I’m always planning our next overseas trip but due to a bit of a personal health hurdle somewhere nearer is all we could manage in a short timeframe with a hospital visit looming. So recently we made a short trip to Australia’s Snowy Mountains. It took nearly the whole of the first day to drive from home to Thredbo, where we would base ourselves for three nights at the Lhostsky Apartments.
The next day we planned to climb Australia’s highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko. Actually climbed isn’t quite correct as it is really just a hike, but climbed perhaps sounds more impressive. To start with we cheated by taking the chairlift up the first section to the Kosciuszko Express terminal. During the first part of the journey we passed heavy alpine vegetation but higher up we could see the demarkation line which snow probably dictates during the winter.
After disembarking the chairlift we set off on the paved trail.
Several minutes later we crossed over a small bridge which traversed one of many similar streams we would see during our walk.
For the most part the trail was a raised metal boardwalk. This theoretically protects the low growing alpine vegetation beneath rather than hikers stomping all over the area indiscriminately. In wetter times it also keeps hikers’ feet drier too.
A couple of kilometres into the walk we came to the Mt Kosciuszko Lookout point. Never having been there before it came as a bit of a surprise to see such a rounded off mountain in front of us (second from the left in the distance). I suppose we probably shouldn’t have been surprised given Australia’s mountains are the oldest and most weathered in the world.
After a short drink break we continued on. Even though the best time for wildflowers is spring and early summer we were happy to find the odd wildflower as we went.
Some time later we came to a turnoff point. We intended on continuing up to the peak but you could take a turning and head off to Charlotte Pass, nearly 12 kms away.
Here the path changed again. Now it was gravel within a rubbery frame to help against erosion, I guess.
The trail spiralled in an anti clockwise direction. taking us ever so slowly higher. Good views in every direction were possible.
Kosciusko’s peak is quite rocky and as we found, very popular with school and uni groups. Nearly all of whom wish to have a photo with the cairn marking the peak. After some time we found an obliging younger hiker and had a photo taken too.
A snack and drink break whilst sitting on one of the larger rocks enabled us to fully appreciate the lovely views. This photo shows the trail heading out to Charlotte’s Pass.
So having reached Australia’s highest point at a mere 2228 metres we started our return walk through the rugged beautiful countryside.
At times we could see other walkers in front of us and at other times we had the trail to ourselves.
Along the way we again saw some interesting flora. This one is by far the most colourful one we spotted.
Even though it was only 6.5 kms each way the trail did seem to be never ending in the final stages of our return trip. It is pretty open and exposed too and the cold wind started to bite.
Disappointingly the cafe at the end of the trail at the Kosciusko Express Terminal for the chairlift was closed by the time we reached it. Clearly they only open for lunch. It was a bit of a shame as we would have loved to warm up with a hot drink.
Anyhow the view on the chairlift trip down revived our spirits and we were soon back at our apartment warming up, well pleased with the walk to Mt Kociuszko’s peak. For Aussies and overseas visitors alike it is well worth doing this walk we think.