Mount Warning Summit Walk
Mount Warning (Wollumbin), on the far north coast of New South Wales is truly a natural wonder and provides a challenging climb for the adventure seeker.
Wollumbin National Park
Wollumbin National Park is a really special place, with some sensational natural wonders. This area was included on the World Heritage Register in 1986 as part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area, due to the significance of the ancient rainforests found here, and the volcanic system which 20 million years ago stretched from Mt Tambourine in the North to Lismore in the South.
These ancient rainforests are windows into the past, when rainforests covered much of the Australian continent. You can find many threatened plant species here, plus many animals including mammals, reptiles and over 100 bird species.
Mt Warning was originally formed as the central vent of a huge shield volcano and the main outlet for lava rising from a hotspot below the earth’s crust, and this mountain and others in the range here now form the largest volcanic erosion caldera in the southern hemisphere. At 1157m above sea level, Mt Warning was once twice this height, before it stopped erupting 20 million years ago and began eroding due to the natural forces of wind, rain and river movements.
The Bundjalung people have lived in the Tweed area for over 10,000 years. Wollumbin is the Aboriginal name for this mountainous range, and this is a sacred place with great spiritual significance to the Bundjalung people. It is a traditional place of aboriginal culture, and also a spiritual landscape, with many prominent landforms found in the area recognized as mythological sites.
Under Bundjalung law, only specifically chosen people are allowed to climb Wollumbin. Bundjalung elders ask that you consider their heritage and laws before choosing to climb Mt Warning.
More than 60,000 people do The Summit Walk climb each year. The track is a steep 8.9km return climb, which includes a challenging vertical rock scramble to get to the top. You need to allow 4-5 hours for this hike, and it is recommended to not start after midday in winter due to lack of adequate light.
The Summit Walk is classified as difficult, and is a strenuous steep climb, with a rocky and often uneven path. You will need good sturdy walking shoes and take water with you.
This walk is best done EARLY in the morning, so that you can be the first to watch the sun appear over the ocean from the peak and usher in a new day.
While it certainly is challenging, the 360 degree view at the top makes it completely worthwhile. You can see the Gold Coast in the distance, Byron Bay and her lighthouse, and of course the Tweed River winding its way through the Tweed Valley landscape below.
From here you can also witness the magnificent mountain range that makes up the ancient eroded volcanic caldera, and the ancient Gondwanan rainforest landscape, that boasts some of the most extensive remaining and untouched areas of subtropical rainforest in the world.
With the pathway through World Heritage listed landscape, this is a sensational walk, and a great challenge with a nice sense of personal achievement when you reach the top!
To access the National Park and complete the Summit Walk, we stayed in nearby Murwillumbah at the Showgrounds. Don’t miss the farmers market held here every Wednesday for some fresh local produce!
You can visit the National Parks and Wildlife website here to find out more information and plan your trip.