Mount Warning

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AU_Mt_Warning_from_Tweed.jpg
Mount Warning seen from the Tweed River / Point Danger / Coolangatta, Queensland.

Mount Warning is a mountain in New South Wales, Australia, near the border with Queensland. It is known as Wollumbin in the local native tongue meaning "cloud-catcher", and is the highest mountain on Australia's east coast. Due to its height and close proximity to Australia's easternmost point, Cape Byron, it is known as the place that first sees the sun rise in the country.

The name 'Mount Warning' was given to the mountain in 1770 by Captain James Cook, as its distinct profile served as a warning to the dangerous Julian Rocks two kilometers offshore.

Mount Warning is the central remnant of an ancient volcano, Tweed Volcano, formerly twice the height of the current mountain, which erupted over 22 million years ago. The erosion caldera formed since this eruption is easily visible around the summit and forms the rim of the Tweed valley.

Climbing the mountain

Mt Warning is near the border cities of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta at the southern end of the tourist destination of the Gold Coast. Driving from these places takes 45-60 minutes, passing through the regional town of Murwillumbah and then taking the marked road to the parking area in the National Park.

Visitors are advised to use the toilets, as there are no amenities on the track. The round-trip, out-and-back walk up the mainly rocky path takes between 4 and 5 hours for moderately fit people, with a very strenuous rock climb of about 100m at the top up the almost vertical granite face (with the assitance of a chain.)

Very fit people can run the track in a little over 2 hours. Much of the climb is in shade through lush, tropical forest and then on the south face of the mountain, so it is advisable to take warm clothing in case of sudden cool winds or storms. Sturdy shoes are essential. Walkers need to have food and water, but bring out all their rubbish.

The summit has four platforms offering views of the caldera, and a rest area.

The oldest known climber was aged 104.

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