Australia doesn’t spring to mind when you think of mountains. Its highest point is no great challenge to climb, but walking to its summit was an inescapable part of my quest to climb the highest peak on every continent. Every ascent has something unique about it, though, and here the wildlife and plant life are the main attraction.
This huge land is much better known for its beaches, its desert and its unusual wildlife than for its mountains. There are no mountains with glaciers. Some névés do withstand the summer heat, though, in the highest regions—in Kosciuszko National Park. There are 220 plant species growing there, including 21 found nowhere else in the world.
At 2 228m, Mount Kosciuszko is the highest point in Australia. Its rounded shape is probably due to erosion by a large ice cap that once covered this whole mountain range. Access is simple and requires only basic hiking skills. It can even be hot in summer. There are some glacial lakes and interesting rock formations that make the climb all the more pleasant.
The wide, flat summit consists only of rocks and stones, with no vegetation. The special thing about this mountain is mainly that Australians consider it the summit of a continent, that is if you think Australia is a continent…
Facts and figures
- Elevation : 2 228m
- Summit date : January 5, 2003
- 2 alpinists Bernard Voyer and Nathalie Tremblay
- 1840 : first ascent.
- 450 km far from Sydney and Melbourne