Hiking from Mt Hotham to Falls Creek, two of Victoria’s major ski resorts, is becoming a bushwalking Victoria favourite. Why? Tree-less alpine high plains and majestic ridges in multiple shades of blue; white mountain gentians, yellow billy buttons and elegantly striped snow gums; butterflies, birds and feisty brumbies (wild horses).
Taking in a leg of the long-distance Australian Alps Walking Track, in Alpine National Park, this hike tests fitness and can punish ill-prepared hikers. National park camping areas encourage you to slow down and spend two or more days on foot but it’s also do-able as a big day walk.
The shortest route (allow 8 hours) is between parking areas at Mt Loch (just outside Mt Hotham village) and Pretty Valley Pondage (6km short of Falls Creek) – Falls Creek runs a summer shuttle between the resorts. This route visits Dibbin Hut, the most recent Cobungra Creek shelter since the Dibbins brothers established a summer cattle run here in 1900; cattle are now banned from the high country.
A longer, harder option (9-10 hours) passes remote, mountainside Red Robin Mine, which has yielded gold almost continuously since 1940.