Popular Victorian ski resort - closest to Melbourne
Mount Baw Baw Alpine Village and the 13,530 hectare Baw Baw National Park are the closest ski resorts to Melbourne. The Alpine Resort is ideal for downhill skiing, walking, mountain bicycle riding and ski boarding. It is a popular destination both in summer and winter with the area in summer being typical of Australian alpine regions. It is characterised by low lying grasses, snow gums and heathlands and is ideal for bushwalking.
Mount Baw Baw is located 176 km due east of Melbourne.^ TOP
Origin of Name
No one is sure what Baw Baw means but it is probably a local Aboriginal word meaning either 'echo', 'ghost' or 'bandicoot'.^ TOP
Things to See and Do
Skiing at Mount Baw Baw
Mount Baw Baw prides itself in having 35 hectares of snow terrain with seven ski lifts, toboggan areas, magic carpets and groomed runs. It also has 10 km of cross country trails through snow gums. In summer it is a wonderland of wildflowers. There are a number of walking trails out of the village and the DH1 is a national standard downhill mountain bike track. All the resort's up-to-date information is available on the excellent Mount Baw Baw Resort website. Check out https://mountbawbaw.com.au/about.
Walking in the Baw Baw National Park
The park, which covers 13,530 ha, is ideal for summer bushwalks, offering both short and long tracks, including the first long-distance walking track in Victoria which was cut by the Public Works Department in 1906 between Walhalla and Warburton. The Baw Baw National Park offers panoramic views and botanical diversity including wildflowers in the spring, stands of alpine ash, a rare club moss, and two species of fauna only found in this area: the Baw Baw frog and a type of Leadbeater's possum, as well as lyrebirds, echidnas, platypuses, gliders, wallabies, goannas and a variety of birds. Mount Erica was named after the Baw Baw berry, a species of the Erica genus of shrubs. There is an excellent, and comprehensive trails page at https://mountbawbaw.com.au/hiking with information and downloadable maps for the following walks:
* Big Hill Walk - an easy 20 minute walk
* Latrobe Trail - an easy 30 minute walk
* Beech Trail - an easy 30 minute walk
* Summit Lookout Trail - a moderate 90 minute walk
* Village & McMillan's Trail - an easy/moderate 3 hour trail (return)
National Park Trails
* Mt Baw Baw 3 Peaks - a moderate walk of 15.5 km return
* Mt Baw Baw to Whitelaw Hut Site - a moderate walk of 21 km return
* Mt Baw Baw to Mushroom Rocks - a moderate walk of 30 km return
* Walhalla to Mount Baw Baw Great Walk - a moderate walk of 40 km one way
* Baw Baw National Park Half-Traverse - a moderate walk of 40.5 km (return)
* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area around Mount Baw Baw was visited by the GunaiKurnai Aboriginal people particularly during the bogong moth season.
* By the 1850s the GunaiKurnai has been dispossessed of the land.
* In 1860 the explorer Baron Ferdinand von Mueller reached the top of Mount Baw Baw.
* The European history of the district began in December 1862 when Ned Stringer found gold in the creek near Walhalla.
* A track from Melbourne to the goldfields was established in 1862. It was known as the Yarra Track.
* In 1870 Mount Baw Baw was surveyed. It was determined to be 1564 metres above sea level.
* The district was opened up and settled in the 1880s and 1890s largely as a result of the gold discoveries in the area.
* In 1890 a two foot track was cut to Mount Baw Baw.
* By 1906 the Warburton-Walhalla walking trail had been constructed.
* In 1945 the first hut on the Ski Club of Victoria was built on the mountain.
* The first tow on the mountain was built by the Mt Erica Club in 1955.
* In 1959 a Committee of Management was established to develop the area.
* By 1967 the first ski school was established on the mountain.
* Between 1970 and 1975 a number of chairlifts were built.
* In 1997 reticulated power was established at Mount Baw Baw.
* In 2008 a Snow Factory was established to ensure regular snow.
* Today the area is a popular ski resort in the winter months and the rich variety of walking tracks attract bushwalkers during summer.^ TOP
Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort, 32 Currawong Road, Baw Baw Village, tel: (03) 5165.^ TOP
For general enquiries about the range of accommodation - check out https://mountbawbaw.com.au/accommodation.^ TOP
There is an excellent local website. Check out https://www.mountbawbaw.com.au.^ TOP