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The views in Nockberge National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, are magnificent © Rudolf Abraham
In terms of mountain scenery, nothing on the route touches the Nockberge Mountains.
Looking out to the sharp alpine profiles of the Hohe Tauern peaks, the contrast between them and the lower, more rounded peaks of the Nockberge mountains to the NE couldn’t be more apparent. The Nockberge or ‘Nock Mountains’, which form part of the Gurktal Alps and include the Nockberge National Park (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the border of which lies slightly further to the NE on the far side of the valley of the Nöringback), owe their appearance to the presence of a band of dolomite rock, which has been more heavily eroded than the surrounding, more angular ranges. The Nockberge are rich in mineral deposits, and have been mined for centuries, including iron ore, magnesite and garnet.
Stages 12–13 and 14–15 are centred on this range, and offer some of the best days on the AAT, taking in remote tarns and several high peaks and affording spectacular views over the Millstätter See.