When it comes to verticality, Australia can’t really compete with some of the world’s craggier continents. Despite this, there are several peaks, nestled into World Heritage sites across the country, which offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. Since they’re not quite so tall as those you’ll find in the Himalayas, these mountains can be conquered quite easily by a sufficiently determined hiker.
Some of the mountains in question remains sacred to the country’s native aboriginal peoples, and so you’ll want to check in advance before embarking on your hike with the relevant national park authority.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Australia is a truly enormous country, and that it’s home to a great diversity of landscape. The flatlands stretch for many hundreds of miles without encountering the mountains, which tend to be concentrated in a few choice areas. If you’re staying in New South Wales, then you’ll be within just a short distance of the Snowy Mountains region – where almost every entry to this list can be found. Alternatively, you might venture a little further southward into Victoria, where the Great Dividing Range spreads a little further to form the Victorian alps.
If you’re a determined hiker, then moving to this part of the world on a more permanent basis might seem an attractive move. Fortunately, moving to Australia isn’t as difficult as it might at first seem. If you’re already involved with an Australian, the best route is likely to pursue spouse visas for Australia citizenship.
You’ll find this mountain on the main range of the Snowy mountains, in a national park in New South Wales which shares the name of the mountain. The area draws its name from a polish explorer named Pawel Strzelecki, who named it after Tadeusz Kosciuszko in 1840. It’s a mountain whose official spelling has been changed recently, with the ‘z’ having been officially adopted in 1997.
If you’re looking to go skiing in Australia, then this is the part of the country in which to do it. Though there are higher peaks within the territory claimed by Australia, this is the tallest one on the continent.
Mount Townsend is located in the Snowy Mountains also, just a couple of miles to the north of Kosciuszko. While the peak of the mountain is lower than that of its neighbour, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, as it’s far craggier and pointed than Kosciuszko’s rounded summit. It’ll take a little hiking experience to get to the very top of it, but it’s more than achievable without being an expert hiker.
This is another member of the same range, and third tallest mountain in the country. It’s to be found very near to the border with Victoria. Despite its impressive size, the mountain is not that spectacular to look at, with a rounded summit. It offers excellent views over nearby lakes and waterfalls, but is rarely visited by hikers.
It’s debateable whether this is a mountain at all, rather than a range of them. The Ramshead Range spreads across a considerable distance, with just two of its peaks being accepted uncontroversial as fully-fledged mountaintops. The entire area is buried under a thick coating of powdery snow for much of the year, and thus is favoured by skiiers. With that said, the slopes here aren’t quite steep enough for downhill skiing, and so much of the skiing done here is of the cross-country variety.
To find this mountain you’ll need to venture just a little further south into Victoria, in the Victoria Alps. It’s a popular mountain for skiers, but offers snow enough only for a few months of the year. The source of the name is a little unclear, though we do know that it’s derived from aboringine languages, and that it’s probably named after an insect native to the region. The lower slopes of the mountain are covered in eucalyptus trees, which gives way a little further up to harsher alpine shrubland.
The summit of the mountain offers spectacular views for those willing to climb it. There are several routes up the side, all of which involve a climb of around two-thousand feet. If you’re taking the more difficult ‘staircase spur’ route, then you’ll need to clamber over ten miles as well – much of it incredibly steep.