Mount Kosciuszko /ˌkɒziˈʌskoʊ/ is mainland Australia's highest mountain, at 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level. It is located on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park, part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves, in New South Wales, Australia, and is located west of Crackenback and close to Jindabyne.
Mount Kosciuszko summit
|Elevation||2,228 m (7,310 ft) |
|Prominence||2,228 m (7,310 ft) |
|Isolation||1,894.26 km (1,177.04 mi) |
|Parent range||Main Range, Great Dividing Range|
|Topo map||Perisher Valley|
|First ascent||1840 by Paweł Edmund Strzelecki (European) Ancient Times by Indigenous Australians|
|Easiest route||Walk (dirt road)|
The mountain was named by the Polish explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of Polish freedom fighter, General Tadeusz Kościuszko,[note 1] because of its perceived resemblance to the Kościuszko Mound in Kraków, Poland.
An exploration party led by Paul Edmund Strzelecki and James Macarthur with indigenous guides Charlie Tarra and Jackey set off on what is called Strzelecki’s Southern expedition. Macarthur was seeking new pastures. Strzelecki wanted to investigate the climate, geology, paleontology and geography of NSW and to publish his findings. This included identifying Australia’s highest summit, which Strzelecki reached on 12 March 1840.
The approach was made from Geehi valley. After climbing Hannel’s Spur, the peak currently called Mt Townsend was reached. Here Strzelecki used his instruments to make observations. He noticed that the neighbouring peak was higher. In the presence of Macarthur he named the higher summit Mt Kosciusko after the Polish and American hero fighting for freedom and equal rights. As it was late, Macarthur decided to return to camp and Strzelecki alone climbed the Kosciuszko summit.
Based on Strzelecki’s records, Australia’s highest summit was mapped. A cartographical mistake made in an edition of Victorian maps transposed Mt Kosciusko to the position of the present Mt Townsend. Later editions of the map, continued to show the original location. NSW maps did not make this mistake.
The Victorian error created confusion. In 1885, Austrian explorer Robert von Lendenfeld, guided by James M. Spencer, a local pastoralist, aided by a map containing the transposition error, reached Mt Townsend believing it was Mt Kosciusko. According to Spencer, the local Aborigines called Mount Kosciusko Tar-gan-gil. Like Strzelecki, Lendenfeld also observed that the neighbouring peak was higher. He named it Mt Townsend to honour the surveyor who in 1846 traversed the peak.
Lendenfeld claimed he identified and reached the highest peak of the continent. The NSW Department of Mines discovered Lendenfeld's mistake and assigned the name Mt Townsend to the second-highest mountain of the range. Lendenfeld's announcement created further confusion, and this is why people began to believe the incorrect story that the names of the two mountains were swapped.
The confusion was straightened out in 1940 by B. T. Dowd, a cartographer and historian of the NSW Lands Department. His study reaffirmed that the mountain named by Strzelecki as Mt Kosciuszko was indeed, as the NSW maps had always shown, Australia’s highest summit. When Macarthur’s field book of the historical journey was published in 1941 by C. Daley, it further confirmed Dowd’s clarification. This means that Targangil, mentioned in Spencer’s 1885 article, was the indigenous name of Mt Townsend, not of Mt Kosciusko. According to A.E.J. Andrews, Mt Kosciuszko had no indigenous name. Detailed analysis of the mountain history can be found in books by H.P.G. Clews  and in the cited A.E.J. Andrews' book Kosciusko: The Mountain in History.
The name of the mountain was previously spelt "Mount Kosciusko", an Anglicisation, but the spelling "Mount Kosciuszko" was officially adopted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. The traditional English pronunciation of Kosciuszko is /kɒziːˈʌskoʊ/, but the pronunciation /kɒˈʃʊʃkoʊ/ is now sometimes used, which is substantially closer to the Polish pronunciation [kɔɕˈt͡ɕuʂkɔ] (listen).
There are several native Aboriginal (Ngarigo) names associated with Mt Townsend, where J. Macarthur recorded in 1840 some campings of the natives. There is some confusion as to the exact sounds. These are Jagungal, Jar-gan-gil, Tar-gan-gil, Tackingal; however, all of them mean a Bogong Moth. See the cited letter by A.E.J Andrews.
In 2019, "Kunama Namadgi" was submitted to the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales as a proposed dual name for Mount Kosciuszko. The proposal was submitted by the Toomaroombah Kunama Namadgi Indigenous Corporation, which states that the proposed name means "snow" and "mountain". According to Uncle John Casey, the mountain's Ngarigo name has "been Kunama Namadgi for 4,000 years, since we've been on country, until the white man came in the early 1800s and that's when they changed it". However, Iris White, the chairperson of the Southern Kosciuszko Executive Advisory Committee, disputed that account, stating "that name is not from our language. It's offensive because in some of our languages 'Kunama' actually means faeces". White said that a new name should not be given "just for the sake of it sounding Aboriginal or sounding good".
The mountain was formed by geologic uplift. It was not formed by any recent volcanic activity. Eroded granite intrusions remain at the summit as large boulders above the more heavily eroded sedimentary rocks.
Mount Kosciuszko is the highest summit in mainland Australia. Until 1977 it was possible to drive from Charlotte Pass to within a few metres of the summit, but in 1977 the road was closed to public motor vehicle access due to environmental concerns. The road is open from Charlotte Pass for walkers and cyclists for 7.6 kilometres (5 mi) to Rawson Pass, at an elevation of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft) above sea level. From there a 1.4-kilometre (1 mi) walking path leads to the summit. Cyclists must leave their bicycles at a bicycle rack at Rawson Pass and continue to the summit on foot. Anyone with a modest level of fitness can walk to the top.
The peak may also be approached from Thredbo, taking 3 to 3.5 hours for a round trip. This straightforward walk starts from the top of the Thredbo Kosciuszko Express chairlift, which operates all year-round. The walking path is popular in summer, and is a mesh walkway to protect the native vegetation and prevent erosion. It is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to Rawson Pass, where it meets the track from Charlotte Pass, and from where it is a further 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) to the summit. The walk to the summit is the easiest of all the Seven Summits.
The third and often overlooked route up Mount Kosciuszko is up the very challenging and historic Hannel's Spur Track (15.5 km), which approaches from the NW and is the only route to pass through the Western Fall Wilderness Zone – passing through four different bio-diversity bands along the ascent. The Hannel's Spur Track is officially Australia's biggest vertical ascent of 1800m. This is the same route that explorer Paul Strzelecki climbed and 'discovered' Kosciuszko in 1840 and also the same annual route that the stockmen once brought the cattle up/down from the valley almost 2 km below to graze in the alpine meadows of Kosi throughout the summer. The various aboriginal tribes from the Murray valley also used this same route annually for millennia to access Kosciuszko to harvest the delicacies of Bogong moths that were abundant throughout the summer months and to socialise with other tribes from the coast and northern plains. The Hannel's Spur Track trailhead (sign) is about a 1.4 km hike SSE of the Geehi Rest Area on the Alpine Way road between the towns of Thredbo and Khancoban.
The peak and the surrounding areas are snow-covered in winter and spring (usually beginning in June and continuing until October or later). The road from Charlotte Pass is marked by snow poles and provides a guide for cross-country skiers, and the track from Thredbo is easily followed until covered by snow in winter.
Kosciuszko National Park is also the location of the downhill ski slopes closest to Canberra and Sydney, containing the Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, and Perisher ski resorts. Mount Kosciuszko may have been ascended by Indigenous Australians long before the first recorded ascent by Europeans.
Each year in December, an ultramarathon running race called the Coast to Kosciuszko ascends to the top of Mount Kosciuszko after starting at the coast 240 kilometres (150 mi) away. Paul Every, who is credited as being the one who thought of holding such a race, was the inaugural co-winner in 2004.
Higher peaks exist within territory administered or claimed by Australia: outside the continent are Mawson Peak (2,745 m or 9,006 ft) on Heard Island and Dome Argus (4,030 m or 13,220 ft), Mount McClintock (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Mount Menzies (3,355 m or 11,007 ft) in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Australian rock band Midnight Oil performed a song called "Kosciusko" on its 1984 album Red Sails in the Sunset, referring to the mountain. The spelling was updated to "Kosciuszko" for the group's 1997 compilation album, 20,000 Watt R.S.L.
Mt. Townsend, 19 November 1862. Eugene Von Guérard's painting
Carruthers Peak, formerly Curruthers Peak, a mountain in the Main Range of the Great Dividing Range, is located in Snowy Mountains region in southeast New South Wales, Australia. The peak is situated between Mount Lee and Mount Twynam within the Kosciuszko National Park.
With an elevation of 2,145 metres (7,037 ft) above sea level, Carruthers Peak is the seventh-highest peak in mainland Australia.It was named after Joseph Carruthers, a Premier of New South Wales, who, while he served as Minister for Lands, facilitated the building of the Summit Road to Mount Kosciuszko. It can be easily accessed, with the Main Range walk going straight up it.Charlotte Pass, New South Wales
Charlotte Pass (often erroneously referred to as Charlotte's Pass), elevation 1,837 metres (6,027 ft), is a location, snow resort and village in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The pass is located in the Kosciuszko National Park where the Kosciuszko Road crosses Kangaroo Ridge. Charlotte Pass is the closest village to Mount Kosciuszko.Charlotte Pass Village (elev. 1,760 metres (5,770 ft)) is located at the base of Kangaroo Ridge to the south east of the pass. It is the highest permanent settlement in Australia and the location of one of Australia's oldest snow resorts. It is the coldest location in Australia, with a record low of −23.0 °C (−9.4 °F) and winter temperatures which regularly drop below −10 °C (14 °F).
The pass and village are named after Charlotte Adams who, in 1881, was the first European woman to climb Mount Kosciuszko.Charlotte Pass provides access to some of Australia's highest alpine terrain and was formerly a stop off point for public vehicular access to Mt Kosciuszko, though the public access road now terminates at the Pass. Being an alpine area the area is subject to extremes in temperature, and is a recognised environmentally sensitive zone.Cootapatamba Hut
Cootapatamba Hut is a survival shelter in the river valley south of Mount Kosciuszko, in the Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, Australia.Geehi Hut
Geehi Hut is an alpine hut located in New South Wales, Australia. Geehi Hut is often named Nankervis Hut after Ken Nankervis and his brother built the hut for grazing and fishing in 1952. Originally at the site there were several buildings including a shed, toilet, laundry and the main house. However, in recent years the shed and laundry have been removed.
Geehi hut is constructed from river rocks with at least three rooms. The floor is a mix of concrete and dirt. Construction of this type is fairly unusual for Australian Alpine huts making Geehi hut a popular destination for camping and walking groups.
In 2004, the hut was rebuilt by the Kosciusko Huts Association with assistance from National Parks and Wildlife Service, day-laborers and the Caretakers, the Land Rover Club of New South Wales and the Range Rover Club of Sydney. It was officially re-opened on Sunday 3 October 2004 with members of the Nankervis family present.
The Geehi Hut area provides an excellent base to climb the historic and iconic Hannel's Spur Track up to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. The trailhead is located about 1.4km SSW of The Alpine Way road at the Geehi Flats Rest area. This challenging route is the overlooked 3rd route to the summit of Australia's highest mountain. (Difficult)Kosciuszko National Park
The Kosciuszko National Park is a 6,900-square-kilometre (2,700 sq mi) national park and contains mainland Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, for which it is named, and Cabramurra the highest town in Australia. Its borders contain a mix of rugged mountains and wilderness, characterised by an alpine climate, which makes it popular with recreational skiers and bushwalkers.
The park is located in the southeastern corner of New South Wales, 354 km (220 mi) southwest of Sydney, and is contiguous with the Alpine National Park in Victoria to the south, and the Namadgi National Park in the Australian Capital Territory to the northeast. The larger towns of Cooma, Tumut and Jindabyne lie just outside and service the park.
The waters of the Snowy River, the Murray River, and Gungarlin River all rise in this park. Other notable peaks in the park include Gungartan, Mount Jagungal, Bimberi Peak and Mount Townsend.
On 7 November 2008, the Park was added to the Australian National Heritage List as one of eleven areas constituting the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves.Lake Albina
Lake Albina is a glacial lake in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. The lake is located within the Kosciuszko National Park and the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves.
Lake Albina is located about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) north of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia. The 6,600-square-metre (71,000 sq ft) lake is approximately 500 metres (1,600 ft) long and 50 metres (160 ft) wide. It is located in a ravine, with Mount Townsend to the west and Mount Lee and Mount Northcote to the east. Lake Albina drains northwards towards the Geehi River through Lady Northcote's canyon.Lake Cootapatamba
Lake Cootapatamba is a post-glacial tarn in the Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, Australia.
Lake Cootapatamba is located at 2,048 metres, which is about 800 metres south of the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia. It is the highest altitude lake in Australia. It is 400 metres long with a maximum depth of about 5 metres.Main Range (Snowy Mountains)
The section of the Great Dividing Range between the Ramshead Range and Dicky Cooper Bogong in the Snowy Mountains is known as the Main Range. It can also be used more generally for the peaks (not necessarily on the Great Dividing Range) on or on short spurs off the range. It contains many of the highest peaks in mainland Australia. Some peaks on the Main Range include (from the south):
Mount Townsend, Mount Alice Rawson and Abbotts Peak (on Abbotts Ridge)
Mount Northcote, Mount Clark and Mount Lee
Mount Twynam and Little Twynam
Mount Anton and Mount Anderson
Dicky Cooper BogongMawson Peak
Mawson Peak is an active volcanic mountain on Heard Island, an external Australian territory in the Southern Ocean.
With its summit at 2,745 metres (9,006 ft), it is the third highest peak in any state or territory of Australia, higher than the 2,228-metre (7,310 ft) Mount Kosciuszko, and surpassed only by the 3,490-metre (11,450 ft) Mount McClintock and the 3,355-metre (11,007 ft) Mount Menzies claimed in the Australian Antarctic Territory. An active complex volcano which erupted as recently as April 2013 and February 2016, Mawson Peak is the summit of the Big Ben massif.Mount Tambo
Mount Tambo is a mountain located to the north-east of Omeo in Victoria, Australia. Its peak is 1,430 metres above sea level. It lies within the boundaries of the 6,050 hectare Marble Gully – Mount Tambo Nature Conservation Reserve.The 2,740 hectare Mount Tambo Reserve was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1990.Rare plant species found in Marble Gully – Mount Tambo Nature Conservation Reserve include Marble Daisy Bush, Delicate New Holland-daisy, and Limestone Pomaderris.To the near north-east is Little Mount Tambo (1,227 metres). The headwaters from Deep Creek, which feeds in to the Tambo River, are on the south-east slopes.It marks the intersection of the boundaries of the counties of Benambra, Dargo and Tambo.While travelling with Georg Neumayer's expedition to Mount Kosciuszko in 1862, the painter Eugene von Guerard produced a sketch Mt Tambo & Omeo Swamps 10 Nov 62 and later an oil painting Mount Tambo from the Omeo Station 1862.Mount Townsend
Mount Townsend, a mountain in the Main Range of the Great Dividing Range, is located in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia.
With an elevation of 2,209 metres (7,247 ft) above sea level, Mount Townsend is the second-highest peak of mainland Australia. Located in Kosciuszko National Park, the mountain is 3.68 kilometres (2.29 mi) north of Australia's highest mainland peak, Mount Kosciuszko.
Although lower than Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Townsend has a more craggy peak and is arguably more dominant than the relatively round-topped Mount Kosciuszko.
The confusion about swapping the names of Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend was straightened out in 1940 by B. T. Dowd, a cartographer and historian of the NSW Lands Department. His study reaffirmed that the mountain named by Strzelecki as Mt Kosciuszko was indeed, as the NSW maps had always shown, Australia's highest summit. When Macarthur's field book of the historical journey was published in 1941 by C. Daley it further confirmed Dowd's clarification. This means that Targangil, mentioned in Spencer's 1885 article, was the indigenous name of Mt Townsend, not of Mt Kosciuszko.Mount Twynam
Mount Twynam is a mountain located on the Main Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. The mountain is located close the border between New South Wales and Victoria.
With an elevation of 2,195 metres (7,201 ft) above sea level, the mountain is the third-highest mountain on mainland Australia. It is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) north-east of Mount Kosciuszko.The mountain is large but unimposing, and has good and far-reaching views over Blue Lake Cirque and the Western Falls. Despite being relatively accessible by track, it is rarely visited. The mountain forms a watershed for the Snowy River to the southeast and the Geehi River to the northwest.Paweł Strzelecki
Sir Paweł Edmund Strzelecki (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpavɛw ˈɛdmunt stʂɛˈlɛt͡skʲi]; 24 June 1797 – 6 October 1873), also known as Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, was a Polish explorer and geologist who in 1845 also became a British subject. He is noted for his contributions to the exploration of Australia, particularly the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania as well as climbing and naming the highest mountain on the continent – Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m).Rams Head
The Rams Head is a mountain located in the Ramshead Range of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.
With an elevation of 2,190 metres (7,190 ft) above sea level, its summit is the fourth highest mountain in New South Wales and the fourth highest mountain in Australia. The mountain is contained within the Kosciuszko National Park. The summit of the mountain offers views of the Main Range.
Located south of Mount Kosciuszko, the mountain attracts hikers in the summer, and during the winter months is covered with snow for back country skiers and alpine touring.Seven Summits
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Climbing to the summit of all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first achieved on 30 April 1985 by Richard Bass. The Seven Summits achievement has become noted as an exploration and mountaineering accomplishment.Smiggin Holes, New South Wales
Smiggin Holes is a village in the ski resort area of Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, in the Snowy Monaro Regional Council. It is primarily a winter-only resort village. It is within the Kosciuszko National Park, and is administered by New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change. Access to the village is via road. There is an access fee payable to the national park, and motor vehicles are not permitted to stay overnight in the winter months.
Smiggin Holes is one of four villages making up the Perisher ski resort. It is situated 1,680 metres (5,510 ft) above sea level.
The name Smiggin Holes is of Scottish origin. The trampling of hundreds of cattle consuming rock salt that graziers had placed there, caused depressions that filled with water. These depressions were called "the smiggin holes". The year 1939 signified the start of Smiggin Holes as a destination for skiers. Smiggin Holes is widely regarded as one of the best beginners' ski resorts on the Australian snowfields. The snow bowl is relatively sheltered, which protect it from harsh weather, avoiding the harsher weather experienced across the wider Snowy Mountains. A cafe was established to service skiers en route to Charlotte Pass and Mount Kosciuszko.Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains, known informally as "The Snowies", is an IBRA subregion and the highest mountain range on the continent of mainland Australia. It contains the Australian mainland's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, which reaches to a height of 2,228 m (7,310 ft) above sea level. The range also contains the five highest peaks on the Australian mainland (including Mount Kosciuszko), all of which are above 2,100 m (6,890 ft). They are located in southern New South Wales and are part of the larger Australian Alps and Great Dividing Range. Unusual for Australia, the mountain range experiences large natural snowfalls every winter. Snow normally falls during June, July, August and early September, with the snow cover melting by late spring. The Tasmanian highlands makes up the other (major) alpine region present in Australia.
The range is host to the mountain plum-pine, a low-lying type of conifer. It is considered to be one of the centres of the Australian ski industry during the winter months, with all four snow resorts in New South Wales being located in the region.The Alpine Way and Snowy Mountains Highway are the major roads through the Snowy Mountains region.Tapi Mra
Tapi Mra is a mountaineer from India and the first person from Arunachal Pradesh to scale Everest. Mra is from the Tagin people of the Upper Subansiri district of the state.
Mountains climbed by Tapi Mra include:
Island Peak or Imja Tse, (6160 m), Nepal - 24 April 2007.
Mera Peak (6654 m), Nepal - 20 Jun 2008.
Mount Everest (8848 m)- 21 May 2009.
Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m) - 19 February 2010.
Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m), Australia - 31 May 2011.White-lipped snake
The white-lipped snake (Drysdalia coronoides) is a small species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to south-eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania. It is the smallest of three species of snake found in Tasmania and is Australia's most cold-tolerant snake, even inhabiting areas on Mount Kosciuszko above the snow line. Growing to only about 40 cm (16 in) in total length (including tail), this snake feeds almost exclusively on skinks. It belongs to the genus Drysdalia, and is often referred to as the whip snake in Tasmania (true whip snakes from Australia are in the genus Demansia and are only found on the mainland). This species gets its common name from a thin, white line bordered above by a narrow black line that runs along the upper lip. D. coronoides is viviparous.
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