Mt Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest mountain, and as such all Australians should climb it once (I suppose). The Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk is not the best walk in the alpine region of Kosciuszko National Park, but it is nevertheless a uniquely beautiful area, so any walk here is nice. We walked it in spring of 2008 and there was still quite a bit of snow left, which made nice patterns over the landscape. If you walk it in summer there will be lots of wildflowers out, and I’ve quite liked the autumn colours in this area (see the Mt Tate Circuit).
There are other worthy options to consider starting at Charlotte Pass, such as the classic Main Range Track, which will take you past the summit anyway (but is a longer walk). There are also some semi off-track options such as Mount Sentinel and Mt Twynam, and much shorter but still scenic tracks (Mt Stilwell). Track notes at the end.
Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk: The Scenery
The shortest way of getting to the summit is to take the chairlift (expensive) at Thredbo and walk from the top station: a straightforward 13km return walk from 1900m asl. At the other extreme there is a route along Hannels Spur (to the west) which takes you from about 450m of elevation, and hence you can claim to have climbed it from the bottom. Unfortunately this route is only just being cleared (2109) after years of being overgrown, and it’s probably a two day affair for most.
The Mt Kosciuszko Summit Walk that we did is in the middle of these two options, a gradual 9km ascent to the summit (2228m) from Charlotte Pass (1830m), and then back the same way. It can feel like a bit of a slog as it’s along an old road that takes you close to the summit, and I find these walks along vehicle tracks a little boring. The track is obvious the whole way, but if you want more information then check out the NPWS website.