Dinner Plain Activities


Dinner Plain Activities

For many visitors, Dinner Plain is primarily just a base to go skiing or snowboarding at Mt Hotham 11km up the road. However Dinner Plain itself also has a handful of local winter activities on offer (some subject to snow conditions!). There is a small Dinner Plain information centre that can provide a little advice on things to do in the area.

Dinner Plain Kids Activities

One of the reasons many families stay at Dinner Plain rather than Mt Hotham is that Dinner Plain offers easy opportunities for snow play in areas that are generally protected from the elements.

The village has various reserve areas where you can build a snowman or igloo and there are little mounds for an introduction to tobogganing. The real tobogganing happens on a dedicated slope next to the ski run. When the snow is firm, the tobogganing is surprisingly fast resulting in plenty of squealing! The toboggan run is not lift served so you’ll need to be fit to repeatedly walk up the hill, but the upside is that it’s free. If your lodge doesn’t have toboggans for use, these can be hired from the ski shops.

Dinner Plain Ski Slope

The Dinner Plain ski slope is OK for the kids and complete beginners, and considering it’s just one short green run, there’s never any fear of losing the kids. Snow cover can be somewhat unreliable, although this has improved with the introduction of snow making. The addition of lighting for night skiing has also increased the usability of the ski run.

The lift tickets at Dinner Plain are the cheapest in Australia, and lessons are also available.

Cross Country Skiing

Calling all chook footers! Dinner Plain is a fabulous spot for cross country skiing with 16km of groomed trails that loop around the village and meander in amongst the pretty snowgums. Most of the trails are for beginners, although there are also a few black runs that are very short and sweet. The trails are groomed regularly but they are not track set and some of the trails (Fitzy's Cirque and Collector's Cirque) are multi-purpose so don’t expect perfect corduroy.

Good luck trying to find a map of the Dinner Plain cross country trails! You might find one online that’s very out of date, whilst the information centre can provide cross country ski maps that give an indication of where to cross country ski (i.e. the map is NQR). That being said, the trails are easy to navigate and you probably don’t need a map.

For those feeling more energetic, there are cross country ski trails that connect DP to Mt Hotham which vary from treed areas to picturesque open plains. The trails are groomed for classic and skating, and walking is not permitted. Trail maps for this area between Dinner Plain and Hotham are readily available, and the routes are well marked. Perhaps you could ski up to The General at Hotham for lunch and if you’ve had one too many bevvies, you could always catch the bus back to Dinner Plain!

Cross country equipment can be hired from a couple of the Dinner Plain shops (for seemingly outrageous prices). Otherwise this is an inexpensive activity as there are no trail fees – you’ve just got to pay for your scroggin to take with you!


The cross country trails can also be used for snowshoeing. Snowshoes can be hired from the ski shops.

Dog Sledding

Or you can have a howling good time when you go dog sledding at Dinner Plain with Howling Husky Sled Dog Tours. Some of the Siberian Huskies are just beautiful. Be sure to at least go and say hello to the dogs.

The Sled Dog Challenge is a popular event that attracts many competitors and spectators (every man and his dogs!) to Dinner Plain in early August. The village becomes a howling buzz of activity, and it’s amazing to watch the dogs and their mushers slogging it out around the tree lined trails.

Dinner Plain Spa - Relaxation Activities

For some relaxation and spoiling, you can head to The Onsen day spa that offers a range of massage and beauty treatments. This Dinner Plain spa provides a very pampering experience, but you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for the privilege. The prices are akin to a few of the very top day spas in Melbourne.

The Onsen Dinner Plain also has a Japanese inspired “onsen”. Even though this hot pool provides a relaxing way to finish the day after battering the body on the slopes, the “onsen” is definitely in inverted commas as it’s chlorinated and not a mineral spring, and perhaps thankfully it’s not a traditional onsen where you bathe in the nuddy!

Carmichael Falls

Usually an activity best suited to the green season, although it is possible with snowshoes in winter, is a hike to Carmichael Falls. The 2km bush walk to the Carmichael Falls lookout starts from the Dinner Plain track at the south end of town, and it's a moderately strenuous activity. More adventurous hikers can make their way around to the base of the waterfalls on unmarked routes. At the base you'll find rock pools and streams with mossy banks.