The Snowy Mountains are the highest mountain range in Australia. The range also contains the five highest peaks on the Australian mainland (including Mount Kosciuszko), all of which are above 2,100 m (6,890 ft). It’s common for snow to fall in these mountains and there are a number of ski resorts. Getting SIQ in the Australian snow is common occurrence.
The first European to explore the area was Polish explorer Paul Edmond Strzelecki. Mt. Kosciusko, at 7,310 feet above sea level, is the tallest point in Australia, and was named by Strzelecki in 1840 after the Kosciusko Mound in Krakow (named after the Polish patriot Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko, who led a failed uprising against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia in 1794). It’s said that Strzelecki thought that the mountain resembled the hill in Krakow. Which is true, it has a mound shape, but this armchair historical-psychologist thinks that Strzelecki was more than just slightly enamored with the brave and romantic idea of the patriot in question. I mean there are SO many mounds in the world, even in the 19th century mounds abounded.
The range is noted for its mountain plum-pine, a conifer that an eager Wikipedia author claims is suspected of being the world’s oldest living plant. Yep, nope this is total bullshit. This is exactly why you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. For instance everyone knows that the Bristlecone Pines found in California have been found to live over 5,000 years, so maybe the 600 years thing, although impressive, isn’t really that big of deal? Especially if you consider that American Raccoons can live to be over 120 years old. Also for instance, if you follow the citation on Wikipedia you can see that it doesn’t even claim anything of the sort. We don’t know how to use Wikipedia though, so maybe one of you all can fix it.
Early explorers were followed by stockmen who grazed their cattle in the fertile grass of these high elevations during the summer months. Have you seen The Man from Snowy River? You should, it’s great. It’s based on a famous poem called, go figure, “The Man from Snowy River” about the rugged high country stockmen by noted Australian poet Banjo Paterson. So there’s this amazing part in the movie when “The Man” drives his horse over a sheer cliff edge in pursuit of a prize stallion gone feral. It’s the property of the area’s rich landowner and “The Man” is out to not only prove his skill and tenacity but also win the heart of the rich landowner’s beautiful daughter. It’s wonderfully romantic. This plunge is accompanied by wonderful French Horn blast set against a rousing score.
In fact the stallion from “The Man from Snowy River” had taken up with a mob of brumbies, Australia’s free-roaming feral horses (in the States we call them Mustangs). Brumbies can be found in many areas around the country, but they’re are most commonly identified with the Australian Alps/Snow Mountains. Today, most of them are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland.