It’s a nerve-wracking thrill — dropping your seven-year-old son at the top of a snow-capped mountain, urging him to keep his shiny black helmet strapped tight.
As he’d only seen snow the first time when we arrived at Falls Creek just hours before, I thought his lesson would involve gently sliding around the junior enclosure, with its jaunty flags and barely-there slope.
So I was amazed that, by 3pm, he’d already graduated to the adult learner slope, where the cutely named Mousetrap magic carpet transports novices up the hill.
By noon the next day, he’d conquered ‘Wombat’s Run’, the picturesque 2.2k track which meanders down the mountain — the nation’s longest green (beginner’s) run.
So is it worth taking a child to the snow? Yes, there is a lot of gear to fit and clips to be done up, neck muffs to pull on, zips to do up, snow goggles to adjust and hot chocolate to buy.
But it is a magical experience they will never forget, and children are fast learners! All over the mountain, there were oh-so-cute processions of three to five kids, carefully tailing their instructors like ducklings following their mum. (And if truth be told, I tagged along behind one little gang when I got lost on skis!)
My son, Liam, enjoyed every bit of the adventure, from flying through the sky on the chairlift, to showing off his newfound skills, and learning to make snowballs. He learnt in a day and a half, what had taken me over a week to master two decades ago in Austria.
Falls Creek, in north-eastern Victoria, is a winter wonderland, a ski-in ski-out resort where every minute feels like an adventure.
It is ideal for families, as 80 per cent is dedicated for beginner and intermediate skiiers and boarders.
Our apartment (at Limlimbu) is perfect for families, with toasty warm heating, and a personal drying room. Just fill it up with jackets, scarves and boots, and they are bone-dry within a few hours. Just walk down the apartment steps, strap your skis on, and you can ski straight to the bottom of the Falls Express chairlift.
And even better, just 50 or so strides up a snow-covered road (don’t forget your rubber boots), you’ll find the Summit Ridge restaurant, a fine-dining establishment complete with roaring fire and weather station so you can keep an eye on just how cold it is outside!