The tallest peak in the Tweed Coast region and the first place on the Australian East Coast to catch the sunrise, Mt Warning holds a majestic trance over those who scale its heights.
Sure, it has a dreamy view over the coastline and the lush green countryside that surrounds it’s volcanic caldera. However we’re not going to lie – hiking Mt Warning isn’t for everyone.
Of our two children, one has been capably scaling it’s height since he was five, while the other who’s six doesn’t seem to have the stamina or desire to climb it yet – and by all indications may not for many more years.
The round trip is supposed to take 5 hours, but with kids can take anywhere from 3-7 hours depending whether they’re slowing down or speeding up your pace. While the lower regions of the track are fairly easily graded, there’s a section towards the summit that is very steep and requires climbing up a rock face by hauling yourself up with the assistance of a chain.
For very small children, it’s a big ask. The path is fairly rugged with stairs in sections, and not wheelchair or pram friendly. And unless you have a suitable harness/backpack the top chain section isn’t conducive to getting babies or toddlers up through easily – it’s often a two handed affair, so you won’t have hands free to assist them. The steepness of this section can also be intimidating for those who don’t like heights.
That said, we’ve seen tiny kids scale this section with monkey-like ease and leave their gob smacked parents for dust – it’s all down to your child’s athleticism and will.
Before you go:
- Make sure you’ve allowed adequate time for kids with little legs to make the round trip – before midday is ideal.
- Pack water, snacks and a flashlight in case your descent takes longer than planned – the path is tree-covered and tends to get very dark quite quickly.
- Good hiking shoes are a must. The pathways are rugged in places and there’s tree roots/rocks/normal natural spiky stuff to contend with.
- There’s no toilets once you’re on the trail, so be sure to go at the base.
Tip: Because the trail is enclosed by thick bush, there’s not much in the way of open vistas until you reach the peak. Once the novelty of being on a hike wears off, young kids can sometimes lose motivation – we keep ours going by pointing out wildlife habitats, tree species or even counting stairs. Promising them a treat at the summit also seems to have a magic effect on the speed of their little legs.
Be sure to watch the video at the top of this page to get our take on what it’s like to take three kids under ten up the mountain and live to tell the tale – and visit our Youtube channel for several morning videos filmed at Mt Warning too. Hiked Mt Warning with kids? Share your thoughts and tips with other families below!
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Happy Place Hunter's resident Editor In Chief, Caz Emge, has written for publications around the globe for two decades. An avid outdoor buff, in her (limited) spare time she and her videographer husband and two sons gather insights for this site – sharing happy places as they find them Click to read full bio