The 10 Highest Mountains in Australia

November 15, 2023

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Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia

Australia is the flattest continent on Earth. Its terrain is mostly low plateau, consisting of deserts and grazeland for animals. The country does have some mountain ranges, though, the largest being the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps, both of which form part of the Great Dividing Range. The Great Dividing Range is a chain of mountain ranges that runs parallel to the east coast of Australia. It is the world’s fifth-longest mountain chain on land and the longest that lies in just one country.

Interestingly, the ten highest mountains in Australia are all in the Snowy Mountain Range, in Kosciuszko National Park in the state of New South Wales. Continue reading to find out what these mountains are.

1. Mount Kosciuszko

Height: 2,228 m | 7,310 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
State: New South Wales

The highest mountain in Australia is Mount Kosciuszko, which is 2,228 meters (7,310 feet) tall. This is relatively low compared to the highest mountains on other continents.

Like all of the mountains on this list, Mount Kosciuszko forms part of the Snowy Mountains range (which itself forms part of the Australian Alps mountain range) and is located in the Kosciuszko National Park. The park is home to the Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, and Perisher ski resorts, and many skiers and snowboarders visit from the nearby cities of Sydney and Canberra.

Every December, the Coast to Kosciuszko 240-kilometer ultra run takes place from the coastal town of Twofold Bay in the South Coast region of New South Wales and ascends to the top of Mount Kosciuszko. The mountain is also included in the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, which takes in the tallest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.

Those who prefer to ascend the mountain at a more leisurely pace can take a chairlift up most of the way and hike just six kilometers to reach the peak. Even if you bypass the chairlift, climbing the mountain only takes a few hours, and even inexperienced hikers can manage it.

Technically, Mount Kosciuszko is not Australia’s highest peak. That award goes to Mawson Peak on Australia’s Heard Island, which is located off the coast of Antarctica. It measures 2,745 meters (9,006 feet) high.

2. Mount Townsend

Height: 2,209 m | 7,247 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

The second-highest mountain in Australia is Mount Townsend, with an elevation of 2,209 meters (7,247 feet). 

It is situated 3.68 kilometers (2.29 miles) north of Mount Kosciuszko and is only slightly shorter than its Snowy Mountain neighbor.

Both mountains are relatively easy to climb, but Townsend is harder to access, and its peak is more craggy than the round top of Mount Kosciuszko. With Kosciuszko being so easy and accessible, some climbers have started carrying rocks to the top of Mount Townsend in an attempt to make it the taller of the two mountains.

Interestingly, Mount Townsend was originally named Mount Kosciuszko, and Mount Kosciuszko was named Mount Townsend. The original Mount Kosciuszko was mistakenly documented as Australia’s highest mountain by Polish explorer Pawel Edmund Strzelecki. When the mistake was realized in the late 19th century, the Australian government swapped the names of the mountains around so that Mount Kosciuszko remained the tallest!

3. Mount Twynam

Height: 2,195 m | 7,201 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

In third place on the list of the ten highest mountains in Australia is Mount Twynam, at 2,195 meters (7,201 feet) tall.

Located eight kilometers (five miles) northeast of Mount Kosciuszko, Twynam drains rainfall and melted snow into the Geehi River to the northwest and the Snowy River to the southeast.

This large mountain is easily accessible by track and has spectacular views over Blue Lake Cirque and the Western Falls, but despite this, it sees relatively few visitors.

4. Rams Head

Height: 2,190 m | 7,185 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

At 2,190 meters (7,185 feet) tall, Rams Head is the fourth-highest mountain in Australia. 

Situated south of Mount Kosciuszko in the Rams Head Range of the Snowy Mountains, its summit provides impressive views of the Main Range, of which many of the mountains on this list form a part.

In the summer, Rams Head Mountain is popular with hikers, while in the winter, its snow attracts off-piste skiers.

5. Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge

Height: 2,180 m | 7,152 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

With a height of 2,180 meters (7,152 feet), this unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge is mainland Australia’s fifth-tallest mountain.

There’s not much information available about this mountain, other than the fact it is located close to the South Rams Head — a little-known but decent skiing destination in the Rams Head Range. 

6. Rams Head North

Height: 2,177 m | 7,142 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

The sixth-highest mountain in Australia is Rams Head North. It has a high point of 2,177 meters (7,142 feet).

Another mountain that’s part of the Rams Head Range, Rams Head North is located about three kilometers (1.9 miles) from Mount Kosciuszko.

7. Alice Rawson Peak

Height: 2,160 m | 7,087 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

Alice Rawson Peak has an elevation of 2,160 meters (7,087 feet) above sea level, making it the seventh-highest mountain in Australia.

It is located close to the Race Course Gully locality and the freeride skiing route Avalanche Alley.

8. Unnamed peak southwest of Abbott Peak

Height: 2,159 m | 7,083 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

Taking the eighth spot on the ten highest mountains in Australia list is another unnamed peak, with a high point of 2,159 meters (7,083 feet).

9. Abbott Peak and Carruthers Peak

Height: 2,145 m | 7,037 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

In ninth place are Abbott Peak and Carruthers Peak, both of which measure 2,145 meters (7,037 feet).

Abbott Peak is located opposite Mount Townsend, close to Byatts Camp and the Wilkinsons Cirque locality. At certain times of year, ascending the mountain’s summit is more challenging than it is with neighboring peaks due to ice and snow.

Carruthers Peak can be found between Mount Twynam and Mount Lee in an area that contains rare plant growth due to an extensive program of vegetation rehabilitation. Thanks to the Main Range Walking Track trail that leads to the summit, the mountain is easily accessible.

10. Mount Northcote

Height: 2,131 m | 6,991 ft
Mountain range: Snowy Mountains
Country: New South Wales

Rounding off the list of mainland Australia’s ten highest mountains is Mount Northcote, at a height of 2,131 meters (6,991 feet).

It can be found close to the Grand Stand locality and the glacial lake of Albina Cirque.

Overview: Highest Mountains in Australia

RankMountainHeight (m)Heigh (ft)
1Mount Kosciuszko2,228
2Mount Townsend2,209
3Mount Twynam2,195
4Rams Head2,190
5Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge2,180
6Rams Head North2,177
7Alice Rawson Peak2,160
8Unnamed peak southwest of Abbott Peak2,159
9Abbott Peak and Carruthers Peak2,145
10Mount Northcote2,131

The Aussie 10 Peaks

The Aussie 10 Peaks is a popular mountain trek that takes in all but one of the mountains on this list. In height order, the Aussie 10 Peaks are:

  1. Mount Kosciuszko
  2. Mount Townsend
  3. Mount Twynam
  4. Rams Head
  5. Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge
  6. Rams Head North Peak
  7. Alice Rawson Peak
  8. Unnamed peak southwest of Abbot Peak
  9. Abbot Peak
  10. Carruthers Peak

As you can see from the bullet list above, the only mountain that doesn’t feature is Mount Northcote. This is because Abbot Peak and Carruthers Peak are the same height.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Australia’s terrain is largely flat, and because its tallest mountain is four times smaller than the world’s highest mountains, hiking the Aussie 10 Peaks isn’t overly challenging, and you do not need to be an experienced mountaineer. That said, you will need a reasonable degree of fitness, as the trek usually takes place over four days, meaning you will need to be able to hike for a few hours a day. There’s also the possibility that you will be required to camp in snowy conditions, so you will need a good endurance level, too.

World Meters