Apr 29, 2017
I was in Australia recently and met up with my cousin Jeannie. Since I had summited Mt Kilimanjaro in 2010, I wanted to add to the list of the Seven Summits that I had climbed, which are the highest point on each of the seven continents. While I'm unlikely to attempt most of them, Australia's Mt Kosciuszko is the easiest by far and I was going to be within a few hours drive.
The top of Mt Kosciuszko, or 'Koszi' as the locals call it, is only 7,310 ft (2,228 m). The hike itself involves climbing 1,200 ft (360m) over 4.2 miles (6.8 km), and then back down again. The area is a very nice alpine meadow type of terrain, with gorgeous little streams crisscrossing the landscape
The terrain seems a fairly fragile ecosystem, at least at the time of year I was up there. There was a lot of wonderful vegetation unspoiled by folks walking over it everywhere. With the surface soft from snowmelt, trails would have quickly turned muddy in many areas from the large number of hikers. I was happy that the NSW Park Service had built a raised walking path to protect it.
As with many of the seven summits, this is not a location with much chance for solitude. There were probably a few hundred folks along the trail, but it also didn't feel crowded either, despite excellent weather.
Excellent hike and day, and thanks to Jeannie for joining me.
If you are interested in hiking Mt Koscuiszko, you will first need to make your way down to the town of Thredbo in New South Wales. It's about a 5 hour drive from Sydney and a 6.5 hour drive from Melbourne. However, I'd plan on having the day to do some exploration along the way as it's a pretty area. We explored some of Australia's hydro power dams along the way to Thredbo, stopping at the Blowering reservoir. We then drove back along the coast, stopping for some snorkeling along the way.
The time of the year matters. It's not recommended to hike in the Australian winter, unless you have experience with snow fields and navigation. This means that most folks will not hike between approximately June - October.
Once you arrive in the area, there are multiple ways to the top. The easiest involves a chairlift from the Thredbo resort and then a 6.4km hike to the top. There is an alternative longer route along Charlotte's pass which was once a driving road.
Despite it being a fairly small mountain for most folks interested in peaks, it is a very enjoyable hike with gorgeous views and well maintained trails.