Once the snows have melted, hikers take over the hills, with the main hiking season running from December through to April or May. Some of Australia’s most interesting and beautiful bushwalking tracks pass through the area. Initially you might find yourself between beautiful snow gums with multicoloured bark in greens and yellows, before climbing up to the barren tops. Thredbo’s Kosciuszko Express chairlift carries you 560m up to the Eagles Nest restaurant, giving easy access to hiking in the high country. You can book guided walks through thredbo.com.au.
MT Kosciuszko Summit This relatively gentle hike (13km return; 4–6hr; 300m ascent) starts at the top of the chairlift on the edge of a high plateau. The altitude here will have you struggling to catch your breath, it can be -5ºC even in summer, so check conditions at the bottom. Views are particularly panoramic from Kosciuszko Lookout (after 2km), from where Australia’s highest peak seems barely higher than the surrounding country. A guided sunset walk can be arranged (thredbo.com.au).
Main Range Walk Perhaps the best hike in the park (32km loop; 8–10hr; 600m ascent), this starts from the top of the chairlift and follows the Kosciuszko Summit track, then skirts a beautiful glacial lake before dropping down to Charlotte Pass ski resort and looping back via the stone Seaman’s Hut. If undertaking this walk, a topographical map and a compass are required.
Merritts Nature Track A picturesque alternative to riding the Kosciuszko Express chairlift. Best done downhill, unless you relish the slog (4km one way; 2–3hr; 560m ascent).