Mount Kosciuszko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Antarctic mountain, see Mount Kosciusko (Antarctica).
Mount Kosciuszko
Jagungal, Jar-gan-gil, Tar-gan-gil, Tackingal[1]
Mount Kosciuszko01Oct06.JPG
View of Mount Kosciuszko from the east
Highest point
Elevation 2,228 m (7,310 ft) [2][3]
Prominence 2,228 m (7,310 ft) [2]
Isolation 1,894.26 km (1,177.04 mi) [2]
Coordinates 36°27′27″S 148°15′44″E / 36.45750°S 148.26222°E / -36.45750; 148.26222Coordinates: 36°27′27″S 148°15′44″E / 36.45750°S 148.26222°E / -36.45750; 148.26222[4]
Mount Kosciuszko is located in New South Wales
Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Kosciuszko is located in Australia
Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Kosciuszko
Location in New South Wales
Location Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
Parent range Main Range, Great Dividing Range
Topo map Perisher Valley
First ascent 1840 by Paweł Edmund Strzelecki (European)[2][4]
Easiest route Walk (dirt road)

Mount Kosciuszko is a mountain 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.

With a height of 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Australia.[2][3] Various measurements of the peak originally called Kosciuszko showed it to be slightly lower than its neighbour, Mount Townsend. The names of the mountains were swapped by the New South Wales Lands Department,[dubious ][when?] so that Mount Kosciuszko remains the name of the highest peak of Australia, and Mount Townsend ranks as second.[5] The 1863 picture by Eugene von Guerard hanging in the National Gallery of Australia titled "Northeast view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko" is actually from Mount Townsend.[6][7]

When considering all of Oceania as a continent, Mount Kosciuszko is overshadowed by Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia, also called Carstensz Pyramid. Different versions of the Seven Summits climbing challenge depend on which is chosen to be the "Australia" peak.[8]


It was named by the Polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of the Polish national hero and hero of the American Revolutionary War General Tadeusz Kościuszko, because of its perceived resemblance to the Kościuszko Mound in Kraków.[9]

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.[4] The traditional English pronunciation of Kosciuszko is /kɒzˈʌsk/, but the pronunciation /kɒˈʃʊʃk/ is now sometimes used,[10] which is substantially closer to the Polish pronunciation [kɔɕˈt͡ɕuʂkɔ].

There are several native Aboriginal (Ngarigo) names associated with the mountain, with some confusion as to the exact sounds. These are Jagungal, Jar-gan-gil, Tar-gan-gil, Tackingal, however all of them mean "Table Top Mountain."[1]

Reaching the summit[edit]

Mount Kosciuszko is the highest summit in Australia. There is a road to Charlotte Pass, from which an 8-kilometre (5 mi) path leads to the summit. Anyone with a modest level of fitness can walk to the top. Until 1977 it was possible to drive through Rawson Pass to within a few metres of the summit. The walking track to Mount Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass is in fact that road, which was closed to public motor vehicle access due to environmental concerns. This track is also used by cyclists as far as Rawson Pass, where they must leave their bicycles at a bicycle rack and continue onto the summit track on foot.

The peak may also be approached from Thredbo, which is a shorter 6.5 kilometres (4 mi), taking 3 to 3.5 hours for a round trip. This straightforward walk is supported by a chairlift all-year round. From the top of the chairlift there is a raised mesh walkway to protect the native vegetation and prevent erosion.

Both tracks meet at Rawson Pass, at an elevation of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft) above sea level, from where it is about 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) to the summit. Australia's highest public toilet was built at this pass in 2007, to cope with the more than 100,000 people visiting the mountain each summer.[11]

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.

Towards Kosciuszko from Kangaroo Ridge in winter.jpg
1 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
Kosciuszko summit, obscured by cloudsEtheridge RangeMount Clarke (Mount Townsend is behind it)Kangaroo Ridge
6 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
6 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
6 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
1 white, red rounded rectangle.svg North Ramshead
2 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Kosciuszko summit, obscured by clouds
3 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Etheridge Range
4 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Mount Clarke (Mount Townsend is behind it)
5 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Kangaroo Ridge
6 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Snowy River headwaters

Looking north from the summit towards Mount Townsend


Topographic map of Mt Kosciuszko including the approaches from Charlotte Pass and Thredbo.

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.[12]

Higher Australian mountains[edit]

Higher peaks exist within territory administered or claimed by Australia, but outside the continent:

Higher peaks in the region, but outside the mainland continent:

Cultural references[edit]

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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "James M. Spencer, THE HIGHEST POINT IN AUSTRALIA.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 18 February 1885. p. 7. Retrieved 22 February 2014. ; cited in Alan E.J. Andrews, Kosciusko: The Mountain in History, O'Connor, A.C.T, Tabletop Press, 1991, p.50.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Mount Kosciuszko, Australia". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Kosciuszko National Park". Australian Alps National Parks. Australian Government. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Mount Kosciuszko". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Mountain systems of Australia". Year Book Australia, 1901-1909. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
  6. ^ "Eugene von Guérard: North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko 1863". National Gallery of Australia. Archived from the original on 4 November 2008. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Facts & figures of all 7summiteers!". Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Australian Geographical Name Derivations". 8 April 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Yallop, Colin, ed. (2005). Macquarie Dictionary (4th ed.). Melbourne: The Macquarie Library. ISBN 1-876429-14-3. 
  11. ^ "The rush to complete Australia's highest dunny" (PDF). Department of Environment and Climate Change, NSW. 3 May 2007. pp. 6–7. 
  12. ^ "Coast to Kosciuszko". Retrieved 18 June 2012. 

External links[edit]