Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest mountain. It is sometimes included as one of the Seven Summits, which are the highest mountain peaks on each continent.


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Earth Science, Geology, Geography, Physical Geography, Social Studies


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.

Photograph by Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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.

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.

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Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
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Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
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Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Roza Kavak
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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