Awake at 3:26 a.m. We are going to hike up the famous Mt. Warning - our goal is to be at the top for the sunrise. We decided to stay in a basic cabin on the Mt. Warning National Park so we could get to the base of the hiking trail quickly. (no tent camping allowed on the mtn).
This is the 1st time Candis has ever hiked anything like this..so I was pretty. Excited to be out here with her. The elevation of the mtn is about 3793 feet. It's a 4 & 1/2 hour round trip hike - the climb is about 3 miles to the peak which includes a rock climb/scramble up
the last 500 yards- which is actually the remaining core & basalt plug for the one of the oldest extinct volcanos in the world. The aboriginal people call this mountain "Wollumbin" which means "fighting chief of the mountain". Many people come here to climb this mtn for spiritual reasons...which I would say is true for me as well.
I have to be honest- I left my headlamp in Sydney so we were attempting to hike/climb this mountain with a very simple hand held flashlight that Candis brought. Not the best move I have made. But we climbed - we could hear birds scrambling away from us as we slowly & steadily climbed up the mountain. We kept laughing and listening and cautiously taking each step. We started the hike at 4:00 am surrounded by rain forest. By 5:30 we were able to see the horizon begin to change colors before the sign. Then it was time to climb rocks. We left my hiking poles by the side so we could get them on the way down. There is a chain installed to help you pull yourself up the rocks...which was helpful some of the time. This was the first time that morning that I needed to stop & rest on the way up - it's a hard vertical climb. I waited for Candis & then we made it to the top. We put on another layer of clothes and then took in the breathtaking views of the other mountains & valleys & the Pacific Ocean. I have never hiked a mountain where I could see an ocean from the summit. I love, love it! Because of the location of this mtn by the ocean...the summit gets to see the sunrise first in Australia. And it is an amazing sunrise.
We were joined by a couple about 15 minutes later and you could tell they were disappointed that we were there before them. Hehe.
Then we began our slow hike down- which included me sliding down the rock scramble on my rear end. It was pretty fun except my hands were so cold, it hurt to use them. (they warmed up pretty quickly)
What an incredible adventure -
The rest of the day we travelled, explored the very touristy Gold Coast(lots and lots and lots of highrises-a lot like Destin but much larger).
We have decided that Aussies don't like to use excess signage- because we can not go anywhere without turning around once. They NEVER use North, South, East or West.... Ever. Which means we have to guess.
But we are near Brisbane in a beautiful location that overlooks the mountains and we are resting.