Mt Baw Baw
Mount Baw Baw is a small downhill skiing resort located in Gippsland, Victoria. It is an excellent must visit ski resort for beginners who have no previous skills on skiing to wish to start learning.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Latitude: -37.84 Longitude: 146.27
- Short drive
- Lots of natural terrain
- Typically gets the first of the winter blasts
- Relatively inexpensive
- Family oriented resort
- No chair lifts
- Long lift queues on busy days
- Tank hill (the mountains token beginners' run) is very very crowded on busy days, and best avoided (even by beginners) when conditions are like this.
- A long winding road in from Noojee.
Phone: 1300 651 136
Fax: (03) 5165 1125
Postal: PLEASE EDIT
- (Moe) Willow Grove Road C465 (Moe / Trafalgar):
You can get onto this road by heading north at the Prince's Highway Traffic Lights at the western end of Trafalgar or from Moe you head to the northern end of Moore Street and turn left. You continue on this road past the towns of Willow Grove and Hill End until you reach the intersection of Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road at Icy Creek.
- Main Neerim Road C425 (Nilma / Warragul / Drouin):
Head north on Bloomfield Road until you reach the intersection at Crossover.
Travel up Victoria Street which then turns into Brandy Creek Road. The intersection with Main Neerim Road occurs at Rokeby.
Take the Drouin exit closest to the rest stop, head north and turn right when you reach Old Sale Road. This road soon becomes Main Neerim Road.
All these routes on Main Neerim Road take you through Neerim South, Neerim Junction and Nayook eventually intersecting with Yarra Junction Noojee Road at Piedmont.
- Yarra Junction - Noojee Road C 425 (Lilydale):
Exit left from the Warburton Highway B380 at Yarra Junction and continue along Yarra Junction - Noojee Road C425 to Noojee.
- South Face Road (Moe / Traralgon):
From Traralgon you head up through Tyers, from Moe you head through Erica and both ways will eventually find yourself at Rawson. Heading north toward the Thompson Dam and Mount St Gwinear, about 3km or so (as you hit a slight downhill section of the road) you will find a gravel road on your left with a street sign labelling it as South Face Road/Mount Baw Baw. After 25-30km the SFR intersects with the original road to Baw Baw just below the new gate entry.
Travel Time From Moe/Traralgon: ~0:55
- Tanjil Bren Road (Moe / Erica):
Leaving from Moe, you head toward Erica up Moe Rawson Road. When you reach Moondarra State Park, there will be a State Park Sign on the left side of the road beside a dirt road leading off into the bush. Turn up this dirt road and you are now on Tanjil Bren Road.
Every kilometre on this road is marked by a number. From memory there are around 35 kilometres of dirt road, and the numbers count up from 1 at the Erica end. This road will leave you on Baw Baw Tourist Road around one kilometre from gate entry (there is a sign on the tree there that says 'UHF 22 On This Road') It is advisable to carry a chainsaw when travelling on this road and although it can be done in a standard sedan, you really should use a 4x4.
Travel Time From Moe: ~1:25
On mountain accommodation is dominated by club lodges, which are all located centrally in the Village. Kellys Lodge has a few rooms available and the Alpine Hotel offers cheap, backpacker style accommodation.
With the South Face Road open, it's approximately 25 minute drive to Rawson which has a couple of small hotel style accommodation available. In the Melbourne direction, Noojee would be the closest town that provides accommodation options.
The lift ticket office is located near the bottom of Hut Run, however it is a local-known fact that instead of having to walk to the lift ticket office from the day carpark, you can actually head down Candle Heath Drive to the bottom of Maltese T-bar (and upon mentioning to the lifties that you are doing this) you are allowed to travel up the lift to come down Hut Run to get to the lift ticket office. Full ticket price list here.
Mount Baw Baw Snowsports school is located across from Hut run platter, just a short walk from Village central. Although only small in size when compared to the larger resorts, they cater for skiers of all abilities - although their primary demographics are first/second time lessons. All lessons commence across from the skiosk at the bottom of Tank hill.
Unlike other (bigger) mountain resorts in Victoria, there is only one on-mountain equipment hire store, Baw Baw Ski Hire. It is located next door to the Village Central complex and is impossible to miss when walking in along Currawong Road.
Parking is done in one of the 5 car parks, with the day carpark located closest to the village (which will fill up by 10am on a busy weekend) and working their way down the road. All carparks are located within 500m of the village, so walking isn't a problem. If you are staying overnight you must park in either carpark 2,3 or 4 - otherwise you will have irate snow clearers to deal with!
- EDIT ACTIVITY
EDIT ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION
There are two options for on-mountain dining, as well two take away cafe's.
Village Central - Building completed in 2005 near the site of the old chairlift, next to ski hire. It is home to one of the greatest sunsets in Australia and on a clear day it is possible to see both the snow and the ocean at the same time. Open all day during season and weekends during off season.
Kelly's - Located adjacent to the toboggan run, Kelly's Cafe offers dinning and turns into a bar around 9pm. Its open all year round.
Skiosk - Small take-away place operating on weekends, located at the bottom of Tank hill saving the walk back to the village for food or drink!
Riders Bite - Located in the Alpine Hotel offering the same service as the skiosk on busy weekends.
Bars & Entertainment
Known as "The Pub", pretty much the only night spot on the mountain, live entertainment plays every Saturday night until 1am, with theme nights regularly (Miss Baw Baw cross-dressing night is a favorite). Friday's also have something on, but check beforehand.
Popular for pre-drinks around sunset, however it closes early and is more restaurant based.
Turns into a bar around 9pm until 11pm, when everyone finds thier way to the pub. Acoustic entertainment is often provided, however not on a regular basis so check what's on.
A rather steep run to learn on, but it keeps the beginner traffic separate from the more experienced rider. It is also the shortest run on the mountain, giving beginners a nice short lift ride to get used to. It has a magic carpet on the skiers right of the hill on a slope that is perfect for the very first timer or the younger child to learn on and has a Poma/Platter tow on the skiers left side of the hill that takes you to the top. Lesson groups typically only ride this tow half way as the upper half of the hill is the steeper part.
Hut Run Lower
Although Hut run is rated as a Blue, the lower half is starting to be used for beginner traffic due to its low gradient and wide area. This also reduces the load on Tank hill during peak periods.
Almost all runs at Baw Baw (snow providing) are groomed with the exceptions being Playground, Slalom and Old Hut.
As Mt Baw Baw is located on a plateau, off-piste is basically non-existent, however there is a section of open area north of the lookout which has great natural terrain and a really good rock drop. As it faces north, you have to get there in a good snow year. On sunny days it quickly becomes slushy so is best hit mid to late July.
Out of Bounds
After a strong southerly blast or in a particularly good snow year, a great out of bounds ski/board can be found along the old Chairlift run. The run used to be serviced by a Chairlift running from Chairlift gully to the top station where Village Central is now located. It is hardly utilized by the beginner clientele that Baw Baw attracts, meaning freshies all the way to the bottom! After a low level snowfall, it is possible to ski all the way to the road, where a pickup can be arranged.
For those willing to hike a short distance, Big Hill is available for riding and still sign posted as a black run. you find it by walking south (and slightly east) from the base of Painted T Bar.
The Baw Baw Plateau offers a great range of ski tours through snow gum woodland and large open areas.
Parks & Pipes
A snow skate park located on the side of Big Hill (opposite the Skiosk) with snow skateboards being available to hire.
Cactus Black rail park commenced operation in season 2007 taking space on the run known as Old Hut. Consisting of a series of boxes and rails it is serviced by the Hut Run platter with Rail Park specific lift tickets available for those just wanting to session the boxes.
Due to the minimal traffic that this mountain receives compared to the larger resorts, the only location you are likely to get bumps is on the blacks between Hut Run and Champagne and only in a decent season.
Just before you head down Maltese Cross, there is a trail leading off to the west. After a decent fall (30cm) these trees are a perfect location for untouched powder. Beware in icy conditions however, as the berms that form through people riding the same pathway through the trees can become bullet proof, and impossible to slow down on.
La Descent (Early Exit)
Halfway along the top of La Descent, and before you hit the drop down, you turn right through the trees into a short and punchy powder steep that rarely gets ridden. In good powder however, it is sometimes a struggle to hike out of as the exit is quite flat.
This run has been omitted from the current trail maps but has existed in past maps and brochures. Only after a good fall is this run rideable and only for a period of one or two days thereafter as a drainage creek forms in the middle splitting the run in half. It lies between the run Drops on the Rocks and the Maltese lift trail and is typically entered from Maltese cross run (however this usually involves ducking/jumping the rope that closes it off). An alternate entry point is at the bottom of Slam Dunk, shooting through the trees to the skiers right, and across a (usually busy) lift trail.
When the fog and wind sets in, the only runs worth hitting are those that aren't that open to the elements. Hut Run, Old Hut, Slalom and Tank Hill are the four that are usually the best for minimising the wind, and having the most visibility.
The Frosti Frog Hollow Toboggan Run is in the centre of the village at the base of the Maltese T-bar and overlooked by the pub. As of season 2006 you are required to purchase a toboggan pass to ride a toboggan in this area.
The Frantic Frog Supertube Park used to be located on Big Hill, across from the Skiosk. but was removed prior to the commencement of the 2008 season.
Another location used for snowplay is north of the day carpark. This area is slightly steeper than the toboggan run and the park bench there is sometimes used as a snowboarding jib.
The current village was founded in 1945 when the first ski hut was built a few kilometres beyond a newly extended logging road. A list of all lifts to have operated on the mountain can be found on this link.
Season 2003 some jumps and a couple of rails were set up on Painted run. Season 2004 saw the introduction of some additional rails. Season 2005 this park was relocated to the return of La Descent due to lack of snow on Painted. Rumored for 2006 was rails were to be setup randomly around the mountain, however with the snow conditions being well below average, this didn't end up being the case. In 2007, with the sponsorship of Cactus Black Surf/Snow/Skate shop a series of boxes and rails were built and set up on Old Hut.