Wollumbin, otherwise known as Mount Warning, is a characteristic and recognisable mountain in Wollumbin National Park in the Byron Bay Hinterland.
The Mount Warning summit trail is a challenging 9km bushwalk that brings hikers all the way to the top of the mountain, offering panoramic 360 degree views.
How to Get to Wollumbin National Park
In Murwillumbah, turn into Riverview Street that flows into Kyogle Road. After about 12km, turn right into Mount Warning Road. Keep going straight past the Mt Warning Rainforest Park sign until you get to the Wollumbin car park.
The toilet block at the car park is the only toilet facility in the national park. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to hike to the summit of the mountain.
Wollumbin National Park
Known as Wollumbin by the people of Bundjalung, Mount Warning has always been an important part of Aboriginal culture.
It was named Mount Warning by Captain Cook in 1770, after his ship Endeavour nearly hit reefs at Point Danger near Tweed Heads, 50km north east of Wollumbin.
Wollumbin was once part of the Tweed Volcano, a partially eroded shield volcano that has left ancient old rock formations behind.
The mountain used to be almost twice as high as it is now, but millions of years of erosion has caused the mountain to shrink and form a characteristic sharp peak. The height of Mount Warning is now established as almost 1,200m above sea level.
World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park is rich in plant, bird and animal life. Two walking tracks, the Mount Warning summit track and the Lyrebird track, give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the best this national park has to offer.
Further south, in Nightcap National Park, the highly recommended Minyon Falls circuit track offers similar scenery.
Wollumbin is a sacred place of great significance to the people of Bundjalung. The area provides a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education. Under Bundjalung law, only specifically chosen people are allowed on the mountain. Climbing Mt Warning is against the wishes of Bundjalung elders. Visitors are asked to respect the cultural and historical significance of Wollumbin.
Mount Warning Summit Track
Thousands of bushwalkers undertake the challenging track to the summit of Mount Warning. But despite its popularity, this walking track is not for everyone.
It’s a tough track with very rocky surface from start to finish and some very steep sections. The last 200m even involves rock scrambling along chains to get to the summit.
Once you’re there, on top of the mountain, the beautiful panoramic views of the ocean, Gold Coast and the Byron Bay Hinterland will make you quickly forget about the effort it took to get there.
There are several lookout areas with seating that provide clear 360 degree views, perfect for a well deserved picnic.
The total length of the track is 9km (return) and zigzags its way to the summit through the subtropical and temperate rainforest. Along the way are several lookout points where you can have a break and enjoy the views.
There are also five emergency helicopter points on the track, allowing rescue teams quick access in case of any emergencies that, unfortunately, do occasionally happen.
As the walk will take anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, it’s best to start climbing early when the temperature is more pleasant during the summer months.
Also note that in winter months, you’re not supposed to climb in the afternoon as it gets dark very quickly. People have actually become lost due to the darkness on the return journey.
The Mount Warning summit trail is regarded as a tough and risky walking track. It is for good reason that there are several helicopter rescue spots installed on the mountain. But every rescue operation is not only expensive, it is also dangerous for the rescue team involved.
Don’t climb Mount Warning in the afternoon as it gets dark really quick. Don’t climb if you’re unfit or have medical conditions. Bring enough water and snacks with you. Wear suitable hiking shoes because the surface is rough all the way. Don’t camp on top of the mountain. Don’t attempt to climb Mount Warning if bad weather is predicted. Always keep to the track, because shortcuts can cause erosion. If you’re going by yourself, let someone know about your plans.
If climbing Mount Warning is not an option, the much shorter Lyrebird track is a good alternative. Less then 1km in length, the Lyrebird track starts at the same point as where the Mount Warning summit track starts.
Great for bird watching, this easy bushwalk takes visitors across Breakfast Creek through subtropical rainforest to a small but scenic viewing platform.
Turn into Mount Warning Rd from Kyogle Rd and keep driving all the way to the end where you can park your car. The last stretch is a dirt road so please drive carefully.