Originally posted on https://kokodagear.com/a-complete-guide-to-walking-mt-kosciuszko/
Are you planning a trip to Australia?
If your answer is yes, you already know there are so many sites to see and things to do. The great Australian Outback, the Sydney Opera House, and the exotic wildlife all make it to every traveller’s list. But a must-see for every adventurous traveller is Mt Kosciuszko.
Hikers, climbers, skiers, and anyone with an adventurous spirit must check out Mt Kosciuszko. Just southwest of Sydney, Mt Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest mountain at 2,228 meters above sea level. It may not be as high as Mt Kilimanjaro or Mt Everest, it does boast a wide variety of actives for visitors of all abilities.
During the winter months, Mt Kosciuszko is Australia’s go-to ski destination. During the summer, you’ll find it teeming with hikers, mountain cyclists, climbers, and more! This mountain is a do-it-all destination.
So, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for a fun new adventure or a memorable hike, here’s everything you need to know about hiking Mt Kosciuszko.
Picking the Best Mt Kosciuszko Trail
When the weather is warm, Mt Kosciuszko is full of beautiful trails. Deciding which trail to walk can be a process.
Fortunately, there are trails for people of all abilities. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the right trail.
Do you want to summit Mt Kosciusko? Are you looking for a rigorous hike? Or are you looking for a relaxing walk along a gorgeous mountain?
The following trails offer trails ranging from rigorous walks to the summit or easy walks up Mt Kosciuszko.
Summit Trail From Charlotte Pass
The Summit Trail takes you right to the top of Mt Kosciuszko. It offers great views and fairly easy walking.
The Summit Trail is wide and used to be a road many years ago. Today it’s a spacious walking trail with a mild incline. This trail is 18km long, so you must be prepared for the distance.
This 18km long trail will take around 4 to 5 hours to walk. Proper clothing, footwear, and the ability to walk that far are necessary for a safe walk.
Main Range From Charlotte Pass
A challenging walk to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko is the Main Range track. This is a trail for the serious hiker.
Quieter than the Summit Trail, the Main Range offers a real mountaineering experience. Cross rivers, march through the snowdrifts and walk in the clouds as you wander this trail during the summer.
While this walk is more rigorous, it is well worth the challenge. It’s a 22km walk with a grade 4 rating, meaning it’s fairly steep. It takes about 7 to 9 hours to complete the roundtrip.
Thredbo offers a relaxing walk for those who aren’t looking for a long rigorous walk. You can ride the chairlift up to the summit where you can take your time to appreciate the views Mt Kosciuszko has to offer.
Enjoy an easy 13km walk down the mountain on a metal boardwalk. This trail is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing and easy-going walk.
Rawson Pass is the final leg to the summit. All three trails intersect and finish here. An interesting fact about Rawson Pass is it’s the home of Australia’s highest toilet for public use.
Hannel’s Spur Track
The steepest and most challenging is a hike for only the most experienced hikers. Hannel’s Spur is Australia’s longest vertical trail up Mt Kosciuszko.
In 1840, it was the original route Polish explorer Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki took when hiking to the summit.
Sites to See on Mt Kosciuszko
Along your walk up Mt Kosciuszko, there are many sites and vistas to stop, take a break, and admire.
Hiking the Main Range Trail offers gorgeous views of Australia’s Blue Lake. It’s one of four mountain lakes but only one of two that has not dried up due to a lowering water table.
During the summer months, you’ll find this lake to be a brilliant cobalt blue.
Not far from the summit is Lake Cootapatama. This post-glacial lake is the highest altitude lake in Australia.
Mt Kosciuszko Summit
The final unique feature you’ll experience on your hike is the summit. Breathtaking vistas and views of neighbouring mountain ranges will welcome you as you finish your climb.
The summit is a perfect place for photos, a picnic, or well-deserved rest after a hard day’s climb.
Wear the Right Gear
No matter the type of walk, you need the right gear. Wearing the wrong gear leads to blisters, temperature discomfort, and possible injury.
The climate in the mountains is unpredictable. One minute it’s sunny and warm, the next it’s down pouring and freezing! Always come prepared with the proper clothes, shoes, and jackets when walking any mountain.
Mt Kosciuszko is usually a safe mountain to walk and doesn’t always require serious hiking gear. Here’s the gear you should always have ready for hiking and walking in the mountains.
The Right Shoes
Keep your feet, legs, and back happy on your walk with a pair of quality hiking shoes. Wear a pair of comfortable well-fitting shoes when hiking any of the MT Kosciuszko trails.
Waterproof hiking shoes or boots with a non-slip grip are a great option as parts of the trail are known to get muddy and slippery. These are great for the easier trails and necessary for the Main Range Trail.
If you’re sticking to the Summit Trail or the chairlift, you can get away with a quality pair of running or walking shoes. However, a hiking shoe will give you more comfort and support on longer walks.
The Right Socks
Socks play an important role in keeping your feet warm, dry, and blister-free.
Merino wool is common in high-quality hiking socks because it’s soft, breathable, and warm. Pack a pair of merino wool to keep your feet feeling fresh on long walks up Mt Kosciuszko.
Then there’s sock style. When walking in low profile hiking or walking shoes, ankle socks should work just fine. If you’re hiking the rugged trail up Mt Kosciuszko, then tall (just below the knee) thermal socks will feel great.
The Right Clothes
Due to Mountain climates being unpredictable, it’s smart to have warm comfortable clothing. Always dress in layers. You can take layers off if you get too warm but can’t put layers on if you didn’t bring any.
During the warmer months, start with a short-sleeve shirt as your base. Layer a long sleeve over that and if it’s chilly that day, another long sleeve or sweater on top.
As for pants, look for lightweight, fast-drying, and comfortable material. Convertible pants are great if you like having the option of shorts. Your pants should be loose-fitting to allow you a wide range of moving when walking and hiking.
Jackets & Hiking Bags
When hiking and walking Mt Kosciuszko, it never hurts to bring a jacket along. As you climb the mountain, the weather can change, temperatures may drop, and it can be windy. Look for a water and windproof jacket that is breathable and comfortable.
Make carrying extra clothing, emergency gear easy with a light hiking backpack. Hiking bags come in a variety of sizes and can be sized to fit you. If you’re not planning on a long backpacking trip, a light comfortable backpack will work just fine.
You can also pack your water, emergency supplies, snacks, hiking sticks, and more in your hiking bag.
Mt Kosciuszko Safety Tips
Before you walk Mt Kosciuszko you should follow a few safety tips. Be prepared for any issues, large or small, you may face on your walk.
- Always bring a full water bottle or bladder on your hike
- Bring food such as trail mix, fruit, granola, or other snack foods
- Regularly re-apply sunscreen throughout your hike
- Pack an emergency blanket in case of an unplanned event
- Stick to the trail, wandering off puts you at risk for getting lost or injured
- Pack an emergency medical bag in case of injury, headache, or dizziness
- Bring a map of the trails you’re taking and how to identify Mt Kosciuszko
- Avoid petting or feeding wildlife
- Bring extra clothing in case of an emergency or a change in weather
By following these simple safety tips, your walk up Mt Kosciuszko will be fun and safe.
Be Kind to Your Trail
Trails along Mt Kosciuszko are enjoyed by other hikers and wildlife. You must do your part conserving the trail and environment.
Always pick up your trash and other trash you see along the trail. Prevent erosion and damage to plants by walking on designated trails.
Along the trails, you’ll find several facilities. Use them when you can as human waste can contaminate the water and mountain environments. If there’s an emergency, digging a hole far from rivers and lakes is acceptable.
Remember to leave your trail better than when you found it.
Finding the right trail and being properly prepared will make your walk up Mt Kosciuszko an amazing adventure you’ll remember for years to come. The right shoes and clothes will ensure you can explore more of Australia comfortably after your hike.