to it for people providing services to Mt Beauty, Tawonga South. Some of the workers on the hydro saw potential for skiing and Falls Creek was born.
These days the 3 areas really function as one, but with some character differences. Mt Beauty is mainly small older houses and the CBD. Tawonga South is mainly newer houses and many tourism businesses. Houses are almost, but not quite, continuous all the way back to Tawonga. Tawonga is smaller and quieter with a mix of older and newer houses.
As well as the traditional dairy, beef and timber industries, tobacco was a big industry, with a lot of Italian families coming to the area. Wine growing is significant these days too.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Activities
- 7 Facilities & Services
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Mt Beauty is ~32km from Falls Creek, so skiing is a part of our tourism.
You can save a lot of money on accommodation. Or stay for a lot longer. If you only go for a week, then your chances of getting fantastic conditions are not as good as if you go for 3 or 4 weeks.
If the weather or snow is not good then it is easy to do other stuff: golf, tennis, horse riding, wineries, historic towns. There is nothing more boring than the 3rd day in a row of blizzards or rain on the mountain.
If you have kids or others who don't want to ski everyday, then it is a better place to just hang around, along with the above activities. You can also hire bikes and there is a bmx track and skatepark.
It is a beautiful place, in a wide valley with fantastic mountain views. The vibe is friendly and relaxed.
You need to drive 30-45 minutes each day to ski/board.
You might fall in the love with the place and want to live here all the time.
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There are a number of ways of driving from Melbourne.
Plane, Train, Bus
Lots to choose from. From caravan parks to motels, units, luxury B&Bs. If you don't have your own transport you need to check that your accommodation isn't too far from services you need. If you have a car, everything is within 5 minutes or so.
Ski Hires - 5 if I have remembered to count them all. If you are into XC, Rocky Valley specialises in XC. Most of the ski hires sell gate entry passes and hire chains (chains at servos too). Hiring off mountain is generally quicker than on mountain. Most if not all the ski hires have arrangements with places on the mountain in case you need adjustments or other assistance.
- Alpine Skiing
- Cross Country skiing
- Back Country skiing
- Mountain Biking
- Road Cycling
- BMX track
- Gliding and ultralights
- Rafting and Canoeing
Facilities & Services
Petrol - 3 service stations in winter, 2 at other times. (petrol stations close at 7pm)
Lift Tickets - On weekends and some other days you can buy your lift ticket at Bogong Ski Centre and avoid the queues up top
Buses - Falls Creek Coach Service (previously Pyles) run buses several times a day to Falls Creek. They also have services to Albury and Melbourne
Hitching - you have a pretty good chance of getting a ride if you stand in the little pull-off near the golf course on the way out of town.
For a town of its size, dining is pretty good. In approximate order of up-market-ness:
- Roi's Diner (Tawonga) - modern Italian, listed in the Age Good Food Guide. Dinner Thur-Sun
- Ivory Rooms (Tawonga) - fairly new. Not yet sure if it will operate in winter, or only summer. Dinner Thur-Sun
- Skafferi (Mt Beauty) - brekkie & lunch every day with a Scandinavian touch. Local ingredients featured.
- Treats (Tawonga Sth) - brekkie & lunch every day, dinner on the busier nights.
- PK's (Tawonga Sth) - more stylish bar, pizza & take-away
- Bogong Pub (Tawonga) - old art-deco pub
- Settlers Tavern (Tawonga Sth) - modern pub
- Country Club (Mt Beauty) - equivalent to pub
- All Joy Chinese (Mt Beauty) - eat in and takeaway
- Alpine Charcoal Chicken & Pizza (Tawonga Sth)- general takeaway but the highlight is LaIonica chooks spit cooked over charcoal
- Mt Beauty Bakery (Mt Beauty)- brekkie & lunch, but mostly coffee, tea and just hanging out
- Hearty Eats (Mt Beauty) - brekkie & lunch
- Annapurna - cafe
- Ceccanti - cafe
- Bogong Estate - tasting only
- Tawonga - you need to call ahead to arrange a tasting
Bars & Entertainment
Night life is not really what you come to Mt Beauty for. The pubs sometimes have live music. There are pokies at the Country Club. There may be a special event of some sort. But anywhere you go for tea will be pretty friendly and the drinks will probably be cheaper than up top. Some of the locals prefer the Bogong (in Tawonga), others Settlers (in Tawonga Sth). You don't want to drink and drive (and the cops are pretty diligent) so drinking near where you are staying may be the go. Or there is a taxi service.
- Banks - Commonwealth, ANZ , Bendigo, NAB via the post office
- Supermarket - surprisingly good range for a town this size, especially the deli
- Butchers - 2
- Green grocer
- Bike paths, bmx, mountain bike trails
- Skate park
- Horse riding