Remote camping in Kosciuszko National Park
Hiking or skiing on the rooftop of Australia is an unforgettable experience. If you're going camping in Kosciuszko National Park's Main Range, read our need-to-know information for a safe and enjoyable back country adventure.
Plan your trip
- Check where back country camping is permitted.
- Check if there are any park alerts or closures before you go.
- In 2020 to help keep visitors safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, filling in a trip intention form is mandatory for remote or backpack camping in all NSW national parks. This means camping away from bookable campgrounds. Filling in a trip intention form is not a campsite booking.
- Check alpine weather forecasts before you set out and be prepared for all conditions.
- Drinking water isn’t readily available. Check before you depart.
- No open or wood fires are permitted in alpine areas outside hut fireplaces.
- Check your camping equipment is in working order.
- Download the Emergency Plus app to your mobile or satellite phone.
Camping restrictions apply in a number of alpine areas within Kosciuszko National Park, including within the catchments of the following alpine lakes and drinking water catchments for ski resorts:
- Lake Albina, Blue Lake, Club Lake, Lake Cootapatamba, and Hedley Tarn
- Rock Creek (Perisher/Porcupine Area)
- Pipers Creek catchment (Prussian Flat)
- Stilwell Creek (Stillwell/Charlotte Pass)
- Blue Cow Creek (New and Old Farm Creeks)
- Also within 30m of rivers, streams and lakes
There are also restrictions within 200m of the following:
- Charlotte Pass, Crackenback Chairlift, Guthega Village and Guthega Power Station track heads.
- Crackenback Chairlift to Mount Kosciuszko walkway
- Summit of Mount Kosciuszko and Rawson Pass
- Where the Main Range walk crosses the Snowy River at Foremans Crossing (immediately below Charlotte Pass)
- Any road open to public vehicle access except designated walk-in campsites
Give your trip details to family and friends who are not travelling with you. Tell them when you expect to return and let them know when you have returned. For remote or backcountry camping in any NSW national park a trip intention form is mandatory, so make sure you complete one before leaving home.
Tips for a comfy campsite
- Camp early before you get cold, wet and tired, or when mountain weather closes in.
- Huts are only for temporary day use and emergencies, not accommodation, so always bring your own tent and sleeping bag that are suitable for the conditions.
- In summer pitch your tent on thick snow grass and avoid eroded, burnt and wet boggy sites, and areas recently used by others. In winter avoid lee sides of high ridges where maximal snow accumulation can be dangerous.
- Where possible, choose spots at least 50m from tracks (200m from Seamans Hut), and give other campers space so you can appreciate the scenery and solitude.
- Please be considerate of other park visitors and leave campsites in the condition you found them in (or even better).
Cooking and heating
- Never use gas stoves or fuel burners to heat your tent.
- Never cook inside a tent or enclosed camping spaces.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from combustion of fuels such as petrol, oil, gas and wood in areas with little or no ventilation, including tents and caravans. Read more about carbon monoxide safety.
Be water smart
- Water supplies are unreliable. Be prepared to carry enough water to be self-sufficient for at least several days.
- If you can’t carry enough water, collect water upstream of toilets, huts and campsites.
- Always boil water for at least 5min before drinking or use treatment tablets, a filter or UV treatment.
- Wash at least 100m away from watercourses and scatter wash water. Keep it natural by using sand, gravel or snow to wash up rather than detergents and soap that can harm waterways.
Take human waste with you
The Kosciuszko National Park back country is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. But this sensitive and unique alpine environment is at risk from human waste. Part of enjoying the environment is protecting it, so it’s important to carry out all your waste and leave no trace.
Don't bury your waste
- Burying your toilet waste in the snow doesn’t solve the problem. Frozen faeces will show up when the snow melts in spring. Where snow is permanent, it can stay on the ground for decades, leaving unhealthy and unsightly waste for other visitors.
- Even when there’s no snow, low temperatures and nutrient-poor soil slows decomposition.
- Burying waste is also difficult in rocky areas and disturbs the pristine environment.
- Most rubbish doesn’t decompose and may wash into nearby creeks, lakes and water catchment areas. Or be eaten by native animals.
How to carry out your rubbish and toilet waste
You can reduce your impact on the environment by taking your waste with you. This isn’t a new concept – hikers, climbers and campers have been doing this for years in parks around the world. Here's how:
- Buy a waste removal product or look for homemade options on the internet. Biodegradable bags are a good option.
- Bag and carry out all your rubbish from the back country, including toilet waste.
- Put it in a rubbish bin when you're in the ski resort areas or outside the park.
- Don’t bury waste in the snow or place bagged waste in flushing or pit toilets.
Remember, if you’re tough enough for back country camping, you’re tough enough to carry everything out.
Many alpine landscapes are very sensitive to the impacts of bushwalking and camping. You can help protect our environment by avoiding walking on sparse rocky ground, fragile vegetation and wet sphagnum areas. Spread your impact over unmarked ground by dispersing your group and using a different track each time.
Alpine safety tips
Alpine areas present special safety issues, especially in winter. Read more about alpine safety.