Visit Mt Warning NP
& Climb An Extinct Volcano!
Visit the world heritage Mt Warning NP, and climb one of the remnants of the enormous ancient Tweed volcano, which was last active ~ 20 million years ago.
Today's Tweed Valley, the amazing landscape of the Springbrook and Lamington Plateaus, and the mountain itself are all visible results of the volcano's impact - combined with a few million years of erosion!
At 1157 metres and situated as it is on the edge of the east coast, Mount Warning's summit is the first part of mainland Australia to be touched by the sun each day.
A challenging walk through Mt Warning NP to the mountain's summit yields great reward in the magnificent 360 degree views that you'll see from the top.
Children as young as four years through to seniors have successfully made the return trek to the summit.
The key is to take your time and stop whenever you need a rest - after all, the ultimate goal is to reach the summit of Mt Warning AND enjoy your walk along the way.
On your rainforest walk through Mt Warning NP, you may see brush turkeys, goannas, pademelons, and a wallaby or two.
The occasional black snake or carpet snake may be seen on the world heritage trail but, like all snakes, will tend to slither away as soon as they're aware of you.
The two most challenging sections of the walk are at the start (the base of the mountain is rather steep!) and the final few hundred metres approaching the summit, which features a chain-rail to assist you in the strenuous rock scramble to the top.
... but the reward for your effort is a tremendous sense of accomplishment, coupled with magnificent 360 degree views to complete a truly exhilarating experience!
Mt Warning NP also features a shorter rainforest walk, the Lyrebird Track, which is at the base of the mountain. It crosses Breakfast Creek and winds through the forest for a few hundred metres to a rainforest viewing platform.
Whichever trail you choose though, consider as you walk that when the first Europeans climbed Mt Warning back in the nineteenth century, it took three and a half days - one way!
You'll get to climb the mountain in a mere 2-3 hours - thanks to intrepid pioneers and clearly marked trails!
Click here to access a NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NP&WS) 'big picture' map of Mt Warning NP.
The NSW NP&WS also provides description and details for the summit walk to Mt Warning, which is worth reading if you’re preparing for this 4-5 hour walk.
- Blanch, R, and Kean, V, Bushwalking in the Mount Warning Region, second edition published by Kingsclear Books, 1995.
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mount Warning National Park, 1993.
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
What's in a Name?
The impressive mountain earned its name ('Mount Warning') when English naval Lieutenant, James Cook and his ship Endeavour encountered dangerous reefs that were formed millions of years earlier by its volcanic outpourings.
Although Cook may have gone down in history as the man who mapped the eastern coastline and 'discovered' Australia, the huge continent had been settled and occupied for thousands of years by its original owners - the native tribes of Aboriginal Australia.
The local Bundjalung tribe already referred to the great mountain as Wollumbin ('fighting chief of the mountains') - so named for the mythical warrior whose combat was evident through the frequent thunder and lightning seen on the mountain top.
||Breakfast Creek parking area
|Mt Warning Summit Track
||Breakfast Creek parking area
Return from Mt Warning NP to National Parks
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|Access to this National Park is free.|
|Toilets (including wheelchair facilities), picnic facilities, BBQs, walking trails.|
|Don't let a bit of light rain scare you from bush walking - although ensure you have a change of clothing for when the walk is over, and take extra care of slippery rock surfaces.|
Walking in heavier rains is not recommended, for both safety and environmental considerations.
|This NP is open 24 hours a day, all year round.|
|The return walk to the summit will take 4-5 hours. A shorter 30 minute rainforest walk is also marked.|
|- Rain is a common, often sudden occurrence in Mt Warning NP where the average annual rainfall is around 2500mm - so leave a dry change of clothes in your vehicle for your return, just in case.|
- if you have time for a quick visit, the Rainforest Centre at Murwillumbah is an excellent educational centre, with lots of interesting info about Mt Warning & the five world heritage national parks surrounding Murwillumbah. Open 7 days a week, from 9am-4.30pm (NSW time).
- Read our handy hints for planning your rainforest trek.
- Check out our practical safety tips for bush walkers.
- Refer guidelines for how you can minimise your personal impact on the environment.
|How To Get There|
|If self-driving, make your way to the township of Murwillumbah, an 80 minute drive from Surfers Paradise (take Tweed Valley Way exit). Mount Warning NP is 12km west of Murwillumbah, off the Kyogle Road.|
Or refer to tour operators who offer day trips to national parks.
|World Heritage Rainforest Centre|
Cnr Tweed Valley Way & Alma St, Murwillumbah
Tel 02-6670 8600
Mount Warning’s Vegetation
One of the interesting aspects of the summit trail in the Mt Warning NP is its variety of vegetation, with the mountain hosting four different forest types.
The base of the mountain is covered for the most part in subtropical rainforest, its rich, moist soils relatively sheltered from the wind.
Further up the mountain where it's cooler and less protected from the wind, temperate rainforest grows in thinner soil than that which supports subtropical rainforest.
Climbing higher, temperate rainforest gives way to wet sclerophyll forest, which tends to have slightly more undergrowth since sunlight has less trouble penetrating the canopy.
The last few hundred metres to the summit features heath shrubland, which is suited to the very thin soil and windy conditions.