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Back country camping in Kosciuszko National Park

If you're going camping in Kosciuszko National Park's Main Range, take time to read our important need-to-know information for a safe and enjoyable back country adventure.

Read more about Back country camping in Kosciuszko National Park

Trekking or skiing the high plains at the rooftop of Australia promises to be an unforgettable wilderness experience. Before you head out, check if there are any park alerts or closures and read these alpine safety tips to ensure your trip isn't unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

Camping restrictions

Please be aware 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

Fires and forecasts

  • Remember to bring a fuel stove, plus layers of warm, waterproof clothes and plenty of food, which provides heat in the body.
  • No open/wood fires are permitted in alpine areas outside hut fireplaces.
  • Check alpine weather forecasts before you set out and be prepared for all conditions.

Size things up

  • For your safety, travel with at least three people in your group.
  • Groups of more than 20 people will need to contact NPWS to apply for consent.

Top tips for a comfy campsite

  • 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.
  • Camp early, before you get cold, wet and tired, or when mountain weather closes in.
  • Pitch your tent on thick snow grass and avoid eroded, burnt and wet boggy sites, and areas recently used by others.
  • 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 (or even better).

Be water smart

  • Water supplies are unreliable along some sections of the track, so be prepared to carry enough water to be self-sufficient for at least several days.
  • If you can’t carry enough, collect water upstream of toilets, huts and campsites and always boil water for at least 5mins 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.

Waste not

  • Take advantage of toilets where provided. If you’ve got to go, preferably plan to bag your toilet waste and carry it out to be disposed of at an appropriate facility, especially at high use areas without toilets.
  • Biodegradable plain paper bags are a good option, and can be deposited in toilets within the national park.  
  • Please carry out all other waste and deposit in rubbish bins within the resort areas or out of the park. Pack to minimise rubbish by avoiding excess packaging.
  • Most rubbish doesn’t decompose, and may wash into nearby creeks, lakes and water catchment areas, or be eaten by native animals.
  • Read more about how you can help manage human waste and protect the sensitive alpine environment.

Tread carefully

  • Many alpine landscapes are very sensitive to the impacts of bushwalking and camping. You can help protect this 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.

Above all, plan ahead so you’re prepared, and you should have a wonderful wilderness experience. Find out more about alpine safety.

High Plains, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray van der Veer