Mount Kosciuszko is the tallest mountain peak in mainland Australia at 2,228 meters (7,310 feet) tall. It is located in the state of New South Wales, in the southeastern part of the country. It is not technically Australia’s largest peak, because a volcano (Mawson Peak) on the Australian-owned Heard Island off the coast of Antarctica is taller. While Mawson Peak is politically part of Australia, geographically it is considered to be “sub-Antarctica.”

Mount Kosciuszko was named by Polish explorer Paul Strzelecki in 1840 after Polish cultural and political hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. It is part of the Kosciuszko National Park, which includes other peaks in the Australian Alps mountain range. Recently, Indigenous Australian groups have pushed for the use of an Indigenous Australian name for the mountain, to go alongside the colonial European name.

The mountain is sometimes included as part of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, in which mountain climbers summit the tallest mountain on every continent. There is some controversy over whether Mount Kosciuszko or Indonesia’s Puncak Jaya should be the seventh mountain. This debate comes from the geographical definition of the continent of Australia/Oceania. Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain on Australia, however, when taking into account all of Oceania, Puncak Jaya in Indonesia is technically the higher mountain. Many climbers climb both mountains to cover all bases.

Compared to climbing the other Seven Summits, climbing Mount Kosciuszko is relatively easy. There is a chair lift that takes hikers up most of the way, at which point they only have to walk 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to reach the peak. The hike can be completed in a few hours. Hikers of various skill take on the mountain.

 

Mount Kosciuszko

Located in the southeast of the country, Mount Kosciuszko is the tallest mountain peak in mainland Australia at 2,228 meters (7,310 feet) tall.

alpine
Adjective

having to do with mountains.

colonialism
Noun

type of government where a geographic area is ruled by a foreign power.

Adjective

characteristic to or of a specific place.

mountain
Noun

landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.

Oceania
Noun

region including island groups in the South Pacific.

Noun

an opening in the Earth's crust, through which lava, ash, and gases erupt, and also the cone built by eruptions.