Hotham Village is in the heart of the Victorian Alps, surrounded by Alpine National Park. It's at 1750 metres, just below the summit of Mount Hotham, and thanks to the Great Alpine Road is easily accessible. The road runs from Wangaratta in the north of Victoria to Bairnsdale in the south.
Hotham became a ski resort as the result of stockmen from Cobungra station moving stock over the mountain to the Ovens and Kiewa valleys. Grazing was followed by mining when gold was discovered in almost all of the surrounding river valleys. Rough tracks gave access for stock movement and mines and were then used by tourists lured by the natural attractions. The first accommodation was established in 1863 by Mother Morrell at St Bernard. It later became the St Bernard Hospice.
The popular resort is one of few ski villages on top of a mountain and that's what makes it unusual. Spectacular peaks, ridgelines and deep valleys are right there, along with all the comforts of restaurants, bars, cafés, cinemas, day spa and boutique shopping. The biggest drawcard, though, is the excellent settling snow, much sought after by skiers and snowboarders. The aspect of the slopes in relation to the warming winter sun means there's usually quality powder snow, along with some challenging runs for experienced skiers and boarders. There are also plenty of opportunities for beginners and developers.
Shortstop Jet Charter will fly you by private jet to Mount Hotham. Check in at Essendon Airport, just 15 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, at 8.45am and jet out in the nine-seater at 9am. You'll be met on the tarmac at 9.30am and whisked straight to the slopes for your snow gear and lift passes.
By 10.30am you will be whizzing up and down the mountain, until 3.3pm when it's back to your waiting jet.
If you can't bear to tear yourself away, why not spend a night or two at Absollut, the superb new accommodation in Hotham? It has just four apartments, including two penthouses which have marble kitchens, large spa baths and cable television. The other two apartments have a lobby entry with fireplace.
A 30-minute flight from Melbourne.
Melbourne Business Jets, operated by Shortstop Jet Charter, return Mt Hotham flight is $772 per person. Ski wear, skis and lift passes are included.
Absollut Penthouse accommodation starts at $365 per person a night. Book a holiday now for 2006 and receive 10 percent off and free group ski lessons.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Shortstop Jet Charter
Hangar 5, Wirraway Road,
Ph: (03) 9379 9299