Data on floristics, structure and environment were collected from quadrats throughout the geographic range of alpine vegetation in Australia. These data were used to explore the floristic and environmental relationships of ten alpine vegetation formations: bolster heath, coniferous heath, heath, alpine sedgeland, fjaeldmark, tall alpine herbfield, short alpine herbfield, grassland, bog and fen. Alpine sedgeland and coniferous heath, and tall alpine herbfield and grassland, proved to be closely similar in their floristics. Grassland and coniferous heath were most separated in ordination space. The environmental variables with the largest numbers of significant differences between formations were extractable phosphorus, summer temperatures, winter temperatures and topography. However, many other edaphic, climatic, topographic and biotic variables were important in discriminating between formations. The results of the formation-environment analyses were largely consistent with the relationships suggested in the previous literature. However, some environmental differences between formations that were observed or posited from local studies did not prove to be exportable to the alpine zone as a whole. Edaphic and topographic variables appear to be more important in discriminating the environments of alpine formations than the environments of alpine floristic communities.