Mount Hotham

Mount Hotham

Mount Hotham is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.862m (6,109ft) above the sea level, located in the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range, in the Australian state of Victoria. It’s the highest point in the Great Alpine Road (B500).

The road to the summit is asphalted. It’s called Great Alpine Road (B500), the highest bitumen road in Australia. Even without ice or snow it is a drive to be treated with respect. The road is often closed by snow from late autumn through to early spring, and chains should always be carried at this time of year. During the official snow season, chains are compulsory for all vehicles, and they may be hired on a one-way basis from either side of the high country.

The road was opened in 1998. There is little room for error on this road. Don’t stuff your belly too much. Eventually, you might feel vomiting temptations while climbing circuitous roads at higher altitudes. The ascent from Harrietville to Mt Hotham is not steep, but it’s a serious drive which demands careful attention from the driver. The road is wide enough for oncoming vehicles to pass, but in some places only just. Many steep drops begin almost at the edge of the road surface, and there aren't always crash barriers.
With such a high summit altitude the road (also known as the GAR) can be closed anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. The road usually remains open during winter, however vehicles travelling between Harrietville and Omeo are required to carry diamond pattern snow chains during the declared snow season. It is blanketed with snow during winter months and must be cleared on a daily basis. Extreme weather conditions can sometimes still result in the road being closed between Harrietville and Omeo. The Great Alpine Road (B500) is 303 km (188 mi) long.