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Car Sharing Guidelines
It is expected that passengers and drivers will contribute to marginal vehicle-running costs when travelling to ski resorts and related accommodation. Marginal costs include fuel, oil, servicing, etc, but exclude capital costs, depreciation, registration and insurance. For many years Melbourne Nordic published annually revised rates for car sharing that took into account changing petrol costs. After some members expressed dissatisfaction with this arrangement, we decided to list a number of distinct methods that members can choose from. These are implemented as calculators below (only visible to logged in members) and there is a table of common sharing rates starting from Melbourne.
The RACV adjusted rates are based on the RACV's analysis of running costs over a four year period and are adjusted for the current energy rate. The existing MNSC rates are based on the old annually adjusted table of rates, but have been retro-fitted to the new calculator based approach below, so they now update automatically as the energy price changes. Some people prefer to keep receipts and multiply actual costs by a factor of 1.5 or 2 to cover running costs. For more details of the pros and cons of these methods, see the analysis by our newsletter editor.
As driver, you should explain which method you will use to calculate costs at the time you offer rides to club members - arguing about this late on a Sunday evening at the Kalkallo road house is not recommended practice! In addition, all occupants should pay a share of the resort entry fees - whether or not a season ticket is used. If the driver needs to hire chains, passengers should also pay a share of chain hire. The calculators show the share in $ for each person in the car. If you don't specify an energy rate, a default energy rate will apply. This will be the RACV's “don't pay above” rate.
Hints for drivers
Chains must always be carried when driving to resorts. Serious fines apply if you are caught without them during the declared snow season and police sometimes do spot checks (even on days when they do not need to be fitted. They can be hired in Melbourne, Mt Beauty, Bright, Harrietville, Marysville and various other places.
Melbourne to Lake Mountain: The usual route from Melbourne is via Whitehorse Road to Lilydale and Maroondah Highway through Healesville. Particularly on a weekend, try to be at Gerraty's Car Park (the top car park) by 9:00 am to be sure of good parking! The top car park is best for skiers (because you don't want to carry gear a long way) and it fills up quickly with tobogganers and sightseers during the morning.
Melbourne to Myrtleford (en route to Falls Creek or Mount Hotham): From Northern, Western or Central Melbourne, the Hume Freeway is the most direct. From the South Eastern suburbs you might want to travel through Yarra Glen, Yea and Merton, joining the Hume Freeway at either Euroa (via Gooram) or Benalla (via the Midland Highway). From the Hume Freeway to Myrtleford there are two choices:
- Turn off at Glenrowan East and take the “Snow Road” through Oxley and Milawa, joining the Great alpine Road just before Myrtleford.
- Turn off at the Beechworth/Bright exit and take the Great alpine Road to Myrtleford. This route is slightly longer, but the driving conditions are better.
Myrtleford to Falls Creek: Most members turn left at Ovens (just East of Myrtleford), taking the road through Rosewhite and Running Creek and then turning right at the Kiewa Highway junction. This gets you to Mount Beauty with a minimum of winding road. Staying on the main road takes you to Falls Creek. If you are staying at Howman's Gap, turn left just before the resort entry gate. It is also possible to drive from Myrtleford to Mount Beauty via Bright and Tawonga Gap, but this involves more mountain driving.
Myrtleford to Mount Hotham: Not much choice here. Just continue on the Great Alpine Road through Bright and Harrietville and then Mount Hotham.
Melbourne to Mt Stirling: Most people will travel via Yea, but there are three ways to get to Yea, depending on which part of the city you start from:
- From the Eastern or Southern suburbs, head to Lilydale and take the Melba Highway to Yea.
- From the Northern suburbs, take Plenty Road to Whittlesea and continue on through Kinglake West and Flowerdale to Yea.
- From the Western or North Western suburbs, take the Hume Highway to Tallarook, from where there is a short cut to the Goulburn Valley Highway, which takes you to Yea.
From Yea, there is only one sensible route - take the Goulburn Valley and Maroondah Highways through Yarck, Bonnie Soon and Mansfield and then continue on to Buller/Stirling. You now access the resort via the same entry gate as for Mount Buller, turning left just after the gate for Mount Stirling.
Melbourne to NSW ski areas: There are two ways to travel to Thredbo, Jindabyne or Bullock's Flat (at the base of the Ski Tube), the choice depends mainly on whether the road through Dead Horse Gap is open, but also whether you live in far Eastern Melbourne, in which case, you might prefer the Gippsland route to avoid a long drive across the City:
- Get to the Hume Freeway by your favourite method and continue all the way to Wodonga. Then take the Kiewa and Murray Valley Highways through Corryong. Just after Corryong, turn right onto the road through Khancoban, which will then take you through Dead Horse Gap to Thredbo and then on past Bullock's Flat and finally Jindabyne. This road is now fully sealed, but be aware that there is a risk of road closure due to snow at Dead Horse Gap. If there has been significant recent snowfall, it is best to check whether the road is open. Also be aware that from Khancoban onwards, you are in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) and there is a lot of wildlife crossing this road, especially at night. If you are travelling straight through KNP, you do not need to pay for a parking permit. If you stay at Thredbo, you need a valid KNP parking permit. This is by far the shortest route from Melbourne, but if it is closed by snow at Dead Horse Gap, the Gippsland route (see below) is always open.
- Get onto the Princes Freeway by your favourite method and head East through the La Tobe Valley, continuing all the way to Cann River in East Gippsland (if travelling in the evening, consider refuelling at Cann River, as the Bombala service station closes early). Turn left onto the Monaro Highway and drive through Bombala to Cooma. Then take the Snowy Mountains Highway and Kosciuszko Road on to Jindabyne. From there you can continue on to Bullock's Flat or Thredbo by turning left off the Kosciuszko Road just after Jindabyne. It is also possible to take the Snowy River Way to Jindabyne by turning left 22km after Bombala. This road is somewhat more direct, but not in good condition.
- Google Maps has been known to suggest travelling from Gippsland to Jindabyne via Buchan and the Barry Way. Be warned that the middle section of this road is very narrow, infrequently maintained and best suited to large 4WD vehicles for much of the time. It also travels though a very isolated area. For these reasons, Google's estimated travel time is questionable and the Monaro Highway route is much safer.