Dinner Plain Activities

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Dinner Plain Activities

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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.

Tobogganing Dinner Plain

The real tobogganing at Dinner Plain happens on a dedicated slope next to the ski run called Peashooters. There are also times when the ski slope (the Cobungra Platter slope) is closed for skiing and snowboarding (e.g. in the afternoon, early or late season) and you can toboggan on the ski run. One spot you should not toboggan is between the Peashooter and Cobungra slopes where there is a windy narrow tree lined. This is a cross country trail for one and no cross country skier wants to be sliding up the hill and be greeted with someone out of control on a toboggan. Secondly the trail is narrow and curved and the chances of hitting a tree are pretty high.

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. The safety etiquette for tobogganing is that you walk up the side of the slope not up the middle, otherwise collisions between sledders and uphillers is highly likely.

If your lodge doesn’t have toboggans for use, these can be hired from the ski shops.

There is car parking available close to the base of the Dinner Plain toboggan area.

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

Cross Country Skiing Dinner Plain

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 closest to the village (Fitzy's Cirque and Collector's Cirque) are multi-purpose so don’t expect perfect corduroy. The etiquette for the multi-purpose trails is that it’s reasonable to walk on them but off to the side, whilst the protocol for the trails that head out east (e.g. Apian Way, Guide Alice) is that it is only for cross country skiers and snowshoers. Those on snowshoes should stick to the side of the trails.

For those feeling more energetic, there are cross country ski trails that connect Dinner Plain to Mt Hotham which vary from treed areas to picturesque open plains. The trails are groomed for classic and skating, and walking is definitely 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 Hoys. 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!

Snowshoeing

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

The green season walking trails are also ideal for more adventurous snowshoers. Hikes like Room With a View are beautiful although at times you might need to take your snowshoes off, or during winter you could hike/snowshoe along the mountain bike trails.

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.

Carmichael Falls

A hike to Carmichael Falls is usually an activity best suited to the green season, although it is possible in winter, and if there is a lot of snow you can use snowshoes. 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.

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