At 2,228m above sea level, Kosciuszko is quite a small mountain when compared to peaks of Europe, Japan, North America or even our neighbour, New Zealand2.
We commenced our hike at Eagles Nest, which is at the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo Alpine Village. The walk is very easy to navigate, as you simply follow the mesh walkway to Rawsons Pass3, and then continue on the well kept (and well sign-posted) trail to the summit.
Or you could just follow the dozens of other hikers if you’re walking on a weekend.
From Eagles Nest, the hike to the ‘top of Australia’ is about 13.5km return, through rugged alpine terrain.
Kosciuszko itself is fairly underwhelming. Sitting on top of the Main Range, the peak is only just a little higher than other surrounding peaks, and being much older than the more impressive ranges of new lands it has been weathered down through the ages. It is not an imposing peak like New Zealand’s Aoraki, Japan’s Fujisan, and the European Alps.
Nonetheless, the views from the peak are spectacular and are absolutely worth the trek to get there. You get impressive vistas over The Australian Alps, the Main Range and into Victoria.
The hike itself is fantastic—although rated as moderate, this is mostly about the length of the hike and the constant climb.
This is an Alpine hike, so weather can change quickly. You need to ensure you have gear for warm or cold weather, regardless of the time of year, and be prepared for wind and rain. There is no access to drinking water or food, so you need to take your own.
On the day of our hike we had winds of 50-70km/h, with gusts exceeding 100km/h. We got back to Eagles Nest just before a big storm. So be prepared.
A hike well worth doing.
- C: Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
- L: Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4
- E: Lightroom (CC)
- To be factual, Kosciuszko is the highest peak on the on The Australian continent, with the higher peaks in the Australian Antarctic Territory, and on the uninhabited island territory of Heard Island. ↩
- New Zealand’s Aoraki, at 3,724m, is almost 1,500m higher than Kosciuszko, and it is a much more visually impressive peak. ↩
- An important location, being the junction of the Summit path from Charlotte Pass, and the location of Australia’s highest public toilets. ↩