Mount Warning Climb

MT Warning Northern NSW

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Mount Warning Hiking Trail

Mt Warning climb is best described as four hours of strenuous effort.

You spend a lot of your time watching your footing; the ground is rocky and uneven.

However the end result is well worth the hike, to see the Gold Coast Hinterland and Northern NSW stretched out before you is amazing, and to think you are approximately 1,156 metres standing on an extinct volcano, is  incredible.

But be warned!

Paying attention to where you are walking and being aware of your surrounding is important this isn’t that easy when you have your head down watching your every step.

Warning: That dark shadow approaching you slowly isn’t the rim of your hat but a bough from a fallen tree and it could take a few moments for those stars to dissipate after your encounter it.

This was my reintroduction to the Mount Warning Climb, not the best thing to happen at the beginning of a hike.

How to get to Mt Warning

Getting to Mount Warning isn’t difficult; if you are coming from the Southern Gold Coast you have two options…
Travel from the Gold Coast along the Pacific Hwy to Murwillumbah and take a left onto Riverview Road and follow the signs to Mount Warning National Park

Alternate route is Currumbin Creek Road and turn left onto Tomewin Mountain Road and take the scenic route over the mountains to Murwillumbah.

Prepare for Mt Warning Climb

At a minimum you should have the following items in your backpack.

  • Take plenty of water at a minimum over a litre / 33 fluid ounces or a ‘Hydration Pack’
  • Lunch or high energy snacks
  • Fruit to assist with hydration
  • Hat
  • Basics first aid kit
  • Using a walking pole/hiking pole will make a huge difference

Climbing Mt Warning is an accomplishment especially for those who don’t do a lot of hiking, it does require some preparation, so don’t attempt it on a whim or you could spend the next few days nursing your sore muscles, and it will be very difficult to perform the following activities;The crew for the day on Mt. Warning hiking trail

  • Walking down stairs
  • Walking upstairs
  • Sitting down
  • Moving quickly
  • Any lower body activity

Mount Warning Climb 4-5 hours

The climb is over 4 hours and if you add a couple of breaks and 30 minutes recovery time at the summit you can see it is a full day’s activity and that doesn’t include travelling to the location. The climb is best started in the morning the earlier the better while the air is cool and fresh. Don’t start the climb in the afternoon, this will not allow enough time to get down before dark, there are warning signs outlining the outcome of such a decision.

The dense rainforest can get quite dark even in mid afternoon when the sun has moved from the eastern part of the mountain. This is also true down on the coastal walking tracks Burleigh Headland National can get quite dark later in the afternoon; Mt Cougal is another walking trail that shouldn’t be attempted later in the day.

Vertical Ascent – Rock Scramble

The last leg of the climb is a challenge, be careful negotiating this part of the journey. It is best described as a scramble up a very steep ascent while hanging onto a metal chain. If you are not familiar with rock climbing it can look a little intimidating. The chain is a good support and it wont take you long to get in a rhythm climbing up to the summit.Mt Warning Summit

Just take your time the views are worth the effort!

The rock scramble just be the summitA warning sign at the foot of the final rock ascent warns of climbing during an electrical storm, you wouldn’t want to be caught holding onto a metal chain during a storm. Although this trail is a well worn path it’s still wild country however the steer volume of people on it can give you a false sense of security. (On a weekend)

Great Encouragement on Mount Warning Trail

There is great camaraderie on the trail other hikers are eager to encourage you to keep going with phrases ” like your nearly there, keep it up”.
Captain Cook named Mt Warning in May 1770 to warn future mariners of the offshore reefs documented.
I’ve done the Mt Warning Climb a number of times, it never ceases to amaze me how after the climb I swear never to do it again especially while negotiating the last couple of kilometres back down the trail and those stairs…when your knees and legs feel like jelly and they are going to buckle underneath you.

However sore knees and legs recover and the memory fades, until next time…


Before embarking on your day hike up Mount Warning please take the time to check the NSW National Parks alerts on their website.

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