Check out the New Wildwalks site -- This site is no longer maintained and is just for archive

Home arrow Hiking near Sydney arrow Rainbow Lake Trail     

Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Rainbow Lake Trail are found in each of the tabs below
Rainbow Lake Trail
Time: 1 Hr Walking time
Includes the time for the return leg
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
14.7 km ENE of Charlotte Pass
Length: 2.5 km Walk Length
As this is a return style walk, the 2.5 km includes the return leg of this walk (ie back to the start)
Kosciuszko National Park
Climb: 109 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 109 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the start and end of this walk
Style: Return
Track: Moderate

This popular walk explores the snow gums and alpine grasslands between Kosciuszko Rd and Rainbow Lake. The lake is the main focal point for the walk and is a great place to rest or have lunch. The man-made lake was built in the early 1900's to provide water to the Hotel Kosciusko, it is now a natural, historic and beautiful point of interest to visitors. (open in app)

There are Closed areas in Kosciuszko National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Rainbow Lake Trail

Map of Walk


                Sponsor of Rainbow Lake Trail bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Rainbow Lake Trail
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 1 km
Rainbow Lake walk car park
Lower end of Rainbow Lake
Starting point for this hiking track: Rainbow Lake walk car park

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Perisher Valley 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-85252S 
 Geehi Dam 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-85252N 
 Chimneys Ridge 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-85241N 
 Kosciuszko 1:100 000 Map Series 8525 
 Jacobs River 1:100 000 Map Series 8524 

Photo Gallery

Sign at the start of the Rainbow Lake walk
Sign at the start of the Rainbow Lake walk +
Snow Gums near the road
Snow Gums near the road +
Heading through the snow gums
Heading through the snow gums +

Walking to Rainbow Lake
Walking to Rainbow Lake +
Crossing the creek
Crossing the creek +
Under the Power lines
Under the Power lines +

Following the old service trail away from the road
Following the old service trail away from the road +
Open alpine grass land
Open alpine grass land +
Following the old service trial
Following the old service trial +

Snow Gum by the old service trail near Rainbow lake
Snow Gum by the old service trail near Rainbow lake +
Glimpse of Rainbow Lake
Glimpse of Rainbow Lake +
Rainbow Lake
Rainbow Lake +

Creek below Rainbow Lake
Creek below Rainbow Lake +
On the Dam wall of Rainbow Lake
On the Dam wall of Rainbow Lake +
Rainbow Lake
Rainbow Lake +

Rainbow Lake
Rainbow Lake +
Timber platform on Rainbow Lake
Timber platform on Rainbow Lake +
Dam wall of Rainbow Lake
Dam wall of Rainbow Lake +

East side of Rainbow Lake
East side of Rainbow Lake +
East side of Rainbow Lake
East side of Rainbow Lake +
Looking down on Rainbow Lake
Looking down on Rainbow Lake +


Please note: This is a 'return' style walk and therefore these graphs only show the terrain for the first half of the walk (until the turn around point.)

Cross sectional view of the Rainbow Lake Trail bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Rainbow Lake Trail bushwalking track

Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Rainbow Lake Trail bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Rainbow Lake Trail bushwalking track

Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.

Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Length 2.5km
Time 1 Hr

Grade 3/6

Track: Moderate
AS 2156.1 Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Signs Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing

Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk.
Around 1.2km of this walk has short steep hills, whilst the remaining 60m is flat with no steps.

Quality of track
This whole walk, 1.3km follows a clear and well formed track or trail.

This whole walk, 1.3km has directional signs at most intersection.

Experience Required
This whole walk, 1.3km requires no previous bushwalking experience.

This whole walk, 1.3km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.

This whole walk, 1.3km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).

Track Notes

Since this is a 'return' style walk once you have had enough of the walk, turn around and retrace your steps back to the start.
Drive to Rainbow Lake walk car park
You can drive or ride to this start of this Bushwalk A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.
You can drive or ride to the start of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip to the start of this walk.
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Covered in snow part of the year Alt = 1597 m
This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should be carrying and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months.

(0 km) Rainbow Lake walk car park to Lower end of Rainbow Lake
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.21 km Time = 26 mins
Climb = 57 m Descent = -47 m
From the lower end of the car park on Kosciuszko Rd (about 2.4km east of Guthega Rd), near the 'Rainbow Lake Walk' sign[1], this walk follows the track heading into the Snow Gums. The track winds through the gums until joining onto an old management trail. The walk follows the management trail down the hill and across the small creek, then continues under the power lines and starts to climb up through clumps of snow gums and open alpine grassy areas. After a little while, the walk levels out and comes to a great view of Rainbow Lake. From here, the walk heads down the hill, following the clear management trail to the bottom end of the lake. The walk passes a few clearings (nice for picnics) near the lake, then comes to an intersection just before the creek (which drains out of Rainbow Lake).

(1.21 km) Lower end of Rainbow Lake to Timber Platform
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 62 m Time = 1 mins
Climb = 0 m Descent = -5 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk crosses the creek and follows the dam wall. About half way along the dam wall, the walk arrives at an old timber platform heading out into the lake.

Rainbow Lake Alt = 1625 m
Rainbow Lake is a body of water in Kosciuszko National park, providing a lovely focal point for walkers and skiers. Diggers Creek was dammed to create a water supply for the then 'Hotel Kosciusko' which burnt down in 1951 (first opened in 1909). The resulting Rainbow Lake left a bit of heritage for people to enjoy. A faint track exists around the perimeter of the lake, providing a variety of views of the lake and access to some of the old fence line from the days when cattle were grazed in the area. The lake is a great place for picnickers, photographers and walkers, a magical spot on sunny days.

Drive from Rainbow Lake walk car park
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry

Driving Directions
To the start of the walk

Drive from:
From the end of the walk

Drive to:

Near by

Campsites in the park
Black Perry Rest area
Blue Waterholes Picnic and camping Grounds
Bradneys Gap Camping area
Buddong Falls
Clover Flat camping area
Cooinbil Camping area
Cooleman Mountain Camping Area
Coonara Point Camping Area
Denison Camping area
Geehi Picnic Camping Ground
Ghost Gully Camping Ground
Half-way Flat camping area
Humes Crossing Camping area
Island Bend Camping area
Jacobs River Picnic And Camping Area
Jounama Creek Camping Area
Leather Barrel Picnic And Camping Area
Log Bridge Creek Camping area
Long Plain Hut Camping Area
Ngarigo Picnic And Camping Area
OHares Rest Area
Pinch River Camping area
Ravine Camping area
Rock Flat Camping Area
Rocky Plain Camping Ground
Running waters Camping area
Scotchies Yard Camping area
The Pines Camping Area
Thredbo Diggings Camping area
Three Mile Dam Camping area
Tom Groggin Picnic And Camping Area
Wares Yards Camping Ground
Willis Camping Area
Yarrangobilly Village Camping Area
Yachting Point Camping area
Yolde Camping Area
No Name camping area

Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Paddy Pallin Adventure Centre Thredbo Turnoff, Jindabyne (02) 6456 2922 11.8 km
Larry Adler Ski & Outdoor 3 Nuggets Crsng, Jindabyne (02) 6457 2233 14 km
Wilderness Sports Nuggets Crossing, Jindabyne 1800 654 168 14 km
Snowy Camping World 106 Sharp St , Cooma (02) 6452 2729 60.4 km
Tumuts Fishing Camping & Outdoor 56 Wynyard St , Tumut (02) 6947 1100 121 km

A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Rainbow Lake Trail.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Rainbow Lake Trail
Click to re-center search
1 1227830 Country Energy/Monaro County Council Site JINDERBOINE HILL 17 km (to the ESE)
3 EUC03 Bald Hill via EUCUMBENE 30 km (to the NNE)
2 1227833 Commsite INGEBIRAH TRIG 31 km (to the S)
2 KHN02 Fire Tower MT YOUNGAL 32 km (to the W)
4 VL2OR_4 CB Repeater Site 20 km S of Cooma SOUTH BROTHER 57 km (to the E)

Weather and Park info

Fire Danger
This walk passes Monaro Alpine fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place.
(Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 8 years ago)
Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
Tue      16°Mostly sunny.
Thu|20°Mostly sunny.
Fri|25°Late rain at times.
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Kosciuszko National Park Link to official closures and fire bans page

Region: South Coast & Highlands
Park fees Camping Facilities
Current Park Closure information for Kosciuszko National Park
Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM
Closed areas: Thredbo Diggings campground closed to caravans
Thredbo Diggings campground is currently closed to all caravans and camping trailers due to continuing wet conditions. There will be limited sites available for tents. Caravans and camping trailer sites are available at Ngarigo, Island Bend and Tom Groggin campgrounds. For more information please phone (02) 6450 5620.

Closed areas: Island Bend campground partially closed due to maintenance
Partial closure of Island Bend campground due to maintenance. Camp sites are now available at the lower camp at Island Bend in Kosciuszko National Park. Other sites have been fenced and will remain closed for 6 to 12 months following capping works to ameliorate the asbestos risk and to allow for revegetation. Please observe all signs and closures. For more information, please contact Andrew Miller at the NPWS Jindabyne Office or on 0427 437391 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page. Download a map of the closed area.

Closed areas: Winter road closures
The following roads will be closed until the October long weekend, unless weather allows them to be opened in late September:
  • Behrs Flat trail
  • Blue Waterholes trail
  • Broken Cart trail
  • Bullocks Hill trail
  • Cabramurra - Khancoban Road (KNP5)
  • Cumberland trail
  • Four Mile Hill trail
  • Geehi Dam Road (Olsen's Road)
  • Goobragandra Powerline Road
  • Kings Cross Road
  • Link Road
  • Long Plain Road
  • Major Clews Road
  • Manjar Road
  • Perisher to Charlotte Pass
  • Pocket Saddle Road
  • Port Phillip trail
  • Tantangra Dam Road
  • Three Mile Dam access trails
  • Davies Plain track
and all associated subsidiary roads and access trails.
The Murray River crossing into Victoria at Tom Groggin campground is closed until 29 October 2015 due to winter road closures by Parks Victoria. There will be no access into Davies Plain, Mt Pinnibar and Tom Groggin fire trails in the Victorian Alpine National Park.
Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact the NPWS Tumut Visitor Centre on (02) 6497 7025 or the NPWS Snowy Region Visitor Centre on (02) 6450 5600, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page.

Closed areas: Thredbo Valley track reopening Sunday 27 September 2015
Sections 1 and 2 (Thredbo to Ngarigo) of the Thredbo Valley track will be reopening on Sunday 27 September 2015. The track from The Diggings to Skitube- Bullocks Flat, Bullocks Hut and Lake Crackenback Resort will remain open. The Bullocks and Muzzlewood tracks will also remain open. For more information, please contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre, Jindabyne on (02) 6450 5600 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

Walker Feedback

Add NewSearch
Philip Bloomfield - WW | 2012-07-16 11:54:15
Great family walk
Only registered users can write comments!
Loading the images not too much longer now :)

-server Page was generated in 0.095135 seconds Copyright | Privacy | About us | Disclaimer | Contact Us | Sponsorship | Newsletter