Mt Donna Buang overlooks the town of Warburton in the Yarra Valley. Only 63 kilometres in a direct line from the centre of Melbourne, it was Australia’s busiest ski resort from the late 1920s until 1950. It had ski lodges, cafes, a ski hire, a ski jump and six runs cut through forests of myrtle beech and woollybutt. For over 20 years Donna had thousands of visitors every weekend there was snow.

However, the snow cover was erratic and after the Second World War better transport meant it lost out to resorts with more reliable snow further from Melbourne. Today Mt Donna Buang is a snow play destination with a lookout tower and a couple of nondescript buildings. But a few reminders of its heyday are hidden in the forest among the beech trees.

This is a book length article of over 30,000 words with more than 100 photos and maps. While it’s designed to be as phone and tablet friendly as possible, some of the illustrations may not line up correctly in that format, so it’s best read on a computer.

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