Victoria's Mt Hotham is a wonderful destination year-round. Perched high on a ridgeline, Hotham's spectacular setting has 360-degree views across the mountains, with Mt Feathertop, Mt McKay, Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek all visible on clear days. Known as the powder capital of Australia, Hotham holds the record for the highest annual snowfall of any Victorian resort over the past decade.
It has a huge range of activities and while best known for skiing and snowboarding, there doesn't need to be snow to enjoy the area. In summer it is the perfect base for exploring the Victorian High Country while enjoying bushwalking, bike and horse riding and fly fishing.
Snow resorts aren't all about skiing and boarding you can be pampered at a spa retreat and rug up for a dogsled tour. Brett Hadden started the tours in Hotham in 2007 and with his team of huskies takes you along a 2km wind-protected track winding through towering snowgums.
The huskies, Koda, Akita, Rex, Blaze and Nikky, who recently gave birth to Mya, are like Brett's children and each year they compete in events in Victoria's forests. They have done him proud winning many ribbons.
Each dog has a specific role which it understands very well. The strength of wheel dogs gets the sled up hills. Swing dogs steer and are the horsepower. Lead dogs also steer. When racing the sleds, they can reach up to 32km/h, but tours are gentler and travel at around 10km/h.
The Siberian husky has quite a history. For centuries the purebred dog was used in north-eastern Asia by the Chukchi people as an endurance sled dog. In 1909 large numbers were taken to Alaska to compete in long-distance races and their speed and tenacity were soon recognised.
In 1925 the dogs took life-saving serum from Neana to Nome, Alaska to treat victims of a diphtheria epidemic. Their heroism earned them national prominence.
White Spa is Australia's highest-located spa retreat. Designed by Italian architect Giovanni D'Ambrosio, it has four treatment rooms and an aqua therapy room. It offers the ultimate in therapeutic relaxation, skin care, massage and aromatherapy, and offers treatment for aches and pains.
After a day of sledding or skiing, what could be more welcome than some pampering, a glass of champagne and taking in the sweeping snowfields? The spa also offers a selection of lunch and light snacks.