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Mt Warning National Park/Australia

Introducing Mt Warning National Park

Although only 2380 hectares, this is the most dramatic feature of the hinterland, with Mt Warning (1156m) towering over the valley. The peak is the first part of mainland Australia to be touched by sunlight each day. Over 60, 000 people a year make the 4.4km, five-hour round-trip trek to the top from Breakfast Creek.

Mt Warning is known to the Bundjalung people as Wollumbin, meaning ‘cloud catcher’, ‘fighting chief of the mountain’ and ‘weather maker’. Although everyone does it, you should be aware that, under Bundjalung law, only specifically chosen people are allowed to climb the mountain and consequently they ask you not to go, out of respect. The unnerving European name was given to the peak in 1770 by Captain Cook to warn seamen of the offshore reefs.

The Mt Warning Caravan Park & Tourist Retreat (02-6679 5120; www.mtwarningholidaypark.com; Mt Warning Rd; unpowered sites/cabins from $18/55), on the Mt Warning approach road, has good kitchen facilities and a well-stocked kiosk.

Wallers (02-6687 8550) buses run from Lismore ($20) to Dum Dum, the tiny town at the turn-off for Mt Warning.

Uki (uke-eye) is a cute town in the shadow of Mt Warning’s dominating peak. It’s got the laid-back alternative feel typical of the region, as well as the Uki Café (6679 5351; 1 Rowlands Creek Rd; mains $7-12; breakfast & lunch daily, dinner Fri & Sat), which serves good food on a sweeping veranda, or by a toasty potbelly stove inside.