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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Australian Alps

On The Hunt: a 1,000 km journey by bike across the Australian Alps

It’s 2019! A new year. Always a good chance to reflect on life. And what’s a good life without some plans for some new adventures? In any field of adventure, there are epic journeys which serve to inspire us. As a long distance walker, you might day dream about the South Coast Track in Tassie or the Australian Alps Walking Track, a backcountry boarder or skier may have their eyes on the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains, or a XC tourer may dream about doing the Kiandra to Kosci crossing.

If you’re a bike packer, then surely the ultimate trip in Australia is the Hunt 1000.

Its described as a 1,000 km journey by bike ‘through the rooftop of Australia along backcountry trails, across exposed high plains, through snow gum woodlands and among tall native forests. The trail links two of major cities (Canberra and Melbourne) with limited resupply points and some of Australia’s best high country campsites’.

The Hunt 1000 is envisaged as a 7 day bike packing ride. It is the brain child of Daniel Hunt.

In this story packed with great images, Adrian Davis shares his experience of riding the Hunt 1000.

You can read the story here.

Alpine Australia – A celebration of the Australian Alps

This recently released book features 150 images from across the Australian Alps. The publishers describe it as a ‘coffee table pictorial (which aims to) bring this magnificent region to a wider audience.’

Although I haven’t seen the book yet, the excerts below look gorgeous. You can find it in bookstores or online.

Continue reading “Alpine Australia – A celebration of the Australian Alps”

The Hunt 1000 Australian Alps trail

This is completely epic: A 1,000 km journey by bike ‘through the rooftop of Australia along backcountry trails, across exposed high plains, through snow gum woodlands and among tall native forests. The trail links two of major cities (Canberra and Melbourne) with limited resupply points and some of Australia’s best high country campsites’.

The Hunt 1000 is envisaged as a 7 day bike packing ride. It is the brain child of Daniel Hunt. A number of my riding friends have been talking about it, so I thought I would check it out.

Continue reading “The Hunt 1000 Australian Alps trail”

Older forests experience ‘smaller and less severe’ fires

A new study in the journal Austral Ecology provides the most comprehensive analysis ever performed of the fire history of forests in the Australian Alps. This is a significant piece of work because it says that unburnt forests are less fire prone than those that have been recently burnt.

This has implications for how we manage these forests and woodlands. The current widely held assumption is that by reducing fuel loads, fire reduces the flammability of most eucalypt-based forests.

Continue reading “Older forests experience ‘smaller and less severe’ fires”

Book Launch of Bold Horizon

High-country Place, People and Story
by Matthew Higgins

Canberra, April 11.

What is it like in Australia’s high country? Matthew Higgins takes readers into this challenging environment to tell a unique story through words and pictures. Starting with his own experience, Higgins then profiles a range of mountain people from stockmen to Indigenous park rangers to tourism operators and more — each touched by this picturesque, bold landscape in different ways.

Continue reading “Book Launch of Bold Horizon”

Bold Horizon: High-country Place, People and Story

A new book on the Australian Alps will be released in April.

Matthew Higgins traces the mountain experience in a rich variety of ways. Firstly he talks of his own times in the alps as a bushwalker, cross-country skier, historian, and oral-history interviewer. Then, he profiles a range of people who have worked, lived, or played in the mountains: stockmen, skiers, Indigenous parks officers, rangers, brumby runners, foresters, authors, tourism operators, and others’.

Continue reading “Bold Horizon: High-country Place, People and Story”

Connecting Melbourne and Canberra to the Australian Alps Walking Track

The Australian Alps has hundreds of fantastic trails. The iconic long distance trail is the Australian Alps Walking Track, which stretches from Walhalla, east of Melbourne, almost to Canberra. The AAWT was created in stages, starting with the Victorian Alpine Walking Track, which was developed in the 1970s as part of a larger vision of linking the Australian Alps with a three-state trail. The dream of a long distance track was only fulfilled after years of work and a lot of ‘big picture’ thinking by many people.

Now there are plans to extend the track network all the way to Melbourne and right into Canberra. There are two alternatives for the track from Melbourne, and a proposed route into Canberra, which are outlined below. This well researched proposal identifies gaps in existing tracks and a number of options for connecting up with the existing AAWT.

Continue reading “Connecting Melbourne and Canberra to the Australian Alps Walking Track”

Atone for your carma by supporting mountain critter cause

Winter may be long over, but the snow is still there across the higher ranges of the Australian alps. It was a winter that went through so many boom and bust cycles and if all that rain had been snow, we’d be skiing until January. Long after the resorts have closed there is still decent and rideable cover in many places, but we are getting towards the end of season 2016.

Continue reading “Atone for your carma by supporting mountain critter cause”

Thirty years of co-operative management of the Alps

National Parks now cover much of the higher terrain in the Australian Alps, from the Baw Plateau to the east of Melbourne, all the way across the mountains almost to the outskirts of Canberra.

Those of us who enjoy these parks owe a great debt to the people who argued for the creation of the reserves in the first place, and to the generations of land managers that have looked after them.

While it is a discrete series of parks in Victoria, NSW and the ACT, there is also overall co-ordination of the parks through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the three state and territory and federal governments.

The MoU has allowed the Australian Alps to be managed co-operatively by the various agencies. Treating the Alps as a single bioregion makes a lot of sense, especially in a time of climate change. Yet like all good government decisions, the concept of co-operative management didn’t just appear. It took decades of work by a range of big picture thinkers and visionaries, and engagement in political processes at many levels that saw the creation of the agreement.

The current version of News from the Alps is dedicated to the co-operative arrangement and includes a potted history of the processes that lead to the signing of the MoU.

Whereas in the early stages after European colonisation, the Alps were seen largely as summer grazing grounds for cattle and sources of wood, gold and other materials, the history in the newsleter makes it clear that there was concern about the state of the Alps from the early to mid 1940s.

Continue reading “Thirty years of co-operative management of the Alps”

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