• Distance 13km
  • Altitude max 2228m
  • Altitude min 1929m
  • Duration 3.5 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Hiker Difficulty Grading System is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Parking
Toilets
Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds
Showers

Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk via Thredbo NSW (13km)

NSW

Nearest Town

Thredbo, NSW

Best Time of the Year to Travel

  • For newer hikers December to late March
  • For experienced hikers that can cope with snow conditions and navigation off trail – year round

Starting Location

Thredbo, NSW

Building where you catch the ski lift

Finish Location

Building where you leave the ski lift

Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk via Thredbo NSW Review

The Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk from Thredbo village is one of two main options to summit Australia’s highest mountain. So why then would you choose this option over the summiting option from the nearby Charlotte Pass trailhead?

In talking about this walk I need to start with the parking situation. Parking is limited throughout the village with the main parking area being not long after you enter the village – parking is either along the road or off the side in an all day parking area. There are a number of two hour parking areas and private car parks throughout the village but you risk a fine if you choose the wrong location. Once you have parked your car head to the ski lift building which also contains a couple of cafe and food options if you’re feeling peckish. Once inside purchase a lift ticket which in early 2021 cost $45 per day for an adult. This is one of two downsides to this walk.

The other downside is that the ski lift opens at 9:00am. On the day I did this walk there were 80 km per hour wind gusts at the top of the chairlift which closed down the lift operation and I ended up starting the walk two hours later than planned. This is the other disadvantage of walking from Thredbo.

Once the wind died down it was around a 15 minute ride to the top of the chairlift at Eagles Nest. If you need a last minute toilet break this is a good opportunity. From a navigation perspective this trail is about as easy as it gets. Apart from signage that is easy to follow the trail for most part is on metal mesh walkway. The walk is mainly a steady uphill ascent with the occasional few steepish sections. Probably the hardest section is the final ascent from Rawson Pass to the summit itself. On the day I did this walk it was a Friday and there the smallest number of people I have ever seen at the summit, and that’s rare. Try this walk on the weekend and it will be very busy.

Overall this walk will take between 3-6 hours depending on the speed you travel and the amount of time you spend at the summit. The return trip is back the way you came from Mount Kosciuszko to Thredbo.

Those familiar with the Australian Alps will know that the temperature can vary. The UV rating is often very high and the winds can be very strong which can drop the temperature quite dramatically (see the image below of the apparent temperature).

The thing to know is that this is the main trail to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko and there are a number of reasons for that. Firstly this trail is 6km shorter than the alternative walk from Charlotte Pass. Secondly the views on the way to and from the summit are unique. Secondly this trail is much more scenic than the management road alternative from Charlotte Pass. You are walking through a valley most of the way up and it just has that special feel about it.

Apart from the spectacular views, the wildflowers are well worth the visit. While early summer is a better time from this aspect, there always seems something of interest year round.

Skilift building

Skilift

Close up of chairlift

Entry gate

Wind delaying the chairlift. On the day I did this walk there was a two hour wait

Chairlift

Mountain bikers below

Approaching Eagles Nest

Top of chair lift

Signage at the start of the walk

Trails that start here

 

And off we go

Trail directional signage for this walk and others

Trail tread for much of the trail

Alternate trail signage

Approaching the lookout part way to the summit

At the lookout

Trail work with new trail going in

Lake Cootapatamba Lookout

Panoramic view on the Kosciuszko summit walk

Information signage along the trail at Rawson Pass

Lake Cootapatamba

Rawson Pass sign

Australia’s highest toilets

Trail signage to the summit or take the detour onto the Main Range Walk

View on the final ascent

Views on the way up

The summit

Tim at the summit. His squashed hat is a result of the high winds on this day

Views to the distance from the summit

Heading down

Paper Daisies on the side of the trail

Crow

Heading down

Regeneration zone

Returning to Eagles Nest

Chairlift on the way down

Still heading down the chair lift

Trail Videos

This short video contains photos and video from our walk to show you the walk from start to finish

Getting There

Travel to Jindabyne via Cooma and head towards Thredbo village. There is a park entry fee which you can pay for as other a day or annual pass either at the visitor centre in Jindabyne or at the toll gates on nearing the park. The skilift starts operating at 9:00am but the operation can be impacted by high winds.

Make sure you only park in designated parking areas or you run the risk of a fine

Signage approaching the turnoff

Turnoff sign 2

Turnoff sign 3

Another turnoff

Park entry. You will need to pay an entry fee. It can be a single day fee or an annual pass

Approaching Thredbo turnoff

Cars parked along the road

Walking to the chairlift

Things to Know

  • Phone: There is variable phone signal on this track
  • Water: You need to bring your own water. There are limited locations to draw water on the trail but if doing so you should filter
  • Toilets: There are toilets at the village, at the top of chairlift, and at Rawson Pass
  • Dogs: No dogs allowed
  • Other: 
    • The March Flies are ruthless from about mid November to mid March so wear long sleeves and long pants. They don’t care about insect repellent
    • The Australia Day weekend in January is a very popular time to walk this walk. If you are planning on walking on this weekend start early to avoid big crowds (i.e. before 8:00am)
    • If you plan on camping be aware of the restrictions regarding where you can camp
    • Come prepared for bad weather conditions and low temperatures even if its not forecast
    • The winds can be strong so come prepared

Disclaimer

This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

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