Alpinias represent the largest genus of the Zingiberaceae family. Most come from SE Asia but some alpinias come from, India, the South Pacific and even Australia. Alpinia flowers are produced at the ends of the leafy stems and are often quite showy. A surprising number of alpinias are relatively cold hardy and will grow all the way down to Melbourne.
Alpinia galangal is the only alpinia to flower on first year growth and has the added bonus of being edible as well as cold hardy. Alpinia purpurata which is native to the South Pacific is widely cultivated as a cut flower all over the world. A number of alpinias have interesting and variegated foliage and are particularly good for mass planting.
In general you'll find many alpinias make excellent landscaping specimens and do best in a semi shaded, sheltered position with plenty of moisture and nutrients during the growing season.