Returning to the Eagle’s Nest

Mt Kosciuszko, N.S.W.

Posted by Patrick Melon
1 day hike

This is a fairly easy hike, but not one to be missed. You climb Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, standing tall at 2228 m (7310 feet) above sea level. It was named in 1840 by the Polish explorer Strzelecki after a Polish – Lithuanian freedom fighter Tadeusz Kościuszko.

PS I realise this is not Victoria but I can’t be bothered creating a NSW hike page

The guidebooks rate this as Grade 3, only for the length (13 km). But for families with active children on a nice summer’s day it is well within their capability. It is very exposed, so you wouldn’t want to be anywhere on the tops in bad weather. I checked the forecast before making hotel reservations in Thredbo to ensure we got the best experience possible. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the Kosciuszko National Park is subject to fire danger. So it’s always best to consult the National Park website for the latest updates on road closures, fires or other alerts.

Thredbo Ski lift

15 minutes to the top and a rise of 560 vertical metres (1837 feet)

I suppose if you were really lazy and wanted to get a feel of what this walk was like during winter you could always consult the Mount Kosciuszko site walk which has been filmed with Google Street view trekker.  This gives a fabulous view of walking in the snow to the summit. Google Street View Trekker

We took the Conquer Kozzie package which is for two people. It includes a night in one of Thredbo’s best hotels, a cooked breakfast (or continental), and a day lift pass. Entry into Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales was $17 a day for the car. I did notice a Park ranger checking all of the cars in the hotel car park in the morning for the appropriate sticker.

The ski lift is only a couple of hundred metres walk from the hotel. We were there before the lift opened and watched with interest as the chairs were arranged and the ski lift commenced its operation for the day. The views on the way up are terrific to say the least with the morning air fresh and the promise of sunshine and warmth even at 6000 feet. The only sounds were from the lift cables and birdsong.

At the top of the lift there is a restaurant and toilets. We took sufficient water for the day and decided to stop at the restaurant for a light meal on the way back.

The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant

The path itself is well signposted and consist mainly of sheets of steel grill to protect the delicate Alpine flora. The gradient is not steep and where it does climb there are steps.

The first point of interest is the Kosciuszko lookout after about an hour. For those unwilling to make the rest of the walk, here is an opportunity to have your photo taken with Mount Kosciuszko in the background before returning to the Eagles Nest restaurant.

Mt Kosciuszko Lookout

Path up to Rawson’s Pass

The next point of interest is the Rawson Pass. Parks have provided shelters and toilets here. From here it is only about 40 minutes or so to the summit itself.

Rawson’s Pass sign

Even in summer, snow still lies in high places and we met one family from Queensland whose children hadn’t ever seen snow before.

Snow Daises

Summit of Kosciuszko

Return Hike

Cloud began to build up on the return journey. But there was no rain in the forecast period.

The Eagles Nest restaurant was great. Fantastic views if you can get a table by the window. The return trip back down the mountain gives panoramic views of the area and the village of Thredbo.

Eagle’s Nest

Australia’s Highest Restaurant (good food as well)

Thredbo Valley