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Aboriginal people travelled to the Alps when the weather warmed up each yea , to participate in ceremonies and c e l e b ra t i o n s, exchange goods, settle disputes and arrange marriages. Mountains have spiritual values for many Aboriginal people.

text: Rod Mason illustration: Jim Williams

recreation and tourism

INUTHE AUSTRALIAN ALPS

What does recreation mean? Is it the thrill of skiing down a steep run, the challenge of rock climbing or kayaking down a section of river? Recreation could be a restful day in a beautiful place, bushwalking, orienteering, having a picnic, fishing, meditating or cycling. Whatever the activity, the common element of all these activities is enjoyment. A useful definition of recreation is ‘the pleasurable and constructive use of leisure time’. Recreation in the Australian Alps can be viewed as a series of different land uses that have changed over time. These changes often reflect the values and structure of society.

Much of the appeal of the Alps is based on its magnificent rugged scenery, the dramatic weather changes, and the challenging nature of the mountains. These qualities have long attracted people and inspired adventurers, artists and poets. The steep slopes and open plateaus lend themselves to many recreation activities, and the alpine environment is the only one in mainland Australia that can provide the substantial amounts of snow essential for snow-based activities.

EDUCATION RESOURCE RECREATION AND TOURISM 1/14

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