The mountains of NSW
Chapter two of our remarkable hiking trails in Australia features the highest mountain in all of Australia and trails rich with history. Let us begin our journey by travelling up Mount Kosciuszko.
One of the best walks in the world is to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mainland peak in the beautiful NSW Snowy Mountains. This popular walk begins at Charlotte Pass and follows the Old Kosciuszko Road, as it winds through mountains, and then continues to the top of Kosciuszko. This 18.6km walk is filled with some of Australia’s highest mountains, historic huts such as the Seaman’s Hut, and enchanting snow gums.
This hike is great for beginners, with a chairlift that bypasses any actual difficult terrain and a raised metal walkway which runs the entire length of the walk. This means that your grandma would be able to sprint the length of this hike!
However, if you are interested in a more challenging experience, the Main Ridge Track via Charlottes Pass is the one for you. This track winds up and over mountains, skirts glacial lakes and lacks tourists you’ll think you’re miles away from anywhere.
Along the way, you will admire amazing displays of wildflowers including marsh marigolds, silver snow, daisies, mountain roses, and buttercups in the early summer. This walk is snowbound in winter, between June and October and would require cross-country skis or snowshoes, however, during Summer this is one of the most breathtaking trails you can explore.
You can even take a virtual tour of the summit walk by clicking here
Here are a few things you will want to make sure you bring with you:
- Appropriate Footwear
I recommend hiking-shoes that are worn-in, comfortable and resilient. If you are a beginner hiker I recommend our Trail Navman Low Cut Hike Shoe, with a hard wearing rubber outer sole, cushion midsole and durable suede upper mesh, this hiking shoe is recommended for any beginner.
- Rain Gear
Whether you are hiking in the summer or the winter, I would always suggest bringing a rain jacket just in cast. Hiking in gear that is insufficient for your chosen hike is a surefire way to ruin your hike. A lightweight, compact Rainbird Stowaway jacket will do just the trick. 100% waterproof and breathable and the ability to pack away into its own small carry bag. If you are looking for a jacket that’s much more heavy duty I would recommend the Blizzard Torrent Ladies Jacket or the Blizzard Thunder Mens Jacket. Both rated at 10,000mm waterproofness and 10,000mvp breathability, it’s so waterproof you will be able to swim in it. ;)
- First Aid Kit
Even though these are just short hikes, you would rather be safe than sorry. Blisters sprained ankles, sunburn, or snake bites can occur at any time. To treat any of these I recommend the Companion Adventure First Aid Kit, lightweight and packed with everything you need, this becomes a necessity on any of my hiking trips.
- Day pack/Backpack
I don’t have to explain how essential a backpack is, you need to able to carry your spare gear, water bottle, first-aid kit, map, compass etc. Your one-stop daypack I always travel with is the Caribee 32l Trek Day Pack. With a built-in rain cover, internal organiser, action back harness system and hydration pack compatible.
Next up we explore the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains on the winding Six Foot Track from Katoomba to the Jenolan Caves, a three day 44km walk. Immerse yourself in the land’s history as you walk through the Megalong Valley, passing the site of the last recorded Gundungurra corroboree (Aboriginal dance ceremony). Walk through state forests and the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park along the challenging 45km Six Foot Track.
The route follows an 1884 heritage horse track and can be broken into dry walks over three days, offering walkers changing landscapes of heath, woodlands and rainforest, passing cascading waterfalls and wild rivers into the Megalong Valley and village, before crossing a unique swing bridge, climbing the range, and arriving at Jenolan Caves.
At night, you can cook yourself up a substantial meal and enjoy some stargazing before falling asleep to the sounds of the bush. This is an exhilarating adventure not for the faint-hearted, pushing your mind and body through a rewarding journey.
You can check out a 360 view of the Emu Bridge here!
Blue Mountains Six Foot Track?
Here are a few essentials for your overnight adventure:
- Appropriate Footwear
For this intermediate hike, you will absolutely need shoes that will keep your feet and ankles from experiencing discomfort. If you want to be airlifted out of this hike, wear a low-cut shoe. If you want to experience the full adventure, a necessity would be Trail Softshell Mid Boot. Lightweight, waterproof, breathable and with a high ankle support (to keep you from rolling your ankle), this boot will let you Forest Gump across the county.
Choosing the right tent is imperative, you want to bring one that’s lightweight, sturdy and right for the conditions you will use it in. I highly recommend the Hi-Country Dargo Mk2. Weighing only 2.6kg, with packed dimensions of 46 x 15 x 12cm, this tent will fit in your backpack easily while also still having plenty of room for you to stretch out when you sleep.
- Sleeping Bag
For a sleeping bag, you are looking for something that’s lightweight and warm enough to survive the night. Every condition and hike is different, and your sleeping bag will have to reflect that condition.
I recommended the Hi-Country Lite Hiker -5. Versatile, lightweight, compact and perfect for travelling, with 2 layers of Maxi Loft fill to keep you warm whenever you are snuggled up in the sleeping bag.
- Extra Water, Extra Food
These multi-day hikes are not easy; you will want to make sure you have plenty of food and plenty of water. To save space, I always bring my Lifestraw Go Water Bottle, which incorporates filter technology into a durable, convenient bottle which filters at least 1,000 litres of water over its lifetime without requiring batteries.