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Night Hiking in South East Queensland

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published June 6th 2014
Beat the heat for a great experience
Why hike at night?

Hot summers with warm nights in South East Queensland makes night hiking sometimes preferable to hiking during the day. Even in winter the nights are still warm enough to go hiking. There are also numerous other advantages to hiking at night.

Full Moon Hiking
With a full moon on an open trail you can hike without torches? The best time is to hike during the supermoon or, to give it the correct name, perigee full moon. This is when the moon is full as well as being closest to the Earth. Please note, the moon won't look that much bigger to the eye, but it will be super bright. If you are hiking in open fields the moonlight is more than enough to hike by.

A Supermoon
A Supermoon


Star Gazing
On a clear and moonless night the sky fills with stars. When was the last time you saw the Milky Way in all its glory?

When was the last time you saw the milky way?
When was the last time you saw the milky way?


Animal Spotting
Many Australian birds and animals are nocturnal, which means the best time to see them is at night. With some skill and practice you will be able to spot many animals at night. The annoyance is that many spiders also wait until night to spin their webs across trails.

Sunrise Hiking
I had never done this until I lived in Asia where many mountains will have hundreds of people hiking to the top on any given night to watch the sunrise. In Australia there are a few select locations where this is popular but I think it should encouraged more.

Some suggested night hiking locations

Mt Coot-Tha
Given the proximity to Brisbane suburbs and the fact that the cafe at the summit stays open late, this is a popular location for hikes at night. We hiked the Summit and Powerful Owl Tracks during the last supermoon when the moon is brightest. While the Summit trail is overshadowed by trees requiring the use of torches, the open Powerful Owl Trail allowed us to experience hiking under the super bright full moon.

People at the Mt Coot-Tha Lookout at Night
People at the Mt Coot-Tha Lookout at Night


Mt Nebo Lookout
This will give you great views out towards the coast. Lights from towns and suburbs makes the view at night enchanting.

Mt Warning
A popular location to hike up to see the sunrise, most people start their hike about 3 am in the morning to arrive in time for the sunrise.

People at the summit of Mt Warning watching the sunrise after hiking up at night
People at the summit of Mt Warning watching the sunrise after hiking up at night


Night hiking equipment

Handheld Torches or Headlamps
Hand held torches or flashlights are fine for any hiking that doesn't involve scrambling. However if you want your hands free then it is worthwhile investing in a headlamp.

My trusty headlamp
My trusty headlamp

Many headlamps have a red light, which lets you see without losing your night vision. Personally I find it difficult to hike with the red light but I find ir useful when I have to stop somewhere. If I am only moving slowly around a small area the red light works well for me.

Warm Clothes and Emergency Blanket
It can get cold at night and if you are injured you could well spend a cold night out in the bush. Sunrise hikes that take you to the top of mountains before dawn are usually the coldest and generally most people don't bring enough warm clothes with them.

It is worthwhile taking an emergency space blanket as well. These are incredibly light and can keep you warm in emergencies.
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Why? Moonlight hiking, star gazing, animal spotting and sunrise greeting
Your Comment
Great idea Roy - I'd love to hike the Powerful Owl Trail under a full moon.
by Lucy (score: 3|1157) 1843 days ago
Mount Warning is a great option for a night/sunrise hike.
It's reputed to be the first place in mainland Australia to see the sun rise.https://www.weekendnotes.com/mount-warning-sunrise-climb/
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|763) 1841 days ago
Night hiking is my favourite thing to do. Walking for Pleasure has a night hike every Thursday night at 7pm through Toohey Forest. Check out W4P website.
by Patti (score: 1|12) 1841 days ago
Night hiking is my favourite thing to do. Walking for Pleasure has a night hike every Thursday night at 7pm through Toohey Forest. Check out W4P website.
by Patti (score: 1|12) 1841 days ago
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