Oceania > Australia > New South Wales > Snowy Mountains > Kosciuszko National Park
- See also: Thredbo, a well known ski resort in the park
Australia isn't often associated with snow, but the Kosciuszko national park is 6,900 km², and offers decent enough skiing opportunities 350 km south-west of Sydney.
Used by aboriginal people for over 20,000 years, the park was a meeting point for feating on nutritious Bogong moths during the summer months. The first European to climb the mountain in 1840, Edmund Strzelecki, named the highest mountain here after a Polish hero called General Tadeusz Kościuszko, which explains the etymology of a name that is rather difficult to pronounce by most Australians.
The park was founded as "National Chase Snowy Mountains" in 1906, and renamed to its present name in 1944.
Flora and fauna
The wildlife is rather unique given that this is a cold part of a generally very warm continent. The corroboree frog, mountain pygmy possum and dusky antechinus are located in the high reaches. There is also a significant population of wild horses.
The park has a cold Alpine climate, and the upper regions experience heavy snow for around 4 months of the year.
Fees and permits
The park boasts its own electric railway. The Skitube Alpine Railway was built (as its name suggests) primary for skiers moving between 1 Bullocks Flat (with road access and parking) and the ski resorts of 2 Perisher Valley and 3 Blue Cow Mountain.
- 1 Mount Kosciuszko. Australia's tallest mountain, and featured as such on the original Seven Summits list. As climbing the Kosciuszko is a rather trivial challenge compared to the other continental summits, the Puncak Jaya on New Guinea is a taller and more challenging peak in Oceania.
- Blue Lake.
Hike the Main Range walk (22 km).
- Tumut is a town just outside of the park and a good base from which to explore it.