Falls Creek, Victoria
The Ruined Castle chairlift and terrain park
|Location||Alpine National Park
|Nearest city||Mount Beauty - 30 km (20 mi)
|Vertical||380 m (1,247 ft)|
|Top elevation||1,780 m (5,840 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,400 m (4,593 ft)|
|Skiable area||450 ha (1,110 acres)|
- 17% beginner
- 60% intermediate
- 23% advanced
|Longest run||3 km (1.9 mi), Wishing Well|
|Lift system||14 lifts|
|Snowfall||4 m (160 in) per year|
|Night skiing||limited, Wed & Sat 6–9 pm|
The Falls Creek Alpine Resort is an alpine ski resort in the Hume region in northeastern Victoria, Australia. It is located in the Alpine National Park in the Victorian Alps, approximately 350 kilometres (220 miles) by road from Melbourne, with the nearest town Mount Beauty, approximately 30 km (20 mi) away. The resort lies between an elevation of 1,210 and 1,830 m (3,970 and 6,004 ft) above sea level, with the highest lifted point at 1,780 m (5,840 ft). Skiing is possible on the nearby peak of Mount McKay at 1,842 m (6,043 ft), accessed by snowcat from the resort.
After World War II, the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme was started in the Kiewa River valley by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. On land previously used only for summer cattle grazing in the natural alpine grasslands, the first ski lodge was built in 1948 by workers from the scheme. The first lift, a rope tow, was built in 1951 and the first chairlift in Australia was constructed there in 1957.
The high plains in the area were used for summer cattle grazing from 1851 until 2005, when the Government of Victoria did not renew grazing licenses due to concerns about the cattle's impact on the fragile alpine environment. Some of the cattlemen's huts still survive and are a tourist attraction in summer. Mount Bogong, Victoria's highest mountain, is nearby.
Falls Creek is beginner/intermediate friendly, with almost 80% of the resort dedicated to these types of skiers/snowboarders. However, Australia's notoriously fickle snow conditions ensure that snowmaking using the water from the nearby Rocky Valley Lake is sometimes, particularly early in the season, the main source of skiable snow. Consequently, like all Australian snowfields, Falls Creek's customer base is almost entirely domestic, however many international cross country skiers travel to Falls Creek for the Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia's Worldloppet event on the last Saturday of August and international snowboarders to Stylewars, The Australian Slopestyle Championships and Australia's highest sanctioned TTR World Tour event held in the first week of September.
The resort features 4,500 accommodation beds, and consequently a large number of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to amuse the guests at night. Some apartments are privately owned, but the resort's management requires that they must be available for hire when not occupied.
The resort also serves as a summer base to explore the national park surrounding the resort.
Falls Creek is accessible by the Bogong High Plains Road from Mount Beauty all year round, though like all of Australia's snow resorts snow chains must be carried during winter and fitted if directed. The road continues across the High Plains and descends to meet the Omeo Highway north of the hamlet of Anglers Rest, however the route from this side is closed during the snow season.
In summer both routes are popular with cyclists, and various cycling events are held that involve climbing to the resort, including the popular SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge (recently renamed to Falls Creek Peaks Challenge).
- Highest elevation: 1,842 m (6,043 ft)
- Highest lifted elevation: 1,780 m (5,840 ft)
- Village elevation: 1,600 m (5,250 ft)
- Number of lifts: 14
- Snowline elevation: 1,100 m (3,610 ft)
- Average yearly snowfall: 4 m (160 in)
- Average days open in winter: 128
- Number of Runs: 92+
- Longest advanced run: Wishing Well, 3 km (1.9 mi)
- Longest beginner run: Wombats Ramble, 2.2 km (1.4 mi)
- Terrain mix: 17% beginner, 60% intermediate, 23% advanced
- Number of trails: 21
- Groomed trail network: 65 km (40 mi)
- Longest trail: Rocky Valley Dam Loop, 21 km (13 mi)
- Terrain mix: Beginner 33%, Intermediate 48%, Advanced 19%
- International Poma: 4:50 per ride, 1,525 to 1,775 m (5,003 to 5,823 ft); vertical rise of 250 m (820 ft)
- Gully Chair (3 person)
- Summit Chair (4 person)
- Eagle Chair (3 person)
- Falls Creek Express (4 person detachable): 3:35 per ride, 1,560 to 1,750 m (5,118 to 5,741 ft); vertical rise of 190 m (623 ft)
- Drovers Dream Chair: 6:45, 1,640 to 1,745 m (5,381 to 5,725 ft).; vertical rise of 105 m (344 ft)
- Towers Chair (4 person): 6:00 per ride, 1,615 to 1,745 m (5,299 to 5,725 ft); vertical rise of 130 m (427 ft)
- Board Walk
- Mouse Trap
- Monkey Bars
- Lakeside Poma
- Scotts Chair (4 person): 6:00 per ride, 1,615 to 1,740 m (5,299 to 5,709 ft); vertical rise of 125 m (410 ft)
- Ruined Castle Chair (4 person): 4:30 per ride, 1,655 to 1,775 m (5,430 to 5,823 ft); vertical rise of 120 m (390 ft)
- Steven Lee, Olympic and World Cup alpine skier. Also a back-country tour guide for Falls Creek
- Malcolm Milne (born 1948), World Cup alpine racer, learned to ski at Falls Creek
- Ross Milne (1944–1964), learned to ski at Falls Creek.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
Media related to Falls Creek, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Falls Creek Ski Lifts Pty Ltd Site
- Falls Creek Terrain Park Site
- The Age - Falls Creek Corporate Ski Race Site
- Falls Creek Official Employment Site
- Falls Creek Race Club Official Site
- Falls Creek snow report on ski.com.au
- Falls Creek Trailmap
- Falls Creek on wikiski.com
- Victorian Cross Country Ski Team
- A list of all 40 lifts to operate at Falls Creek at the Australian ski lift directory.