If you do one thing in your life, go and see the sun rise at Mount Warning in New South Wales. A spontaneous trip down from Brisbane, we found ourselves on the road just after 1am. Stocked up on energy drinks, No-Doz, sandwich supplies and high-sugar lollies, we arrived just after 3:30am thanks to a little detour where we forgot to pay attention to the GPS.
9km return, supposed to take 5 hours. All we were worried about was beating the sunrise at 6:37am. Otherwise we would have just wasted a trip!
There was a subtle comradery as we trudged up the mountain. Calls of Cooooo-eeeee echoed in th darkness as we hiked with nothing but torchlight and the moon to guide us.
Mainly stairs, with some uneven rock surfaces and a scramble for the final section, this mountain isn’t particularly tough to hike/climb (unlike Mt Tibrogargan on the Sunshine Coast!). However, it is long. The trek up took us just over two hours with breaks every so often to check out the view. If we were pushing, maybe an hour and a half would have been achievable.
I was very surprised to see that many people out so early (particularly the morning after State of Origin), and by the time the sun rose at the top a group of about 20 of us had gathered.
Winter, at Mt Warning, is freezing. The whole way up, the physical exercise combined with the leafy undergrowth had protected us from the freezing wind which buffeted the mountain. Despite wearing three layers on the top, two layers on the bottle and a beanie, I was still cold and wishing desperately that I had brought gloves and a scarf.
However, it was so worth it. Being the first to see the sun rise for the day out of the whole of Australia is a completely amazing experience. Despite next to no sleep, I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat (although maybe when it’s slightly warmer next time!
The most interesting part of the trip, besides the sunrise, was possible encountering a cow loitering in the middle of the road (we were in the country I guess), or a warning sign which read: “CAUTION – Fruit Stall Ahead. Ah, road trips!