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The highest mountains on the Australian mainland are in the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales and the Victorian Alps which are part of the Great Dividing Range separating the central lowlands from the eastern highlands.

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.

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

Highest mountain by State and 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.

The Snowy Mountains

Looking towards the Grey Mare Range in the Snowy Mountains

Looking towards the Grey Mare
Range in the Snowy Mountains
© Geoscience Australia

This view across the Snowy Mountains shows typically undulating tablelands. By comparison, the Victorian Alps feature a distinct height difference between ridge crests and adjacent valley floors.

Another perspective of the Snowy Mountains region is revealed through a satellite image of the area.

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

The Victorian Alps

An aerial view towards Mt Hotham

An aerial view towards Mt Hotham
© Doug May

The Victorian Alps are a popular destination 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.

The expanded panorama of the image to the left shows the ridges and valleys which are typical of the landscape that make up the Victorian Alps.

Highest mountains on external territories

Big Ben with smoke emitting from the volcano vent

Big Ben with smoke emitting from
the volcano vent
© Australian Antarctic Division.

It is a little-known fact that the highest point on Australian territory is in the Australian Antarctic Territory. Topping the list is Mt McClintock in the eastern sector of the Territory at 3490 metres with Mt Menzies in the western sector a close second at 3355 metres, both considerably higher than Mount Koscuiszko at 2228 metres. Elevations in excess of 4000 metres exist in the western sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory in the vicinity of 82°E 56°S, although these are ice domes and generally not considered mountains, but the definition is frequently debated.

Another surpassing Mount Koscuiszko is Mawson's Peak on Heard Island, which is 2745 metres high and forms the summit of an active volcano called Big Ben.

Topic contact: education@ga.gov.au Last updated: April 6, 2011