Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

Excellent and remote feeling alpine scenery on this sometimes off-track circuit walk up to the summit of Mt Tate (2068m), in Kosciuszko National Park near Guthega.

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park

I didn’t really know what to expect on this circuit walk up Mt Tate (2068m) in Kosciuszko National Park, but it turned out to be one of the better walks I’ve done on mainland Australia. The views from the summit of Mt Tate are particularly good, and include looking over the rocky plateau of the Main Range towards some of Australia’s other highest peaks. The route through colourful and varied alpine scenery is unmarked, and for much of the time there’s no track, but navigation is easy in good weather, and you might have the place to yourself, as I did even on Easter Saturday.

It all feels quite remote, even though the circuit is a comfortable day walk from Guthega Village. And it certainly offers better scenery than the probably crowded ascent up Mt Kosciuszko. Perhaps the only downside is no clear route down from the East Ridge through scrub, but I managed well enough despite being used to nice clear tracks. If you want to extend the walk you can trek all the way over to Mt Twynam, and return to Guthega from there, but that will definitely be an all day affair. Track notes at the end.

Mt Tate Circuit: The Scenery

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
An early morning start at Guthega. The walk starts by crossing over Guthega Dam (centre left) and climbing up the ridge to the right.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking back towards Guthega Pondage.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Vapour trails in early morning light.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
View from ridge leading up to Guthega Trig. This is actually a colour photo but not much colour made it into this east facing scene.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
A colourful Mt Tate rises steeply above Guthega Creek.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Most of the ascent completed here. Looking south back along the outward. It looks from the trees that the prevailing winds are westerly, as they all lean to the left (east).
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Consett Stephen Pass on the far right.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
I liked the twisted form of these dead branches. They were evident in a few places.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking south, back along the route up.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Mt Tate with a very small tarn in the foreground.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Guthega Creek Valley and Mt Tate on the right.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
A big old snow gum kicking on (you can see new growth in a couple of areas).
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Mt Tate on the left, The head of Guthega Creek below, and Consett Stephen Pass centre right.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
I liked how this boulder was being colonised by an alpine plant.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Some nice purpley / orangey tones in this photo.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking up at one of the unnamed peaks I passed on the way to Consett Stephen Pass.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
A colourful scene looking down Guthega Creek. This yellow grass was so thick and deep in places that I would step into it expecting to hit the ground, only the ground was often further away than I had anticipated, causing me to stumble on a few occasions. I guess I’m a slow learner.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Consett Stephen Pass. Mt Tate is a steepish climbtot he left.

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
I came across these two spiders, and felt that I had disturbed a rendezvous. There’s a story in this picture, I’m just not sure what. The spider on the left appears to be a wolf spider, and perhaps so is the one on the right but I couldn’t find a particularly close match on the internet. They don’t look all that similar, but it seem wolf spiders are somewhat varied looking.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Approaching the summit of Mt Tate.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
The summit of Mt Tate (2068m) on the left, and other high peaks in the main range on the distant right.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking west from near the summit of Mt Tate.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
The view from the summit of Mt Tate over the Main Range. Mt Twynam (2196m) on the left, Australia’s third highest mountain. The other two highest peaks are not so far behind.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
The view from the summit over the Main Range.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
The view from the summit over the Main Range.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking west again as I began walking down the East Ridge.

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park

Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Interesting aesthetics viewed from the East Ridge of Mt Tate. The outward route was up that ridge opposite, walking from right to left.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking down towards Guthega Pondage from the East Ridge. I should have waited a bit longer to descend but I think I liked the look of this area and set off into it.
Mt Tate Circuit, Kosciuszko National Park
Guthega Creek as it enters Guthega Pondage.

Track Notes

I used track notes in an old copy of the Geehi Bushwalking Club’s book, Snowy Mountains Walks, and there are notes for the longer circuit via Mt Twynam on the Bushwalking NSW website. If you have a contour map then you can work out the route easily enough.

From Guthega you cross Guthega Dam, continue for a short while on a fire trail that switches back up the hill, then find a footpad which heads roughly north up the ridge through low scrub. On higher ground the track runs out, so navigate your own way north and then north west through alpine scenery, (avoiding the bogs and fens), to Consett Stephen Pass, and from there climb south (left) to the rocky summit of Mt Tate. Continue on southwards along East Ridge, eventually turning east to descend steeply from East Ridge down to the northern end of Guthega Pondage, where there is a footbridge over Guthega Creek (although you can easily cross the creek on rocks north of this spot). This descent may be through sometimes thick scrub, but better through this vegetation than the very delicate (and wet) bogs and fens.

You’ll need to park your car in Guthega, and then the walk starts at the dam wall…

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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