Alpine National Park

Alpine National Park, Tourism Victoria
Bike riding Campfire Drinking water Fishing Horse riding Kiosk/Restaurant Park entry fee Swimming Toilets Watersports Wildflowers Accommodation Camping area Four-wheel drive touring Information Picnic area Ranger Skiing Walking

Introduction

Alpine National Park embraces a majestic landscape of soaring mountain peaks, alpine meadows, undulating grassy plains, deep gorges and pure icy rivers. In winter, its snowfields welcome skiers and snowboarders, while in summer visitors come to experience its breathtaking views, hike or ride to its furthest reaches, raft on its rushing waterways, explore its rich heritage or simply breathe the pristine air and enjoy the immense natural beauty.

Created in 1989 as a result of amalgamating a number of parks in the state’s north-east, this is Victoria’s largest national park and includes ten of its highest peaks. It is one of eight parks that comprise the Australian Alps National Parks, a cooperative arrangement between the states and Commonwealth to preserve and manage these valuable alpine and subalpine environments.

The park is significant on many counts, not least its untouched wilderness areas and its high mountain water catchments, for it is also a park that invites exploration and adventure, as well as moments of quiet contemplation.

Climate-wise, the park is a land of extremes: conditions can change suddenly from clear and sunny to windy and cold, with snow and subzero temperatures possible even in summer. Many areas are remote, virgin bush and potentially treacherous. Visitors, particularly walkers and campers, need to be well prepared at all times. Bushfires are a constant danger in summer. At the time of writing recent flooding had caused many areas (particularly in the remote southern and eastern regions) to become inaccessible; contact Parks Victoria for the latest.

Fact file

Access

From Mansfield via C320 to Mt Buller; from Bright via Great Alpine Rd to Hotham Heights then Dinner Plain, or via Mt Beauty then C531 to Falls Creek; from Bairnsdale or Sale via Princes Hwy then Dargo Rd to Dargo High Plains; from Sale via Princes Hwy then Jamieson–Heyfield Rd to Licola then Wellington River; from Bairnsdale via Great Alpine Rd to Omeo, Dinner Plain and Hotham Heights; from Orbost via Buchan to Suggan Buggan; from Jindabyne to Suggan Buggan

Best season

Winter for snow sports; spring and summer for bushwalking, wildflowers, scenic driving

Location

220–500 km north-east of Melbourne; 47 km east of Mansfield; 55–60 km south-east of Bright; 150–170 km north of Sale; 170 km north of Bairnsdale; 133 km north of Orbost; 70 km south of Jindabyne (NSW)

Park information

  • PV 13 1963
  • PV Mansfield (03) 5733 1200

Size

646 000 ha

Visitor information

Bright 1800 500 117

Falls Creek 1800 033 079

Mt Beauty 1800 808 277

Mt Hotham 1800 354 555

Omeo (03) 5159 1552

www.greatalpinevalleys.com.au

Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Visit Wallaces Hut (1899), the oldest cattleman’s hut on the high plains

    Ski, snowboard or toboggan down the snowy slopes at Falls Creek in winter

    Go bushwalking in summer amid colourful alpine wildflowers

    Join a trail ride or take a bike ride, or try whitewater rafting on the upper reaches of the Murray River

    Drive the Great Alpine Road for breathtaking views

See Also

A look at the past

Explorers Hume and Hovell trudged this way on their 1824 expedition, and were followed not long after by pastoralists. The high plains have a long history of cattle grazing, but they have also seen goldminers, loggers, and workers on hydro-electric schemes. After World War II, a network of roads built to serve the timber industry helped open up the alpine area to visitors.

Aboriginal culture

The Kurnai people from the south-east knew this landscape well, travelling to the high country for ceremonial occasions and to feast on the bogong moths that migrate in vast numbers to the mountain peaks in summer.

Natural features

The Victorian Alps are at the southern end of the Great Dividing Range, a landscape of high plateaus or plains with jagged basalt outcrops, deep carved river valleys and Victoria’s highest mountain peaks. The headwaters of many of the state’s major rivers are here – the Jamieson, Howqua, King, Ovens, Mitchell and Macalister – as well as tributaries of the Snowy and Upper Murray.

Native plants

Dozens of eucalypt species forest the high country, the most distinctive the twisted colourful forms of the hardy snow gum, which survives in sheltered pockets even above 1500 metres. Above the tree line, too cold for trees, are herbfields, grasslands and alpine moss beds. As the snow thaws, wildflowers emerge – native buttercups, snow daisies and billy buttons – by mid-summer carpeting the alpine meadows in a flourish of colour. In all, there are more than 1110 plant species, with 200 of these rare and under threat.

Wildlife

The park’s wildlife is diverse and plentiful with around 300 native species, including animals specially adapted to the alpine conditions. The rare mountain pygmy-possum, the only alpine marsupial in the world, scurries among the low snow gums and boulder-covered heathlands, storing seeds and fruit to last the winter months. It also feeds on the bogong moths.

Another creature to survive the icy winters is the corroboree frog, vividly striped yellow and black and less than 3 centimetres long, which lives in sphagnum moss in alpine bogs. Threatened species include the rare smoky mouse, and the broad-toothed rat, which is found in alpine areas only. Most visible are the birds, with raptors, in particular the wedge-tailed eagle, as well as gang-gang cockatoos, crimson rosellas and wattlebirds.

Introduction

Key activities in winter are snow sports, and in summer there is bushwalking, four-wheel driving, cycling, canoeing, horse riding and fishing, as well as swimming, and even deer hunting. Check with Parks Victoria about seasonal closures and local operators for guided walks, trail rides and other activities. And do not forget to take your camera.

Bushwalking

Some of the country’s finest mountain walks can be experienced here, from strolls for the novice to strenuous hikes, with the best time of year November until late March. At any time, be prepared for sudden weather changes and know how to navigate using a topographic map and compass. Check with Parks Victoria for detailed walking notes. The Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT), a 650-kilometre trail from Walhalla to Tharwa in the ACT, passes through the park, and individual sections can be tackled.

Canoeing and rafting

Lake Guy at Bogong village is one of a number of idyllic settings for canoeing. Whitewater rafting is best on the Mitta Mitta River and headwaters of the Murray. Guided tours are available.

Fishing

Brown and rainbow trout are usually the catch, with the clear, snow-fed mountain streams rewarding both fly-fishing experts and amateur anglers. Check for seasonal closures. A recreational fishing licence is required in Victoria. Contact Fisheries, 13 6186, or visit their website for further details: www.dpi.vic.gov.au

Four-wheel driving and touring

For 4WD enthusiasts, the park offers a range of terrains (challengingly steep spurs, winding trails and river crossings), and the chance to see relics of early settlement, goldmining and cattle grazing, and to get into quite remote spots and enjoy magnificent vistas. For the less intrepid, and those with 2WD vehicles, the sealed Great Alpine Road winds through the park.

Horse riding

Trail rides are popular, especially in the Howqua Valley. Horses are generally permitted during the drier months of the year, though some walking tracks and wilderness areas are off limits.

Mountain-bike riding

Check with Parks Victoria first, as some tracks and wilderness areas are closed to cyclists. Most ski resorts host mountain-bike races in summer.

Snow sports

Downhill skiing and snowboarding is at Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and, just outside the park, at Mount Buller. There are cross-country trails in the Hotham–Dinner Plain area. Tobogganing and snowshoe walks are other options.

Campsites

4WD and walk-in bush camping

There are walk-in and 4WD-access campsites scattered throughout Alpine National Park. Camp in the wild forests and bushlands around Lake Dartmouth, or watch out for the unique Bogong moth on the high plains... Find out more


Barkly River camping area (Heyfield region)

Some 15 km from Licola, there’s serene bush camping and mountain river fishing right at the south-western edge of Alpine National Park. From Licola, take Target Creek Rd, which winds around to the north-west of... Find out more


Bennies camping area (Whitfield region)

Bennies is situated in the south-western branch of Alpine National Park, between the towns of Mt Buller and Whitfield – from the latter, follow the Rose River Rd (the Whitfield–Myrtleford Rd), then the Upper... Find out more


Beveridges Station camping area (Bright region)

Beveridges Station lies within a thin wedge of the park between Lake Cobbler and Mt Hotham. Its location beside the Buckland River, 40 km south of Porepunkah, makes it a favourite of isolation-seeking anglers. Follow the... Find out more


Bindaree Hut camping area (Mansfield region)

To reach Bindaree Hut, which lies in the shadows of Mt Buller and Mt Stirling and was built by well-known bushman Fred Fry, take Bindaree Rd off Circuit Rd and continue for 10 km to the signposted turning. The hut is... Find out more


Bluff Hut camping area (Mansfield region)

There’s bush camping among snow gums within a few hundred metres of Bluff Hut; a reconstruction of the original 1950s hut that burnt down in 2007. It’s on a well-worn path that begins at Eight Mile Flat,... Find out more


Buckety Plain camping area (Bogong area)

The camping area at Buckety Plain is situated near Faithfuls Hut, which is for emergency accommodation only. Buckety Plain is 18 km south of Falls Creek, and a couple of kilometres beyond the Raspberry Hill camping area.... Find out more


Buckwong Creek camping area (Davies High Plain area)

Buckwong Creek is one of several possible stopovers on the 4WD Davies Plain Track, which heads north from near Mt Cobberas (access is off Limestone Creek Rd) to eventually hit the Murray River near the Alpine Way.... Find out more


Buenba Flat camping area (Davies High Plain area)

This is a novelty in the Davies High Plain area – a bush-camping area that can be reached with a conventional vehicle. The dispersed sites are 44 km north-east of Benambra, off Beloka Rd. Nearby is the junction of... Find out more


Bullock Flat camping area (Heyfield region)

Bullock Flat is popular with anglers because of its location beside the Wonnangatta River. It’s about 8 km south-east of the Eaglevale camping area and can be accessed along Wonnangatta Rd. Consider detouring up to... Find out more


Charlies Creek Plain camping area (Davies High Plain area)

The campsites of Charlies Creek Plain are at the southern end of the 4WD Davies Plain Track, which heads north from here to reach the Murray River at Tom Groggin on the NSW border. It’s 2.5 km north of the junction... Find out more


Craigs Hut camping area

Craigs Hut is situated on Mt Stirling, about 40 km east of Mansfield. There are 2 ways to get here: by driving down Mt Buller Rd, turning onto Circuit Rd and looking for the signposted access 20 km east of Telephone Box... Find out more


Davies Plain Hut camping area (Davies High Plain area)

Camping is possible among the snow gums near the historic Davies Plain Hut, which is just over 16 km south of the nearest Murray River crossing, and 13 km north of Charlies Creek Plain. Located on the Davies Plain Track,... Find out more


Dogman Hut camping area (Davies High Plain area)

Dogman Hut is in the far north-east of the park, not far from the Murray River, and is a nice place to set up camp and watch the setting sun. Four-wheel-drivers often use this area as a staging post for the run up nearby... Find out more


Eaglevale camping area (Heyfield region)

The Eaglevale campsites are beside the Wonnangatta River, overshadowed by Snowy Bluff and Mt Kent. There’s a track you can follow north-east to the eerie remains of Talbotville and the one-time gold-rush town of... Find out more


Eight Mile Flat camping area (Mansfield region)

Not surprisingly, Eight Mile Flat is just beyond Seven Mile Flat along Brocks Track, off which it’s signposted. This access road, which leads off Howqua Track off Mt Buller Rd, is a 4WD affair – off-road... Find out more


Gantner Hut camping area (Heyfield region, walk-in camping)

The A-frame Gantner Hut, built as emergency shelter in the 1970s, is situated on the walking track that leads from Howitt Rd up to the summit of Mt Howitt. This peak reputedly has some of the finest views in the national... Find out more


Guys Hut camping area (Heyfield region, walk-in camping)

Guys Hut is a 1940s structure on a walking circuit that begins at Howitt Rd, skirts the cliffs of Bryce Gorge and passes several waterfalls, including one on Pieman Creek, and then loops back to the main road. The walk... Find out more


Horseyard Flat camping area (Heyfield region)

Horseyard Flat is on the banks of the Moroka River, 30 km east of Arbuckle Junction down Moroka Rd. There aren’t actually any horse yards here – horseriders can find those to the west at Wellington River.... Find out more


Howitt Hut camping area (Heyfield region)

Camping at Howitt Hut is centred on a cattleman’s hut built in the early 20th century, making it one of the oldest such structures in this section of the park. You can reach this site, beside the Caledonia River,... Find out more


J B Plain camping area (Bogong area, walk-in camping)

J B Plain is a walk-in campsite 11 km south-east of Mt Hotham, just off the Great Alpine Rd. From here you can take a great 5 km walk due south to the aptly named plateau of Mt Tabletop. While exploring this region,... Find out more


Kellys Lane camping areas (Heyfield region)

Dispersed bush camping is permitted along Kellys Lane, off Tamboritha Rd about 8 km south-west of Arbuckle Junction. The sites are bordered by Shaws Creek and Holmes Plains. Nearby is the Bennison Lookout, just to the... Find out more


Kennedys Hut camping area (Lake Dartmouth area)

Like Taylors Crossing camping area to the south, Kennedys Hut is located on the banks of the Mitta Mitta River. The campsites are arrayed near the hut, which is a rustic log cabin straight out of a wilderness adventure... Find out more


King Hut camping area (Whitfield region)

King Hut is perched on the western edge of the park, about 35 km east of Mt Stirling. The dramatic 4WD-access route follows the King River Track for 7 km from the junction with Speculation Rd, which is itself reached via... Find out more


Lake Cobbler camping area (Whitfield region)

Lake Cobbler is around 47 km south of Whitfield along Lake Cobblers Rd, which is accessed from the Upper Rose River Rd; you’ll need a 4WD or high-clearance 2WD to negotiate the stretch of road south of Bennies, and... Find out more


Langford West camping area (Bogong area)

This camping area is right up on the fabulous Bogong High Plains, about 14 km south of Falls Creek via Bogong High Plains Rd. Mountain-bikers will want to head north from here up the Langford West and Langford East... Find out more


Limestone Creek camping area (Davies High Plain area)

Limestone Creek flows within untouched woodlands on the Davies High Plain. Horseriders plod slowly through the area along the Bicentennial Nature Trail, while others camp beside the creek to float a fishing line, or let... Find out more


Lovicks Hut camping area (Mansfield region)

Lovicks Hut, on Mt Lovick, marks the spot where one of the original cattlemen’s huts stood until 2003. Horseriders and 4WD vehicles head over from the Bluff to check out the area, while hikers walk in from the east... Find out more


Millers Hut camping area (Heyfield region)

Millers Hut is one of many emergency shelters in the park, and there’s a camping area nearby for those who are just passing through. You’ll need a 4WD to get here along Mt Wellington Track, which branches off... Find out more


Mitchells Flat camping area (Mansfield region)

Mitchells Flat is right at the western edge of the park. It was the site of a gold find in the 1860s and subsequently became home to the Mitchell family homestead. It’s now the eastern end of the 2-day Mitchells... Find out more


Moroka Bridge camping area (Heyfield region, bush camping)

There’s back-to-basics bush camping at Moroka Bridge, which is accessed by Moroka Rd and situated about 26 km south-east of Arbuckle Junction. There’s nothing in the way of facilities, just plenty of time to... Find out more


Mountain Creek camping area (Bogong area)

Mountain Creek is about 15 km east of Tawonga, which is down the road from Mt Beauty – from the Kiewa Valley Hwy south of Tawonga, head east for 10 km on Mountain Creek Rd. Most people come here to climb... Find out more


Native Dog Flat camping area (Cobberas–Tingaringy area)

Native Dog Flat, 45 km east of Benambra and at the southern end of the Snowy Mountains, is in one of the most remote and rugged regions of Alpine National Park. The local high point is Mt Cobberas, which is scaled by the... Find out more


Pikes Flat camping area (Mansfield region)

Pikes Flat is a short distance west of Bindaree Hut on a track that branches off Bindaree Rd, which leads south from Circuit Rd. Like Bindaree, the campsites at Pikes Flat are on the flats beside the Howqua River, which... Find out more


Pineapple Flat camping area (Whitfield region)

Pineapple Flat is 10 km north of Mt Stirling in the western reaches of the park. It is reached via Burnt Top Track, which branches off King Basin Rd, which in turn runs off Circuit Rd. This route is for 4WD only. Those... Find out more


Pretty Valley camping area

Essentially a picnic ground also used for camping, this scenic spot overlooks Pretty Valley pondage and also gives access to the high plains via walking tracks. There is room for roughly 20 tents, and caravans will... Find out more


The Poplars camping area (Davies High Plain area)

The Poplars site allows you to camp on the banks of the Murray River at the eastern edge of the park. To the south is the rugged terrain surrounding Mt Cobberas, while across the Murray in NSW is wild Kosciuszko National... Find out more


Quartpot Flat Hut camping area (Lake Dartmouth area)

Quartpot Flat is near one of the southernmost tendrils of Lake Dartmouth. To get here, steer a 4WD off the Omeo Hwy onto Razorback Spur, just north of the Mt Wills Historic Area, and then head east on Limestone Gap... Find out more


Raspberry Hill camping area (Bogong area)

About 3 km south of Langford West lies Raspberry Hill, off the Bogong High Plains Rd. Use this as a base while you decide which of the area’s fine walking tracks to tackle next. For a view out over Falls Creek and... Find out more


Sandy Flat camping area (Whitfield region)

Sandy Flat is another of the camping areas accessible only by 4WD in the section of the national park south of Whitfield. Off-road vehicles tend to make the most of the many tracks that wind around Mt Pleasant, Mt... Find out more


Seven Mile Flat camping area (Mansfield region)

Seven Mile Flat is in the section of Alpine National Park directly south of looming Mt Buller and 45 km east of Mansfield. A 4WD is required to reach this campground – from Mt Buller Rd, head south on Howqua Track... Find out more


Taylors Crossing camping area (Lake Dartmouth area, walk-in camping)

The Mitta Mitta River is a great place for swimming and fishing. At Taylors Crossing, you can camp right beside this waterway. There are 2 ways of getting here: in a 4WD along Four Mile Creek Track, or in a 2WD from the... Find out more


Top Crossing Hut camping area (Whitfield region)

Grassy camping spaces can be found beside the King River at Top Crossing Hut, built in 1951, which lies in a branch of the national park just south of Whitfield. From Whitfield, head towards Cheshunt and then detour... Find out more


Upper Howqua camping area (Mansfield region)

From the Circuit Rd that winds around Mt Stirling, take Bindaree Rd and follow it for 10 km to reach the turn-off to the lovely Upper Howqua camping area; the trip will require a 4WD. Spend your time fishing in the... Find out more


Wellington River camping areas (Heyfield region)

The south-western section of the park, north of Heyfield, is crisscrossed by mountain waterways where you can go swimming and fishing. These include the Wellington River, which has 13 dispersed campsites (some with... Find out more


Willis camping area

Just inside the NSW border is Willis camping area, 74 km south of Jindabyne via Barry Way. Bring your own drinking water and firewood.... Find out more


Wombat PO camping area (Lake Dartmouth area)

The Wombat PO camping area is located alongside Wombat Creek some 30 km north of Benambra. This creek is no rival for the large expanse of Lake Dartmouth to the north, but you can still while away the hours fishing here.... Find out more


Wonnangatta Valley camping area (Heyfield region)

The Wonnangatta Valley, 65 km north of Arbuckle Junction, is popular for the 4WD trips conducted between here and Zeka Spur. A well-used horseriding trail also winds through here. You can camp near the site of the... Find out more


See Also

comments powered by Disqus