Published 9 May 2019

Melbourne’s closest snow experience is only an hour’s drive away!

Perfect for a quick day trip and even better if you plan to stay over and really enjoy the wintery escape of the local village Warburton, and a nature immersion in the rainforests that are a delightful feature of this region.

Pack your warmest clothes, pack the family, and get on the road!

Popular for first-time snow experiences and those wanting a day of snow play that is super affordable, the summit of Mt Donna Buang stands at 1250 metres and gets regular (although sometimes sporadic) snowfalls throughout the snow season. Nestled at the foothills of Mt Donna Buang, Warburton is a must stop destination for all your snow essentials including food, drink accommodation and extra beanies, gloves and more toboggans. There are plenty of accommodation options but best to book ahead as when the snow falls, rooms book out quickly.

mt Donna Buang, snow play, Yarra Valley, kids jumping

What to expect:

  • Mt Donna Buang Rd starts in Warburton. It is a 17 km drive to the summit. The road is windy and through rainforests.  The road up is the same as the road down. There is no other way to access the summit (Note: Don Rd from Healesville is closed during winter).
  • You can make a stop at the Rainforest Gallery for a walk on the suspended walkway, which has lots of local indigenous information about the area’s flora and fauna.
  • There is a main carpark at the summit, plus an over flow carpark. On snow days there may be attendants to guide you to parking areas.
  • At the summit there are toilets and picnic facilities/BBQ, and the Observation Tower, which can be climbed for 360-degree views including towards Melbourne.  
  • Towards the summit you will also find Ten Mile carpark, which has a toilet block, parking and a natural spring for water.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially the local Lyrebirds who love the cold weather.
  • An all terrain, accessible wheelchair can be booked for hire at the Waterwheel Visitor Centre in Warburton.
  • Arrive early as queues can become long as the day progresses and there may be a wait time for drivers.
  • A hot food van is at the summit on weekends and weekdays according to conditions. This is also where you hire toboggans.
  • There are no ski lifts on Mt Donna Buang and no skiing areas. There are up to 3 tobogganing slopes operating (depending on conditions) and plenty of open areas for snow play.

Have fun!  Take lots of photos and tag us #yarravalley_official so we can repost.

Costs :         

Mountain – Free to access 

Toboggin hire – about $6 per hour depending on demand

Organise before you leave home:

Clothing Hire – up to you

Chain hire – around $50 min

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