A Glamping in the snow experience at Mt Hotham that involves riding a skidoo, walking in on snowshoe, eating fondue and sleeping in an igloo – this is the stuff that memories are made of! And you don’t even need to travel to Iceland!
When: June – September (Wednesday – Sunday)
Where: Mt Hotham hidden eco-village
Cost: Snowshoe to Fondue: $109 Adult, $65 Child (6 to 12 years old). Includes: guided tour, head torch, snowshoe, glass of Glühwein on arrival and three-course dinner including fondue cooking class.
Igloo to Skidoo (must be booked in conjunction with the Snowshoe to Fondue adventure): $180 Adult/$80 child (up to 2 people) or $160 Adult/$80 Child (up to 4 people). Includes: overnight accommodation in snow-domes, all bedding, cooked breakfast, scenic skidoo tour back to Wire Plain. For more details and to book visit the website.
Thanks to Nicole B and family for sharing your amazing Mt Hotham experience with us (I have serious FOMO reading this)!
Within the National Park at Mt Hotham lies the Alpine Nature Experience, a truly unique and memorable night in the snow. Everything in the eco-village is temporary and off-grid to minimize the impact on the environment and make sure that you immerse yourself into nature.
There are 2 options that you can choose from for your experience:
- Snowshoe to Fondue: Includes a snowshoe tour at sunset to the hidden eco-village where you enjoy a delicious French cheese fondue dinner. This is great if you have somewhere to stay near Mt Hotham.
- Igloo to Skidoo: Expand your ‘Snowshoe to Fondue’ experience by adding on an overnight stay in a snow-dome, which is followed the next day by a hearty breakfast and skidoo ride. (Note: There are only 2 snow-domes available)
Part 1: Snowshoe to Fondue
The evening starts with a 30-minute snowshoe walk (450m) through a winter wonderland of snow gums at sunset led by Jean-Francois, also known as JF or ‘Jeff’. This is an easy walk with a small incline and suitable for all fitness levels. When we arrived at the eco-village we were welcomed by a roaring fire-pit surrounded by comfortable chairs where we enjoyed a hot chocolate and home-made Glühwein. With access to a full bar, we enjoyed the fire and night sky to the shrieks of delight from the kids while they made snow angels and had snowball fights.
Once it was dark, the group was invited into the central Tipi with a central fireplace and long shared tables. On each table was everything you need to make fondue, including eco-friendly plates and utensils.
We started the meal with a bowl of soup while JF introduced us to the art of making French fondue (not to be confused with Swiss fondue). JF has imported the cheese from the French Alps and leads the group through the cooking process. The kids really enjoyed cooking their own fondue (as did adults) and being a part of the experience, plus it was a mouth-watering meal in a spectacular setting. JF had a great selection of wine and beer on offer too… my personal favorite was the Genepi, a traditional herbal liqueur which we enjoyed as a digestif. Dinner guests were welcome to stay and enjoy the tipi and bar for as long as they wanted with departures staggered from about 930pm. Those staying at their own accommodation on the mountain snowshoed back to the meeting place, while we were led to our warm snow-dome for part 2 of the adventure.
Part 2: Igloo to Skidoo
After waving the group goodbye, we were welcomed to our snow dome which had been warmed during dinner by the wood-fired heater. There were 2 beds put together so that the 4 of us could sleep together in a row. We had a sink in our room for drinking, brushing teeth and washing hands, but the toilet required a trip outside in the snow to the eco-loos so make sure you have warm shoes and a good jacket. The beds were incredibly comfortable with a real mattress set high above the cold floor, a sleeping bag suitable for alpine conditions, fleece liners and faux fur blankets. There were even beanies for everyone in case we were cold during the night. Best of all though, once we lay down and snuggled into our warm and
cosy bed, we were able to look through the perspex roof and watch the night sky. It really was magical.
In the morning, we woke to the sound of snow landing on the snow-dome which was a unique experience. The fire had gone out in our room during the night, so we all got dressed under the sleeping bags and headed into the central tipi where a warm fire and JF were waiting ready to cook us breakfast. The kids loved their French Toast while we enjoyed an egg and bacon muffin with a coffee. After breakfast, we explored the eco-village and alpine forest a little further until the skidoo arrived at 10am to take us back to our car. The scenic skidoo tour was a lovely way to end a truly unique winter adventure.
According to the website, this experience is not recommended for children under 6, but it was perfect for our 10 and 12-year-old. Just make sure that you take warm and waterproof clothes suitable for the snow.