Australian Government, Geoscience Australia

Updated: 11 March 2004

Highest Mountains

The highest mountains on the Australian mainland are in an area known as the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, part of the Great Dividing Range which separates the central lowlands from the eastern highlands.

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Mainland Australia's Ten Highest Mountains

NAME HEIGHT (m)
Mount Kosciuszko 2228
Mount Townsend 2209
Mount Twynam 2195
Rams Head 2190
Unnamed peak on Etheridge Ridge 2180
Rams Head North 2177
Alice Rawson Peak 2160
Unnamed peak south-west of Abbott Peak 2159
Abbott Peak and Carruthers Peak 2145
Mt Northcote 2131

Note: In producing a list of highest mountains, there is always subjective debate over what should and should not be included. Some peaks may have local names that are unknown to state authorities or map producers. Often questions arise as to whether a peak is a separate mountain or part of a ridge. To see for yourself, the peaks named above can be found on the 8525-2S Perisher Valley 1:25,000 topographic map from Land and Property Information (LPI), New South Wales.

Source: Geoscience Australia National Geodetic database, 1993, combined with the National Gazetteer of Australia.


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Highest Mountain by State/Territory

STATE/TERRITORY NAME HEIGHT (m)
New South Wales Mt Kosciuszko 2228
Victoria Mt Bogong 1986
Australian Capital Territory Bimberi Peak 1912
Queensland Bartle Frere (South Peak) 1622
Tasmania Mt Ossa 1617
Northern Territory Mt Zeil 1531
South Australia Mt Woodroffe 1435
Western Australia Mt Meharry 1253

Source: Geoscience Australia National Geodetic database, 1993.


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The Snowy Mountains

Towards Grey Mare Range, Snowy Mountains, NSWThis view across the Snowy Mountains shows typically undulating tablelands. By comparison, the Victorian Alps (below) feature a distinct height difference between ridge crests and adjacent valley floors.

The satellite image of the Snowy Mountains offers another perspective.

There is more information for those wishing to visit our highest mountains on Geoscience Australia's Australian Alps Tourist Map.


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The Victorian Alps

Towards Mt Hotham, Victoria. Photo by Doug May. Click for larger imageThe Victorian Alps are a mecca for bushwalking and horse-riding in the summer, and cross-country and downhill skiing in the winter. They contain Victoria's highest mountain, Mt Bogong, and other notable peaks including Mt Hotham, Mt Buffalo, Mt Cope, and Mt Baw Baw.

This larger, panoramic image shows the ridges and valleys typical of the Victorian Alps.


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Highest Mountains on External Territories

Photograph by Captain Percy Schlossberger, Qantas Airways, courtesy of Australian Antarctic DivisionIt is a little-known fact that the highest point on Australian territory is actually Mawson's Peak. Located on Heard Island, Mawson's Peak is 2745 metres high and forms the summit of an active volcano called Big Ben. Heard Island is well south of the Australian continent (73°30' East, 53°05' South), approaching the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. There are higher elevations and mountains in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

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