Australia’s TOP Toilet! #33 – Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Charlotte Pass Amenities Block, Mt Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

Charlotte Pass Amenities Block, Mt Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

The road wound ever upwards through rocky peaks and alpine meadows studded with non-operational chairlifts.  The temperature dropped, then dropped some more. Fresh from the 39°C of an Adelaide autumn heatwave, we’d plunged (right along with the temperature!) into a parallel universe.  We’d gone all alpine near Charlotte Pass in the Mt Kosciuszko National Park in the heart of Australia’s High Country.

Overlooking Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Overlooking Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

What’s in the Alps?

At the 1835 metre (6020 ft) mark, the road stopped. From here, tracks led in several directions. Down the road to ski resort village Charlotte Pass, at 1760 metres (5774 ft) Australia’s highest permanent settlement. Along the ridge to the Main Range lookout. Up to the chairlift and lookout point across the Snowy River to the – yes, Aussie imagination runs wild – Snowy Mountains. And a track to Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest point.

Mt Kosciuszko (highest point at right with people at summit), Snowy Mountains, New South Wales

Mt Kosciuszko (highest point at right with people at summit), Snowy Mountains, New South Wales

Named for Charlotte Adams, the first non-indigenous woman to scale the mountain, Charlotte Pass was a crossover point for the last 9 km (~5 miles) for what used to be the drive – yes, the DRIVE – to the top of Mt Kosciuszko’s 2228 metre (7310 feet) peak. Now it’s the starting point for one of several walking trails to the summit – from here, an 18 km (~11 mile) round trip.

Go before you go at Australia's highest Public Toilet, Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Go before you go at Australia’s highest Public Toilet, Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Of course before you go, you need to GO, right?

The Convenient Conveniences

So here on Charlotte Pass at the trailhead to the Mt Kosciuszko summit is a conveniently placed public amenities building – at 1835 metres and just below the tree line, ALMOST Australia’s highest Public Toilet!  But unless you catch the Kosciuszko Express chairlift from Thredbo, or climb Mt Kosciuszko from the chairlift summit, it COULD be as high a loo as you’ll get in OZ! That’s TOP #1!

Flame Robin at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Flame Robin at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales

Completely snowbound in winter, Charlotte Pass also trumps the rest of the country with Australia’s lowest recorded temperature, -23°C (-9.4°F) on 28 June, 1994. I’ll pause for a minute for the Northern Hemisphereans to stop laughing … but that’s TOP #2!

From the Main Range lookout, the highest of the high Snowy Mountain range forms a magnificent backdrop to this isolated amenities block.

With Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend (Australia’s 2nd highest peak), and a whole bunch of other really high mountains (by Australian standards) visible to the right of the Charlotte Pass conveniences from the Main Range Lookout, that makes TOP #3!!

Charlotte Pass Public Conveniences (circled at left) with Mt Kosciuszko (left arrow) & approx location of Mt Townsend

Charlotte Pass Public Conveniences (circled at left) with Mt Kosciuszko (left arrow) & approx location of Mt Townsend

So if my planned assault on Mt Kosciuszko later this week is foiled by lousy weather or terminal muscle meltdown, at least I’ll have had the pleasure of doing my business in ALMOST the TOP little toilet in OZ!

UPDATE:  I DID manage to get to the top of Mt Kosciuszko after writing this post AND got to visit Australia’s highest public amenities block!  Read about that adventure HERE!

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25 comments

  • Only a true photographer would take a photo of a toilet! LOL… I really recognize someone I have alot in common with

  • The northerners may be laughing, but I’m positively shivering! I can’t even begin to imagine what -23C feels like. Awesome photos, as always!

  • What a snazzy public toilet building! Before I came to Australia, I couldn’t imagine that there was snow or high mountains in Australia at all!

  • I just love your toilet facts. I would write more but…. I have to go.

  • The flame robin is very compelling. Non-operational chairlifts. Oh, quite the gift. I may covet a few of your views, but I don’t go out there after them like you do. Beautiful. Toilets of the world. Had anyone told me I’d get attached to such a blog…but you are so very much more.~Mary

  • Fun to read about the going before you go and can’t wait to read about the hike.

  • we went out this way a couple of years agon when we hired a car in Canberra and drove out for the day. Just had to go and dip our hands in the Snowy River. We would love to go back in spring and walk those mountain paths.
    Beautiful views Red.

  • It’s a rather large lavvie luvie. Maybe it caters for coach tourists.

  • What terrific views!!

  • Loo, Loo – when out hiking or cross country skiing, there’s many bushes n trees that have “marked” our territory. Lovely Loo there, magnificant views- hush, hush, sweet Charlotte – someone is cleaning your Loo. Have a wonderful day 🙂

  • Now *that’s* a top toilet! I am super-impressed by the collection, haha! Now, for the scenery, gorgeous as ever, love that robin too:)

  • @Aleah – Hahaha, it’s not all architect designed public loos with 3 ply paper downunder either – we get to carry a spade when we’re in the Outback!! Glad the stone arrived – look forward to seeing where it goes!
    @LONDONLULU – For once, the loo was secondary to the scenery!! Just WOWWOWWOW all the way!
    @TMWH – That loo is so sublime, you’d go even if you didn’t have to!!! And there’s also the brag factor …
    @Kate – Something tells me you’re not talking about the toilet …!!!
    @Rose – I can’t take credit for the pix – all I did was stand there, point and click. The scenery is magnificent all by itself!
    @Dianne – When I read about the highest loo in OZ I was SO going to go there! And GO there, if you follow my drift!!!
    @Alessandra – That’s the Alps for you! Always over-the-top architecture!! As for the snakes, they’re out and about en masse in this part of the world!!

  • @MJWC – Hahaha, not exactly … I just don’t show you the unsavoury ones!!!
    @eileeninmd – It’s the TOP toilet in EVERY way!!! I don’t think you could top the view, it’s highest in OZ, and it’s in a sensational spot!!
    @Manzanita – I think Charlotte was long gone before the toilet got there … but I’m sure your theory is otherwise correct! Climbing the mountain from the road is an 18 km round trip, but Charlotte would have been there WAY before any track …
    @Kath – What kind of person sniggers at dodgy signs with double entendres???? MY kind of person, that’s who!!! I’m betting the sign’s been cleaned up a few times over the years …
    @Fun60 – Hahaha, I guess toilets just weren’t designed to bring out the best in people, were they?!?!
    @Filip – It’s a magnificent location! Even though our mountain ranges are so much older and therefore smaller, there’s still a lot of wonderful scenery!
    @Glen – As long as you don’t mind waterless hand-washing!

  • That is one of the fanciest toilet I have seen in your post. And I guess that it is too cold for snakes?? Or do they come out in Summer?

  • Hi Red … that’s sitting on top of the world ….. and the little flame-robin is sitting pretty on a branch at the top of the world. Well worth the trip just to GO!

  • G’day Red, Stunning, stunning, stunning pics!! And, a loo with a view to ‘top’ it off!

  • What is it about toilet humour that makes us laugh. I was sniggering like a school kid when I thought of the name just like Kath in previous comment. Also love your comment regarding the lowest temperature. What a great post on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Excuse me while I just visit the little room.

  • Whoa! What a way to GO! If you need to, at any rate. Gorgeous, wonderful photos, and I LOVED that bird!

  • This is another lovely addition to your list of scenic toilets, Red. I can’t believe you’d have such a nice one way up there. When we climb mountains here in the Philippines, we’re expected to bring a trowel for a more natural way of relieving ourselves 😉 Btw, I leave for India in 2 days. I will be bringing the stone with me (I can’t believe how small it is! In the pictures it looks bigger.)

  • A place to poo with pride – I suspect.

  • Filip and Kristel

    The overlook of Charlotte’s pass is great. What a location.

    Greetings,
    Filip

  • Is it just me who had a naughty snigger at ‘Charlotte’s Pass’ being the scenic toilet location? I’m sure someone has written ‘wind’ or ‘a big one’ under the sign….?

  • I wonder how many times Charlotte had to “go” before she reached the top. If she is like most women, plenty. So that is why they named it after her, number#1 toilet and all.

  • Is it the TOp tiolet because it is in high country or because of it’s look? I love the views from your visit to the High country. And the Flame Robin is a gorgeous bird. Lovely photos! Have a happy day and week ahead!

  • My Journey With Candida

    Whenever we go anywhere I make sure I go before I go, then when we get there I always look to find where I’m going to go when I gotta go. Lucky you… you always find the best public toilets.

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