Patons Hut walking track

Khancoban area in Kosciuszko National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Patons Hut walking track offers scenic alpine views, plus bird watching and fishing at Tooma Dam, in the central wilderness of Kosciuszko National Park, near Khancoban.

Where
Khancoban area in Kosciuszko National Park
Distance
5.4km return
Time suggested
2 - 3hrs
Grade
Grade 5
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

If you're planning to loan a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) from one of these locations, wait and fill out your trip intention form in person.

Price
Free
Opening times

The section of road between Khancoban and Cabramurra, including access to Patons Hut walking track, is closed between the June and October long weekends, due to snow and ice.

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, topographic map, gps, compass, personal locator beacon
Please note

The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable. Please be well prepared for your visit.

Best walked in the warmer months, Patons Hut walking track gives you an opportunity to see the historic side of Kosciuszko National Park.

Bushwalking this well-defined track, you can gaze at an impressive colour palette created by tall mountain gums and eucalypt forest looming overhead, as well as pretty frost hollows. A spring visit is perfect for stunning glimpses of blooming shrubs and wildflowers such as buttercups and waxy bluebells. It’s remarkable to see how well the area has regenerated after bushfires in 2003.

Quiet hikers might manage to spot some of the park’s native wildlife, including eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies and lizards. You may even see a wombat if you’re there at dawn or dusk.

It should take about an hour to reach Patons Hut. First built in 1934, and rebuilt after bushfire, it remains an excellent example of an iron grazier’s hut. Pause a while to experience the Snowy Mountains region’s cultural heritage. You might even savour a picnic lunch or go fishing in Tooma Dam before returning the way you came. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, continue via Dargals trail to Toolong Plain and Jagungal Wilderness Area.

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/patons-hut-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Patons Hut walking track.

Track grading

Grade 5

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

    2 - 3hrs

  • Quality of markings

    No directional signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    5.4km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Patons Hut walking track is in the central precinct of Kosciuszko National Park. To get there, from Khancoban:

    • Drive northwest along Alpine Way for around 5.8km to the Swampy Plains Creek Road turn-off
    • Take Swampy Plains Creek Road towards Cabramurra for about 28km to Tooma Reservoir/Dam
    • The trackhead and parking will be on your right

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • It's recommended that all vehicles carry snow chains from the June to October long weekends. Read our snow driving in Kosciuszko tips.

    Parking

    Parking is available adjacent to the trackhead at Tooma Dam/Reservoir.

    Facilities

    The closest public toilets are located inside the gate, near the carpark at the Tooma Reservoir trailhead. You’ll also find a toilet at Patons Hut itself.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

    Prohibited

    Drones

    Flying a drone for recreational purposes is prohibited in this area. Drones may affect public enjoyment, safety and privacy, interfere with park operations, or pose a threat to wildlife. See the Drones in Parks policy.

    This area may be a declared Drone Exclusion Zone, or may be subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules for flying near airports, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites. See CASA's Drone Flyer Rules.

    Commercial filming and photography

    Commercial filming or photography is prohibited without prior consent. You must apply for permission and contact the local office.

    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.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Jindabyne (9 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

    Mount Selwyn (0 km)

    Mount Selwyn is the northernmost ski field in Kosciuszko National Park. The Stunning alpine scenery and rugged mountain ranges are a big drawcard.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Tumut (41 km)

    Tumut is a country town on the northern foothills of the Snowy Mountains. The Rolling valleys, mountain streams and alpine mountain ranges make it popular for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Patons Hut walking track is in Khancoban area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Unique landscapes

    Olsens lookout, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer

    The Western Fall of Kosciuszko National Park’s Main Range is the highest and steepest part of the Snowy Mountains. Mount Townsend and Abbot Peak block the view to Mount Kosciuszko, but their towering, rocky peaks are a breathtaking backdrop to the Geehi Plains, 1600m below. The mountain range captures the westerly air stream allowing tall mountain ash forest to grow in the moist soil below the treeline. 

    The man-made landscapes of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world, are also on show. Murray 1 and 2 Power Stations are close to Khancoban, while the scenic drive to Kiandra travels across the very top of the Tumut Pond Reservoir wall.

    • Scammells lookout Scammells lookout, 1000m above sea level, offers marvellous views of the rugged Western Fall of the Main Range, and makes a scenic picnic spot just off Alpine Way.

    Historic alpine huts

    A man walks towards Bradleys and O'Briens Hut, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer/OEH

    The Khancoban area is home to many of Kosciuszko National Park’s picturesque historic huts. Built as shelter or fishing retreats for graziers and prospectors, or like Major Clews Hut, by Snowy Hydro Scheme workers, the huts provide a window into the past. The 8km return Geehi Huts walk is a great way to see Geehi, Keeble’s and Old Geehi Huts, all constructed from river rocks. Be prepared for several river crossings. Bradleys and O’Brien’s Hut is hard to miss along the Khancoban to Kiandra drive. You can also stretch your legs on a short walk to the rustic Patons Hut or Round Mountain Hut, made out of corrugated iron and surrounded by wilderness.

    • Bicentennial National trail: Tom Groggin to Geehi Ride, cycle, or hike 21km of Bicentennial National trail in Kosciuszko National Park. Saddle up your horses for a day of high-country adventure on this epic ride from Tom Groggin to Geehi horse camp.
    • Geehi huts walking track Explore Geehi huts walking track by foot, bike, horse or 4WD. This short track, near Khancoban, boasts historic huts, river crossings and magnificent views of the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park.
    • Round Mountain Hut walking track Round Mountain Hut walking track winds through the Jagungal Wilderness Area in central Kosciuszko National Park. A great Snowy Mountains walk or ride, it offers view and spring wildflowers on its way to the rustic hut.

    Discover western and central Kosciuszko

    Khancoban Visitor Centre, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold

    Khancoban Visitor Centre is a convenient stop to buy passes, get maps, information and inspiration before you enter the park. Alpine Way is the main, year-round route through this area. It offers lookouts, campgrounds, picnic areas, walking tracks and bike trails along its 108km length between Khancoban and Jindabyne. The area's upgraded section of the Bicentennial trail is popular with horse riders, who can also take advantage of horse camps near Geehi and Tom Groggin.

    • Bicentennial National trail: Tom Groggin to Geehi Ride, cycle, or hike 21km of Bicentennial National trail in Kosciuszko National Park. Saddle up your horses for a day of high-country adventure on this epic ride from Tom Groggin to Geehi horse camp.
    • Khancoban to Kiandra drive Picturesque Khancoban to Kiandra drive links Alpine Way with Snowy Mountains Highway, in Kosciuszko National Park, and takes in scenic dams, historic huts, mountain forest, and the highest town in Australia.
    • Khancoban Visitor Centre Khancoban Visitor Centre, on Alpine Way at western entry point to Kosciuszko National Park, is a great place to pick up maps, information and buy a parks pass for your Snowy Mountains adventure.
    • Kosciuszko – Alpine Way drive A driving or motorbike tour along Alpine Way scenic drive is a great way to discover the spectacular mountain views, serene campgrounds, magnificent walks, rides, and heritage of southern Kosciuszko National Park.

    Remote wilderness and rare species

    Round Mountain Hut walking track, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer

    In recognition of Kosciuszko's unique value as a conservation area, it’s been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. More than half of the park, over 350,000ha (almost 865,000 acres), has been declared wilderness, including the Jagungal, Western Fall and Indi wilderness areas, located in the Khancoban area. The park's alpine and sub-alpine areas are home to rare plant species found nowhere else in the world, such as the Southern corroboree frog.

    • Round Mountain Hut walking track Round Mountain Hut walking track winds through the Jagungal Wilderness Area in central Kosciuszko National Park. A great Snowy Mountains walk or ride, it offers view and spring wildflowers on its way to the rustic hut.

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • A juvenile platypus saved by National Parks and Wildlife staff. Photo: M Bannerman/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.

    • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      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.

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

      The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

    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