Rachael Oakes-Ash tests out the skiing paradise not far from Melbourne.  Best for: Mogul madmen, freestylers and Melbourne weekend warriors.

Where is it: Mt Buller is a three-hour drive from Melbourne.
Total ski-able area: 300 hectares. Number of lifts: 22.
Number of runs: The resort has a vertical drop of 400m, 80km of marked trails, and 64 named runs divided into 20 per cent beginner, 45 per cent intermediate and 35 per cent advanced.
Lift pass prices: Adult $104; child up to Year 12 $57.
Why this resort has always rocked: Its proximity to Melbourne has always been a bonus. A ‘freestyle’ resort that focuses on the more daring sports including moguls and snowboard cross, it’s home to snowboard-cross world champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and world champion slopestyle skier Anna Segal, and has produced many Winter Olympians including gold-medal aerialist Lydia Lassila.
What’s new? 
* Mt Buller has invested another $1 million on snowmaking, so the popular Family run, Chute and right down to Wombat Extension will have man-made snow cover top-to-bottom for the winter.
* Two new snow-grooming cats join the fleet and the Buller Kids’ Centre, Village Square and Ski & Snowboard School walks have been repaved and heated.
* The Horse Hill Chairlift will be running this winter to give daytrippers quick access from the day car park to the snow.
Event of the season: The ABOM Mogul Challenge on August 27 is an annual event that attracts a high-calibre field of international Olympians and World Cup competitors.
The details: www.mtbuller.com.au; (03) 5777 7800.
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