Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

Excellent scenery on this walk taking in two of Australia’s highest peaks, and two of its alpine lakes, including the spectacular Blue Lake.

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park

On this walk high up on the Main Range I visited Australia’s third highest peak for the first time, Mt Twynam at 2196m of elevation, it’s sibling Little Twynam (2130m), the spectacular Blue Lake, and nearby Hedley Tarn. There’s excellent alpine scenery the whole way, and with the exception of the justifiably popular Blue Lake, you’ll avoid the worst of the crowds that frequent the southern area of the range near Mt Kosciuszko.

Blue Lake

When I did this walk I had in fact planned to visit The Sentinel rather than the lakes, but the mist closed in and wind picked up so that wouldn’t have been either safe or worth the effort. When I walked down to Blue Lake, which I had visited once before when walking the Main Range Track, it was still pretty misty. But the mist cleared and revealed the rather spectacular cliffs and hillsides on the opposite side of the lake: I was most impressed. Somehow I hadn’t been so impressed on my first visit, perhaps because it was a cloudless day and the sun would have left the cliffs in shadow. It’s also worth continuing on past the small lookout to the lake shore, because you get a better sense of scale.

Alternative Routes

As a result of my diversions to Sentinel Peak my route to the peaks and lakes in this walk was not the most direct, and so the scenery you’ll come across will differ a little depending on the route you choose. Having said that, most of the indirect bits were in thick mist so I’m not even sure what it looks like in those areas. Check out my track notes (at the end) for the description of my circuitous route.

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake & Hedley Tarn: The Scenery

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Early morning light near the start of the Main Range Track at Charlotte Pass.

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
I wanted to visit The Sentinel, which is pictured on the right, but the clouds became thicker and so that will have to wait until next time.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Misty fjeldmark scenery.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
A bit of Blue Lake viewed from from a ridge on the way up to Mt Twynam. This was about as blue as it got due to overcast weather.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
The summit of Mt Twynam (2196m). Nothing to see due to the mist, but it was clearer when I descended down to Little Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking towards Little Twynam (left) as I came down the southern slopes of Mt Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Approaching Little Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking towards Blue Lake, which you can just see a sliver of, with a constant flow of mist coming from the west.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
The rocky east face of Mt Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Mt Twynam (2196m).
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking over towards Mt Tate (the pointy peak on the right; I climbed it the day before) from Little Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Rather misty on the way to and from Mt Twynam.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Blue Lake. Difficult to portray the scale in a photograph, or at least it was for me. And I did try, taking sooo many pictures from various angles.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
A panorama of Blue Lake
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
On the way to Hedley Tarn.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Hedley Tarn
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Hedley Tarn
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
A variety of alpine plants on a hillside near Hedley Tarn.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Blue Lake as I walked back up towards the main track.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Cliffs on Mt Clarke.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow Gums
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
The snow gums near the end of the road at Charlotte Pass are very attractive. A few more photos of these to follow…
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow Gum
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow Gum
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow Gum
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Snow Gum
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
I see lots of crickets on alpine walks. This was one that I was (amazingly) able to photograph with my phone in a very short break between jumping.
Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake, & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park
Looking up two branches of the Snowy River from Charlotte Pass. Mt Clarke centre, and Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain, just to the right of that. You can see even from here that it’s a fairly uninspiring summit.

Track Notes

I started this walk at the end of Kosciuszko Road at Charlotte Pass. If it’s a long weekend you’ll want to get there early to find a decent roadside parking spot. It’s also possible to walk to Mt Twynam from Guthega.

Mt Twynam and Little Twynam

From Charlotte Pass I took the Main Range Track as far as the saddle below Carruthers Peak, then took the right hand option to check out The Sentinel. That was disappearing in mist as I approached, so I continued along this fire trail in low visibility to near the summit of Mt Twynam. To get to the summit you take an old indistinct vehicle trail to the east (right), then as this disappears continue east and upward to reach the summit of Mt Twynam. I managed this in low visibility so it’s not too hard, but you’ll benefit from a compass in these conditions. I was lucky to meet two runners coming down the indistinct trail, otherwise I would have just continued merrily on the main fire trail.

From Mt Twynam I walked south-east down to the rocky summit of Little Twynam, where I took lots of pictures as the visibility was better.

Blue Lake and Hedley Tarn

After visiting the Twynams I wanted to go back to The Sentinel again in case the weather had cleared, so I retraced my steps. If you want to visit Blue Lake and Hedley Tarn from Little Twynam you can walk there easily enough off track (roughly south west), although the alpine plants will love it if you don’t. And don’t fall off any cliffs if you try and walk there directly from Mt Twynam.

At The Sentinel the weather wasn’t any better so I continued back down the Main Range Track and took the marked side track to Blue Lake, and continued on past the eastern end along the footpad to Hedley Tarn. You can continue on from Hedley Tarn to join the Main Range Track closer to the start on an unmarked (and I suspect indistinct) route, but I wanted to go back to Blue Lake and take some more pictures, so I went back the way I came and returned to the start along the Main Range Track.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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