Ten-Highest-Peaks
  • Length: 46.8km

  • Duration: 3-4 days

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Charlotte Pass or Thredbo

  • End: Charlotte Pass or Thredbo

  • Location: Kosciuszko National Park

  • Closest Town: Jindabyne

  • Distance from CBD: 501km

  • State: NSW

  • Latitude: -36.431614

  • Longitude: 148.328677

Keep the Trail Access info current...

2WD Access
Bitumen Road
Large Car Park
Public Toilets

Select items to indicate conditions for access to the trail.

2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

Keep the Trail Features current...

Timber Boardwalk
Rough Trail
Undefined Trail
Alpine Region
Exposed Ledges
Rock Scrambling
Steep Terrain
River Crossings
Scenic Viewpoints
Untreated Water
Overnight Campsites
Drinking Water

Kosciuszko National Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding

46
10

Australia's Eleven Highest Peaks is a 46.8km, grade 4 circuit hike, located in the Kosciuszko National Park, NSW. The hike should take approximately 3-4 days to complete.

Warning

In winter, this hike is graded as a grade 5 hike and should only be undertaken by those experienced in wilderness navigation and snow camping.

Hike 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.

  • 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

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Peak Profiles (in summit order)

  1. Mount Twynam: 2195m
  2. Watsons Crags: 2136m
  3. Carruthers Peak: 2145m
  4. Mount Northcote: 2131m
  5. Alice Rawson Peak: 2160m
  6. Mount Townsend: 2209m
  7. Abbott Peak: 2145m
  8. Mount Kosciuszko: 2228m
  9. Ethridge Ridge 2180m
  10. Rams Head North: 2177m
  11. Rams Head: 2190m

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

About the region

Kosciuszko National Park spoils you with snow sports, walks and mountain biking in the Snowy Mountains. Go camping, explore caves, climb Australia's highest mountain, or stay in heritage accommodation. There are 7 areas in this park:

1. Thredbo-Perisher area is your gateway to Mount Kosciuszko. Find NSW's favourite ski resorts, top alpine hikes, mountain bike trails, and endless adventures in the Snowy Mountains.

2. The Lower Snowy River area embraces the wild south of Kosciuszko National Park. Camp by the Snowy River and explore the scenic trails on a walk, bike or horse ride.

3. Khancoban area is the western gateway to Kosciuszko National Park. Discover Geehi and Tom Groggin's camp spots, fishing, and riding. Marvel at the Western Fall views or explore huts and hikes in the Jagungal Wilderness.

4. The Selwyn area is your perfect base to explore the walks, rides, and top fishing spots of central Kosciuszko National Park. Selwyn Snow Resort and historic Kiandra are closed due to severe fire damage.

5. The Yarrangobilly area is a highlight of northern Kosciuszko National Park. Explore jaw-dropping caves on a guided tour and swim in the thermal pool. Stay at historic Caves House and enjoy the walks and wildlife.

6. The Tumut area is your launch pad into northern Kosciuszko National Park. Discover water sports and wildlife at Blowering Reservoir. Camp and explore hidden walks and waterfalls in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.

7. The High Plains area spoils you with summer walks, horse rides and bike trails to mountain huts, caves, and gorges. Camp, stay in Currango's heritage cottages, and discover Kosciuszko's wild north-east corner.

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

GPX File

Total distance: 46800 m
Max elevation: 2215 m
Min elevation: 1722 m
Total climbing: 1966 m
Total descent: -1966 m
Download file: Australias Eleven Highest Peaks.gpx

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
Mount Twynam: 2195m
Mount Twynam: 2195m
Watsons Crag Dome: 2136m
Watsons Crag Dome: 2136m
Carruthers Peak: 2145m
Mt Northcote: 2131m
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Hikes Nearby

79 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

    2. Hi,
      I’ve done the walk in one long day which is doable subject to getting a very early start and good weather.
      We had a fallback to do it over multiple days as you suggested. It can readily be split into 4 pieces although you will have to backtrack each day. Maybe 2 from the Charlottes pass end and two from Thredbo. Maybe just try 2 days. Easy if the weather is good.
      Fantastic walk and views. We stayed at Crackenback

  2. This walk is definitely now on my bucket list! I’m interested in your packs. They look like Aarn bodypacks. Which model? Are you happy with them?

    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.

  3. 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…!

    1. That is wonderful to hear. Would love to hear your thoughts once you have done the hike.

    1. The only cost we incurred was $17 per day for the national parks entry fee.

  4. 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

  5. Hi Darren,

    That looks amazing, and has now got me seriously motivated to head down that way. Can you point me toward more detailed trail notes?

    Many thanks

    Debbie

    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

  6. 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

    2. Hi Darren,

      Did you purify the water before you drank it or was it clean enough to drink?

    3. I always purify my water. I have a saywer mini filter connected to me camelbak permanently. Just in case

    1. Definitely in fine weather. If you are attending this in winter I would suggest having a hiking buddy for safety reasons.

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Hi what NSW topo map sheets cover this hike area ? I’m having difficulty in sorting which ones we need to do this hike ? cheers

    1. I think Mt Kosciuszko’s main ridge walk may have ticked off a few but one of the meet up groups is doing this some time this year. It’s looks great Bev .

  9. 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?

    1. HI Cedric, glad you are excited about it. Can I suggest that you create this hike as an event organiser so that other people can see the event and RSVP? The process is very simple and you can start by adding it here. https://www.trailhiking.com.au/event/

  10. Hi there, just a question about the peaks. Are these marked/signed at the very top? so i know which mountain I am at 😉
    I read that the trek route itself is marked although to reach the peak a map is needed, is there any suggestion what kind of map of “dummies” 🙂 would be best to not to miss the peaks as I might be hiking on my own.
    Thank you and Warmest Regard

    1. Hi Aneta
      I don’t recall there being any signs on any of the peaks other than Kosciuszko. Once you are on the main range plateau the peaks simply stand above the plateau. They are spaced well enough apart that when you refer to your topographical map you will be able to locate your position and know which peak you are on. If you look through the photos I have included on this page it will give you a good indication as to how easy they will be to identify.

      The trek itself is not completely marked. The Main Range Trail is but you will have to leave this trail from time to time to reach the peaks so a good idea to always carry a map with you. SV Maps sell a good map of the area. You can also enlarge and print the one off my site.

      Cheers, Darren

  11. Hi Darren, I was thinking of using an app like Avenza on my phone to track my whereabouts for this hike. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be able to read the .gpx file. Is there another app or way I can upload the .gpx file to track my placement whilst on the hike?

    1. Hi Renae, great question. From a safety perspective I always need to recommend that you have a map and compass (and obviously know how to use them) for alpine or multi-day hikes, such as this. If you are using an app for a quick location reference I generally recommend Pocket Earth as this allows you to import GPX files. It is only available on iPhone so if you are on android I’d suggest searching for an app that allows for track importing and offline use (with topographic detail). Sorry I can’t be of more assistance in this area

  12. Hi Darren,

    My friends & I will give your hike a crack beginning of March.

    Thanks for all the advice & work you’ve put into this.

    Thanks,
    Niels

  13. Hi Cedric, did you end up running the circuit? If you did I’d be really interested to know how long it took, was it easy to navigate whilst running it, ease of finding water, etc. 🙂

    1. We did it and managed to finish the day before Kozzie was closed. Great hike. A couple of tips are to use the Peak Finder App (the paid version) and to use a day pack to cover the out and back to Mt Twynam, Mt Kozzie and the circuit around Alison Rawson, Mt Townsend, Du Faur. It is no longer possible to walk to Mt Kosciusko except by the path as NatParks are trying to regenerate vegetation in this area. Our total distance was a lot more than yours at 56km. Still doable in 3 days but some may prefer to cover it in 4

  14. Thanks for all this great info. Planning to go walk something similar in early March. I’m curious – How hard is it walking off the main trail on that third day? If the weather set in would you recommend backtracking to Rawson Pass and using the Summit Walk to get back to Charlottes Pass?

    1. My pleasure Abe. Thanks for your message. Regarding day three, it is all off trail but relatively easy to follow as long as you follow the ridge line where possible. The start of this section is quite swampy so I imagine it would become very muddy and more challenging if the weather were to turn bad.

      My wife just mentioned the other day that she didn’t enjoy this part of the hike due to the swamps.

      It is certainly easy enough to walk across to the main trail if things turned bad.

  15. Hello team,

    Can I get some insight on how long it would take to hike clockwise from Charlottes pass to North Rams Head?
    Above average fitness, medium-sized overnight pack, hiking in summer.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Hugh, from Charlottes pass to North Rams Head is approximately 9km (clockwise direction). When my wife and I did the circuit, it took us six hours to complete this section. Hope that helps, Cheers Darren

    2. Thanks Darren.
      That’s very helpful.
      While I have you here mate. Would you be able to tell me the some of the more scenic sections of this circuit? Looking for a place to set camp at a spot that’s focused more on the view and less on convenience.
      The short list contains the tors around north rams head, but open to suggestions.
      Love your work. Cheers

    3. Hi Hugh, that’s difficult to do as most of the walk is on the plateau and as such is mostly scenic. If you look at the static map I posted above, you can see two red dots, that is where we camped. Those spots also had accessible water. If you scroll through the photos you can see pics of our ten and the surrounding views.

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