Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk

Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park

Overview

Get ready for a day of high altitude adventure. Hike or ride from Charlotte Pass to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, through the high peaks of Kosciuszko National Park.

Where
Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
18.6km return
Time suggested
6 - 8hrs
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Opening times

This walk is snowbound in winter, between June and October. You can cross-country ski or snowshoe, but there are no snow poles marking the route. Private vehicle access is closed between Perisher and Charlotte Pass in winter.

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, snacks, sunscreen, clothes for all weather conditions, sturdy shoes, topographic map, gps, compass
Please note
  • The track from Rawson Pass to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko is accessible by foot only.
  • Mountain bikes and fat bikes are permitted only between Charlotte Pass and Rawson Pass, where there are bike stands. Riders please give way to walkers.
  • Read our alpine safety tips before you set out.

This summer track is popular with nature loving hikers and mountain bikers keen for an outdoor adventure. Set out along the old road to Mount Kosciuszko, and have your camera ready for the glorious views of Australia's highest mountains, historic huts, weathered snow gums and rock formations on the way. Admire amazing displays of wildflowers including marsh marigolds, silver snow daisies, mountain roses, and buttercups in early summer.

Around 4.5km from Charlotte Pass the Snowy River offers a scenic spot for a picnic. Cross the river and continue your walk or ride as the track winds slowly up to Seaman's Hut, which was built in 1929, before carrying on to Rawson Pass. If riding, leave your bike at Rawson Pass (bike stands are available) and walk the 1.4km to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko (2228m).

Return to Charlotte Pass along the same track. If you're after a challenge and come well-equipped, combine this walk with the longer Main Range walk, or join the Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko walk.

Take a virtual tour of Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/mount-kosciuszko-summit-walk/local-alerts

Park info

  • in the Thredbo-Perisher area of Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region
  • The Thredbo-Perisher area is open all year, but some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions or park management issues. Kosciuszko Road is closed between Perisher and Charlotte Pass in winter (June to October long weekends).
  • Park entry fees apply on Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Road

    Winter (June to October long weekends): $29 per vehicle per day (24hrs from purchase); motorcycles $12; bus passengers $11.45 per adult, $3.60 per child per day. Find out more about the winter entry surcharge.

    Rest of Year: $17 per vehicle per day (24hrs); motorcycles $7; bus passengers $6.60 per adult, $2.20 per child per day.

    Passes: Day passes, multi-day passes and annual All Parks Pass available from NPWS visitor centres, local agents and operating vehicle entry stations. Read our Annual Pass FAQs for information. Short Breaks Pass: $68 for 5 days park entry at price of 4 days (not valid winter). Eligible pensioners can apply for a complementary NPWS concession pass, to get free park entry. Download the exemption form (154KB doc).

    Buy a pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    6 - 8hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    18.6km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk starts from Charlotte Pass, in the alpine precinct of Kosciuszko National Park. To get there:

  • Drive along Kosciuszko Road from Jindabyne, following the signs to Perisher and Charlotte Pass
  • Continue past the ski resorts of Smiggin Holes and Perisher Valley
  • Charlotte Pass Village is around 40km from Jindabyne and will take you around 30mins to drive there
  • The road between Perisher and Charlotte Pass is closed during winter

Road quality

All 2WD vehicles need to carry snow chains in winter, between June and October long weekends, on:

  • Kosciuszko Road (to Perisher)
  • Guthega Road
  • Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin

Snow chains are recommended for all vehicles driving in the park, including 4WD and AWD, in the event of extreme weather. Read our snow driving in Kosciuszko tips.

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Charlotte Pass can become covered in snow and ice.

Parking

Parking is available near the trackhead on Kosciuszko Road. Bus parking is available. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking may be limited.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

  • This park is in a remote location, so please ensure you're well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.
  • Weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you're well-prepared for your visit. Always check weather conditions before your journey, and never set out if bad weather is approaching.
  • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.

Alpine safety

Alpine areas present special safety issues. Conditions can be extreme and may change rapidly, particularly in winter. It’s important to be prepared and find out how to stay safe in alpine areas.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Cycling safety

Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these cycling safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

Kosciuszko National Park provides a TrailRider all-terrain wheelchair for hire free of charge, from the Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre, in Jindabyne.

The TrailRider offers visitors with mobility restrictions more opportunity to experience our park with family and friends.

Contact Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre or learn more about TrailRider.

Permitted

  • Cycling, including fat bikes or snow bikes, is permitted only on the section of trail between Charlotte Pass and Rawson Pass.
  • You can cross-country ski or snowshoe this trail in winter but there are no snow poles marking the route.
  • Walking is not recommended in winter as this trail is snowbound.

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

No open/wood fires are permitted in alpine areas. Remember to bring a gas or fuel stove if you intend to cook.

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas. The alpine resorts of Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass, Selwyn, Ski Rider and Kosciuszko Tourist Park are exempt, though some commercial and outdoor places within these resorts may have no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Charlotte Pass (10 km)

Explore the magic of Charlotte Pass and the surrounding Kosciuszko National Park on these stunning guided walks. Local guides share their knowledge of the area, native wildlife and plant varieties.

www.visitnsw.com

Cooma (25 km)

The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art visitor facility showcasing the story of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from the early construction days to the role the scheme plays today in the development of Australia.

www.visitnsw.com

Jindabyne (24 km)

For those heading to the Snowy Mountains snowfields, Jindabyne is a great place to hire or buy all of your skiing and snowboarding essentials from equipment to fashion.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk is in Thredbo-Perisher area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Explore the rooftop of Australia

Snowy Region Visitor in Jindabyne, gateway to Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

Skiers and snowboarders will be familiar with the fabulous snow sport facilities at Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass, but there are endless activities year-round. This area is a mecca for walkers and riders. Take in the spectacular 3600 views from Snow Gums boardwalk or Dead Horse Gap walk. A hike to Mount Kosciuszko is a must, while the awe-inspiring Main Range loop explores glacial lakes and the dramatic Western Fall. Take to 2 wheels on the family-friendly Thredbo Valley track, or get an adrenaline charge on the famous Cannonball Run. If you need some inspiration, stop by the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for tips on top experiences, guided tours, and where to stay. Kids can also learn more on a school excursion to the Kosciuszko Education Centre.

  • Kosciuszko walk - Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko This iconic day walk from Thredbo will have you conquering the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in a couple of hours. You'll quite literally be on a high as you soak in the epic views from Australia's highest point.
  • Perisher Visitor Office Perisher Visitor Office, in the heart of Perisher Valley, is a handy last-minute stop for advice, maps, hiking essentials and important information before your alpine adventures in Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Snowy Region Visitor Centre Snowy Region Visitor Centre, in Jindabyne, is a great place for visitors to get information, brochures, maps and park entry passes before heading into Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Thredbo Valley track Jump on your mountain bike and ride the popular Thredbo Valley track in the Snowy Mountains, as it follows the river from Thredbo Alpine Village to historic Bullocks Hut.
  • Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) geography students. Learn about the management of water quality at a ski resort and the importance of protected catchments in this area.

World-class wilderness

Blue Lake, on Main Range walk in Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

In recognition of Kosciuszko's unique value as a conservation area, it's been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. More than half of the area of the park, over 350,000ha, has been declared wilderness, including the rugged Western Fall wilderness of the Main Range. It also contains Blue Lake, a rare cirque lake formed by the head of a glacier. Blue Lake is a listed  Ramsar site, recognised for the role it plays in preserving rare and threatened species. The Australian Alps received National Heritage recognition in 2008, and were named one of Australia's National Landscapes.

Alpine plants and animals

Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree), Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The park has over 200 species of alpine flowering plants and provides important habitat to nationally endangered species, such as southern corroboree frogs and broad-toothed rats. Ancient snow gums, twisted and stunted from the blasting effects of wind, snow and ice, mix with alpine ash and fragrant alpine mint bush. Above the treeline only heath, snow grass and the hardiest plants face the cold. Slow-growing mountain plum pine, some over 500 years-old, cling to boulders for warmth, providing shelter and food for threatened mountain pygmy-possums. Bogs of spongy sphagnum moss soak up the snow melt, to be released into alpine streams. From late spring to early summer, the heath is dotted with patches of wildflowers like alpine sunrays and snow daisies, yellow billy buttons, and the anemone buttercup, found only in Kosciuszko National Park.

  • Biodiversity survey The biodiversity survey school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) students focuses on science. Investigate what 'biodiversity' means and use field equipment to assess the biodiversity of sample quadrats along a transect in the montane forest.
  • Biodiversity survey The biodiversity survey school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students focuses on science. Investigate what 'biodiversity' means and use field equipment to assess the biodiversity of sample quadrats along a transect in the montane forest.
  • Going up the mountain Going up the mountain is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 6 (Years 11-12) students focusing on Geography. Students will use field work to record and compare the geology, weather, native plants, animals, human use and sustainability of the montane, sub-alpine and alpine ecosystems.
  • Kosciuszko - a special place Kosciuszko a special place is a presentation for stage 6 (year 11-12) students focusing on Geography. This excursion highlights the unique natural and cultural features of Kosciuszko National Park, interaction of the four spheres, human impacts, sustainability and park management. Students have the opportunity to have their questions answered by an NPWS education officer.
  • Main Range walk Intrepid hikers can tackle the challenging Main Range walk, which takes in glacial lakes, historic huts, and the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, across alpine high country in Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Muzzlewood track Muzzlewood track is a summer mountain bike trail between Thredbo Diggings campground and Bullocks Flat, in Kosciuszko National Park. It’s popular with experienced riders, and is easily combined with Thredbo Valley track.
  • Perisher snow side clean-up Come along to help keep our beautiful Snowy Mountains clean. We’ve got a clean-up day at Perisher with a free morning tea, cake and barbecue lunch. It’s our backyard and playground, let’s keep it clean!
  • Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) geography students. Learn about the management of water quality at a ski resort and the importance of protected catchments in this area.
  • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore the forest and alpine grasslands. Designed for Stage 1 students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world in this part of Kosciuszko National Park, home to amazing plants and animals.
  • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion designed for Stage 2 students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in Kosciuszko National Park.
Show more

Unique landscapes

Upper Snowy River, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Paul Sinclair Destination NSW

Kosciuszko National Park is a huge park containing Australia's only true alpine environment, the highest part of the Great Dividing Range, and all of NSW's ski resorts. Above the treeline of snow gums - the only trees to grow at this altitude - is a unique landscape of alpine herb fields, feldmark, bogs and tarns. A walk to the highest peak in mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, is the perfect way to see this landscape. Walk from Thredbo or Charlotte Pass, and marvel at the huge granite tors and lakes carved out during Australia's last Ice Age, between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago.

  • Going up the mountain Going up the mountain is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 6 (Years 11-12) students focusing on Geography. Students will use field work to record and compare the geology, weather, native plants, animals, human use and sustainability of the montane, sub-alpine and alpine ecosystems.
  • Kosciuszko - a special place Kosciuszko a special place is a presentation for stage 6 (year 11-12) students focusing on Geography. This excursion highlights the unique natural and cultural features of Kosciuszko National Park, interaction of the four spheres, human impacts, sustainability and park management. Students have the opportunity to have their questions answered by an NPWS education officer.
  • Kosciuszko walk - Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko This iconic day walk from Thredbo will have you conquering the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in a couple of hours. You'll quite literally be on a high as you soak in the epic views from Australia's highest point.
  • Perisher snow side clean-up Come along to help keep our beautiful Snowy Mountains clean. We’ve got a clean-up day at Perisher with a free morning tea, cake and barbecue lunch. It’s our backyard and playground, let’s keep it clean!

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

    Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

  • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

    The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

  • Platypus climbing on to a submerged tree branch. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

    Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

    One of the most fascinating and unusual Australian animals, the duck-billed platypus, along with the echidna, are the only known monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, in existence. The platypus is generally found in permanent river systems and lakes in southern and eastern NSW and east and west of the Great Dividing Range.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

  • Short-beaked echidna in Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

    Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

Plants

  • Billy Button flowers at Peery Lake picnic area. Photo: Dinitee Haskard OEH

    Billy buttons (Craspedia spp. )

    Billy buttons are attractive Australian native plants that are widespread throughout eastern NSW in dry forest, grassland and alpine regions such as Kosciuszko National Park. The golden-yellow globe-shaped flowers are also known as woollyheads. Related to the daisy, billy buttons are an erect herb growing to a height of 50cm.

Environments in this area

School excursions (28)

Seamans Hut with grass and wildflowers. Photo: Murray Vanderveer