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near Lyons, Queensland (Australia)
Mt Flinders Caves & Summit - Night Hike. Jacob & I did this one together.
Wikilocs stopped tracking part way on our return trip so not all trail recorded correctly.
This route starts from end of Mt Elliot Rd, which is on the SW side of Mt Flinders and we went via “The Slide” route.
5.35pm – Commenced from vehicle up via “The Slide” route.
6.00pm - Reached “The Secret Cave” to catch an awesome sunset in the West.
6.15pm - Started up toward Flinders Peak Summit.
6.35pm – Reached Peak Summit. Still enough dusk light to reach up to the peak without torches. Spent 1/2hr up here. Pitch black darkness so enjoyed the majestic bright stars and constellations, and all the lights of suburbia in the distance. The wind had really picked up and was very welcome considering the sweating from the humidity and uphill climb, and no wind on the Western side. Tried starting a small fire in the existing firepit in front of the summit helipad to enjoy, unfortunately couldn’t get it going as the wind was simply too strong. So we simply enjoyed our snacks and the night-light views.
7.05pm – Started our descent back down the mountain to get to the car in complete pitch black darkness via torchlight. Many, many toads came out on the return trip. Everything changes when doing hiking in darkness and extreme caution is necessary. Overall, the hike back to the vehicle went fine but obviously is slower than usual due to darkness…… HOWEVER, the most difficult and risky part of the descent is the SW side of the mountain which very literally is why this route is called “The Slide”….. a challenging section where you do need to exercise caution and it is steep, with lots of very loose rock sections and tree/branch grasping required.
8.05pm – Returned back to vehicle.
Safe return and a great experience with my 16yo son who didn’t complain once, and said he very much enjoyed this hike given it was in complete darkness plus he got to do the driving on the 4x4 track to and from the trail.
WORD OF ADVICE: DON'T DO NIGHT HIKING UNLESS VERY EXPERIENCED/CONFIDENT WITH THE TRAIL! IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, RISKY & STUPID. And yes, I do all those things too. 😁