Growing up near the exquisitely beautiful Rocky Mountains in Canada made me a lifelong lover of alpine meadows. My childhood was spent hiking them with my parents and three little brothers, assorted cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. We young ones would race across the lush expanse, leaping as high as we could off obliging logs and stumps, collect fistfuls of wildflowers, and search the undergrowth for tiny alpine strawberries.
I search out alpine meadows wherever I can find them. I’ve hiked to them in British Columbia, Italy, and Alberta, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Albania. Each one is unique yet boasts the same elements: stunning views, cool, fresh air, and wondrous beauty.
Hiking in the Bunya Mountains was my first experience of an Australian alpine meadow, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The instant recognition in my heart almost hurt with its intensity. Emotionally I was whisked back to my childhood, and wouldn’t have been surprised in the least to see Bighorn Sheep grazing in the distance or a black bear ambling along to the next berry patch.
I couldn’t stop smiling as we wandered through, watching millions of wildflowers dancing in the buffeting winds, stopping to watch a huge goanna waddle across our path and hustle into the undergrowth.
The trees, flowers, and wildlife in an Australian alpine meadow may be different to what I’m used to, but the feeling is the same: freedom, space, unfettered joy.
Sue and I walked slower through the meadow than we did on any other part of our trek through the Bunya Mountains, both of us wanting to soak up the bliss of cool winds and gorgeous vistas. We were so glad we chose the 10 km hike so we didn’t miss out on this treasure of a place.
At last we couldn’t drag our heels any longer and bid farewell to the alpine meadow.
It certainly helped that the next part of our hike was entered through this magical archway. Who could resist such loveliness?
Do you have a place from your childhood that always brings back happy memories? xo