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We Bet You Don’t Know Where Australia’s Highest Point Is

We Bet You Don’t Know Where Australia’s Highest Point Is

Australia's highest point

We were brought up being told that Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s biggest mountain, and therefore, it’s summit is Australia’s highest point. This is widely accepted as fact. Except that it isn’t.

There’s one alarming tidbit that our teachers have been neglecting to tell us. As reported by Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings for Condé Nast Traveler, there’s actually a mountain in Australia that’s higher than Mount Kosciuszko, and it’s located on one of our islands.

1024px-Path_to_Mt_Kosciuszko_3 Australia's highest point
Path to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, AKA not Australia’s highest point. Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

There’s a lot to unpack here. Firstly, we own other islands that are not Tasmania? Secondly, why have we never been told about this mythical, gigantic mountain?

mawson peak, Australia's highest point
Satellite image of Mawson Peak. Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Heard and McDonald Islands in the southern Indian Ocean were gifted to Australia by the British Empire in 1947, making them officially part of our territory. You can find Mawson Peak – an active volcano that erupted as recently as 2016 – on Heard Island. It reaches an elevation of 2,745 metres, whereas Kosciuszko only gets to 2,228 metres.

Because you can’t find Mawson Peak on Australia’s mainland, it begs the question as to whether or not it really counts as Australia’s highest point. Just because it’s officially our territory, are we still obliged to name it the highest? Either way, this is definitely something to keep in your back pocket for your next trivia tournament.

See Also
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(Lead image: Mount Kosciuszko, Wikipedia Creative Commons)

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