Cross three states, four national parks and some of Australia's highest peaks on this tough long-distance walk. The trail follows the crest of the Australian Alps for 65km, from Walhalla in Victoria to Tharwa just south of Canberra. Wind up and down the Baw Baw Plateau, Mt Howitt, the Bogong High Plains and the Cobberras in Victoria. Traverse the rugged mountains of Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales and the rocky wilderness of Namadgi National Park near Canberra. Pitch your tent in the wilderness, stay in camping grounds, historic huts or alpine resorts close to the track. Do day treks or combine shorter, more manageable sections of the trail. The end-to-end walk takes about 50 to 60 days and is strictly for the intrepid traveller.
Day and multi-day walks
Walhalla to Mount Hotham
The track starts (or finishes) at the old gold mining township of Walhalla in Baw Baw National Park. From here, you can choose from many day and multi-day day hikes through dense forests, snowy woodlands and alpine heathlands. Climb 1,100 metres to the top of Mt Erica, watching the cliques of plants change with altitude. There are tall, elegant mountain ash trees at the bottom, tree ferns and myrtle beech huddled in conversation, then snow gum forests and alpine bushland on the Baw Baw Plateau. For truly rugged trekking, you can do the four day walk from Mt Howitt through the Razor Viking area to the Viking Saddle. The names tell the story of this terrain: Mt Buggery, Mt Despair, Horrible Gap and the Terrible Hollow. Don’t attempt this trail without plenty of preparation. Water is scarce and after Mt Despair, the track is unmarked. A gentler hike takes you from Macalister Springs to Mount Howitt for panoramic views over Mounts Buller, Stirling and Buffalo, the Razor and Viking and the peaks of the Bogong High Plains.
Mount Hotham to Thredbo
Tighten your laces for Victoria’s highest mountain ranges in the Bogong High Plains. Walk in the footsteps of bygone bushmen on a half-day heritage walk to the Wallace and Cope Huts. Cattlemen built Wallace Hut in 1889, and it’s thought to be the oldest in the high plains. Travel from Hotham to Mount Feathertop, treading above the treeline on the dramatic Razorback Ridge. Or do a return hike up the unforgiving slopes of Mount Bogong – Victoria’s highest mountain - across Mountain Creek. Climb through a forest of peppermint gums, rest at Bivouac Hut, then pull yourself through snow gums and alpine scrub up on to the summit plain. Further along, the picturesque town of Omeo is also a popular starting point for bushwalks along the track. Climb to the rocky granite top of Mount Wills past snow gums and fragrant herbfields on a scenic 6 km loop. Follow the historic Harrington’s Track for 20 km along the Murray River from Tom Groggin to Bunroy Station. Meander along bush tracks to the tranquil mountain retreat of Glen Wills, once a gold mining boom town. See the Pioneer Mine that was the state’s largest open cut gold mine between 1859 and 1913. Or do the short walks from Taylor’s Crossing along the shady banks of the Mitta Mitta River.
Thredbo to Canberra
This section spans the towering, treeless mountains of Main Range in Kosciuszko National Park. That includes Mount Kosciuszko, which at 2,228m, is Australia’s tallest peak. Climb to the summit from Charlotte Pass, taking in glacial lakes, glorious wildflowers and sumptuous views of the valleys and ranges beneath. You’ll pass rare alpine plants and a rich diversity of wildlife. Stop at the saddle between Carruthers Peak and Mt Twynam, you can stare over forested ridges to Mt Sentinel and Watsons Crags in the distance. Further north, near the old gold mining settlement of Kiandra, you can immerse yourself in history on the Kiandra Heritage Trail and Gold Seekers Track. Or do the easy, scenic 10 km return trip to Four Mile Hut. North of Kiandra, the trail takes you over the Gurrangorambla Range and to cave-hollowed Cooleman Plain. See the Blue Waterholes and the dramatic waterfalls along Cave Creek. Another popular starting point for day and overnight walks is the track’s northernmost point in Namadgi National Park. Climb 4km to Mount Tennent for views to Canberra in the north, the Brindabellas in the west and the Alps in the south. From here it’s a 9km trek to Booroomba Rocks carpark or 4km to Honeysuckle campground. If you’re coming over Mt Tennent from the south, just remember the descent is long and tiring.
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The Australian Alps cross three states - New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.
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