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Climbing Mount Kosciuszko in New South Wales

Australia's top summit might be called the smallest largest mountain in the world, four times less than Everest

Best time: November–May

Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko
Climbing Mount Kosciuszko

In comparison to other mountains of the Seven Summits, Mount Kosciuszko with its 2,228 meters is a midget. The height of Kosciuszko it's just a quarter of that of the world's winner Everest. Nonetheless, it's still the highest point of Australia.

The mountain was named after General Tadeusz Kosciuszko known as the Polish hero. However, the General wasn't the first to climb Australia's peak, he wasn't there at all. Yet the first climber was Polish, as you might have guessed. In 1840 a Polish explorer Count Pawel Edmund Strzelecki reached the summit. He was too humble to suggest that the mount was named after himself, and came up with the name of Kosciuszko.

Hiking Kosciuszko is a cup of tea against the challenges posed by Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro and the rest. If you are a mountain biker, you may ride to Rawson Pass, there you'll have to leave your vehicle at the bike stand, and continue your ascent on foot as the remaining 1,4 km passage to the summit is accessible by foot only.

Even though hiking Kosciuszko looks like a really light exercise, hiking season is still limited. The way is snowbound in winter—from June to October, so hiking is temporarily replaced with other activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. But summer (November-May) is a perfect time to conquer the mountain on foot. The mountain is set in Kosciuszko National Park, so while on hike you'll be able to also marvel at unique Australian flora and fauna, in particular extremely rare tiny Mountain Pygmy Possum found only in this mountain area, and nowhere else in the world.

Practical info

When is the best time to climb Mount Kosciuszko?

If you plan to climb the peak of Mount Kosciuszko, November to May is the best time to go. The peak is covered with snow throughout the June-October months, so it's inaccessible. The summer season brings in good weather, ideal for a hiking adventure, with magnificent scenery and Australian flora and fauna in Kosciuszko National Park adding to the overall experience. Show more

What is the height of Mount Kosciuszko in comparison to other summits?

Mount Kosciuszko stands at 2228 meters above sea level, making it the shortest of the Seven Summits. It is one-quarter the height of the Earth's giant, Mount Everest, and much shorter than other mountains in the Seven Summit list. Despite its size, it is still the tallest mountain in Australia and the only peak in the country with snow coverage throughout the year. Show more

Who was the first person to climb Mount Kosciuszko and why is it named after General Kosciuszko?

Count Pawel Edmund Strzelecki was the first person to climb Mount Kosciuszko in 1840, despite its relatively small height. In honor of his fellow Pole, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, he named the mountain. It's worth noting that General Kosciuszko never visited the continent, but his contribution was significant, with his thoughts on equality and liberty inspiring the colonists' fight for their rights in the late 18th century during the American Revolution. Show more

What other activities can be done in Mount Kosciuszko besides hiking?

Apart from hiking, mountain biking is popular in Mount Kosciuszko, and you can ride your bike to Rawson Pass. From there, you have to take a 1.4-km hike to reach the summit due to pedestrian-only access. During winter, hiking is unavailable, so you can enjoy the mountain from a different perspective with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as alternate activities. There are plenty of Australian flora and fauna to admire, including some of the park's unique features, like its snow gums and alpine ash. Show more

What unique Australian wildlife can be found in Kosciuszko National Park?

Besides offering fantastic hikes and scenic adventures, Kosciuszko National Park is home to several unique Australian fauna and flora. Among the rare wildlife animals found there is the Mountain Pygmy Possum, which is exclusive to this mountain habitat. There are also other animal species like wombats and wallabies, among others, to spot. Kosciuszko's wildflowers, alpine ash, and snow gums are unique to the area and offer visitors a glimpse of natural beauty they can't find anywhere else in Australia. Show more

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