Busy day for Ben Lomond as school holidays start

Some Friday night white brought the crowds to Ben Lomond on Monday, with plenty of sunshine and snow for the first day of school holidays.

Between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow fell at the site ahead of the weekend in what was the mountain’s second major dump of the season.

Ben Lomond Snow Sports co-owner Alister Foot said it was tourists, not Tasmanians, who formed the majority of the visitors so far.

“About 95 per cent of our guests at the moment are from interstate or overseas,” he said.

“We’re just waiting for some Tasmanians to get up here.

“The cold weather has meant the snow from Friday night has held its base pretty well, so we are getting bigger numbers on Monday than we did on Saturday or Sunday.

“I think the numbers will probably remain pretty consistent across the next couple of weeks.

“It really feels like we are the flavour of the month at the moment.”

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This will be the fourth week Ben Lomond has been open for the winter season, having already welcomed school holiday visitors from Western Australia and Queensland.

Alister’s father Geoff Foot said it was no longer just the snow that brought people up the mountain.

“Early on, there wasn’t much snow, but we still had a lot Malaysian students from the college come here with their families, who were visiting from overseas,” he said.

“They just love the views and everything else the place offer.

“It’s become a bit of a tourist icon for overseas visitors, who generally come here when the place is devoid of locals.”

The growing popularity of the site has not been lost on the regular visitors from Launceston.

Newstead’s Caroline Johnston made her annual journey to the national park on Monday with her two children in tow. 

She said a savvy social media presence had helped enhance its reputation.

“Snow Sports have done a huge job in promoting the mountain,” she said.

“The owners keep people informed online and are always updating their pages.

“It’s definitely moved forward throughout the last few years since they took over.

“We will probably visit a few more times in the school holidays.”