Great news out of Tasmania: iconic Ben Lomond ski field – the only commercial ski area in Tassie – is back under new owners with the skills and drive to make it a fixture of the Aussie ski season, not just for Taswegians.
As of now, it’s the ONLY place Queenslanders can access to ski for example, the result of COVID craziness stopping them going to Victoria, NSW or New Zealand. Hopefully that changes shortly for Victoria now they have re-opened the ski resorts.
“We are actually closer to Melbourne than Buller too” says Ben Lomond Ski Lifts Managing Director and partner Ben Mock. “You can get a cheap Jetstar flight to Launceston and be up on the mountain here in an hour from the airport.”
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Which is not too shabby. Of course Mock is not expecting an immediate flood of either Queensland or Victorian visitors this year, but with their snowmaking plans and other improvements for next year it’s a definite watch this space.
He and partner Stuart Hosken only got the final go ahead for their takeover last week, kicking things off with a free ski day on Saturday to take advantage of the fresh snow fall. In typical Tassie fashion, it rained Monday, but more snow is incoming. Things change fast in these latitudes. This is the week ahead according to snow-forecast.com
Tassie skiing is actually no-brainer to check out as we have been telling people for a few years.
With amazing backcountry terrain, the unique Mt Mawson club area near Hobart and a fully functioning commercial ski area back in operation at Ben Lomond ideal for beginners, intermediates and families there’s a good mix of options to appeal to a lot of people. Blend that with Tassie’s numerous other winter attractions and you have a winning combination for sure.
right now this winter Ben Lomond Ski Lifts are offering quite simply Australia’s best season pass deal – just $299 for adults (17+), $199 kids (6 – 16).
Even better, the Season Pass comes with a great usage credit policy applicable for this season and next.
They call it the ‘Season Pass Allowance’ and it works like this:
“For season pass holders, we know the snow can be hit and miss at Ben Lomond, that’s why our season passes will come with a minimum usage allowance. The value of a seasons pass is equivalent of 5 normal day passes +
For example, should you only use your season pass for 2 days for season 2021, you can use the remaining 3 passes for 2022. You will then need to purchase another season pass after that if you wish to continue for unlimited access for 2022.
For 2021, if you use up all your minimum usage, you can continue to use your season pass for the rest of the 2021 season for unlimited lift use.
Each season pass holder will need to provide ID upon ticket collection or have their photo on our online ticketing system to confirm, either at the ticket office when collecting their pass for the day or online, for which the credit system will keep track of your usage.”
Ben Lomond is not large, with a maximum 90m vertical. Our sometime ‘Tasmanian Editor’ John Dowling, who grew up skiing there from Devonport, had a friend who used to call it “The best 90m vertical in the World”. Which might have been stretching it, but his point was that within those 90m there was something for everyone. It’s definitely the best t-bar served terrain in Tassie for sure, and the place where you can drive right up above the snowline.
It’s an experience similar to Baw Baw or Selwyn Snowfields, and very welcome affordable addition to ski options downunder.
Ben Lomond Day lift passes are only $55 adults / $40 6-16 years midweek, $79 / $49 weekends.
For absolute beginners riding the Bass Lift only is $45 / $30. Over 70s are free.
The new owners can only do so much. This is a project that requires all the stakeholders to get involved, with a commitment from government to help. Tourism is a huge money spinner for Tassie, and they are sitting on unrealised potential for snow-related winter tourism that will bring a lot of benefits to the area.
It can be done with minimal environmental impacts too. This is not the south west wilderness – pretty much everything that needs to be done here can be done within the existing footprints.
Snowmaking is the key to having a consistent and longer season at Ben Lomond.
It’s a high priority for the new team. The Tasmanian government has a new management plan for the area with the idea to make it into a year round tourist facility, so hopefully there will not be too many hurdles to making improvements.
“We look forward to working with the various Mountain operators, stakeholders, visitors, the Parks and Wildlife Service managers, and the government to contribute to great recreation and tourism experiences at Ben Lomond National Park” says Hosken.
Judging by the local reaction to the re-opening they are already getting it right.
“Yes. Finally we have smart business savvy people who want to please the skiers and Gung Ho snowboarders” was one comment on their socials after the opening last weekend.
Get on the website to get the Season Pass deals on the link here
Getting to Ben Lomond
Access to Ben Lomond is via the magnificent Jacobs Ladder string of hairpin bends up the dolerite cliffs. Take it easy and fit chains as required if driving up, or use the bus service from the lower carpark run by Ben Lomond Snow Sports, who also have the only ski hire on the mountain at present.
Otherwise hire in Launceston from Sport and Surf
Ben Lomond Accommodation
Otherwise there are plenty of options in and around Launceston, enter your dates for the best deals below: