Sunrise is always magical, but watching the day dawn from the top of a mountain with no one else around is next level. These are the best places to catch the sunrise near the Gold Coast.


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5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Gold Coast

Most of my hiking buddies wouldn’t be surprised to hear that sunrise is my favourite time of day. (Although they probably wish it wasn’t, so I wouldn’t keep dragging them out of their warm beds at 2am every Saturday morning!)

I love sitting in the blue-tinged light with the stars still shining above me and seeing the light leak into the sky as the sun rises.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Then there’s the added bonus of having a whole mountain to yourself – because not many people are up before dawn let alone hiking a mountain before the sun’s up.

Friends are always asking ‘What are the best spots to watch the sunrise?’ So here you go! Here’s my top five list of mountains to hike for the most epic sunrise spots near the Gold Coast.


The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane, Lisa Owen, Hikes_Mt Maroon, people, orange, rocks, dawn light, cloudy, moody

1. Best of All Lookout, Springbrook National Park

Distance: 600m
Duration: 15 minutes
Time driving from Gold Coast: 1 hour

Ok let’s start with an easy one. You’re getting there by sunrise after all! Some would even say this is the best of all the lookouts, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

Located around an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast, Best of All Lookout in Springbrook National Park is an easily accessed vantage point, over a kilometre above sea level. A short 800m return walk through Antarctic beech forest will land you at the edge of the Springbrook Plateau and peering back over the extinct Tweed shield volcano, now shrouded in World Heritage Gondwana rainforest. You can even see all the way back to the Pacific Ocean from here!

Just aim to go on a sunny day, at this elevation, there’s a high chance of mist and cloud obscuring your view!

This is a popular lookout so the earlier you visit, the more chance this vista will be for your eyes only!


Photo by Destination Gold Coast

2. Mt Maroon, Mt Barney National Park

Distance: 6km
Duration: 3 hours
Time driving from Gold Coast: 1 hour 50 mins

This was my first sunrise hike and I’ve been hooked ever since. We started the hike at 4.00am and missioned up the steep mountain in the dark. We reached the summit in 90 minutes just as an orange glow rimmed the horizon.

Mt Maroon is the perfect choice for sunrise, as you get a 360° view of the Scenic Rim and Mt Barney is right next to you. But it’s a tough climb to the top with a very steep climb at the start and then an exposed rock scramble halfway.

It’ll take experienced hikers about two hours to reach the summit in the dark. It’s recommended to do the hike in the daytime before attempting a sunrise hike due to the potential for navigational errors.

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The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane, Lisa Owen, Hike Mt Maroon Lookout, person, dawn, view, peaks

3. Mt Barney, Mt Barney National Park

Distance: 16km
Time: 8-10 hours
Time driving from Gold Coast: 1 hour 45 mins

You’ll need to have a lot of commitment to reach Mt Barney at sunrise. The best option is to camp the night before at the Rum Jungle bush camp and then make the one-hour ascent to reach the top of East Peak in time for sunrise.

The ascent in the dark is tricky so you’ll need a good headlamp and sound navigational and rock scrambling skills.

Sunrise can be epic up here but can also be hit and miss as Barney’s summit is often cloaked with low cloud. But whether you see the sunrise or not, Mt Barney is still an epic climb you won’t forget.

The hike up Mt Barney’s south ridge from the Yellow Pinch car park to Rum Jungle campground will take about 4-5 hours depending on your fitness and rock scrambling skills.

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The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane, Lisa Owen, _MtBarney, sun, haze, cloud, mountain

4. Mt Cordeaux, Main Range National Park

Distance: 6.8km
Time: 2-3 hours
Time driving from Gold Coast: 2 hours

If you’re looking for an easier sunrise route, why not check out Mt Cordeaux?

It’s about an hour hike to the lookout along a well-graded and gradually ascending trail, accessible from just off the Cunningham Highway. It’s about a two hour drive from the Gold Coast.

You’ll be glad you got up early to see the gorgeous views across the Scenic Rim from your rocky viewpoint.

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The 5 Best Sunrise Spots Near Brisbane, Lisa Owen, Mt Cordeaux, woman, bobble hat, view, lookout, valley

5. Mt Greville, Moogerah Peaks National Park

Distance: 6km
Time: 4 hours
Time driving from Gold Coast: 2 hours

Mt Greville has it all with its beautiful gorges, challenging path, and rocky outcrops above Moogerah Dam. The best viewpoint is not on the summit but on a rocky outcrop called Slab Rock on the app — or you can also get a good view from the top of the south east ridge. It can be a little tricky to find your way up in the dark so doing the trail in the daytime first is recommended.

Allow at least two hours for the ascent in case of navigational errors.

Mt Greville is located about two hours from the Gold Coast and is accessible off Mt Greville Road, Moogerah.

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FAQs Sunrise Spots Near Gold Coast

What’s the best place to watch the sunrise near the Gold Coast?

Every place has unique benefits and appeals to everyone differently, so the best place to enjoy the sunrise is anywhere that you can see the horizon.

Which is the easiest sunrise spot to get to on the Gold Coast?

The easiest lookout on our list is the ‘Best of All Lookout’ in Springbrook National Park. It’s only an 800m walk to reach the stunning views.

What gear do you recommend for a sunrise hike?

Essential gear for sunrise hikes includes a (charged) head torch, layers to keep warm, good hiking boots with ankle supports, water, snacks in case you’re out longer than expected, and a first aid kit.

This piece was brought to you by a real living human who felt the wind in their hair and described their adventure in their own words. This is because we rate authenticity and the sharing of great experiences in the natural world – it’s all part of our ethos here at We Are Explorers. You can read more about it in our Editorial Standards.