I’ve spent the last few days taking in Byron Bay enjoying the food, the atmosphere and generally chilling out (I know, it’s a hard life). However, one morning I made a last minute decision to climb Mt Warning at sunrise. The expedition started with a 2am wakeup call and an hour to drive to Wollumbin National Park
I reached the car park by about 3:30 am and packed up my gear, put some trainers on for the first time in what felt like months, and started the climb. I knew it was going to take me about 2 hours to reach the summit, which was exactly the time I had before sunrise, so I tried to walk a little faster. It was eerie, walking into the forest, but I was looking forward to the view.
I made good time and with the last 400m of rock to climb, the faint orange glow started to spread on the horizon and through the clouds. Ten minutes until sunrise I hit the peak and discovered I had climbed above the cloud line. Mt Warning was the only peak above the clouds and it was utterly breathtaking!
A sunrise like I had never seen before. Others had also made it to the summit and silence took over all of us. It really was a truly magical moment. We were officially the first people in Australia this morning to see the sun rise. The warmth of the sun came over us and nothing but smiles and a sense of achievement took over. We just gazed for ages, taking in the incredible view.
— Backpacker (@BackpackerBySTA) December 2, 2015
After enjoying this and catching my breath again it was time to trek down. I did it: I had climbed up to the summit, a 5.5 mile (9 km) round mountain trek and was very proud of it and it wasn’t even 8am yet! One of the best sunrises I’d ever seen in my life! Mt Warning, it was a pleasure.
Then it was time to pick up my Mighty Camper! So, so, so excited about this! I picked it up first thing in the morning and my first point of call was to pick up Travel Writer/Blogger Phoebe Lee, also known as ‘Little Grey Box’.
— Little Grey Box (@littlegreybox) November 19, 2015
We knew pretty much zero about each other apart from the fact we both loved to travel so I was a little nervous. I picked her up and we headed straight for the Mullumbimby Festival, a quaint town about 20 mins from Byron Bay with the same chillout vibe. We arrived, were provided with wrist bands by the very friendly event staff and we drove into the park. The camper I had was so versatile! One second it could sit four around a table and with the push of a button, turn into a really comfy bed.
The Mullum Festival was held over a Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. We spent Friday wandering, listening to music and sampling an epic selection of food. The festival had such a lovely atmosphere, people just wanted to meet, chat, eat and listen to unique, sometimes unconventional music. We were pretty beat after a full day so we headed back to our respective quarters and I spent my first eagerly anticipated night in a camper!
— Backpacker (@BackpackerBySTA) November 20, 2015
Over the next two days we saw a truly unique selection of music. From energetic groups playing a highly contagious mix including trumpets, trombones, drums and saxophones to M.C’s hyping the crowd. There was even an unnamed man playing a rustic piano by the side of the road. People danced all day long with no care for who was watching.
— Backpacker (@BackpackerBySTA) November 22, 2015
You walk around, seeing an artist in the school hall, then another in a piano bar above an RSL. In the whole 3 days I never saw a soul angry or upset. One of my favourite things was the Magic Bus, a huge double decker painted top to bottom in every colour of the rainbow with flowers and hippy signs. Every time they stopped the crew got off and danced while new passengers got on.
Mullum Festival really was a festival like no other and I can’t really see myself experiencing anything similar to it again! Thank you Mullumbimby, your warm, accepting relaxed vibe will stay with me always x