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Australia’s Eleven Highest Peaks is a 46.8km, grade 3-4 circuit hike located in Snowy Mountains National Park, New South Wales. The hike should take approximately 3-4 days to complete.
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.
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.
- 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 (in summit order)
- Mount Twynam: 2195m
- Watsons Crags: 2136m
- Carruthers Peak: 2145m
- Mt Northcote: 2131m
- Alice Rawson Peak: 2160m
- Mount Townsend: 2209m
- Abbott Peak: 2145m
- Mount Kosciuszko: 2228m
- Ethridge Ridge 2180m
- Rams Head North: 2177m
- Rams Head: 2190m
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
Max elevation: 2215 m
Min elevation: 1722 m
Total climbing: 1966 m
Total descent: -1966 m
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