Sunrise From Mt Greville // Moogerah Peaks National Park (QLD)

Bush-bashing up Mt Greville in the Moogerah Peaks National park can yield up a perfect sunrise over Lake Moogerah. So rally your nocturnal hiking buddy and set your alarm for an early start. It’ll be worth it!


WAE_MtGreville Sunrise_LisaDistance Lisa Owen, Woman, girl, ridge, lake, sunrise, hero

Highlights

  • Hike to cliffside vantage points perfect for sunrise
  • Views over the Scenic Rim and down to Lake Moogerah
  • Explore beautiful gorges on the descent

The Lowdown

What happens when you let two adventurous girls loose on a mountain in the dark? Bush-bashing, that’s what. And I have the scratches to prove it. But we still got the money shot!

Together with my nocturnal hiking buddy Lani, we pulled into the Mt Greville carpark in the Moogerah Peaks National Park at 4.30am, accidentally waking up campers with the car headlights and rustling to don our down jackets, headtorches and hiking boots in the cool air.

South East Ridge

WAE_MtGreville Sunrise_CliffsatDawn Lisa Owen, star, sunrise, treeline, hero

Up the dirt trail we went until we reached the South East Ridge sign – South East Ridge to the left, Waterfall Gorge to the right.

I’d only hiked Mt Greville once, descending via South East Ridge, and never in the dark, so it was always going to be interesting. Left we went.

It was a steady slog upwards at first following a defined footpad, but about twenty minutes in there were footpads in every direction leading us astray and into dead ends. With only the light of our headlamps it got a little tricky!

Slab Rock

MtGreville Sunrise,MountainBackground, lisa owen, sunrise, dawn, orange sky, skyline, horizon, hero

Up we plodded, using the trusty Maps.me app to check we stayed on the trail so we would be in time for sunrise.

As a faint orange glow rimmed the horizon, we tried gaining a little speed but the tricky footpadding slowed us down.

I got in the zone of putting one foot ahead of the other up the hill when Lani called me back and I realised I’d gone too far towards the summit. With no views at the Mt Greville summit, we were headed to what was called Slab Rock on Maps.Me for the best views over Lake Moogerah.

We lost the rugged trail somewhere on a cliffline in the dark and resorted to crashing through the scrub to get back on it once we realised our mistake. It was pretty thick – and I remember thinking if there was any wildlife up there the noise of the crunching branches and my swearing would probably scare them off.

And then, relief. We found the trail again and there was Slab Rock in front of us. We’d made it just in time as an orange glow filled the sky and Lake Moogerah shimmered below us.

Mother Nature’s Reward

MtGreville, Sunrise, Lakeview Lisa Owen, lake, sunrise, mountains

Ten minutes after we arrived at our rocky viewpoint, we saw the globe of the sun rise quickly over the horizon, bathing the mountains around us in bright light. We spent about an hour up on Slab Rock enjoying the view and feeling like mountain goats as we explored the area.

The fun wasn’t over yet. We were taking a different route back to the car via one of the gorges. After some bush-bashing (I’m getting good at it!) we found the entrance to Waterfall Gorge and slid our way into it.

Bush-bashing Back to Base

MtGreville Sunrise, Rockpools, Lisa Owen, stream, creek, trees, water

Waterfall Gorge is wider than Mt Greville’s other gorge, Palm Gorge, but just as pretty with tall trees lining sheer cliff edges.

We rock-hopped down the gorge chatting away, absorbed in conversation and the beauty around us. (We’re starting to find this is a combination that often leads to us bush-bashing a few minutes later!)

We then got to a couple of rockpools, which meant we had gone too far and missed the turnoff to get back to the beginning of South East Ridge. But hey, the rock pools were pretty and I’m glad we saw them!

We did a few rock scrambling manoeuvres and shimmied down the rock pools, and got a few bruises in the process. Short leg problems.

A little more bush-bashing though had us back on track and we ended up back in the carpark ten minutes later, a little scratched up and dirty but still smiling – all the signs of a good adventure!

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Navigating
  • Rockhopping
  • Possible bushbashing
  • Photography

Essential Gear

  • Headtorch
  • Long pants
  • At least 2L of water
  • Warm jacket (for when you’re waiting for the sun to come up)
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Maps.me app
  • Hiking buddy (preferably someone who’s done the mountain before in daylight)

How To Get There

From Brisbane, take the Ipswich Motorway, which turns into the Cunningham Highway. Follow this down until Lake Moogerah Road on your left, and then follow this until you hit Mt Greville Raod on your right.

The road here is gravel in places but 2WD accessible.

Follow Mt Greville Road down until you see a small carpark on your right and National Park signs.

Skill Level

Intermediate: The hike itself isn’t that hard, but it’s difficult navigationally in the dark. You’ll need to have a moderate level of fitness and sound navigational skills for this one.

If you’re needing extra confidence, join us one of our Wilderness Escapes to brush up on your navigation skills (and find that nocturnal hiking buddy).

There’s signs at the base of South East Ridge and Waterfall and Palm Gorges to point you in the right direction, and some markers on South East Ridge when you reach the rock slabs, but none elsewhere. Best to do the hike up Mt Greville in daylight before you attempt the sunrise hike.

Distance/Elevation

Approximately 8km. The summit is 767m, however Slab Rock is situated below the summit.

Duration

Four hours return, including photo stops.


Want more perfect sunrises?

Sunrise Stand Up Paddle Boarding // Tathra (NSW)

Half Day Sunrise and Waterfalls in the Blue Mountains (NSW)

Dawn Chasing // Sunrise from Mt Maroon (QLD)

Alpine Sunrise at Kosciuszko