Conquer Kozzie: Australia’s Legendary Hiking Holiday
At 2,228 metres high, Mount Kosciuszko towers above all other mountains on Australia’s soil. This natural behemoth stands out on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains and has long been a popular trek for hikers. Despite Kosciuszko’s height, the trails to its summit aren’t very steep and can be traversed with a moderate level of fitness, as more than 100,000 people reach the summit each year.
Conquer Kozzie is an initiative by the renowned ski resort Thredbo, which challenges Aussies from around the country to hike this iconic natural landmark. The package includes accommodation, breakfast and a national park pass, making it easier than ever for Australians to conquer the mountain. At 6.5 kilometres one way, the approach from Thredbo is shorter than the one from Charlotte Pass and is supported by a chairlift year round, making it ideal for hikers of all experience and skill levels.
However, there is much more visitors need to know before they attempt to reach Mount Kosciuszko’s summit.
What to Expect
The Conquer Kozzie challenge takes the Thredbo route to reach the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. Beginning at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift at the Thredbo ski resort, hikers first come to Merritt’s Creek and, after crossing the crystal-clear water, encounter the undulating expanse of Rams Head Range.
Rams Head Range is Australia’s fourth-highest mountain, dotted with rocky outcrops, herbfields and heath, and blessed with stunning uninterrupted views of the Snowy Mountains. Photo ops are the norm along this stretch, but visitors should save some camera space for the Kosciuszko Lookout, where they will find some of the best views of the Snowy Mountains and Mount Kosciuszko.
After the Ram’s Head Range, hikers are introduced to the Snowy River, where they are greeted by its mesmerising headwaters. Many take a moment here to cool off with the crisp mountain water, a wise decision considering the next leg takes hikers up to a saddle overlooking Lake Cootapatamba, a post-glacial tarn and the highest altitude lake in Australia at 2,048 metres high. The area is particularly beautiful when its shores are peppered with snow during the winter season.
The trek continues past Ethridge Range to Rawson Pass where it meets up with the alternative trail and a section paved with stones smoothed flat over the years by millions of shoes. Visitors will also find Australia’s highest altitude toilet, sitting 2,100 metres above sea level.
From Rawson Pass, hikers only need to traverse the paved road the rest of the way to Mount Kosciuszko summit. After 6.5 kilometres, reaching the peak is rewarding enough, but the views on a clear day, stretching out beyond the rolling mountain tops and dramatic valleys, is a sight few hikers will forget. Once visitors have soaked it all in, they can return to Thredbo via the same route, continue on to the historic Seaman’s Hut 1.7 kilometres from Rawson Pass, or trek down to Charlotte Pass via the Summit Trail.
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What to Pack
Although the Mount Kosciuszko trail accommodates hikers of all skill levels, visitors should be aware that a decent level of fitness is required to reach the summit.
Visitors should also make sure they’ve packed the following items:
- A pair of comfortable, worn-in hiking boots
- Thick socks that reach above the ankles
- Light and airy clothing for the hot months and adequate winter gear for the colder months
- About three litres of water per person and enough food for three to four hours
- Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen
- A map, compass and mobile phone
- An emergency whistle
- Insect repellent
Where to Stay
Thredbo offers numerous accommodation options in its village. From apartments and hotels to extravagant lodges, there’s a place to stay for every type of traveller. Those staying in the village can also enjoy convenient access to Thredbo’s myriad of restaurants, bars and shops, with the nearby Kosciuszko Express Chairlift taking visitors straight to the start of the Mount Kosciuszko trail.
Will You Conquer Kozzie?
Hiking Mount Kosciuszko is one of Australia’s most rewarding and accessible active experiences, and Thredbo’s Conquer Kozzie package now makes it easy and affordable for families, friends and solo travellers to take on Australia’s largest mountain. For many, a Snowy Mountains holiday simply isn’t complete without reaching the famous peak.
Have you reached the summit of Mount Kosciuszko? Tell us about your experience or what you’re most excited about in the comments below.