Keen to try your luck at summiting Australia’s highest peak? Thankfully it is achievable for a lot of people. Here’s how:
Start: Top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, which runs 9am – 4.30pm and takes 15mins. For chairlift prices visit the Thredbo website. You can also walk up Merritts Nature Track from Thredbo Village to the top of the chairlift.
Distance: 13km return ( add an extra 4 km if you’re taking on the Merritts Nature track)
Time: 4 hours (add an extra 2.5hours if you’re taking the Merritts Nature track)
Grade: Easy to Moderate (the Merritts Nature Track is of moderate grade but is steep in sections)
Highest Point: 2228m
Special Notes: This track is within Kosciuszko National Park which has park entry fees. Check out the park info for the most up-to-date charges. The track is usually covered in snow from June – October. Outside of these times, you can get to the top with cross-country skis but there are no snow poles marking the way.
If you’re into conquering world peaks, Mount Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest peak) is one of the most accessible and easiest peaks to summit. With a trail consists mostly of steel mesh to protect the alpine vegetation (which may detract purest hikers), it is a great one for young, old, newbies and experienced hikers alike. And, if you get a clear day, it has the most amazing 360 degree views at the top.
I have walked this hike twice, both times in Autumn (March and April). If you start later in the morning or early afternoon, it will give a bit more time for clouds to clear and greater chance for you to experience the wonderful views.
The hike follows an extremely straight forward path as it is quite defined and man-made steel mesh most of the way. I love the way it meanders through the amazing alpine vegetation and rocky granite outcrops which just beg you to run up them and take in the view.
About half-way to the top, you will be able to see the summit just to your left. It does look like just a soft, round hill- but that is the beauty of it: easy to access for one and all!
About 2 hours in (depending on how fast you are and how often you stop to take photos), you will start to curve around the summit and reach the top . While the walk to summit does ascend, it a gradual incline which makes it generally easy to complete.
Once you arrive at the summit you will greeted with the sign that you have reached the top and amazing far-reaching views of the Snowy Mountains on a clear day. Return the same way as you came.
Overall, this is a great walk to do; so much so, I have done it both times that I have visited Thredbo.