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Mount Kosciuszko, Australia

December 24th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Mount Kosciuszko, located in the Snowy Mountains, in Kosciuszko National Park, is the highest mountain in mainland Australia. It was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Strzelecki in 1840 in honour of the Polish-Lithuanian national hero General Tadeusz Kościuszko.

It was formerly spelled "Mount Kosciusko", an anglicisation; but the version "Mount Kosciuszko" was officially adopted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board of NSW. It should also be noted that the common Australian pronunciation of Kosciuszko, "kozzy-osko" or ˈkɔziˌɔskoʊ (IPA), is quite different from the pronunciation in Polish, "kosh-CHOOSH-ko" or ˈkoɕˈtɕuʃko.

Various measurements of the peak originally called by that name showed it to be slightly lower than its neighbour, Mount Townsend, and the names were thereupon transposed by the New South Wales Lands Department, so that Mount Kosciusko still remains the highest peak of Australia, and Mount Townsend ranks as second . The picture by Eugene von Guerard hanging in the National Gallery of Australia titled "Northeast view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko" is actually from Mt Townsend.

Like many of Australia's highest peaks, Mount Kosciuszko is not particularly difficult to climb. There is a road to Charlotte Pass, from which it is a seven kilometre walk up a path to the summit. Anybody with a modest level of fitness should be able to climb it. Until 1976 the road was open to motor vehicles and it was possible to drive close to the summit.

The peak may also be approached from Thredbo, which is a slightly longer but not very difficult walk and is supported by a chairlift ride year round. From the top of the chairlift there is a raised walkway to protect the native vegetation. Kosciuszko National Park is also the location of the closest downhill ski slopes to Canberra and Sydney, containing the Thredbo and Perisher Blue ski resorts. Mount Kosciuszko may have been ascended by Indigenous Australians long before the first recorded ascent by Europeans.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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