When it comes to hiking reward versus effort, Mount Cordeaux is hands down the winner. Uninterrupted views and enchanting sunrises await those dedicated enough to awake early and make the journey.
I love starting my day above the clouds, there's something magical about hiking your way to the top of a mountain while all around you the world slumbers.
Hiking is always more fun with my best friend, but between full time careers, children and other passions (hula hooping is a legit sport!) its hard getting the stars to align so we can go together. We've found overtime that sunrise hikes fit in with our busy lives and always try to make the most of these early morning starts.
As is now tradition we had a sleep over the night before (complete with classic movies, hair braiding and too many glasses of bubbles!) before awaking at 3am to set off for the mountain.
After a false start trying to find the path in the dark and wandering around the car park for a few minutes, we decided to download the Wikiloc map (now an essential part of my sunrise hiking preparations if I've not been there before!) and eventually found the trail (note its located at the eastern side of the carpark....)
Once we were on it the trail was extremely well marked, more of a path really, and easy to follow with our headlamps.
The path winds back up on itself creating a gradual incline instead of a steep ascent, making it perfect for children or people who don't have a high level of fitness. Its also ideal for trail running and we came across many people on our way down who were out for an early morning run.
We made it to the first lookout, just below the summit, as the suns golden rays lit up the valley below and it was breathtaking. I have been fortunate enough to see some magnificent views on my hikes but sunrise always adds a magical element to the experience.
Low lying clouds created the illusion of lakes below and the surrounding mountains came into focus. We spent a few minutes spotting some of our favourites and pondering some we couldn't name before continuing up to the actual top to watch the sky transition from golden orange, to candy floss pinks then eventually a brilliant clear blue.
If you're feeling like you want a little more adventure you can continue the trail from Mount Cordeaux around the mountain then along the ridge line and across to Bare Rock. With the sun now fully risen I could appreciate the beauty of the sub tropical rain forest, the bird life was prolific with chirps following our every step.
When you rejoin the ridge line the views are once again epic, stretching out along the horizon to the sea.
After stopping at Bare Rock to absorb the magnificence of the moment and have a snack (vegan jerky anyone?) we decided to take our shoes off and head back down the mountain barefoot. Not the best barefoot journey as the path was littered in places with small pebbles but it was nice to feel the cool earth beneath us and finish our hike calm and grounded before rejoining the bustle of weekend life.
“Lost is a state of mind, I prefer to think of it as exploring” - Lia Skye
What to Expect
A nice gradually inclined path perfect for all ages and generations.
How to get there
Put Crest Car Park into your GPS or click here for Google Maps
Water – Minimum 2L as there is no where to fill up while your up there.
This walk doesn't take very long so no need for anything to filling but I always have a few snacks in my bag.
As always make sure to take all your rubbish and packaging with you!
Further Reading (for all the technical deets)
You can read more about Mount Cordeaux by clicking here