It's fairly common knowledge that Byron Bay is the most easterly point in Australia.
But did you know that the first place in Australia to see the sun coming up each day is actually found a little further inland at Mount Warning.
And the good news is that if you're serious about ticking off bucket list items, you can climb to the top of Mount Warning and experience for yourself the feeling of being the first person in the country to see that sunrise.
While catching that first glimmer of sunlight is pretty cool, the climb to the top of Mount Warning is about more than just the sun coming up.
Once you reach the summit you'll be treated to a stunning 360 degree view of the the ancient, eroded volcano that is at the heart of the area known as Australia's Green Cauldron.
On a clear day you'll be able to see views that stretch from the Gold Coast down to Byron Bay. You'll also be able to see Clarrie Hall Dam and the scenic rim off to the west.
The walk to the top of Mount Warning is a round trip of just under 9km and will take you roughly 3 - 4 hours depending on how fit you are and what pace you set.
In the warmer months of the year it's best to head out early in the morning to avoid the heat in the middle of the day. And in winter you need to make sure you don't head out so late that darkness starts to hit before you're back at the bottom.
Along the walk there are a number of platforms that give you the chance to stop and take in the stunning views. And once you get to the top you're going to want to take some time to relax, maybe shoot some photos and really soak in the views.
If you are keen to be at the top of the walk for the sunrise, you'll need to leave at around 3am (depending on the sunrise time on that day).
You'll need to bring a torch with you to help you navigate the track in darkness and make sure you stick to the inside of the path on your way up - there are some drop offs that will become more obvious to you on your way back down.
Hiking The Trail With Kids
Much of the track heading to the top of Mount Warning is not so difficult that it can't be tackled by a family with young children. Older children and teenagers should have no troubles at all.
You might just need to budget for the trip to take a little longer than normal and you need to make sure you have enough food and water for everyone.
It all depends on how fit the kids are, as well as how much interest they show in being outdoors exploring. If you have a child who drags their feet at the best of times, a 6 hour hike to the top of Mount Warning and back might not be a realistic day out.
But if you're the sort of family that loves to hike together, this is definitely an experience that's worth the effort.
Families with children as young as 5 have successfully made it all the way to the top, although mum or dad might need to do some of the work for the youngsters from time to time.
When you get close to the top there is a steep section that requires you to climb rocks while pulling yourself up on the chain running alongside you. Kids who love climbing should have no problem. Others might not find this section to their liking.
But even if you can't make it to the very top, there is still plenty to see along the way that makes the hike worth having a go. You can always try again once the kids get a little older.
Australia's 'Other' Green Cauldron
Here at BIG4 Tweed Billabong we believe in providing water attractions that are more than just a collection of slides and pools.
That's why we've used the 'Green Cauldron' as the inspriation for a large section of our amazing new waterpark.
After you've taken the hike to the top of Mount Warning and back, you can then arrive home here at Tweed Billabong and relax at the waterpark as your kids cool off and have some fun going down slides and splashing around in the play areas.
This is the perfect way to end a day spent outdoors exploring the beauty of Northern NSW.
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