For the first time in a while, Jirapan and I had 3 days off from work so we decided it would be a perfect time to go on a little road trip getaway.
The hardest part about a getaway is picking the perfect destination, luckily Jirapan had the idea to go to the snowy mountains in Mount Kosciuszko national park and to camp there for 2 nights. Mount Kosciuszko is a 6 hour drive from Sydney and since I had never seen snow I was super excited about the idea. While doing some research we also discovered that Australias highest point was in Mount Kosciuszko, making it the perfect opportunity to take on the 6 hour return hike, a chance to see some snow, take amazing photos and get away from Sydney.
We left Sydney on Tuesday afternoon at 4pm and after hours of driving, various fast food and supermarket stops, and with very little petrol left, we arrived in the town of Jindabyne at 11pm. With the little petrol we had, we drove around trying to find a petrol station so we could fill up then continue the remaining 30 minutes of our drive into the Mount kosciuszko National Park to our campsite, however we soon realised all the petrol stations were closed and that we wouldn’t make it to the campsite so it seemed that our only option was to sleep in our car for the night. We found a quiet neighbourhood street and set up the car for the night. It was a scary feeling because we were unfamiliar with the town and the type of people who lived here and we definitely didn’t want to anger anyone. Just after midnight we were ready to head to sleep for the night.
Jirapan being unable to sleep comfortably, woke up at 4:30am and suggested we go to the Jindabyne lake to watch the sunrise. Jindabyne lake was only 5 minutes away so we drove the car down to the edge of the lake and watched the amazing sunrise over the foggy mountains and crystal clear lake. With no one else around it was incredibly peaceful.
By the time we had finished taking photos, the petrol stations were open and we were ready to begin our day. We filled up and headed to the town of Thredbo where we would get a chairlift to the beginning of the walking track to begin our hike. We arrived to Thredbo at 7:30am and found out that the chairlifts didn’t begin to operate until 9am, so to kill time we sat at a nearby picnic table and had some quick breakfast, then went back to the car to nap and catch up on some much needed rest.
At 9am we bought our chairlift passes for $37 return (you can buy a one way chairlift pass for $30). We got straight on the chairlift which took 15 minutes and dropped us to the beginning of the Mount Kosciuszko summit walk. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day and we were already amazed at the mountain ranges and the walk hadn’t even begun.
10 minutes into the 6 hour hike and we were already stopping for photos. The scenery was a photographers dream. Tall mountain ranges topped with snow and crystal clear streams running through the grass.
When we came to the first bit of snow that we had to cross, I was super excited to finally be touching/seeing snow for the first time. We spent a lot of time at this snow pile thinking it would be the only one we come across, but little did we know it was the smallest of many more.
We continued on, taking pictures everywhere we could. We realised we got too excited about the landscape too early on because around every bend the scenery got more and more incredible.
Halfway through our hike with 3 hours down and still enjoying every bit of it, we saw an amazing mountain completely covered in snow, not like any of the others. This mountain looked like a massive frozen tidal wave. Jirapan and I wanted to get a closer look and take photos at the bottom of it. Although this mountain was off the track we decided to wander off the path and get a closer look. As we were getting closer we noticed a huge lake right underneath it. It was so beautiful we couldn’t believe people were walking right past it.
After hiking for almost 4 hours we made it to the summit. Everywhere you looked was an amazing view of the mountain ranges below. Jirapan and I were exhausted so we spent most of our time at the summit sitting, snacking and re-energising ourselves for the walk back. There were only 4 other people at the summit so it was a very quiet and relaxing way to enjoy the amazing view.
We promised ourselves we wouldn’t take anymore photos on the way back, and although it was hard, we kept the camera away and managed to do the walk back in 2 hours. The total time of our walk was from 9:30am till 3pm. We then took the chair lift back to the car and made our way into town to get some dinner. After surviving off biscuits and water all day we were starving and looking forward to a big meal at the towns local pub. We ended up having dinner at the lovely Lake Jindabyne Hotel where we both had a large chicken schnitzel which we finished very quickly.
After dinner it was time to head to our campsite, Thredbo Diggings Campground, located in the Mount Kosciuszko National Park so we could get some proper rest for the night. We drove 30 minutes to the campsite and when we arrived we were amazed at how well kept and beautiful it was. It had a lovely lake surrounded by bushland, animals and mountain ranges. The campsite itself was very open so we had quite a lot of space to ourselves. We set up our car for the night so we could get to sleep early. As soon as the sun went down we dozed off, it was the perfect way to end the day.
The next day we woke up at 9am and got ready straight away to head back to Sydney. All round it was an amazing quick trip and I would love to do it again. The hike had the most incredible landscapes I had ever seen and it is something I’ll remember forever. If you’re looking to come to Australia, or you live in Australia and are looking for a getaway, I think its the perfect choice if you’re up for a little adventure!
Below I’ve written some facts/tips to help you out if you’re interested in visiting Mount Kosciuszko!
- There are 2 ways you can start the hike; one option is to pay for the $37 return lift pass from Thredbo (which is what we did) or you can start the walk from Perisher without the chair lift. Starting the walk from perisher will add another 1-2 hours onto the hike. Thredbo with chairlift = 5-6 hours return Perisher without chairlift = 7-8 hours return
- The hike is a grade 4 out of 5, however it is just a slight uphill walk without any stairs or dangerous terrain, although you will have to cross snow.
- Wear comfortable clothing! I wore tights and a large coat because the wind is quite cold. I also wore sneakers, however when crossing the snow my shoes did get very wet. I saw a lot of people wearing hiking boots but it’s not essential.
- Wear sunscreen! Me and Jirapan completely didn’t think about sunscreen at all and both are faces are currently burnt
- Bring water and snacks
- The altitude makes the air a bit thinner so don’t push yourself too hard or you could faint
- There are bathrooms located at the halfway point
- You cant do the walk in winter when the tracks are completely covered in snow so make sure you check the Thredbo weather and website for updates
- The chairlifts run from 9am and the last chairlift from the mountain leaves at 4:30pm so make sure you plan your walk so that you have enough time to get back