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Wheel Chains



Important Note for all guests about snow chains and driving to Hotham Alpine Resort:

 All vehicles travelling The Great Alpine Road must carry Diamond Pattern Chains at all times during the declared snow season and must be fitted where directed.

As a safety measure agreed between Vic Roads, Victoria Police and Resort Management Diamond pattern snow chains are mandatory and are the only legal snow chain for all vehicles entering the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Diamond pattern chains must be carried and fitted where required. Ladder chains, spider chains, and snow socks are not permitted for use within the resort.

Visitors may hire chains at Myrtleford from Rays Ski Centre, several outlets in Bright, from Hoys Harrietville and Hoys Chains Omeo or at Omeo Ski Hire and Service Station from various locations. Hoys Chain Fitting Service operates on the Harrietville approach of the Great Alpine Road when vehicles are required to fit chains. This is a free service for Hoys chain customers.

Please note, if the weather is producing snowfalls or low visibility, there may be delays on the Great Alpine Road. If guests are coming from Melbourne during these times we recommend using the Great Alpine Road via Omeo as an alternative route to getting here.

Wheel Chains are fitted to vehicles in snow and ice conditions for your safety and the safety of other road users.

Vehicles entering Mount Hotham Alpine Resort during the declared snow season must carry Diamond Pattern Wheel Chains. Diamond Pattern Wheel Chains are a mandatory legal requirement. These are the safest and most suitable chain for the conditions on the Great Alpine Road. Please ensure that you know how to fit your chains and that they fit correctly.

Ladder Chains, Spider Chains and Snow Socks are not permitted to be used at any time on The Great Alpine Road. Diamond Pattern chains are available for sale or hire from off mountain ski hires, retailers and petrol stations throughout North East Victoria and Gippsland.

It is an offence to travel The Great Alpine Road without carrying Diamond Pattern Chains and/or not fitting them where directed.

Great Alpine Road Chain Fitting Service 

A chain fitting service operates on The Great Alpine Road Harrietville approach during the snow season and can assist you by fitting your wheel chains to your vehicle. Wheel chains are not available for hire from this service or on mountain and must be carried before beginning your trip up the mountain. For more information regarding this service please see the Chain Fitting Service Page

Chains should be fitted properly when directed either by signage or a Road Management Officer. Look for the sign illustrated below so you know when to put them on.


Snow Chains for your tyres

  • All vehicles entering Mt Hotham must carry Wheel Chains and fit them as directed.
  • Fit chains at bays where you see the "Fit Chains Here" sign.
  • Always fit chains to driving wheels only. When required, 4WD vehicles should fit chains to manufacturers recommendation.¬†
  • Diamond¬†pattern chains are now mandatory for all¬†vehicles entering the Mount Hotham¬†Alpine Resort.¬† Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time.¬†
  • Chain fitting bays are safe, designated areas. They are level and make fitting easier.
  • At all Victorian resorts, you can be fined for not carrying and fitting chains as directed. This is a state law.
  • If it has not been necessary to fit chains when travelling to the resort, it is advisable to fit them upon arrival in preparation for the return trip.
  • It is quite difficult to fit them to cars covered by snow.
  • Do not drive faster than 40kph.

Chain Fitting Checklist

  • Fit chains to driving wheels only.
  • Always test fit chains before a trip.
  • Fit at fitting bays on level ground.
  • If chains fall off or loosen when a vehicle is in motion stop and check brake lines for damage, before retensioning.
  • Carry a torch, plastic garbage bag (or tarp) and gloves to make fitting easier.
  • Use correct fitting diamond pattern chains. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time in the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort.
  • Tyres must be in good condition with minimal wear.
  • Chains alter your car's handling, take time to readjust your driving and take care!


Q. Are 4WD vehicles exempt from carrying and fitting chains?

No. In heavy snow conditions 4WD vehicles may be required to fit chains. This will be dictated by the conditions and the level of snow. Signs will indicate when 4WD vehicles need to fit chains.

Q. Is my All Wheel Drive a 4WD?

For the purpose of fitting wheel chains, yes it is. However, the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board recommends fitting wheel chains to All Wheel Drives as they may not have a differential locking 4WD system and are generally fitted with highway/summer tyres as opposed to mud/snow tread 4WD/winter tyres.

For more information on wheel chains

Contact Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board
Call 03 5759 3550


PDF2017 Chain Determination (434 KB)