By Mike Edmondson
When it comes to guiding in the Snowy Mountains, no one knows the High Country of NSW better than Mike Edmondson. He has been exploring the mountains most of his life, so who better to ask for an insight to when and where the beautiful alpine wildflowers bloom.
The mountains have been covered in snow for up to six months, and now it is time for these brightly coloured fragile flowers to start their bloom. They emerge after the snow melt and with each new season the ‘Aussie Alps’ change their appearance where hundreds of plant species adapt to many different micro-climates.
These alpine wildflowers are unique to Kosciuszko National Park with 21 alpine plant species exclusively found in the park. A further four species are listed as threatened and they grow in high alpine treeless areas above the Snow Gum tree line.
Spring is the start of the growing and flowering season with most of the wildflower plants dormant in winter. The peak of the alpine wildflower season is from mid-December to mid-January when there are often big fields of wildflowers blooming at once.
For bushwalkers, sightseer’s and photographers the fresh alpine air, clean streams, cool glacial lakes and unique alpine wildflower bloom offer a fresh exciting environment to witness.
Take the walking track from Thredbo to Kosciuszko (see page 28) and you will observe many of these wonderful colourful flowers within sight from the track. Alternatively walking from Charlotte Pass to the Snowy River, Blue Lake and along the Main Range Walk will offer many flowering viewing opportunities. The challenging Main Range Walk is a 22km loop taking 8 hours for experienced bushwalkers.
Mike Edmondson is an experienced local guide and alpine photographer. Mike conducts customised walks including Australia’s highest ten peaks walk plus photographic workshops during summer and winter seasons. He also has high quality photographic prints and canvas artworks available on his website. You can book tours via this site.
Billy Buttons on the Main Range. PHOTO: Mike Edmondson