Dog sledding at Falls Creek.
Lochie and the huskies in Falls Creek.
Lochie hits the slopes in Falls Creek well, sort of. He sits back, relaxes and appreciates the beautiful countryside as he takes a dog-sled ride with the huskies.
Falls Creek in winter is busy with skiers and snow boarders. Now there's a new way to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery: sit back and let a team of beautiful Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies take you sledding.
Greg and Shelley Badior once lived in Queensland, where they owned and raced malamutes. Five years ago they bought the Mt Beauty post office in Victoria’s high country. They knew their heavily-coated dogs would love the climate.
Operating the post office is the Badiors’ main job. In their spare time Greg trains the dogs for the couple’s new venture, Sled Dog Tours at Falls Creek. It’s the first commercial dog-sled tour available in the southern hemisphere.
Falls Creek management initially put Greg and his dogs through the ropes they had to prove their idea was viable for the resort. They passed with flying colours and Greg now runs four trips a day, five days a week. Saturdays and Sundays are rest days, as cross-country skiers frequently use the same trails on weekends.
The starting place is Windy Corner, then through Sun Valley to Scott’s Chairlift and back to Windy in an eight-kilometre loop.
There are nine dogs in the team, but only eight are used at a time. One is always resting in case they need a substitute. The front dogs are responsible for steering and respond to Greg’s calls and instructions.
The sleds are about two-metres long and wooden-framed with a non-stick surface. The passengers’ sled pouch is lined with sheepskin, which makes for a warm and comfortable ride.