On a mostly dry and flat continent, nothing says challenge like the snow-clad and mountainous Australian Alps. Spanning one territory, two states and 16 national parks and reserves, the Alps offer magnificent vistas and year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure. Ski or snowboard the winter slopes or hike through summer wildflowers. Discover unique plants and animals, connect to ancient and modern history and take in the endless horizons on walks and drives. Here on Australia's roof-top, you'll find many ways to challenge yourself and rekindle your spirit.
Four things you'll find in the Australian Alps
Climb past glacial lakes and snow gum woodlands to Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest peak. Surrounding the summit, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has 20 plants species found nowhere else in the world. Watch mountain ash trees make way for gnarled snow gum forests and colourful alpine meadows on Victoria's Baw Baw Plateau. Discover underground caves and a myriad of bird life near Lake Jindabyne in Snowy Mountains. Or spot kangaroos, wallabies and rare corroboree frogs in the granite landscape of Namadgi National Park, near Canberra.
Embrace all types of winter fun at the snow resorts dotted across the Alps. Hit Australia's highest ski slopes at Charlotte Pass or carve up the snow at Thredbo and Perisher Blue in New South Wales. Ski or snowboard at Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek surrounded by Victoria's Alpine National Park. In summertime, you can hike, bike, horse ride or four wheel drive these wildflowers-cloaked slopes. Abseil the granite outcrops of Namadgi National Park. In New South Wales, you can canoe the Snowy River and go caving near Tumut.
Discover the Tumut River in the Snowy Mountains with a Wiradjuri guide or take an Aboriginal cultural tour through Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park. Explore ancient Ngunawal campsites, ceremonial stone arrangements and rock art in Namadgi National Park. Nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is home to the 21,000 year-old Birrigai Rock Shelter and Bogong Cave, where tribes once gathered to harvest bogong moths. See the courthouse where Ned Kelly stood trial in Beechworth, hike to old cattle huts on the Bogong High Plains. Meet high country locals at Omeo's annual calf sales over the March long weekend.
Wind from Melbourne through Victoria's High Country on the Great Alpine Road. Australia's highest sealed road takes you from Melbourne, past the Ovens Valley wine region and Mount Hotham to Gippsland. For a real challenge, trek through three states on the epic Australian Alps Walking Track. It stretches for 650km, from Walhalla in Victoria to Tharwa just south of Canberra. Walk the track in eight to ten weeks or do day walks and shorter sections such as the Baw Baw plateau, Bogong High Plains and Mount Kosciuszko.