Australian Alps

Paperback - December 2015 - AU $45.00

eBook - December 2015 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A fascinating, illustrated guide that introduces some of Australia's highest mountains.

Australian Alps is a fascinating guide to Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks. It introduces the reader to some of Australia’s highest mountains, their climate, geology and soils, plants and animals and their human history. It traces the long-running conflicts between successive users of the mountains and explores the difficulties in managing the land for nature conservation. + Full description

The book gives credit to little-known or understood stories of the people who have worked to establish better understanding of the Alps, especially their vital role as the major water catchments for south-eastern Australia. This new edition updates many themes, including the involvement of Aboriginal people in the region, catchment function and condition, pest plants and animals, fire and the issue of climate change.

Written by a specialist with over 25 years’ experience in community education in and about the Australian Alps National Parks, this new edition features many excellent natural history and historical photographs. Ideal as support information for field trips, it will make a wonderful memento of an alpine visit.

This book acts as a detailed companion to park interpretive material and to topic-specific field guides: it caters for readers who want a broad overview of areas of interest they will come across in a visit to the mountains.

- Short description


"Australian Alps is a pleasure to read... Reading this book will only add to our motivation to visit, conserve and enjoy this region of international significance."
Catherine Pickering, The Victorian Naturalist 134(3), June 2017, pp. 81-82

"Another beautifully produced book from CSIRO Publishing that should be in every bookshelf."
Nick Goldie, Cooma-Monaro Express, 14/1/16

"Whether you have just a passing interest in the High Country of south eastern Australia, or you think you already know everything there is to know about the Australian Alps National Parks, this is a book you will pick up again and again... This is a very readable book, full of interesting anecdotes: a remarkable story told with genuine respect."
Phil Ingamells, Park Watch, Issue 263, December 2015, pp 37

"If you are looking for a book that offers a thorough explanation as to why our alpine region is the way we find it today, look no further. Australian Alps is well written, and while it is thorough and specific where it needs to be, Slattery’s writing style allows the reader to open the book to any page and instantly understand any concept explained in this text."
Emma Walsh, Wild Melbourne (blog), 14/12/15

"[Deirdre Slattery] tells an excellent historical narrative and does so in chapters on Aboriginal life, pastoralism, science, gold mining, water resources and conservation; I like to think I knew a bit about the subject, but I certainly know more now... This is certainly a book to take with you on your next Alps holiday, and preferably to have read in advance – you’ll get more out of your trip thus – along with your more specific field guides. An excellent addition to the literature on the south-east high country."
Ian Fraser, Ian Fraser's Natural History Reviews Newsletter (24), May 2017


Paperback | December 2015 | $ 45.00
ISBN: 9781486301713 | 320 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs

ePDF | December 2015
ISBN: 9781486301720
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Written by a leading expert in the natural and cultural values of the Australian Alps
  • Illustrated in full colour featuring animals, plants and natural features
  • Covers the latest policies on the management of these Alpine National Parks
  • Discusses the active presence of the Traditional Owners and their cultural connections to the mountains
  • Updates information on huts, recreation and issues relating to feral animals


1 Australia’s Alps – the Brindabellas, the Snowy Mountains and Victoria’s High Country
2 Alpine weather and climate
3 The shape of the Alps – geology, landform and soil
4 Alpine vegetation – what grows where?
5 Alpine animals
6 Aboriginal life in the Alps
7 Settlement and land use in the Alps – pastoralism
8 Science in the Alps
9 Gold mining in the Alps – then and now
10 Source of the rivers – alpine water resources
11 The road to conservation
12 Visiting the parks
Appendix 1: Websites
Appendix 2: Further reading


Deirdre Slattery has 25 years’ experience in community education in and about the Australian Alps National Parks, having worked with tour operators, agency staff, university students, teachers, recreation user groups and general community members on many field trips and bushwalks and through articles and talks.

In Victoria, Deirdre has worked in the National Parks Service and has served on the National Parks Advisory Council and Alpine Advisory Committee and represented the state on an Australian Alps Liaison Committee Working Group. She is an Adjunct Staff member in Outdoor and Environmental Education at La Trobe University and is an active member of the Victorian National Parks Association.