A supermoon, or a perigee full moon to use its proper name, is when the moon is closest to the earth while full. This means you get an extremely bright moon. So what should you do during the supermoon this coming July 12?
Note on the date: July 12 is when the moon is fullest, which this year is a Saturday. But you can enjoy a nearly full bright moon on the 11th and 13th as well.
Watch the moonrise over the city.
Moonrise on July 12 is 5:03 pm which means it is perfect to watch it rise over the city. My two favourite places to do this from are the summit at Mt Coot-tha or at Highgate Hill park. Mt Coot-tha has both a lovely cafe and an excellent restaurant at the summit.
Moon and water
There is something magical, dare I say romantic, about the combination of moonlight on the water. With a huge stretch of coast line in the Brisbane area from the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast it should be easy to find a restaurant or bar for dinner and drinks while the moon rises over the ocean.
One location that come to mind is the Full Moon Hotel at Sandgate. Alternative beach side locations include Manly and Wynnum, and Redcliffe. All three areas provide plenty of opportunity to walk along the coast and enjoy the moon.
One of my favourite things to do during the supermoon is to hike by moonlight. Ideally you need to hike in open country where there is a view. Last supermoon we hiked the Powerful Owl Trail at Mt Coot-tha with enough time over to return and to the Kuta Cafe at the summit to enjoy hot chocolate on a cold night.
Other locations that would be worth hiking are at the Noosa Headlands National Park or White Rock near Ipswich. The adventurous might want to try the summit at Mt Warning to first watch the moonrise over Byron Bay and then hike down under the moonlight.
When hiking under the full moon you should still carry a headlamp or torch because while out in the open the moonlight is enough to see by, but once under the trees it will still be very dark. Read more about night hiking in this article.
Note on the size of the moon
Why does the moon appear larger and smaller at different times? It has nothing to do with how close the moon is to the earth but due to an optical illusion. As a result the moon usually appears larger near the horizon and smaller up high. Many people may be disappointed that the moon may not appear larger to the eye during the supermoon. The real joy is how bright the moon will be.
More supermoons this year
If going out on a cold July night doesn't appeal to you there are two more supermoons this year. The next super moon will be on August 10 and will be the brightest of the year.