Mountain Ranges in Australia & Oceania: Guide To The Mountains and Hikes

mountain ranges in australia oceania

On this page we uncover some of the main mountain ranges in Australia and Oceania.

From the Great Dividing Range in Australia to the Southern Alps in New Zealand, Oceania is home to a wonderful selection of ranges.

We have also included information on the highest and most notable Australian / Oceania mountains.  

See best hikes in Australia and best hikes in New Zealand.

Australia & Oceania Mountain Ranges

The mountain ranges of Australia and across the region of Oceania are wide and varied.

In Australia the most substantial mountain range and 3rd longest land-based range is the Great Dividing Range (3,500 km / 2,175 miles long), which runs the entire length of the eastern coastline from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland to the central plains at the Grampians in western Victoria.

Outside of Australia, there are impressive ranges in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia (if one includes Indonesia in the region).

Below are some of the most famous Australian / Oceania mountain ranges.

Australian Alps

australian alps

The Australian Alps are part of the Great Dividing Range in Australia. The range is situated in Southeastern Australia, straddling the territories of Victoria, New South Wales the Australian Capital Territory.

The Australian Alps is the only area on mainland Australia that receives deep snowfall each year. It is also home to the highest peaks in Australia, including Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m). 

Blue Mountains


The enchanting Blue Mountains are located in New South Wales, Australia, about 50km west of Sydney. 

From 2000, thanks to their unique landscape, vegetation and wildlife, the mountains have been listed as an official World Heritage Area by UNESCO.

The Blue Mountains own their name to the blue haze which is refracted when oily droplets from evaporated eucalyptus leaves mix with dust particles and water vapour in the surrounding air.

Snowy Mountains

snowy mountains

The Snowy Mountains are one of the bio-geographical subregions of the Australian Alps. Known locally as The Snowies, the range has the five highest peaks on mainland Australia, including Mount Kosciuszko. 

The range is the center of the Australian ski industry with all four of New South Wales snow resorts located in the region. The region is usually covered in snow for the whole of June, July, August and September.   

Sudirman Range (Indonesia)


The Sudirman Range is located in the Papua province of Indonesia. The range is home to some of the highest peaks in Indonesia, including Puncak Jaya or Cartensz Pyramid (4,884m / 16,024ft) and Sumantri (4,870m / 15,977ft). The former is officially the highest peak in Oceania.

The range is named after Indonesia's national hero, Sudirman. 

 Southern Alps (New Zealand)

southern alps

The Southern Alps is a mountain range that extends almost the full length of New Zealand's south island. The range is home to New Zealands highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m / 12,218ft). 

The Southern Alps are incredibly picturesque, making them a huge draw card for tourists. The range consists of beautiful glaciated peaks, stunning fresh water lakes and rivers, and a rich variety of fauna and flora. It's no wonder why much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the New Zealand's Alps. 

Top 10 Mountain Ranges in Australia & Oceania



Highest Point

Great Dividing Range


Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m)

Australian Alps


Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m)

Snowy Mountains


Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m)

Blue Mountains


Mount Werong (1,189m)

Sudirman Range


Puncak Jaya, aka Cartensz Pyramid (4,884m / 16,024ft)

Kaikoura Ranges

New Zealand

Tapuae-o-Uenuku (2,885m)

Southern Alps

New Zealand

Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m)

Tararua Range

New Zealand

Mitre (1,571m)

Owen Stanley Range

Papua New Guinea

Mount Victoria (4,038m)

Bismarck Range

Papua New Guinea

Mount Wilhelm (4,509m)

Notable Australian & Oceania Mountains

Despite Australia's huge size, there are surprisingly few mountains of note. In fact, the most popular mountainous structure in Australia, Ayers Rock, is just that, a rock!

Thankfully the wider region of Oceania does have a number of awesome mountains. New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia (technically Indonesia is part of Asia, but for mountaineering reasons it is often included in the Oceania region) are awash with impressive peaks.

Here are three mountains in Ocean / Australasia that deserve a specific mention. 

Puncak Jaya, or Carstensz Pyramid (Indonesia)

Puncak jaya

Puncak Jaya, aka Cartensz Pyramid (4,884m / 16,024ft) in Indonesia is the highest peak in the region, although some feel this title should go to Mount Wilhelm (4,509m / 14,793ft) in Papua New Guinea as Indonesia is technically in Asia.

Geography aside though, Puncak Jaya is undoubtedly an impressive peak that requires technical climbing skills to summit.

As it is officially part of the famous 7 Summits circuit, one can find 100s of mountaineers undertaking expeditions to Cartensz Pyramid each year.

Aoraki / Mount Cook (New Zealand)

mount cook aoraki

Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m / 12,218ft) is the highest mountain in New Zealand and a coveted mountaineering challenge. Situated in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, the peak and surrounding area is beautifully picturesque.

Sir Edmund Hillary cut his teeth climbing Aoraki before going on to become the first person to summit Mount Everest (with Tenzing Norgay).

Today many mountaineers take on Mount Cook during the climbing season which runs between November and February. Around 80 people have died trying to summit Aoraki, making it the deadliest mountain in New Zealand. 

Mount Kosciuszko (Australia)


Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m / 7,310ft) is the highest mountain in Australia, and a contender for the 7 Summits popularised by Richard Bass, the first person to climb all the highest peaks on each continent. 

Kosciuszko is situated in the Snowy Mountains of the Great Dividing Range.

Around 100,000 people climb Mount Kosciuszko every year and complete the relatively easy hike up to its summit.

Highest Mountains in Australia & Oceania

The highest mountain in Australia and the wider region are relatively complicated to list due to the definitions of what countries are technically in Oceania. For the purposes of this article we have included Indonesia in Oceania as its highest peak, Puncak Jaya, or Carstensz Pyramid (4,884m / 16,024ft), is officially included as the 7 Summit contender for Australasia.

Technically though, Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m / 7,310ft), is the highest peak on continental Australia. Kosciuszko is a relatively unimpressive peak and easy hike in the Great Dividing Range. Australia does have higher peaks within territories that it administers. For example, Dome Argus (4,030 m or 13,220 ft), Mount McClintock (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Mount Menzies (3,355 m or 11,007 ft) in the Australian Antarctic Territory, and Mawson Peak (2,745 m or 9,006 ft) on Heard Island.

Mount Giluwe (Papua New Guinea) is the tallest volcano on the Australia/ Oceania continent. It is part of the seven volcanic summits circuit.

Please note: this list is not exhaustive. Instead it provides the highest 2-4 peaks in each of the main countries in Oceania - Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.  




Puncak Jaya / Carstensz Pyramid (Sudirman Range)

4,884m / 16,024ft


Sumantri  (Sudirman Range)

4,870m / 15,977ft


Puncak Mandala
(Jayawijaya Range)

4,760m / 15,616ft


Puncak Trikora
(Sudirman Range)

4,750m / 15,583ft


Mount Yamin
(Jayawijaya Range)

4,540m / 14,900ft


Mount Wilhelm
(Bismarck Range)

4,509m / 14,793ft

Papua New Guinea

Mount Giluwe
(New Guinea Highlands)

4,367m / 14,327ft

Papua New Guinea

Aoraki / Mount Cook
(Southern Alps)

3,724m / 12,218ft

New Zealand

Mount Tasman (Southern Alps)

3,497m / 11,473 ft

New Zealand

Mount Kosciuszko
(Great Dividing Range)

2,228m / 7,310ft



About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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