At 690,000 hectares, Kosciuszko National Park is the state’s largest and attracts over 3 million visitors each year. It stretches 150km from the Victorian border in the south, to west of the ACT’s Namadji National Park. It is named after Mt Kosciuszko which is Australia’s highest mountain at 2228m. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as it is home to flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world.

The indigenous Ngarigo people have lived in the area around Tar-gan-gal (Mt Kosciuszko) for thousands of years and the high alpine was the site of important ceremonies that were attended by people from north east Victoria, south east NSW, and west of the divide. The mountains within the national park also form an important part of a complex network of ceremonial, song and story lines which run across the country.

the granote tors of the portal at sunset ramshead range

‘The Portal’ in the Ramshead Range near Thredbo

The majority of the assets of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme are found within the park, though only 2% of the infrastructure is visible above ground! The building of ‘The Scheme’ commenced in 1949 and finished in 1974. Over 100,000 workers from over 30 countries contributed to this massive engineering feat, designed to divert water west of the mountains for irrigation, while at the same time producing hydroelectricity.

tumut 3 power station from the air

Tumut 3 Power Station at Talbingo

In April 1944, the ‘National Chase Snowy Mountains’ became Kosciusko State Park, and in November of that year, the Sydney Morning Herald suggested that “Treated imaginatively, this magnificent stretch of unspoilt mountain country may conceivably become, after the war, Australia’s greatest open-air playground for the recreation of the people.” And so it did.

circa 1960 two women looking at a thredbo trail map

For the first time since the 1860s, strict limits were placed on how many sheep and cattle could be grazed on the snow leases, and during what time of year. Grazing above 1370m was outlawed in 1958, and by 1972, all grazing in the park had been phased out. The park was declared a national park in 1967, and under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974, all land, flora, fauna and culture is now protected.

The Coroboree Frog grows to a maximum of 3cm

The Kosciuszko National Park is home to Australia’s highest town of Cabramurra, the headwaters of the mighty Snowy and Murray Rivers, all four ski resorts of NSW, six wilderness areas, many historic huts, ancient indigenous culture, Australia’s only glacial lakes (of which there are five), Australia’s 10 highest peaks, limestone caves and gorges, Snowpatch and Windswept Feldmark, the Mountain Pygmy Possum, the Corroboree Frog, the Alpine Tree Frog and the Anemone Buttercup.

It truly is a unique and special place.

 

Come and experience the majesty of Kosciuszko National Park for yourself on an intimate, small group tour with Gang Gang Tours.

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References:
theaustralianalps.wordpress.com/the-alps-partnership/the-parks/kosciuszko-national-park
trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/17926115
blog.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/the-national-parks-and-wildlife-act
www.environment.gov.au
visitnsw.com
australianalpineclub.com