Australia Victoria - Mt Buller


Eating: Pension Grimus provides a dining experience equal to many of Melbourne’s best restaurants. The menu has Austrian specialties, including Salzburger knockerl, a calorie-inducing hot chocolate soufflé. PG is booked out for many of its dinners, but opens for a less-crowded lunch. Also worth a look are the Black Cockatoo restaurant at the Mt Buller Chalet, Nooky’s Wine Bar at the Arlberg Hotel, Breathtaker, Drakes at the Duck Inn (yes, you guessed it, duck is a specialty) and the pub-style Whitt. The Abom is an icon of Mt Buller that was established by George Vassilopoulis and partners in 1964. It provides quick lunches and dinners and has a remarkable collection of alpine antiques.

On mountain: Another place of note is Koflers, an isolated lunch and snack hut near the summit. Named after a pioneer of Buller, it’s the cool place to go and deserves special mention for its spag bol, apricot mogul cake and some of Victoria’s best high country views, with seating inside and out. Snow Pony is another recommended option.

Nightlife: Numerous bars for après with the Whitt resuming its popular status, the Chalet Hotel’s Après and Black Cockatoo bars pulling the crowds. Later in the night the Kooroora Hotel still has the lead and still winds up around 3am after the playing of  It’s Amore.

Accommodation: 7000 beds on-mountain with numerous ski-in/ski-out options. Free shuttle serves lodges further afield.

Upmarket beds: Pension Grimus, a four-star Tyrolean-style boutique hotel, gets first go at our credit card. Hans Grimus, a legend and pioneer of Mt Buller, started PG as a humble bed & breakfast in 1973. It is now an imposing blend of standard spa rooms right up to large luxury apartments with big open fires, music systems and cable television. The Mt Buller Chalet Hotel has a terrific location and great facilities including an indoor pool/spa/gym that is the best such facility in alpine Victoria.

Middle ground: The Arlberg Hotel at Mt Buller has a number of restaurants from basic to excellent, games areas and organised activities for kids. Night skiing is outside the front door on selected nights. Formerly it was the place to rage, but nowadays it’s a great set up for families. Good-value lodges include the cosy Duck Inn, the renovated Ajax and Ski Lib.

Shoestring: The youth hostel has prime position and dirt cheap rates. Kooroora Hotel has basic rooms within crawling distance of thumping nightlife.

Base facilities: The village is a bustling place and the poser factor is big. The village square has an information centre in the clock tower and the precinct has paving, a statue, a fire pit, and is circled by shops and ticketing windows. The village includes a good supermarket, a church, and 25 restaurants/cafes/bars. The Cow Camp Plaza has shelter, rest rooms, and change rooms for day visitors.

Nearest towns: Merrijig 35 kilometres, Mansfield 50 kilometres.

 

jim darby/the snow biz
There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

arnie wilson/from the alps
Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

go flip/flip byrnes
Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.


There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.