Australia Day is a funny old day. We don’t give it a lot of thought but then it’s upon us and we realise it really does mean something to us and wish we were celebrating in a cool way or a meaningful way. Give some thought to climbing Mt Kosciuszko on Australia Day and you will tick all those boxes and more.
If you’ve done any of the City to Surf, you can do this event, they are both 14km in total distance. This walk is easier than the City to Surf , as you don’t need to run it. Walk casually on excellent man-made paths until the last summit section, which is dirt.
The scenery is striking, lots of distant blue mountains, lots of running water trickling or roaring in creeks nearby or underfoot (the path is built over them). It is a true summer Alpine environment, and if you haven’t experienced one or you’re into your geography it is interesting. Lots of low lying vegetation and a plethora of Alpine flowers in many colours.
My 8 year old found the Alpine environment fascinating, he felt very exposed out there ‘in the wilderness’ and wanted to know why there weren’t any trees for kilometres around like back in the resort. It is a unique feeling, being out in the wilderness. Something you won’t feel every day.
Poetry on Mt Kosciuszko
A lost art, a dying art but an important art and to hear a poem is to be touched by life. To hear a poem about Australia read aloud to a small group of walkers at the summit of Australia is a special experience, your children will have never done such a thing before and will stand to attention and listen (for once). It will make them think about Australia and where they are, and about what they are doing and they will ask you lots of questions on the way home, which is downhill all the way. It is brilliant and educational and the poem will make you proud to be an Australian.
Logistics for climbing Mt Kosciuszko
To walk Mt Kosciuszko you need sturdy shoes, they can be plain jogging shoes. You need long pants, a warm jacket to withstand occasional icy winds, a couple of layers underneath (thermals, long shirt) and a shady hat for the head is a must. When you’re out there on the track you see all manner of walkers, seniors with professional bushwalking sticks or young families from the city with prams and gym gear, but the best advice is dress in layers to take jackets off if you get warm and prepare for alpine conditions, namely winds or when the sun goes behind a cloud. On Australia Day it can be absolutely beautiful weather or it can be freezing.
Bring sunscreen, food and water in a backpack. There is a sausage sizzle available right up the top before you begin the ascent to the summit on the last section. The sausage sizzle is a gold coin donation, and if you have hungry children with you they may eat through a few.
Toilets are available, where the sausage sizzle is set up, they are the highest toilets in Australia.
It is a fantastic thing to do with your family, walking side by side with your kids makes them divulge all their deepest darkest secrets with all that serotonin flowing. They receive stickers that say ‘I conquered Kozi’ and a certificate and they will feel proud to have done it, and will take away memories and stories to their new school year.
Buy your chairlift ride at the ticket office at the bottom of the hill at the ticket office and enjoy the ride up as well as the ride down and finish with a cold drink at any of the food and drink outlets, including the Pub with a verandah for shade on your return.
Stay at any of the Lantern Thredbo Apartments’ self-contained 1, 2 or 3 bedroom (some plus loft) apartments. They all have clothes washing and cooking facilities so you don’t have to build up a smelly pile of walking clothes or spend $7,000 on feeding everyone breakfast. Cook up a hearty eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushroom, avocado and toast for breakfast, pack some snacks and off up to conquer Kozzie you go.