Mount Kosciuszko is located in the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales. With a height of 2,228 metres (7,309 ft) above sea level, it is the highest peak on the Australian continent. It was named by the Polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of the Polish national hero and hero of the American Revolutionary War General Tadeusz Kościuszko, because of its perceived resemblance to the Kościuszko Mound in Kraków.
The name of the mountain was previously “Mount Kosciusko”, an Anglicisation, but the spelling “Mount Kosciuszko” was officially adopted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales.
Various measurements of the peak originally called Kosciuszko showed it to be slightly lower than its neighbour, Mount Townsend. The names of the mountains were swapped by the New South Wales Lands Department, so that Mount Kosciuszko remains the name of the highest peak of Australia, and Mount Townsend ranks as second. The 1863 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 Mount Townsend.
2228m / 7,309ft
Completed Feb 2010
There is some controversy over what constitutes the highest on the Australian continent. If considering all of Oceania as a continent (which it technically is not), Mount Kosciuszko is overshadowed by Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia, also called Carstensz Pyramid. Different versions of the Seven Summits climbing challenge (Bass vs Messner) depend on which is chosen to be the “Australia” peak.