Australian Landscapes #34
Destination: Great Alpine Road, Victoria
As the Great Alpine Road continues its ascent into the Victorian Alps, the vegetation changes again. Beyond an elevation of 1500 metres, stands of towering alpine ash give way to snow gums and low growing heathland. Orange snow poles alongside the road indicate how different this landscape is in winter.
The final remnants of last winter’s snow, packed hard into crevices on the southern slopes of the mountains, defy the midsummer temperatures.
At the top of Mount Hotham the road widens, revealing 360° views across the mountains and valleys of the Alpine National Park.
On 8 January 2003, lightning strikes ignited bushfires in the national park. They burned through inaccessible forests for 58 days and destroyed more than 60% of the park’s vegetation.
Since then the bush has regenerated and recovered.
But despite the regrowth the skeletal remains of thousands of dead trees still stand on the mountain slopes of the Alpine National Park.