“Where are we?” I ask Charlie, my Falls Creek guide and instructor, as we skid to a stop on a snow-blanketed ridge far from the last chairlift.

“The Wishing Well,” Charlie replies. “Not many people come here. I don’t know why.”

I can’t explain it either. If I’ve had one wish through the dark winters of the pandemic it would to be clipped into skis, gazing at a view like this. The Kiewa Valley glows lime green in the mid-winter sun, the town of Mount Beauty lying shattered in the lowlands, as though dropped from a great height. Across a great chasm rises the hulking plateau of the Bogong High Plains, creamy snow smeared across the top and dripping into the trees like white icing running down a cake. And in the foreground is my immediate future, a snaking ski run weaving through a labyrinth of marble-trunked snow gums back to a vibrant mountain village. In two and a half hours we’ve explored the breadth of Falls Creek Resort, while honing my pole plant, edge technique, weight distribution and tendency to not look where I’m going. But with views like this, who could blame me? This is winter in the Victorian High Country at its finest, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Falls Creek is so much more than skiing, though. It’s the prettiest alpine village in Australia, with tiered semi-circles of streets lined with timber and stone chalets, dotted with cafes, restaurants and chairlifts soaring skywards. You can walk everywhere, and it’s full of families doing just that, often with dogs in tow. Kids zip about on toboggans or have snowball fights between the snow gums. At night colourful projections dance upon the snow, and every Thursday fireworks explode over the Village Bowl, lighting up the sky like Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve and drawing people out from the bars and restaurants. It’s like the alpine village of your dreams…

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