15 Dec Australia’s Highest Campground – Main Range, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
For the best view of the Australian outback, come to its highest point! The main range at the Koscuiszko National Park has the most breathtaking view from all directions. After all, it is the highest camping ground in all of Australia and overlooks a vast expanse of land. Moreover, on a clear night campers are treated to a spectacular view of stars in their full glory in all directions from the summit.
Reaching the campgrounds on the main range takes roughly a couple of hours and covers a nearly half a dozen kilometers when you start your trek on top of the chairlift. Regardless of which route you take, every step is sure to be filled with wonder as you come across Mount Koscuiszko’s diverse wild flora, glacial lakes, bubbling rivers, sweeping valleys, and beautiful look outs. It’s best to trek this park in spring or summer when most of the wildflowers are in bloom and the mountains come alive with color.
The park has 27 known walking tracks, each unique and awesome in their own way. Mountain bikers will surely enjoy the easy road and the view of Threadbo Valley Track, especially during the warmer months when purple wildflowers pepper the valley. The Threadbo River Track on the other hand will bring you closer to more wild flora and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to spot some platypus in their natural habitat. Families with children will find walking the Sawpit track wonderful and relaxed –this track goes through a woodland of candlebark, manna gum, mountain gum, bark sallee, white sallee, and more, then goes back to the tourist park and ends a good picnic spot where you can rest up and enjoy lunch.
While the scenery is awesome from almost any point of Kosciusko National Park, you would want to take the Mount Stillwell Walk for an exceptionally good view of Australia’s highest and third highest peaks and to explore more of Snowy Mountain’s plantlife and wildlife. And of course, everyone must do the Summit Walking Track during summer –this route will take you to the historic Seaman’s Hut and Snowy River where you can stop for lunch or just to let the beauty of the place sink in! For more adventurous hikers who come well-equipped, you can extend your trek of the Summit Walking Track to the Main Range Track –a 22-kilometer loop walk of alpine forests which will also take you across Snowy River and to the summit.
If you are going to camp for the night, remember to come prepared as campsites in the Kosciuszko National Park are remote. Your water supply should be enough for several days or if you plan to collect water as you go along, don’t forget to bring water treatment tablets to make your collected water supply drinkable. Bring fuel stove and food to cook, tent to sleep in (the huts are not for accommodation), and lots of warm clothes. Remember that you’ll be in Australia’s highest campground! For hygienic purposes, pack biodegradable waste bags because toilets may not be available in higher campgrounds and dispose of them later on when facilities become available.
Where to camp
Kosciuszko National Park have camping restrictions especially around the catchments of alpine lakes and of ski resorts and other areas surrounding the summit, chairlift, and publics roads accessible by vehicles. If you and your group has plans to camp or explore off-track areas, fill out a trip intention form ahead of time.
There are about a dozen campsites in this national park. Fishers and those who want stay close to the water will take delight in the Pinchriver Campground which is 60km from Jindabyne. For swimmers, there’s Halfway Flat which has a few swimming holes withing its vicinity. Campers with caravans can head to Jounama Creek Campground. Most of the camping grounds in Kosciuszko are free and don’t require booking but it’s best to call in to be sure, especially during peak camping season.
Top Image Source: Dennis – flickr.com