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On Walkabout On: Mt. Kosciuszko, the Roof of Australia


Mt. Kosciuszko would seem to warrant more attention then it does considering it is the highest peak in all of Australia, but as it stands now few people outside of Australia have ever heard of it. I guess with a name like Kosciuszko (pronounced Koe-zee-oes-ko) it is easy to forget about the place since it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite easily. I know I never heard of the place until I moved Down Under, much less remember its name, but now I can’t get enough of the place.

Mt. Kosciuszko towers over the surrounding high country at 2,228 meters (7,310 ft) which may not seem like a very large mountain compared to much higher peaks in the Rockies and the European Alps, but as you can see in the picture below the Snowy Mountains which is the range of mountains that Mt. Kosciuszko belongs to pulls off a pretty good imitation:

Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia

Pike’s Peak, Colorado – USA

Since the country of Australia was founded by English convicts settlers it would seem strange that the nation’s highest peak would be named after a Polish general that fought with George Washington against the British during the American Revolutionary War. However there is a logical explanation. The name was given because early explorer Pawel Strzelecki a Polish immigrant who climbed the mountain and named it Kosciuszko but not technically not after the general but a mound in Poland built in honor of General Kosciuszko that he thought resembled the peak:


I guess only in Australia would the highest mountain in the land be named after a mound in Poland. Well even if you cannot pronounce the mountain it is still quite a sight to see whether you are driving down the Monaro Highway:


Or admiring the mountain from Thredbo Ski Resort:


From the heights of the Alpine Way:


Or all the way from the Murray River Valley:


However the best way to view the mountain is by checking out some of the four wheel drive trails that circle around the mountain:


The four wheel drive trails really allow to get up close and intimate with this beautiful mountain:


I couldn’t’ get any further up the mountain due to the winter snows but I definitely plan on visiting again this summer and hiking up to the summit and trying out some more of the four wheel drive trails around the mountain. Like I said before, I may not be able to pronounce it well but I definitely cannot get enough of the place.

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