Snowies Iconic Walk

Walking across Australia's roof.

Walkers on Porcupine track with purple wildlflowers in the foreground, Perisher, Kosciuszko National ParkThe Snowies Iconic Walk project proposes a world class, multi-day trek across the alpine roof of Australia, in Kosciuszko National Park.

Featuring remote days and comfortable nights, the 44 kilometre walk will extend existing walks across the park’s spectacular alpine area to link the resorts of Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Guthega, Perisher and Lake Crackenback. The walk will also cross over the summit of Mount Kosciuszko.

The walk has great potential to become a landmark ‘must-do’ experience for both domestic and international tourist markets.

What the project involves

The Snowies Iconic Walk concept aims to showcase the unique alpine ecosystems and breathtaking views of the Kosciuszko summit precinct and provide better experiences for visitors. It arose from a need to better disperse visitors to reduce overcrowding issues around Rawson Pass and the summit of Mt Kosciuszko and to provide a diversity of walking experiences. The concept reflects the vision for Kosciuszko National Park to be recognised as the premier destination for walking in Australia, with world class sustainable facilities that protect the alpine environment, as outlined in the draft Kosciuszko summit precinct walking tracks strategy.

This project involves linking existing resorts, accommodation and services at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Guthega, Perisher and Lake Crackenback with the existing Main Range and Summit walking trails to provide a 44km, 4-day hiking experience.

The work includes 25km of new walking track and realignment of existing tracks to protect threatened alpine grasses. Each track section is approximately 10–15 kilometres long. Walkers can choose to do any section of the track as single day walks or longer overnight walks.

This iconic walk has been awarded $17 million funding by the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund, funded through Restart NSW, that provides funding for infrastructure that supports regional economic growth, creates local employment opportunities, and drives growth in the visitor economy.

Three sections of new track are planned to complement the existing tracks around Mount Kosciuszko and Main Range – Guthega to Charlotte Pass, Charlotte Pass to Perisher via Porcupine Rocks and Perisher to Bullocks Flat. After detailed analysis of several route options, the final alignment was selected to maximise the visitor experience of each route, minimise environmental impacts and ensure construction costs fit the project budget.

Snowies Iconic Walk

The Snowies Iconic Walk will be delivered in stages over a four-year period with final completion in 2022. The first stage of construction is currently underway, with works to redirect an existing section of track near Mt Lee to avoid ecologically sensitive feldmark plant communities.

The Snowies Iconic Walk concept identifies and addresses a need for high-calibre non-winter tourism experiences that will significantly boost summer visitation to the park and stimulate economic growth in the region. When complete, these new tracks will put Kosciuszko National Park and the wider Snowy Region firmly on the domestic and international tourism map and improve year-round employment stability.

This walk will broaden access to this beautiful part of the world, strengthen the appeal of NSW as a walking destination and provide opportunities for a more diverse range of visitors to enjoy our spectacular national parks.

Our national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. This includes providing visitor experiences and, where appropriate, new visitor facilities including tracks and trails.

We are conducting independent environmental assessments to examine the significance of any likely environmental impacts of the proposal and will consider measures required to mitigate any impacts to the environment. This highlights the need to ensure public visitation and enjoyment is compatible with the protection of conservation values.

The proposed project will undergo further detailed design and assessment to ensure compliance with the park’s plan of management and conservation management plans. Stringent environmental, cultural heritage and cost-benefit assessments, involving our staff, key stakeholders and other experts, will ensure the project meets environmental, cultural and economic aspirations.

The proposed Snowies Iconic Walk will deliver an exceptional walk through spectacular alpine wilderness across the highest peaks in Australia.

Interpretation through innovative storytelling is one of the most effective ways to enhance multi-day walking experiences. Developing rich and engaging interpretation will be a key focus of the project, with the aim of immersing walkers in the landscape to create a strong connection and sense of place. The walk will respect the park’s natural and cultural values and the area’s remote alpine settings.

Effective community and stakeholder engagement is critical to the success of this project. NPWS will engage with stakeholders and interested community members in a meaningful and timely way. Those interested in the project are invited to register their interest and receive regular updates on the project.

Updates June 2020

Spring 2019 saw many of the planning elements for the Snowies Iconic Walk completed and approved. We hope you enjoy this update.

  • 17 Jun 2020

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