Last updated:7 June 2023
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
|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|
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
|New South Wales||Mt Kosciuszko||2228|
|Australian Capital Territory||Bimberi Peak||1912|
|Queensland||Bartle Frere (South Peak)||1611|
|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
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.
There is more information for those wishing to visit our highest mountains on Geoscience Australia's Australian Alps Tourist Map.
The Victorian Alps
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
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 82E 56S, 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.