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Published July 6th 2012
Located near Cape Byron, Mt Warning (given its name by Captain James Cook) is exactly 2 hours south of Brisbane and great for a hike during the day, or to see the sunrise. The hike is 8.8 kilometres in total. It is recommended that you leave about 2 hours to climb to the summit (1157m), and 2 hours to return back down to the car park.
The appeal for hiking this volcanic mountain for sunrise is that it is the first place in the whole country to see the suns rays.
We left Brisbane at 1am, which got us to our destination at 3am to start the climb. I have to say that I did think about safety prior to hiking. The thought of walking around in the bush in the dark was obviously going to cause some concern- but once we were there, I didn't even give it a second thought. The track is very popular so we were always walking past people, or constantly being over taken.
A few rest stops were needed during the trip to the summit by the unfit people in our group – me. It definitely wasn't the toughest of climbs, but enough to get the heart rate up. There really isn't much else to say about the trip up, as you can't see much given that it is completely dark. The last couple of hundred metres up to the viewing platform is definitely the trickiest. It involves a bit of manoeuvring up a steep rocky path.
1.5 hours later from leaving the car park, the sky started to get lighter and we approached the viewing platform.I couldn't believe all the people that were at the top to watch the sunrise over the cape. There was easily a good hundred people there.
That morning wasn't the clearest of days, but it didn't take away from the fact that it truly was a stunning view. There is something magical about watching the sun rise. More so knowing that we were the first people in the entire country that day to see the sun.
It was beautiful seeing the sunshine gradually lighting up the valley beneath the mountain. The bright pink sky constantly being covered and uncovered by the clouds, and the sweeping views of the coast. You can even see the lighthouse at Byron Bay from the summit (the most easterly point of Australia).
On the way down, you get to enjoy the different terrains of the national park. The bush is stunning- tall magnificent trees, rainforest, beautiful boulders, and dry bush land. With any good hike, shoes are a concern. If you are susceptible to rolling your ankles, you might want to look into buying a pair of hiking boots.
The beauty from the top and the satisfaction of the climb will leave you breathless and feeling good about yourself, life and this beautiful country. This is a magical trip that is highly recommended for anyone that enjoys the outdoors.