Australia is one of the most diverse and beautiful continents on the planet, with a range of climates and geographical interests throughout the land. While mountains may not be the first thing you think of in Australia, there are some interesting mountains that you can tackle here Down Under.
The mountains may not be the highest, but what makes them stand out from the crowd is the beautiful scenery you’ll pass through and experience at the top. Due to a combination of the routes and the temperatures experienced in Australia, a number are also quite physically challenging.
If you want to be impressed by the beauty of nature, and be physically and mentally challenged, in no particular order; here are ten top Australian mountains to climb.
Mt Barney, QLD (1,351m)
This is the 2nd highest mountain in the Southeast Queensland. It is located in Mt Barney National Park. Mt Barney has multiple routes up the two granophyre peaks.
The routes are minimally marked, and some are unmarked, so good experience in bushwalking, as well as navigation skills, is needed to tackle these. You can hire guides to ensure you stay safe.
Mt Barney National Park is connected with the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Site.
Mt Feathertop, VIC (1,922m)
Only three access tracks lead to the second highest peak in Victoria.
Mt Feathertop’s most popular and prominent access track is an 11 km one-way approach – The Bungalow Spur.
As the mountain is in alpine country, treat the hike with respect as the weather can change quickly and without warning. Always make sure you carry a compass, map, warm clothing, food, water, and tell people of your route before you head out.
Mt Kosciuszko, NSW (2,228m)
Termed the highest mountain in Australia (if you don’t class Mt McClintock at 3,490m in the Australian Antarctic Territory), and quite possibly one of the only highest continental summits that you can reach via a chairlift!
Situated in Kosciuszko National Park, there are a number of routes to get up Kosciuszko. Probably the most known are the Main Range circuit, which brings together the summit walk as well as Main Range track in the park.
The summit is likely to be covered in snow from around May to October, so again take the necessary precautions.
Bishop and Clerk, TAS (630m)
This mountain is named after its two dolerite peaks, looking like a mitre-clad bishop and a clergy.
It isn’t the highest by any means, but the view, wildlife, and bushland surrounding this area are very impressive.
Great care must be taken to get to the summit, as there are sheer drops at every turn on the final ascent, but as said the views across the Tasman towards the Freycinet Peninsula, Schouten Island and the mainland are stunning.
St. Mary Peak, SA (1,171m)
The hike to St Mary can take up to 9 hours but provides a 360-degree panorama of the ranges, neighbouring plains as well as salt lakes – so it is worth the effort.
Climbing is tough, and the return walk is about 18km which starts from Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.
If you wish to respect the wishes of the traditional owners of the area, the Adnyamathanha, then stop at Tanderra Saddle on the ridge of the peak, about 1.5km short of the summit.
Walshs Pyramid, QLD (922m)
Located in Queensland and 922m high, with a name like this you’d expect it to be shaped like a pyramid – and it is! It is the focal point of the Great Annual Pyramid Race, held yearly. Competitors run to the summit and back from neighbouring Gordonvale.
The return summit walk is 6kms, and tough, largely due to the lack of shade and the challenging terrain.
Once at the top, though, you will have views over Gordonvale, sugarcane fields and the surrounding hills.
Frenchmans Cap, TAS (1,446m)
At the height of 1,446m, Frenchmans Cap is situated in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
This track is considered to be quite challenging hence it is only ideal for experienced hikers.
Walking up to the impressive white quartzite peak will take you through rainforests and glacial valleys.
At a distance of 25km (one-way), this hike is usually done over a few days.
Bluff Knoll, WA (1,99m)
You will need 3 to 4 hours to complete this impressive peak via the prominent trail.
If you do the hike between the months of September and October, you will have a view of enchanting and glorious wildflowers.
Also, expect more beautiful flowers between the months of November and January through the higher altitude areas.
Federation Peak, TAS (1,224m)
Federation Peak is commonly referred to as one of Australia’s most classic and challenging bushwalks.
Not for the faint-hearted, this mountain will test your calibre. There are multiple routes that will take you to the top, most taking several days.
Some hikers that lack the climbing gear prefer the exposed Direct Ascent which starts at the peak`s Southern traverse.
Mt Warning, NSW (1,156m)
Mt Warning, in Wollumbin National Park, boasts a steady procession of hikers and walkers to its summit.
The Mountain is a remnant of a central vent from an ancient volcano and will take around 5hrs for the return trip over 9km.
The final section is the toughest, a scramble up a steep rocky slope, assisted with a chain. But the hike is worth it, as you get views of both the coast and ancient sub-tropical rainforests.
Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Cairns Attractions, TasTrails and Flickr