Australia’s flat, right? Wrong. While it is the flattest continent in the world, there are always exceptions to every rule. And flying in the face of this is Mount Kosciuszko — Australia’s highest mountain.Whilst it’s not quite Everest, it’s still a mighty 7,310ft and an incredible place for a pervading sense of tranquillity, and some out-of-this-world views of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales.
Arrive in summer and your mountain adventure can be even more extraordinary than the typical icy wilderness that is expected in winter. Outdoorsy types turn up for unpretentious good times: to hike its winding paths through spectacular alpine scenery with the unyielding presence of Kosciuszko’s summit towering above every path, nosedive on dramatic mountain bike trails and head below terra firma into its labyrinth of limestone caves.
But to truly grasp this exceptional region, those-in-the-know strive to reach the summit of Kosciuszko. Located in ski territory, the trek starts with a 15-minute chairlift from Thredbo village where the calming backdrop of alpine wildflowers and rocky outcrops falls away below you. Hop off the chairlift and you’ll gradually climb across the headwaters of Snowy River, above Lake Cootapatamba and to the rooftop of Australia in a little over two hours. Alternatively skip the chairlift and trek the 2.5-mile track before taking in the views at the summit. You’re in for a treat: this is one view with astounding elemental energy.
Meet the person behind the icon: Acacia Rose, guide from K7 Adventures
Yes, there is snow in Australia! Mount Kosciuszko is definitely a significant challenge during winter. Winds can gust over 90mph. Visibility and navigation can be virtually impossible. Most people think of Mount Kosciuszko as a ‘walk in the park’ as it certainly can be on a fine and sunny day. It’s more than a walk in a national park during the winter and not to be taken lightly.
The mountain remains totally rubbish-free. This in itself is a unique experience, to stand on a mountain without any detritus of human habitation. You can experience total silence, surrounded by natural beauty, exquisite wildflowers in the summer, breathtaking views and a sense of wilderness.
I have seen three-year olds and 93 year olds reach the summit. Just make sure you always come properly prepared. The vibe when people return is always ‘elation’.
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Walk in the shade of bungalow palms and across kangaroo grasslands along a two-mile loop to reach this breezy spot overlooking the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, whales and dolphins frolicking in the water, and for the best soul-enriching experience, arrive for sunrise.
Top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
Make the thrilling climb to the top of the iconic bridge — it takes about three-and-a-half hours — along ladders and catwalks, and you’re in for the view: of the unmistakable peaks of the Sydney Opera House; the harbour water, a glittering shade of navy; the ambitious cityscape; and the verdant pockets of national parks beyond.
Living Desert Reserve, Broken Hill
There are no dramatic ascents to tackle in this reserve in the Barrier Ranges; come to pace its walking trails through the authentic wilds, where Outback flora and fauna live amongst the gullies and the rocky outcrops, and stroll the half-mile trail to the 12 sandstone sculptures, crafted by artists from around the world.
How to do it
Fly to Sydney with Singapore Airlines from £765pp return. Singapore Airlines offers four daily flights from London Heathrow and five flights a week from Manchester with seamless connections via Singapore. singaporeair.com