Kosciuszko National Park is one of Australia’s most popular National Parks, especially for winter sports enthusiasts. Located in New South Wales, Kosciuszko offers its visitors stunning mountain views, incredible winter and summer activities, amazing wildlife, and more. In this Kosciuszko National Park Guide and podcast episode, we’ll help you navigate through planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip, with tons of tips, information, and fun stories about trekking through the park.
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National Parks in Australia
Australia is the KING of National Parks, with over 880 national parks – the most in the world. So if you’re ready for the challenge, grab your outdoorsy attitude, and let’s discover one of the most sought-out parks in the country, Kosziuszko National Park.
Not all national parks require an entry fee; most of them are free to enter. So always check in advance if you need to pay before entering or not. There are annual passes issued by the NSW national parks, ranging from all access park passes to multi-park and country park passes. Prices for the passes range from $45 – $190 with senior discounts as well. A daily park pass is also an option for those who wish to simply enter a park for only a day for $22.
Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko is located in the south of New South Wales, Australia, and borders the state of Victoria. It is approximately a 5-hour drive south of Sydney and 1 ½ hours from Canberra. If you’re planning a trip to Kosciuszko, internationally, the best airport to land at would be Sydney.
Kosciuszko is quite a popular national park, so there can be large crowds depending on the season. The winter season is booming and attracts skiers, snowboarders, and snow-sport enthusiasts.
How much does it cost to get into Kosciuszko National Park?
Daily passes based on the season are available to purchase at the local visitor center or online. You can also buy an annual All Parks Pass or multi-day passes.
Winter Peak fees starting in June and running through the end of October are $29 per vehicle. This will give you access to Alpine Way, Kosciuszko Rd, and Link Road.
During the rest of the year, the cost is $17 per vehicle with access to Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Rd.
If you’re visiting the Yarrangobilly Caves, the cost is $4 per vehicle, all year round.
When is Kosciuszko National Park open?
Kosciuszko is open year-round, but sometimes roads and trails are closed due to harsh weather conditions. It’s always best to check in advance to make sure it’s open. The official park website updates daily with closures and alerts.
What Can I Expect to See at Kosciuszko?
Known as the Alpine playground of Australia, Kosciuszko has the largest mountains within the country. You can find rivers, mountains, boulders, and a variety of landscapes inside the park. You’ll also find the main range of the Snowy Mountains inside the national park. The mountains are covered in gum trees, and above 700m of sea level is where you can find snow gum trees, the only place it grows in the world – an incredible sight to see.
The park also includes areas of bare prairie-like land with patches of Australian mint bush and snow gums.
What Do I Need to Plan a Trip to Kosciuszko National Park?
Planning for a trip to Kosciuszko requires a bit of advanced knowledge of the areas of the park you want to visit. The best way to start is by starting with a map of the park and deciding where/what you want to see. If you have young children, keep that in mind while planning your destinations in case you need anything during the visit.
The park website is also a tremendous resource to use for an upcoming trip, including the alerts for the day(s) you’ll be exploring. Make sure you know if any roads are closed before entering the park.
Skiing at Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park has three ski resorts – Perisher, Thredbo, and Charlotte Pass. With 137 kilometers of slopes and 76 ski lifts, you can hike, ski, and play in the snow during the winter season. It’s a very popular place to visit for skiers during the winter season.
There are a few options to get to the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko, the tallest mountain in Australia. Located in between Thredbo and Perisher ski resorts, it is within hiking distance from either Perisher or Charlotte Pass. Hiking to the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass is around a 22km hike. You can also take the chair lift from Thredbo to Eagle’s Nest, Australia’s highest restaurant, and do a 13km hike to the summit and back.
The hikes are all paved and accessible for hikers of all ages. In summer, people walk up to the summit in shorts and tennis shoes.
What Activities Can You Do at Kosciuszko National Park with Kids?
There are so many different activities you can do with kids at Kosciuszko depending on what you like to do as a family. Hiking, wild swimming, river walking and crossing, river floating, gorge climbing, fishing, caving, and mountain biking are all options for outdoorsy families.
Some activities that might be less suitable for kids, especially younger ones, are cross-country, back-country hiking, or snowshoeing. It all comes down to the experience level of your children.
The Kosciuszko Lookout is a great place to stop and take in the majestic views of Mount Kosciuszko and the surrounding mountain ranges. If you don’t want to make the entire trek to the mountain’s summit, it’s a great stopping point – about 2km from the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift.
Caves at Kosciuszko National Park
The Yarrangobilly Caves are popular attractions within the park with their massive stalactites and stalagmites. There is also a natural thermal pool near the caves, which is such a cool place to hang out for the day.
Tips for Hiking with Kids at Kosciuszko
- Just got for it! You can always turn around and go back, but you’ll never know unless you get out and try.
- Layers! Because it’s located in the mountains, the weather can change in an instant – even in summer.
- Be prepared for any type of weather.
What Wildlife Can I See at Kosciuszko National Park?
Snakes are one of the most commonly seen animals at Kosciuszko. Most are completely harmless, but there are venomous snakes in the area, so it’s important to always be aware.
Kangaroos and wallabies are also roaming inside Kosciuszko National Park. One important thing to remember is that if you’re driving at night, you should drive with caution as kangaroos are known to jump out in front of the car.
Wombats, wild brumbies, wild horses, rabbits, and eagles are also found in the area. The wild brumbies are simply beautiful to see out in the wild.
Wildlife Tip: Always bring a snake kit and a first aid kit with you while hiking at Kosciuszko
Camping at Kosciuszko National Park
There are lots of camping options inside the national park, but you need to have a reservation to camp. Camping inside the park is free, and there’s a $6 booking fee. Rooftop tenting and tents are popular in Australia as well as Caravan camping. Most of the campsites inside the park are off-grid, so you need to be self-contained.
Another camping option is Blue Waterholes Campground, located a little north of the national park. It’s a gorgeous area with gorges and beautiful hiking spots.
There are also lodges (glamping) and huts available throughout the park, but they are more expensive and are maintained by the national park. Caravan parks and outside lodging can be found near the park in the surrounding cities.
Do Not Miss Moment at Kosciuszko National Park
If you were to go to the park for just one day, the TOP thing you should see and do at Kosciuszko would be to drive to Thredbo, take the chair lift up to Eagle’s Nest, and then walk the 13k route to the rooftop of Australia – the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko. Just knowing that you are on top of Australia and seeing all the mountain ranges surrounding you is just amazing!
TIP: When you walk up, always look back. The view behind you is just as spectacular as the ones in front of you.
About Our Featured Guest:
Maike is a German ex-pat who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her family. Her parents instilled a love for the outdoors in her, and now that she has her own family on the other side of the world, they can be found hiking and wild swimming as often as they can. They share their travels on their Instagram page – @familytripfever.
National Trippers Podcast
Did you know we also have a podcast all about Kosciuszko National Park? Get ready for a deeper look into this incredible National Park!
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