The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

THERE’S no space to swing a (snow) cat on my bal­cony at Mt Hotham’s Zirky’s but, de­spite the lack of size, it’s my favourite spot for an early morn­ing cuppa, per­fectly placed to take in the lifts, slopes and moun­tain be­fore join­ing the ac­tion.

Zirky’s, es­tab­lished in 1971 by Peter Zirknitzer, a ski cham­pion from Aus­tria, boasts a great cen­tral lo­ca­tion with self-con­tained lodg­ings rang­ing from a stu­dio for two to a pen­t­house ac­com­mo­dat­ing up to 10.

My three-bed­room apart­ment is typ­i­cal, with wellap­pointed kitchen, mi­crowave, CD and DVD play­ers (discs can be hired for $5) and flat-screen television.

There’s an abun­dance of seat­ing, with a din­ing set­ting, squashy L-shaped leather lounge and break­fast bar. The ho­tel has its own restau­rant and cafe, and there are ski lock­ers, dry­ing room, ski hire and a re­tail store.

It’s also ski in, ski out, with two ex­its and en­trances, one bet­ter suited to novices. A word of warn­ing: so-called moun­tain prices rule at Hotham’s shops ($5.50 for a packet of bis­cuits), so bring your own sup­plies if prac­ti­cal.

Zirknitzer, by the way, is no longer the owner but is ap­par­ently still a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the moun­tain. Barry Oliver


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