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No motorcycles between 6 pm and 8 am.

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The Biosphere Park

Biosphere Reserve Nockberge

Ancient cultural and natural scenery: UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Carinthia

In 1980, the Carinthian public made a forward-looking decision: the Nockalm was not to become a ski circus, but was to serve as an exemplary alpine region and as a habitat and recreational space for future generations. Protecting the diverse flora and fauna was just as important as preserving the countrified scenery in the west of the Gurktal Alps. UNESCO recognised these efforts in 2012, awarding the natural protection site the designation Biosphere Reserve. Around the world, Biosphere Reserves represent unique natural and cultural regions. The focus is on the combination of natural biodiversity, cultural characteristics, sustainable farming and international research.
Big Roseneck

Man and nature in harmony – the Biosphere Reserve

Around the world, Biosphere Reserves stand for a representative selection of all ecosystems. Their selection and distinction is carried out with a uniform list of criteria in accordance with the “Man and the Biosphere Programme” (MAB Programme). It’s not nature preservation itself that’s at the core of it, but rather the actions of man as part of nature. The development of a region, social and ecological questions, and climate protection and climate change are also taken into account. Every Biosphere Reserve has a protective, developmental, exploratory and educational role. All reserves are divided into three zones: a core zone with the focus on preservation, a cultivation zone, and an economically and socially orientated developmental zone. Biosphere Reserve Nockberge is one of 651 of its kind in 120 countries around the world.

The unique and diverse environment of the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge

Unlike national parks, which aim to protect wilderness areas, Biosphere Reserves are cultivated landscapes. The Nockberge are characterised by countrified life, which has been a feature here for centuries. Alpine pasture farming helps to preserve ample meadows with their characteristic biodiversity. Husbandry of alpine pasture animals – cattle, sheep, goats and horses – is just as important as keeping game, which can’t be just left to their own devices. 69 species of bird, 13 of which are on the “red list” of species in danger of extinction, are bred in the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge. More than 100 species of mushroom and countless mammals, amphibians, fish and insects inhabit the uniquely beautiful region in the Austrian Alps.

Preserve the precious – create something new: life in the Carinthian Alps

The “no” to the construction of a ski region and the “yes” to the Nockalm Road shows that protecting alpine habitats doesn’t have to stand in the way of its further development. Established traditions are carefully maintained at the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge. The best examples are the numerous dairy farms and alpine pasture businesses, where high-grade food with a natural finish is produced. The limited use of stone pine and spike lavender are also characteristic for the region that has a conscious focus on sustainability. The Nockalm Road was built without greatly disturbing the scenery, and blends in well with the terrain. It has therefore become part of it and at the same time a symbol for the responsible development of natural alpine habitats.

Nockalmhof Biosphere Reserve Centre on the Nockalm Road  

The designation as Biosphere Reserve led to the development of the modern park centre, which is absolutely worth a visit. The fossil exhibition “Versteinerte Welten” (Eng. “Fossilised Worlds”), which is unique in all of Austria, the multimedia and 3D cinema with the movie “Grüne Inseln im Strom der Zeit” (Eng. “Green Islands in the Current of Time”) and the Biosphere Reserve information corner offer you interesting insights into this unique alpine habitat. Children love the interactive bat exhibition and the playground! Gastronomy, shop, panoramic and information boards complete the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge experience. The centre is open daily from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm (July and August 10 am to 5 pm) with free admission. Tip: discover the Nockberge with a Biosphere Reserve ranger!

Read the current Biosphere Reserve summer programme now! (in German) 

Download the useful folder for your visit to the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge! (in German) 
What about a trip all about the capercaillie, the symbol of the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge? Find out more about the opening hours and prices  of the Nockalm Road now!