Meeting Malamutes at the 5th Annual Falls Creek Sled Dog Classic

Sled dogs! In Australia!

When you see a flyer for the 5th Annual Falls Creek Sled Dog Classic, and you’re only an hour away, what do you do? You rug up and go.

Falls Creek Sled Dog

sled dogs – photo courtesy Jiri Cech

This is exactly the kind of weird, one-off, super-fun event that we love showcasing at The Plus Ones. I’m lucky that the weekend I was spending in Bright, in the Victorian High Country, ended up being so rainy that my +1 and I went to the Visitor’s Centre. Otherwise we never would have seen the flyer that set us on our sled dog adventure.

Driving into Falls Creek, the rain turned into glorious snowflakes. Snow, glorious snow! It had been two years since I was last in a snowfall, in Queenstown — the Northern Hemispherean in me was in heaven. It was perfect conditions for the 30 teams of Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, Eurohounds (Pointer/Husky mix), and Alaskan Malamutes that gathered to race. Teams of two, three, four, and six dogs pulled their mushers on a course that started and finished at the main chairlift. I’m sure the night-time skiers got a surprise when they saw hundreds of sled dogs racing around.

Falls Creek Sled Dogs

show and sled dogs – photo courtesy Jiri Cech

And race they did. Those doggies were rarin’ to go, jumping and barking with excitement. Plus, I got to learn all about sled dogs. Did you know the pack all respects and loves the lead dog? And that mushers yell ‘HIKE’ to get their dogs to pull? The course stopped and finished at the main chairlift, and we were in the perfect position to see them as they raced up a hill (well, some teams raced, some trotted, and one got distracted and all together stopped). Around 20 minutes of running around Falls Creeks’ snow-covered streets, and the teams rounded a corner and raced downhill to finish the course.

Iggy the Alaskan Malamute with Theresa

Iggy the Alaskan Malamute with Theresa

It was freakin’ adorable to see what a great time all the dogs were all having. Best of all, afterwards I made friends with Iggy, a huge and friendly Alaskan Malamute. I never thought my first sled dog experience would be in Australia, of all places, and I’m so glad it was. If you get the chance, this is one of those events that you’ll be talking about for years to come. It’s sled dogs! In Australia!

Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa is considering swapping her #1 favourite dog position from a Newfoundland to a Malamute.

Keep in touch with the Falls Creek Sled Dog Classic on their website or Facebook page, and think about a trip to Falls Creek for next year’s event.