The Snowy Mountains in the Australian Alps started forming about 860 million years ago by different marine sediments when southeast Australia was covered by the sea, according to Swirk. Natural forces up folded and lifted these rocks, then were later flattened by erosion leaving the sharp edge plateaux seen today. The valleys were formed by river water erosion.
The Snowy Mountains are the highest mountain range in Australia. This mountain range contains the five highest peaks on the Australian mainland, all of which are over 6,890 feet tall. Mount Kosciuszko is the tallest of the five at 7,310 feet tall. Unlike some other mountain ranges, the Snowy Mountains are covered with thick vegetation that helps prevent erosion, according to Tourism Snowy Mountains. Within the Snowy Mountain range, is the conifer, mountain plum-pine, which is said to be the worlds oldest living plant. The rivers within the Snowy Mountains have been used to supply power to three states since 1949 using the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. This scheme is also used to provide water to farming industries in New South Wales and Victoria. This scheme in these mountains have been viewed as a defining point in Australia's history by many people.