OK, so we don’t have any enormous mountain ranges: our alpine region constitutes less than 1% of the land mass of the Australian continent.
But it is unique and beautiful. The Victorian Alps stretch from the Baw Baw plateau and Lake Mountain in the west across the backbone of the Great Divide to the NSW border.
These mountains are both diverse and unique, featuring animals and plants found no where else on the planet. Even compared to the higher and more rugged mountains of other continents, the alpine environment of Australia is superb. One example – imagine you are standing on the Bluff near Mt Buller in late spring as silver daisies and pale everlastings start their show amidst the snow drifts. They would be scattered among the silver grey of poa grass tussock and the twisted trunks of wind blasted snow gums. Below is the deep valley of the Howqua and, beyond, the profile of Mt Buller, with line after line of ridge snaking up from valley manna gum forests through peppermint, ash and snowgum to the treeline. The classic Australian grey-blue hue of the ranges stretches off to distant brown flatlands and farm country towards Mansfield. Behind is a shallow, spring-fed valley full of succulent plants and snow drifts and, beyond, over the deep trough of the Upper Jamieson, the reddish rocky ridge-line of Mt McDonald rises, eucalypts almost to the summit, bare earth showing through. Above, you may get the call of a lone raven, but more often the silence of the mountains. Truely Australian, truely unique.