Regrowth

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 360Β° 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.

50 thoughts on “Regrowth

  1. Great to see the new growth and hopefully the wildlife will return in abundance. When we travelled on that road a few years ago we were surprised to be driving through a snow field resort. A memorable place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was December, so at the start of summer. Also it’s much cooler up in the mountains and the last of the snow is packed so hard it takes ages to melt away. I expect it would have been completely gone a couple of weeks later.

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  2. I enjoyed these views – some I have not seen before. Interesting fact about Danny’s lookout. Even though the bush regenerates, the fires sometimes destroy species that don’t recover and lots of animals as well. Good to see that most is coming back. I remember going to Falls Creek 9 years ago and seeing bald skeletal like patches on the way there near Bright. They make me feel a bit sad.

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