Ten-Highest-Peaks
  • Length: 46.8km

  • Duration: 3-4 days

  • Grade: 3-4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Charlotte Pass or Thredbo

  • End: Charlotte Pass or Thredbo

  • Closest Town: Jindabyne

  • Location: Snowy Mountains National Park, NSW

  • Distance from state capital: 501km

  • State: NSW

  • Latitude: -36.431614

  • Longitude: 148.328677

Australia’s Eleven Highest Peaks is a 46.8km, grade 3-4 Circuit hike located in Snowy Mountains National Park, NSW New South Wales. The hike should take approximately 3-4 days to complete.

Summary

It is very convenient that all eleven of Australia’s Eleven Highest Peaks are located within the Kosciuszko National Park and all the summits are within twelve kilometers of each other (at least as the Crow flies).

The forty six (approximate) kilometre route will take 3-4 days to complete if you average about 6 hours hiking per day.

The trail generally follows the Main Range Track and Summit Road, both popular Alpine walks in their own right. The actual summiting of many of the peaks requires detours from defined walking trails and instead cross-country hiking along unmarked or non-existent trails. However only basic map to ground navigation is required to summit each peak. Poor weather could makes things a little more challenging, so it would be wise to ensure some members of your party have more advanced navigational skills.

Suggested Itinerary

I would recommend commencing this hike at Charlotte Pass, where you can leave your vehicle, and hiking in an anti-clockwise direction.

If you are planning on undertaking this as a three day hike I would recommend camping in the following locations. Please also refer to the map below.

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  • Day 1 (19.2km): Camp on the saddle between Mount Northcote and Muellers Peak. There is a reliable water source in the valley to the north of this saddle. This location can get windy so be sure to pitch your tent where you will be most sheltered from the wind. (marked with red dot on map below)
  • Day 2 (14.3km). On the plateau to the northern side of North Rams Head. This is a large flat area with a shallow creek and provides rewarding sunset viewing as the light falls onto North Rams Head. (marked with red dot on map below)
  • Day 3 (13.3km). Return to Charlotte Pass

Peak Profiles

Mount Kosciuszko: 2228m
Mount Townsend: 2209m
Mount Twynam: 2195m
Rams Head: 2190m
Baldwin Peak: 2180m
Rams Head North: 2177m
Alice Rawson Peak: 2160m
Edwards Peak: 2160m
Byatts Camp south-west of Abbott Peak: 2159m
Abbott Peak: 2145m
Carruthers Peak: 2145m
Watsons Crag Dome: 2136m
Mt Northcote: 2131m

Getting there

The hike can begin at either Charlotte Pass or Thredbo, although starting from Charlotte Pass means the entire journey can be completed in a round-trip with the last day walking entirely downhill, while beginning from Thredbo means the last day will invariably be spent walking uphill. We therefore chose to begin our journey from Charlotte Pass and after having carried four days of food, wet-weather gear, sleeping bags, stoves, tents etc (as well as a few Easter eggs to celebrate Easter) the downhill journey on the last day was certainly much appreciated.

6 hours from Sydney
3 hours from Canberra
7 hours from Melbourne

Maps and Weather

The hike is all above the tree line and does not offer much protection from the elements. Check current conditions with the Bureau of Meteorology

Purchase a current topographical map online from SV Maps

 

Total distance: 46800 m
Max elevation: 2215 m
Min elevation: 1722 m
Total climbing: 1966 m
Total descent: -1966 m
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60 thoughts on “Australia’s Eleven Highest Peaks (46.8km)

  1. Hi,

    Is this possible to do the Australia’s Ten Highest Peaks (45km) in four day walks (no camping) and rent an apratment or a house in te area?

    Would appreicate your help.

    Regards
    Mortreza

    1. Hi Mortreza. Unfortunately this is a remote area and the only accommodation is at Thredbo and Charlotte’s Pass. You would have to camp on the 4 day circuit

    1. It is an amazing hike. Absolutely loved it and we were very lucky to have perfect hiking weather too. They are the Aarn Featherlite Freedom Ultralite Backpacks. We absolutely love them. So perfectly balanced, they mike pack carrying a pleasure. Chat with Tim and Backpacking Light in Melbourne and tell him I sent you.

  2. Looks like a great hike. The photos are fantastic. Some of the shots of the rolling uplands could almost be the Lake District in the old UK. Looks like this will be going on the list for my first hike in Oz…!

  3. Hi,
    I’m looking at doing 10 Peaks over Easter 2016. Was wondering if you have an email address I can reach you at directly as I had some questions regarding the hike.
    Thanks
    Altaaf

    1. Hi Deb. No trip notes other than what’s on the post. It’s fairly open above the tree line and you can see all peaks clearly in fine weather. It really is quite easy

  4. Hi Darren, We are looking for hiking ideas for this Easter and this hike seems to be perfect. Would you be able to give me some info re campsites? Did you wild camp?Was there water along the hike so you could use it for cooking and showering or you carried all water with you?
    thanks
    Marzi

    1. Hi Marzi. There are no official campsites. Just camp wherever you like. The only rule is that you can’t camp within 100m of a water course. There should be plenty of water to cook and clean with. We only carried 3litres each and refilled whenever we saw water

    1. It would be possible in winter although I would be a lot more mindful of the weather and access to water as small creeks could be frozen and difficult to locate under snow. Cross country skis could be of benefit but I would highly recommend snow shoes as a must.

  5. I have checked every map of the area and can not find Edwards Peak or Baldwin Peak.
    Watson’s Craig Dome at 2136 m also does not appear on the maps. Byatts Camp south west of the Abbott Peaks(is a camp 1940+m on Hannels Track and not on the top of a peak ) is part of three summits of the Abbott Peaks with Abbott Peak 2159 m.
    Your heights for Mt. Twynam , Alice Rawson Peak and Carruthers Peak are different to the heights shown on the Kosciuszko Alpine Area 1st Edition !;50000.
    Did use an old map or some other method. I was up there at Easter 2016 climbing the top 7 named peaks. I first visited area in 1967 and have returned many times but i am confused about your naming of high points and actual heights. My comment come from talking to people trying to do the eleven highest peaks or high points on the list, They were also confused. i look forward to your reply.
    Regards,
    Bruce

    1. Hey Bruce. Thanks for your comments. The peak names and elevations came from my planning using a combination of SV Topo Maps and Open Street Maps. I’ve seen a number of maps with conflicting information and these source seemed to contain the most current and reliable info. If you zoom in and pan around the GPS route on the map above you can clearly see all of the peaks and elevations labelled. Happy to update anything on this hike that is not correct as I know it can get confusing with so many map sources. Trying to find the most up to date one can be a challenge.

    1. Great question. That would all come down to your level of experience. I’d suggest in winter I’d take a friend but solo any other time, provided you are adept at navigation and are well prepared

  6. Thanks a lot for this idea and all the information. I am very excited about it but my family doesn’t want spend 3 days doing it so I am planning to do it (trail running style) in one day between 3-7 January 2018, depending on the weather. Would anybody (with right training) be interested in joining me as it would be safer than alone?