The eigth of our top ten Australian day walks, Mt Townsend is the highlight of the NSW Alpine area on two feet and a heart beat.

As Australia’s highest point, Mt Kosciuszko is a disappointment. 

Looking like little more than a hillock peeping above the Main Range ridge, it’s surpassed in all regards (except height) by nearby Mt Townsend.

Capped in rock and as rugged as a cowboy’s chin, the country’s second-highest mountain is ignored by most walkers in their blinkered quest to climb Kosciuszko, though Townsend offers a far more exciting outing for those prepared to hike the extra few klicks.

Beginning at the chairlift station above Thredbo, follow the Kosciuszko boardwalk, continuing straight ahead when the path forks towards Kosciuszko’s summit.

Just beyond, on Kozzie’s northern shoulder, a faint path contours above the Wilkinsons valley to the serrated summit of Mt Townsend, from where you can view most of Australia’s tallest peaks. On your return, be sure to make the simple climb to Kosciuszko’s summit to appreciate the difference.

WHERE // 

Starts at Thredbo, around 430km southwest of Sydney. 

WHY // 

To conquer Australia’s two highest peaks while peering down into the glacial bowl of its highest lake . . . high times indeed. 

DON’T MISS // 

The granite tors atop Townsend’s summit. Look back as you begin picking through this rocky crown of thorns and you’ll see an enormous block of granite balanced like an Irish dolmen. 

DISTANCE //

22km. 

GRADE // 

A long day in the boots in exposed conditions, the walking isn’t difficult but it is tiring; a decent level of fitness is required. 

MORE INFO //

Snowy Region visitor centre (02) 6450 5600, Australian Alps National Parks www.australianalps.deh.gov.au  

 

Australian Traveller Magazines Top 10 Day Walks You Can Do In A Day.

1. Ormiston Gorge & Pound, NT

2. Carnarvon Gorge, QLD

3. Flinders Chase Coast, SA

4. Razorback Ridge, VIC

5. Wineglass Bay Circuit, TAS

6. Cathedral Range, VIC

7. Bishop and Clerk Towers, TAS

8. Mt Townsend, NSW

9. Kangarutha Track, NSW

10. Bluff Knoll, WA

 

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