The Alps of Europe are the most famous mountain range in the world. They gave birth to the „alpinism“, however, they are not the only „Alps“. Three further mountain massifs exist which have been given the same name by their first European visitors. Seeing the summits and the cirque lakes in the Japanese Alps on the main island Honshu, one can easily forget that you are in the land of the rising sun. Whereas the ecological niches in the European and Japanese Alps are occupied by similar mammals, the Australian Alps are populated by strange marsupials and insects, and in the Alps of New Zealand there live odd birds unable to fly. The southern part of the Alps in New Zealand look as jagged and bizarre as their European namesakes, whereas the Australian Alps are only a shadow of their former self. They are much older in the history of earth and therefore have eroded into a smooth hilly landscape.