Summiting Australia's Highest Point - Mount Kosciuszko
For years I longed to visit Kosciusko, the highest point in Australia. Located in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, I wrangled five friends and made the seven hour journey. It was well worth it. Read on below and check out the video!
I've lived in Australia for over 10 years, and on one of those early days living in Cairns, I remember a day soaking up the sun's rays quenching our thirst with 'exotic' imported beer. After a few brewskies in, I asked my mates, 'what is this? Russian?'. I thought, by the roar of laughter, I was surely on a career path towards becoming a comedian. Kosciuszko Pale Ale, imported all the way from Jindabyne…Australia.
Easter, one of those fabulous public holidays where one gets four days to play; and damn right I'm going to make the absolute most of it. I managed to wrangle up five friends to join me on the road trip, and of the six of us, only one had ever been to Kosciuszko National Park, the highest point in Australia.
After work on Thursday, Tash, Lyndal, Wendy, and I packed my ute and started our journey. First stop, Queanbean, a five hour drive from Newcastle. The journey was fairly effortless, a stop every two-ish hours had us at our travel motel just after 11pm. Three beds for the four of us, all lined up in a row and arm length apart…did I remember to tell everyone to pack earplugs?
The next morning, we traveled the remaining two hours to Jindabyne, where we met up with Meg and Franziska. A quick meet and greet before we headed off to hike Dead Horse Gap, a short hike that led to the Thredbo Ski Lifts. This walk was a bit of a test for me, I had been quite sick all week and even on the scheduled day of departure, was close to cancelling the trip. I managed the walk, but man, did I ever feel terrible! How was I ever going to do the epic overnight hike the following day?
That evening we managed to find a spot at Island Bend Campground, good thing too, as all the main campsites near the villages were full. We shouldn't have been surprised, as it was Easter Long Weekend and start of NSW school holidays. That night was clear and the chill biting, evident from the frozen dew that lined my pillow the following morning.
Despite picking ice droplets off my face in the morning, I felt relatively healthy, much stronger than I had been all week. "I should be ok", I thought.
The Main Range Walk started at the trail head located at Charlottes Pass. As we approached, we realised how popular this walk was, having to park over a km away down the road. Nonetheless, a later start than planned, we headed down the trail mid morning for our first stop, Blue Lake. Did I say 'down the trail'? The first 6km of the Main Ranges Walk was uphill; it was a test for most of us who hadn't carried fully laden packs for quite a while.
Over the next two days, we crossed the Snowy River, amazed ourselves at the beauty of Blue Lake, trotted over Carruthers Peak, camped at Wilkinson's Creek, and watched the sun set and moose rise atop Mt. Kosciuszko. Watch our adventure below.
I truly loved the Snowy Mountains and wish I lived closer. I cannot wait to come again, perhaps in the winter or spring!