In 1840 Paul Strzelecki, the Polish-born explorer of Australia climbed from the valley of the great Murray River to the heights of the Australian Alps, naming the highest peak after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the hero who fought for Polish independence. The mountain rises 2,228 metres (7,328 feet) above sea level.
Kosciuszko National Park is the largest national park in New South Wales, covering an area of 690,000 hectares or approximately 0.7 percent of the state. The park ranges in altitude from 227 metres along the lower reaches of the Snowy River to 2,228 metres at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest peak. Although containing some of the highest peaks on mainland Australia, about six percent of the park is above the snowline.
The park contains six wilderness areas covering about 300,000 hectares - the Byadbo, Pilot, Jagungal, Bogong Peaks, Goobarragandra and Bimberi wilderness areas. Its alpine and sub-alpine areas contain rare plant species found nowhere else in the world, and are also home to the rare mountain pygmy possum and corroboree frog.
In 1977 UNESCO recognized Kosciuszko National Park under its Man and the Biosphere program as an "International Biosphere Reserve."
Submitted by: Anthony Petniunas
For more information -- Connect to Official Australian Parks Web Site
Sir Paul Edmund StrzeleckiBorn on July 20, 1797 in Gluszyn near Poznan, Poland, he was the son of a struggling landowner, Franciszek Strzelecki, a nobleman of the Oksza crest. His Mother Anna was of the Raczynski family and Paul Edmund was her third child, after sister Isabella and brother Peter. Paul attended schools in Warsaw (1810) and lived with his uncles. He spent the years 1814-1817 in Krakow. Later he was a tutor to the son of Adam Turno, falling in love with his employer's daughter whom he was not allowed to marry. After participating in the November 1830 uprising, the family lost its lands and Paul went abroad to England. Thus started a period of exploratory voyages that brought him great fame and popularity seldom enjoyed by Poles abroad. He visited North and South America, Cuba, Tahiti and New Zealand. In 1838 he reached Australia and on the request of George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales, made a geological and mineralogical survey of the interior making many discoveries and publishing his results. In 1839 he organized an expedition into the Australian Alps. He named the highest peak after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Poland's national hero. In 1849 he returned to London and was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a member of the Royal Society. He helped to promote the immigration of impoverished Irish families to Australia. He was also active in helping the wounded and ill soldiers during the Crimean War, being personally acquainted with Florence Nightingale. In 1860 he was granted an honorary degree of D.C.L. from the University of Oxford and in 1869 he received the Order of St. Michael and St. George for his exploration of Australia. He also received the title of Knight Companion of the Bath. A respected philanthropist, explorer, and scientist, his work reflected well on his native land and gave him international recognition. He died on October 6, 1873 at age 77.
Photographs and Biographical Data from: "Sir Paul Strzelecki and Australia," Published by the Strzelecki Committee to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Strzelecki's Death, London 1943