Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Mt Donna Buang is an easy drive from the city and a perfect place to go for snow play and tobogganing and best of all it's absolutely free. Unlike all of the other ski resorts in Victoria, where you need to pay entrance fees and then battle the crowds to use the toboggan run, you can do it at Mt Donna Buang for free and have the choice of three toboggan runs and plenty of room for snow play at the top.
There are no cafes or clothing shops on this mountain but there are toilets and barbeques and a shelter with a fire inside. However, if you have kids, you probably wouldn't get the chance to get too cold - they will have you going up down the toboggan runs too much for that.
What's great about Donna Buang is the ease of getting there. From Melbourne it's 95km, Lilydale 53km or from the Mornington Peninsula it's 126km. The short distance from Melbourne and surrounds makes it an achievable day trip with children and also a very enjoyable one.
For first time visitors to the snow you will not be disappointed, our kids have been to the snow plenty of times but still get a real excitement going up Mt Donna Buang; the sides of the road went from greenery to white in a matter of minutes and the kids were in astonishment exclaiming "mum, this is what Christmas looks like" said the oldest.
The only down side to Mt Donna Buang is that it's not high like the alpine mountains and snow comes as fast as it goes so to be there in great conditions like in the photos - you need to check the weather radars or sign up to the Warburton information Centre which sends out text messages if they are expecting good snow fall.
On days that are likely to snow or when there is good snow coverage, there is a food van and toboggan hire truck that will usually turn up. Toboggans cost $10 for two hours hire, a bucket of hot chips $4 and 6 doughnuts $7 (though maybe stick to the chips, our doughnuts were hard!)
Thanks for this great article. We went to Mt Donna Buang today and had a wonderful time! Will go back again I'm sure. I loved that there were Parks staff on hand too, for information and safety. Would be happy to make a donation to the Parks dept for such great facilities! Thanks again for your articles - we are new to Melbourne from NZ, and they've been so helpful to us as we explore the region :)
Always enjoy your articles and this looks
Like a lot of fun for very little money! You
Have to love that. Can't believe the amount
Of snow on the tables. That fire looks awesome.
Can you cook on it? Or is it better to take a burner if wanting to have a BBQ for lunch? Cheers.
Why would anyone need snow chains? I don't see any snow on the road. The temperature is clearly above zero. Even if there was snow, it's not ice, it's SNOW. Although thinking about it, Australian drivers are terrible even without snow. I can't imagine what they would be like with 3 cm of snow on the road...