The road trip is half the fun.
That’s what the girls said anyway as we loaded up our car for the weekend, a sleek new Infiniti QX70, and hit the Hume Highway heading to Mt Buller for the opening weekend.
The girls programmed the Bluetooth for some tunes and settled in for the excitement of heading back to Melbourne’s favourite mountain.
I settled in to enjoy a three-hour deluxe ride to one of my favourite spots in Victoria, and listened to significantly more Beyonce than I normally would have.
The QX70 is a great vehicle for a trip to the snow, with its all-wheel-drive and grunt and power providing much-appreciated reassurance on the drive up a potentially slippery mountain.
It’s a seven-speed automatic transmission with an array of features, with the feel of a sports car and the versatility of an SUV.
Sadly, it was too early for ski-able snow, so we decided to visit everything else Buller has to offer.
We checked into the ski-in, ski-out Buller icon, the Arlberg Hotel, at the top of the Summit Road on the Bourke Street run.
The Blue Bullet chairlift station is outside the front door, making it a perfect location, and there’s a free shuttle bus out the front for trips around the village (the buses are pretty regular).
Ours was an exceptionally spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.
The living area has couches, a dining table, cooktop, fridge and the opportunity to cook for those who want to have breakfast in, or don’t want to go out every night.
The bedrooms face onto Bourke Street so you can check out the conditions and buffet breakfast is downstairs in the dining room.
It’s perfect no-fuss accommodation for families.
In lieu of snow, we visited the 37 huskies who pull sleds on 3-kilometre and 5.5-kilometre trails.
They pull toboggans too, which is an awesome experience for the kids. Options start at $80 a person.
On our first night we visited the newly renovated The Birdcage in the Mt Buller Chalet for the newly re-branded restaurant’s menu.
We were lucky enough to sample the whole new menu, which included organic ancient grain salad, wagyu burger and a burrito bowl featuring pulled chipotle beef brisket, baby spinach, spiced brown rice and lime.
Next day we visited the Breathtaker Spa Retreat at the Breathtaker Hotel for a spa.
It’s a relaxing haven and a great post-ski rejuvenation.
And what a brilliant idea Tony Harrington has had.
Tony is a renowned adventure photographer who has photographed 20-metre swells and helicopter ski-ing all around the world.
Now he will join your family on the mountain to take action family portraits.
It’s a great way to capture priceless action shots of your budding skiers.
Lunch was at the family-friendly new Fish and Chippery in the Village Square (you can settle for the salmon without the chips!).
Dinner was at Snow Pony, seriously stylish with its “log wall” and great food (but careful, it’s at the pricey end).
- 189 Summit Road, Mt Buller
- 1800 032 380
THE BIRDCAGE, MT BULLER CHALET
- 2 Summit Road, Mt Buller
- 5777 7918
- 231 Summit Road, Mt Buller
- 5777 6010
SLED DOG TOURS
- 1800 285 537, email email@example.com
BREATHTAKER SPA RETREAT
- 8 Breathtaker Road, Mt Buller
- 5777 6377
TONY HARRINGTON PHOTOGRAPHY
- 0427 427 761
THE INFINITI QX70
PRICE: $86,000 drive-away.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined fuel consumption on 3.7L V6 is 12.1L per 100 kilometres.
THE ENGINE: 5.0-litre V8 or 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine, or a 3.0-litre diesel engine.
ACCELERATION: 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds.
- 20-inch 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels
- 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes
- Automatic dual-zone climate control
- Bose 11-speaker sound system
* The writer was a guest of The Arlberg Hotel and Mt Buller and the car was supplied by Infiniti Cars Brighton, part of the PM Automotive Group.