Main Range Track - Charlotte Pass to Blue Lake
Ngarigo Country

3 h 45 min to 5 h 30 min

10.1 km
return

↑ 553 m
↓ -553 m

Hard track
This walk starts from the end of Kosciuszko Road, at Charlotte Pass, and follows the signposted Main Range Track to the Blue Lake lookout. The walk crosses the famous Snowy River along the way. The Blue Lake lookout is located a short walk down sidetrack and provides stunning views of the lake. There are a series of information signs that provide information on how this lake and other features in the area where formed. Let us begin by acknowledging the Ngarigo people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Looking across the Main Range Track from Charlotte Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Main Range Track head at Charlotte Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Looking down from Charlotte Pass to Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Snow gum on Main Range Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Confluence of Club Lake Creek and Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Snowy River Crossing. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Crossing Club Lake Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Lookout south east across the Snowy River to Charlotte Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Looking across the Main Range. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Main Range track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Granite Boulders. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking along the Main Range Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Headley Tarn from the Main Range Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Aline Views above the tree line. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Main Range track looking down to Carruthers Creek from the south. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Carruthers Creek Crossing. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Main Range Track north of Carruthers Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Path looking south to Carruthers Creek Valley. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track leading to Blue Lake Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Blue Lake from the Main Range and Blue Lake track intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Blue Lake. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Blue Lake lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Blue Lake. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Main Range Walking Track & Kosciuszko Road (-36.4316693,148.3286543)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Charlotte Pass (at the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd), this walk follows the 'Main Range Track' - 'Blue Lake Lookout' sign downhill along the wide paved path. The walk winds down past the stone path (on your right) and continues beside the 'Glaciers shaped this ancient landscape' information sign. The path continues down through lightly scattered snow gums to the bottom of the valley, approximately 650m further. Just past the 'From the mountains to the sea' information sign, this walk crosses the Snowy River using the stepping stones and comes to a strip of land between the two creeks. (Crossing the river is dangerous and is not advisable when the water is flowing over the stepping stones).....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Main Range Walking Track & Kosciuszko Road Start heading along Main Range Walking Track (a vehicle track).
There is a toilet (about 70 m back from the start).
Covered in snow part of the year (about 35 m back from the start).
Covered in snow part of the year
Covered in snow part of the year

This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
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This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.

There is a car park (about 3 m back from the start).
After another 55 m find the "Charlotte Pass lookout" (30 m on your right).
Charlotte Pass lookout
Charlotte Pass lookout

The Charlotte Pass lookout is a partially fenced lookout, north of the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd. The view is great, looking up the headwaters of the Snowy River up to the Main Range. To the left is Charlotte Pass (the actual pass only - there is no view of the village from here). There are also a few information signs explaining the local flora and geology.
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The Charlotte Pass lookout is a partially fenced lookout, north of the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd. The view is great, looking up the headwaters of the Snowy River up to the Main Range. To the left is Charlotte Pass (the actual pass only - there is no view of the village from here). There are also a few information signs explaining the local flora and geology.

Then find the "Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line" (30 m on your right).
Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line
Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line

Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) are the dominant tree found in Kosciuszko National Park. These slow-growing, distinctive plants have a light grey trunk with smooth red-brown bark, which peels unevenly with a mottled effect. They can be found south along the tablelands into Victoria, and also in Tasmania. Trees are covered with beautiful white flowers from October through to January, which attract lots of bird life. The alpine tree line is the highest altitude at which trees can survive, due to the cold temperatures. However, you will notice that, in some areas, there are no trees in the valleys, while they thrive on the surrounding hills. This is because cool air settles in the alpine valleys, making them colder and less hospitable than slightly higher altitudes.
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Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) are the dominant tree found in Kosciuszko National Park. These slow-growing, distinctive plants have a light grey trunk with smooth red-brown bark, which peels unevenly with a mottled effect. They can be found south along the tablelands into Victoria, and also in Tasmania. Trees are covered with beautiful white flowers from October through to January, which attract lots of bird life. The alpine tree line is the highest altitude at which trees can survive, due to the cold temperatures. However, you will notice that, in some areas, there are no trees in the valleys, while they thrive on the surrounding hills. This is because cool air settles in the alpine valleys, making them colder and less hospitable than slightly higher altitudes.

After another 690 m cross the stepping stones.
After another 45 m find the "Snowy River crossing" (on your left).
Snowy River crossing
Snowy River crossing

At the lowest point of the the Main Range circuit track is the confluence (meeting) of the Snowy River and Club Lake Creek. The walking track uses stones in the river to try to get across with dry feet. Since the track crosses just above the confluence there is an 'island' halfway across. These creeks may become impassable after rain and snow melt. This is lovely place to rest and enjoy the water and valley.
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At the lowest point of the the Main Range circuit track is the confluence (meeting) of the Snowy River and Club Lake Creek. The walking track uses stones in the river to try to get across with dry feet. Since the track crosses just above the confluence there is an 'island' halfway across. These creeks may become impassable after rain and snow melt. This is lovely place to rest and enjoy the water and valley.

After another 30 m cross the stepping stones.
After another 2.6 km cross the ford.
After another 235 m cross the ford.
After another 310 m (Blue Lake lookout) veer right, to head along Blue Lake Walk (a walking track).
After another 40 m come to the "Blue Lake lookout".
After another 830 m find the "Blue Lake" (9 m on your right).
Blue Lake
Blue Lake

Blue Lake is the best example of a glacial lake in the alpine area. At 28m deep, this lake was formed when glaciers, flowing from the Great Dividing Range, converged and carved out a basin in the rock. This is visible in the cliffs behind the lake, where the glaciers have plucked out blocks of stone and carried them away. There is also a stream that flows from Blue lake, feeding Hedley Tarn just to the south.
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Blue Lake is the best example of a glacial lake in the alpine area. At 28m deep, this lake was formed when glaciers, flowing from the Great Dividing Range, converged and carved out a basin in the rock. This is visible in the cliffs behind the lake, where the glaciers have plucked out blocks of stone and carried them away. There is also a stream that flows from Blue lake, feeding Hedley Tarn just to the south.

Continue another 180 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 5.1 km to get back to the start.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Main Range Track - Charlotte Pass to Blue Lake


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 10.1 km
Time 3 h 45 min to 5 h 30 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one -53 m back from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-53 m[toilet]
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Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Covered in snow part of the year
This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with
Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
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