Back in 2007, Moo and myself did a weekend 20km hike around the Main Range Track of Mount Kosciuszko. This can be done as a solid full day walk however we chose to camp half way and enjoy the sunset over Australia’s Great Divided Range.
This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills – tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
We did the walk in March 2007, so early Autumn, and went clockwise to take in Mount Kosciuszko on the first day…we started early Saturday morning from Canberra and so arrive at the end of Kosciuszko Road mid-morning to start our walk – approximately a 2 1/2 hour drive.
End of Kosciuszko Road to Snowy River Bridge (4.5km)…the start of the walk follows the management trail and so on a well maintained dirt road.
Snowy River Bridge to Seamans Hut (1.5km)…Still on the management trail, Seamans Hut was erected in 1929, after a young skier named Laurie Seaman perished in a blizzard when he was separated from his group. The hut was built using money donated by Seaman’s parents, for the use of those who might need emergency shelter in the mountains. It was renovated in 1938 due to fire. Seamans Hut is a 7m x3m granite stone building with a wood stove, although there is little wood in the area.
This was a great place for us to stop for an early lunch and a cuppa.
Seamans Hut to Rawson Pass (1.7km)…still on the management trail which eventually turns into a stone path, Rawson Pass is where the old Kosciuszko Road, from Charlotte Pass, meets the metal walkway from Thredbo. It is home to highest public toilet in Australia, this facility is perfectly positioned for those taking the walk up to the top of Kosciuszko. Rawson Pass is well signposted and 500m south east of Mt Kosciuszko (by straight line). There is also a place for to park mountain bikes for those cycling along the old road from Charlotte Pass.
Rawson Pass to Mt Kosciuszko (1.4km)…Mt Kosciuszko is the highest peak on the Australian continent, at 2228m above sea level. It was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki and named in honour of the Polish national hero General Tadeusz Kościuszko. On a clear day, the 360-degree views from the summit across the roof of Australia are fantastic.
This particular trip we did not do the break off trek up to the Mt Kosciuszko peak as we have been up there several times and we wanted to continue onto our campsite before it got dark. So photos from the peak are from an earlier trip.
Rawson Pass to Carruthers Peak (4.5km)…we choose to camp near Carruthers Peak so that our walk out the next morning was only 5km. However along the way to Carruthers Peak is Wilkinsons Creek which is great for camping as well. There are no facilities in any of the stops so it is true mountain camping. Also no fires are allowed so it is fuel stoves only.
Wilkinsons Creek meanders through a beautiful and broad valley. Nestled in the valley between Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend, this is a great spot to cool down or camp for a night. The large, flat, grassy plain, with a scattering of boulders, makes this great place to stay.
Carruthers Peak is a prominent mountain that is found along the Main Range track, from which you can see great views down over Club Lake and out across the valley to Charlotte Pass. Carruthers Peak was named after the NSW Minister for Lands and Premier, Joseph Carruthers. This name was given in 1991 by Richard Helms, who had previously named it Crummer.
Moo and I really had a great time camping all alone and with nothing but a great view to look at.
Carruthers Peak to Blue Lake (1km)…an early morning start on Sunday had us on our way to Blue Lake. Blue Lake is the best example of a glacial lake in the alpine area. At 28m deep, this lake was formed when glaciers, flowing from the Great Dividing Range, converged and carved out a basin in the rock. This is visible in the cliffs behind the lake, where the glaciers have plucked out blocks of stone and carried them away. There is also a stream that flows from Blue lake, feeding Hedley Tarn just to the south.
Blue Lake to End of Kosciuszko Road (4km)…a final 4km’s and we were out by lunch time and on our way back to Canberra.