Noah Stammbach is a photographer, storyteller, and sunrise connoisseur. So when he recommends you make the trip to Kosciuszko National Park for an unforgettable (if a little foggy) alpine sunrise, it might be worth paying attention to.

Highlights

  • Unique alpine sunrise over Blue Lake
  • Ever-changing scenery
  • Alpine (cold!) conditions

Blue Lake

I had the car for just two days. After spending the night in Jindabyne, we had until midday to explore the Aussie Alps in Kosciuszko National Park. Blue Lake seemed a good destination for a sunrise, so we set out at 4 am.

Rain droplets sparkled in the night as we hiked. A blanket fog mingled with rain clouds, pushing the humidity well past ninety-five percent. Once your shoes got wet, they just got wetter. It was still too dark to see beyond the edge of the track so I imagined sweeping valleys and steep drop-offs.

Amongst some granite boulders, I spotted a shy wallaby.

 

Alpine Sunrise at Kosciuszko Noah Stammbach, hilltop, fog, mist, person, summit

A Subtle Dawn

Sometime around 6.00 am I noticed a faint change in the blackened horizon. On the night before the hike, I had unceremoniously whacked my mate Graeme in the face to tell him that the weather would be too overcast to get a photogenic sunrise.

We pushed up the ridge to where the best view of Blue Lake would be. We did a good job of navigating in the darkness.

 

Alpine Sunrise at Kosciuszko Noah Stammbach, climber, steep hill, clouds

 

Beautifully Freezing

As we reached the top a magnificent sense of accomplishment juxtaposed the deteriorating conditions. The rain was still dribbling down but the temperature had severely dropped to just above 0º C / 32º F. Some could say it was beautifully freezing.

It harked back to childhood days of exploring the Swiss Alps with my family. I had even brought some Toblerone along.

Read more: 5 Stellar Overnight & Multi-Day Walks in Kosciuszko National Park

 

Alpine Sunrise at Kosciuszko Noah Stammbach, lake, glassy, still water, reflection

Not Your Usual Sunrise

A blue gloom arrived, taking the place of the typical sunrise hues. Here, atop the ridge of the mountain, fogs shifted and clouds swept past through the valley, while the rain continued to test our jackets and raincoats.

Every few minutes the wind would build up and extinguish the fog from the valley, leaving a spectacular vision of where we had been hiking throughout the early morning.

The constantly shifting colours moved with the fog and clouds. The scenery kept changing even though we were on the same mountain peak for over 2 hours.

I desperately wanted to explore the shores of the lake, but we had to get back.

Here’s a shot from fellow explorer, Aeden O’Donnell, of the sun setting over blue lake. Such an unreal spot!

 

Almost Alone In The Aussie Alps, Aedan O'Donnell, Charlotte's Pass, sunrise, Blue Lake, mountains, sky

Essential Gear

  • Hiking shoes
  • Warm clothes and waterproofs
  • Water and snacks

How To Get There​

The best way is to park at Charlotte’s pass and then take the track out to Blue Lake.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3288131.7643365427!2d146.07090603840632!3d-36.40759417993325!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x6b23344c32a7c1c7%3A0x14ceed95aa1e033e!2sBlue+Lake+Walk%2C+Kosciuszko+National+Park+NSW+2627!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sau!4v1510208022287&w=400&h=300]