Austria is a country known for its medieval architecture, baroque palaces and exquisite museums. But man is not the only one who has worked on its decoration. For its modern appearance the country should be grateful to nature. Its territory is covered with green meadows, picturesque ponds, alpine pastures, forests with rich flora and fauna. All this diversity is exquisitely demonstrated by Nockberg, one of the largest national parks in Austria.
The Nockberg Nature Reserve stretches across the state of Carinthia. It is set among the Knokk Mountains, to the south of which are the Carnic Alps, to the north the Lower Tauern and to the west the High Tauern. Among all these massifs, the Knox Mountains are considered the lowest. In addition, they have a different geological structure and are composed of crystalline rocks. They do not have steep peaks. Instead, the Knock Mountains are made up of rounded peaks and hills with green meadows between them. The elevation gradient in the park ranges from 1,300 to 2,440 meters above sea level.
Features of flora and fauna
The main treasure of the Nokberghe National Park is the diverse nature. Its central area is covered by vast alpine meadows and pastures, which for centuries have contributed to the development of agriculture in the region. There are birch groves, pine forests, as well as larch, mountain ash, white maple, and alder. In spring, the alpine meadows are covered with jasmine, gorse, barbata bells, edelweiss, clematis, butterwort, Celtic nards, vanilla, black and colorful orchids. Thanks to the clean mountain air, the flowers here are much brighter and larger than in other regions.
The rich vegetation contributes to the growth of typical alpine fauna. Among the large animals found in Nockberg are:
- wild horses;
- mountain sheep;
- roe deer;
- brown bears that migrate from the Slovenian side.
In addition, the population of beavers, mountain hares, martens, and polecats increases annually. Among birds, grouse, owls, owls, woodpeckers, and alpine eiders are especially numerous. The water bodies of the park are also characterized by a rich aquaculture.
The valuable cultural and natural landscape of the Nokberghe National Park is maintained thanks to centuries-old traditions, government programs and the careful attitude of tourists.
A visit to Nokberge provides a unique opportunity to observe animals, admire pristine nature, beautiful scenery and varied scenery. One of the few man-made objects on its territory is Nockalmstrasse – a serpentine 35 km long, laid out for the convenience of tourists.
For visitors who have decided to stay for a long time in the vicinity of the park Nockberghe hotels are available:
- Almdorf Seinerzeit (2.7 km);
- Heidi-Hotel Falkertsee (5 km);
- Wunder (6.4 km);
- Hochschober (7 km);
- Zirbenwald (7.1 km).
In between excursions and hikes in the biorepository you can visit the Heidi Alm children’s entertainment center (4.6 km), the Heidi Alm ski resort (5 km), the Edelsteine Kranzelbinder gem museum (7 km).
How to get there?
Nokberghe National Park is located in the southwestern part of Austria. Administratively it belongs to the state of Carinthia. It is separated from the capital of 300 km. You can overcome this distance only by road. You can get to the reserve in 3.5 hours, driving southwest on the S6.
Nockberghe National Park
The national park Nokberghe is located in the Carinthian lands on an area of 184 square kilometers. Unique landscapes, landscapes of amazing beauty, the Nockberge mountains – all this is Nockberghe. This Austrian park was founded in 1988. The park is located at an altitude of 1300-2400 m above sea level.
To the west of the Nock Mountains is the High Tauern Park, to the north the Lower Tauern Park, the magnificent scenery of the Carnic Alps opens in a southerly direction. The Knocke Mountains are low, with rounded peaks and a completely different structure than the nearby mountains. They consist of crystalline rocks.
The hills and the very picturesque, unique alpine meadows and pastures occupy the central part of Nockberge Park. The outskirts of the park are protected by thick forests. Nockberghe is home to many species of animals, many of which are very rare.
Visitors can learn about the farming traditions that have evolved over the centuries in this land.
Typical tree species in the park are mountain pine, birch, ash, mountain ash and larch. Also grows here gray and green alder. Beautiful mountain flowers are represented in all their diversity – Celtic nardam, Butterworth, edelweiss, clematis, high mountain and jasmine, bearded bells – flowers are much larger than in other places, as the mountain climate is clean and fresh. Orchids – spotted and black vanilla orchids – are also magnificent here.
The park fauna is typical Alpine species – ferrets, beavers, mountain hares, martens, mice and voles. Many large animals also live here – herds of wild horses, mountain sheep, lynx, and deer feel free and reliably protected. Roe deer in winter gather in a herd, and in summer you can see a mother-female with calves.
There are also brown bears in Nockberge, and these animals sometimes cross over into Slovenia. This diversity of fauna also includes numerous feathered birds – various species of woodpeckers, alpine eiders, owls, owls, grouse, Eurasian buzzard and many other birds have found a home here. The water bodies of the park are home to a number of fish species.
The untouched nature, beautiful scenery, variety of landscapes, flora and fauna attract tourists to Nockberge. Serpentine road Nockalmstrasse was built specifically for sightseeing tourists. Its length is 35 kilometers.