Victoria’s Alpine National Park is the State’s largest and protects its highest mountains and varied alpine environments. Extensive snowfields are the primary winter attraction; the warmer months bring stunning wildflower displays and opportunities for bushwalks and four wheel driving.
Enjoy varied and beautiful summer wildflowers, and discover a whole range of other plants and animals, all adapted to cope with climatic extremes. The Alpine National Park has the greatest range of flora and fauna of any national park in Victoria.
- Skiing and other snow sports entice many thrill seekers to the park in the winter months. Downhill skiing is based at resorts such as Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, alternatively try cross-country skiing, perhaps with snow camping. Daily snow reports and information about conditions is available at ski.com.au.
- Walking. From short strolls to the the 655 km Australian Alps Walking Track which traverses the Alps from Walhalla to Canberra. WARNING: Ensure you are prepared for sudden weather changes on any walk, short or long. Find out about track closures here.
- Cycling. There are many great trails including the challenging Great Alpine Road which runs from Bright to Omeo.
- Fantastic opportunities for Four-Wheel Driving. NOTE: A number of tracks are closed seasonally to protect the environment.
- Fishing. Superb opportunities for river fishing in stunning alpine landscapes. Esp Brown Trout in King and Rose Rivers and at Lake William Hovell. More information about fishing.
- Commercial tour operators offer a variety of activities such as horse riding, canoeing, rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking. Information about these can be found from local tourism offices.
- Bicycle Touring
- Canoeing / Kayaking
- Coach/Bus Tours
- Four Wheel Drive Tours
- Horse Trail Riding
- Mountain Bike Riding
- Rock Climbing
- Ski Touring
- Snow Shoe Tours
- Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks
- Trail / Quad Bike Tours
Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria – including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, the Bidawal, Dhudhuroa, Gunai – Kurnai and Nindi-Ngudjam Ngarigu Monero identify the Alpine National Park as their Traditional Country.
Aboriginal people went to and through the Alpine area over thousands of years, and knew its flora, fauna, geography and seasonal changes intimately. Groups visited the Alps in summer to hold ceremonies and gather the nutritious bogong moths that shelter there. Today, Aboriginal communities in Victoria, NSW and the ACT take a particular interest in the management and heritage of the high country.
European pastoralists from NSW started moving south into the Alps in the 1830s. Grazing began around Omeo in 1836, and runs were taken up in the foothills. Summer grazing soon extended to the higher country, and huts were built there for shelter and storage during stock mustering.
From the 1850s to around 1900, gold lured many people to the Alps. Relics can still be seen in Historic Areas adjacent to the park, and towns like Dargo, Harrietville, Mitta Mitta, Omeo and Bright have strong links to the gold era.
The 1939 bushfires in the forests around Melbourne and the boom in house-building after World War II led to a greatly increased demand for timber from the Alps. This resulted in the building of a network of roads that helped open the Alps to visitors. Today tourism is one of the most important activities in the Alpine area.
The Alpine National Park has the greatest range of flora and fauna of any national park in Victoria.
More than 1100 native plant species are found in the park, many of these specially adapted to survive the severe winter climate. Twelve of these species, including the Bogong daisy-bush and silky daisy, are found nowhere else in the world.
Mature alpine ash forests are common as you go up the mountains, and snow gums are the predominant eucalypts in the woodlands around the snowline.
In higher exposed areas where conditions are too severe for trees to survive, the vegetation changes to heathlands, alpine herbfields and grasslands, mossbeds and snowpatch communities. These High Plains are renowned for their summer wildflower displays.
The park is home for a variety of animals that have adapted to survive the severe winter climate, including threatened species such as the smoky mouse, broad-toothed rat, powerful owl, spotted tree frog and she-oak skink.
Of special note is the rare mountain pygmy-possum, the world’s only exclusively alpine marsupial that stores food to last throughout the winter. Its special habitat — boulder slopes with heathland and snow gums — is only found in a few places within the Victorian and New South Wales Alps.
Bogong moths inhabit the Bogong and Dargo high plains and peaks between November and April, away from the heat of the inland plains. They shelter in rock crevices and provide food for mountain pygmy-possums and little ravens.
Telephone – Parks Victoria Information Line 131 963 or visit – Parks Victoria’s Alpine National Park page.
Alpine National Park Great Alpine Rd
Omeo VIC 3898 Australia
Access to Alpine National Park is available via the towns of:
- Mitta Mitta
- Mount Beauty
- Jindabyne, NSW