Rawson Pass: Scenic Public Loo #37

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ

View of HIGHEST Loo in OZ at Rawsons Pass from Mt Kosciuszko Summit, Snowy Mountains, NSW
View of HIGHEST Loo in OZ at Rawsons Pass from Mt Kosciuszko Summit, Snowy Mountains, NSW

Some get to Rawson Pass en route to Mount Kosciuszko for the record.  Others do it for the challenge.  And still others do it just because it’s there.

But I climbed Australia’s highest mountain for the chance go as HIGH as I could go – at Rawson Pass, the highest Scenic Public Toilet in the country!!
Rawsons Pass, Mt Kosciuszko Summit Hike
Rawson Pass, Mt Kosciuszko Summit Hike

100 metres or so below the Mt Kosciuszko summit, the Rawson Pass Public Amenities block does a roaring trade. Back in the good old days, being a mountaineer was as easy as taking a short trip in the car.  Back then, ‘climbers’ attempting the summit had to take their chances with the dunny of the great outdoors.

They had to do it without the luxury of lurking behind a convenient shrub for privacy, too.  At 2228 metres (7310 ft) above sea level, this Snowy Mountains alpine dome is well above the tree line!
The Bunker ... Rawsons Pass Loo, Mt Kosciuszko Summit Hike, New South Wales
The Bunker … Rawsons Pass Loo, Mt Kosciuszko Summit Hike, New South Wales

We’d toiled along the undulating 6 km (~3.5 miles) track, gamely fighting off persistent altitude sickness, or was it lack of fitness? We’d been suffering it since alighting from the Kosciuszko Express chairlift, a speedy 600 metre rise in altitude from ski village Thredbo.

And now we’d reached Rawson Pass.  From there, the old access road from Charlotte Pass, highest village and record holder of the coldest temperature in Australia, formed the final relentless uphill slog to the top.
 Looking towards Charlotte Pass ... and the Rawsons Pass Loo!

Looking towards Charlotte Pass … and the Rawsons Pass Loo!

Cash-strapped governments regularly threaten to cause irreparable damage to the delicate alpine environment by re-opening the Kosciuszko National Park to pastoral leases.  But apparently the threat posed by the waste from the 100,000 annual mountain climbers has been enough to warrant the purpose built trail ending at the pass.

And the highest public amenities block in the land!
There, outside the Rawson Pass Loo inset into the side of the mountain like a bunker, was a car. A CAR!!!!
Is that a Dunny I see before me?  And a CAR???  The HIGHest Loo in OZ!
Is that a Dunny I see before me? And a CAR??? The HIGHest Loo in OZ!

I guess the toilet cleaner’s job description didn’t involve mountaineering? At least the bunker would double as a shelter in an unexpected snowstorm emergency!

I suppressed a pang of longing for more civilised times when driving was a necessary skill for a high altitude ascent.  And another for when school students were more likely to be in a classroom than crowding out the conveniences. We bypassed the bunker and headed for the top.
Maybe if we hadn’t picked the perfect weather day, we wouldn’t have had to dodge the loo queue! Tempting though it would be to take a twinkle from the top in honour of the amazing 360° view from the highest place in OZ, the plethora of people at the peak made a fine deterrent. For us, anyway!
Looking Out ... HIGHEST mountain in OZ from Australia's HIGHEST loo!
Looking Out … HIGHEST mountain in OZ from Australia’s HIGHEST loo!

Back at the bunker we took pleasure in doing business as HIGH as possible in an OZ public amenities block.  From there, we looked out from Australia’s HIGHest (and arguably MOST scenic) loo to OZ’s HIGHest peak not so far above. And tried not to think of the 6.5 km walk back to the Kosciuszko Express station!

Now … where’s a brandy-bearing St Bernard when you need one?
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View from Mt Kosciuszko Summit, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
View from Mt Kosciuszko Summit, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
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  1. Pingback: Day 14 – The Highest Toilet in Oz | Big Planet | Small World
  2. It’s a lot of work to go there….. . I’m way too old to work that hard; I have to go somewhere easier. (You used the word toiled in there and at first I read it as toileted … also, so busy thinking about bad puns and juvenile bathroom humor (which I like) I almost forgot to look at the beautiful view.

  3. Wow! That is one far toilet 🙂 but the view is definitely worth the long trek. Hope to read more beautiful and odd places in Oz

  4. @Pauline – Haha, I guess that way it also doesn’t get flattened every time there’s a storm! The weather can get pretty wild up there!!
    @Anne – Hahaha!! You give ‘off piste’ a whole new meaning!! But can you imagine the waste from 100,000 people each year?? I must say finding it was a ‘relief’!!!
    @Jill – This is arguably the best view in OZ – in terms of its location, at least!! I’d love to go back to the Snowies too – there was so much we DIDN’T see!
    @TMWH – And you think I DIDN’T need a nap??!! Actually, when I got back, I lay in the bath for an hour – we lucked out with the Caravan Park we stayed at, they don’t normally have baths (only showers) but this one DID!! Woo Hoo!!

  5. I suppose it made more sense to put it in a bunker than just sitting it right out there on the mountain, where it could be blown about or collapse under snow? I would have needed a nap after all that climbing, I’m sad to say!

  6. and wonderful views to go with the loo! I always love reading your posts Red. We have only visited the Snowies once – I would love to go back again.
    Have a great week and happy travelling and blogging!

  7. Niiccccee! Who would have thought that there would be a substantial toilet block in such a place! Although I guess the volume of traffic means that otherwise going ‘off piste’ would be a bit of an unexpected adventure, not to mention the lack of trees…

  8. @Arija – Your experience sounds SO memorable even without the loo or a view!! I’ve also been on the road when I was 4 or 5 – but I don’t really recall it. I don’t think the post box survived – if it was still there I’m sure I would have seen it!!
    @FruitCake – My previous experience with bunkers is minimal – actually, make that ‘Nil’ – so I haven’t got anything to compare it to. But it’s everything my imagination tells me a bunker should be!
    @PDP – Like Diane said, it’s a shame our highest peak doesn’t look a little more … well … dramatic!! But still, the setting is absolutely awesome and unlike any of the other ones. But does that make it better?? The jury’s out!
    @eileeninmd – I was VERY grateful this loo was here, several km from the nearest civilised spot!!!
    @Sharon – Hahaha, so THAT’S what’s wrong with me too!! Shall we start a sufferers support group?!?!?!
    @Bob – I hope it’s given you hours of distraction from work and started up some intriguing conversations. Or at least that people leave you alone because they think you must be really strange!!! I didn’t have time for another loo calendar – so for 2014 it’s Aussie sunsets, or nothing!!!
    @raf – SO glad you’re the judge!!! Thanx!!
    @BFG – As opposed to recycling it?? Haha, I think that’s why the cleaner is there!! Despite the hordes of people, it hadn’t run out when I used it!! Which is SO rare now I come to think of it!!!

  9. @Andrew – The alternative route to the top actually follows the old road from Charlotte Pass – I didn’t realise it was still open to vehicles until I spotted the car!! But that would be cheating …
    @Jim – Thank you!!
    @whiteangel – Haha, this loo is quite unusual AND it’s got a spectacular setting!! Just the sort of thing I LOVE to find!!
    @John – That’s appalling!! And you live in a ‘civilised’ country!!!!! Of course there are great wads of Australia unsullied by Public Conveniences too … I’m just glad I didn’t have to interrupt my 13.5 km hike to find a suitable tussock of grass to go behind!!
    @Carole – Even if I hadn’t made it to Kosciuszko’s summit I would have made it to the loo!! But … I’ll leave you to decide which record was more rewarding …
    @River – God doesn’t visit Australia, does he?? Not since he’s got all those ‘helpers’ in Parliament … and we’re way too low compared to, say, Everest!!!
    @diane b – I guess we were lucky to have a perfect day then! But you’re right – if I post a pic of the summit it just looks like a rolling hill that could be anywhere!!! Maybe it’s different in the snow??

  10. Not just the highest loo but a pretty unique one into the bargain. So great to see that it is a bunker and not a blot on that beautiful landscape.

  11. Great take for theme day. And interesting info re Aussie dunnies. I wonder how often the loo paper is replaced.

  12. and it was a mighty impressive loo at that Red. Well worth the walk up and you had a reputation to uphold, you couldn’t have missed out on that one at the top

  13. Despite having wandered all over these islands and much of Europe I can’t recall ever seeing such a construction in the hills and mountains – though the need has frequently been present. The nearest equivalent, apart from facilities in mountain-top cafes, would be the loo below Pen Y Fan in Wales but that’s alongside a major road pass. And it stinks! Maybe employing an attendant would help.

  14. Nice that there are loos in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful scenic views and lovely photos. Enjoy your new week!

  15. Could this possibly usurp my previous favourite scenic loo Red, that’s pretty speccy view ‘looking out’ 🙂

  16. Memories abound of our wedding trip, all six days of it, and a duty road to the top in a second hand FJ borrowed from my brother. The week after Anzac day in1958 and the mountain was shrouded in cloud with out a pubic toilet or a view. A biting wind completed the scene but there was the red post box up there that my husband had sent me a card from when he and a friend hiked there from Bairnsdale.
    In those days we spent a lot of time in the ‘alps’, now I cannot go above 2,000 m, at least I have my memories.

  17. That is a great loo for your collection. It is a shame that our highest mountain doesn’t like a mountain but more like a hill. However the views over the top of Australia are fabulous. This is still in my bucket list because our attempt failed due to bad weather.

  18. I’m glad it is accessible by car, I can’t imagine a loo cleaner climbing all that way each day.
    Did you drop in on God for afternoon tea? Or is that not quite high enough?

  19. I guess all the rock used in loo and paving construction is local. Now if there is a car, there must be a road to drive up there. I must find it. I am sure I would suffer badly from altitude sickness.

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