Has anyone of you ever tried searching your house from your friend’s house terrace?
Yeah, been there, my friend! How about giving that a try from the peak of Glass House Mountains in the southeast of Queensland state.
Queensland is renowned for its natural beauty and represents the best example of exposed sub-volcanic landform in Australia. You could find National Heritage-listed 26 million-year-old volcanos and glass mountains there.
The township is located near Beerburrum State Forest and Steve Irwin way. The trip is around one hour from Brisbane. One can also reach here by train (around 1.25 hours) from Brisbane. The mountains offer easy access to many of the sunshine coats’ major attractions, including the stylish hub of Noosa and Mooloolaba, where you can swim with a humpback whale.
There’s also a natural playground with walking tracks, a horse ride path, and rock climbing locations. The mountains are home to 6 small towns connected by rail and country roadways.
Brave people guided the routes here in the 60s and 70s, and adventurers were never scared of the big walls that followed them. These old routes aren’t particularly well-trodden, but when you get to the top, you’ll be admiring the breathtaking views of the thick velvet bushland of the southern Sunshine Coast.
For many generations, these mountains have held great spiritual significance to Jinibara and Kabi Kabi, the traditional owners and their events. You can see that their creation stories and beliefs are reflected in strong links that remain in the aboriginal community today to the southeast of mountains; the township is an Aboriginal bora ring.
Individually, the peaks have traditional Aboriginal names. Collectively they are known as Glass House Mountains; the name was given by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. In the following release from Cook’s journal on Thursday, 17 May 1770, he marked down –
‘These hills lie but a little way inland, and far from each other, they are very remarkable on account of the singular form of their elevation, which resembles glasshouses which occasioned my giving them that name…’
The glasshouses surrounding referred to by Cook were the glass-making foundries back in his native town of Yorkshire, England, which reminded him of a similar landscape.
In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the glasshouse mountains were announced as one of the Q150 icons of Queensland. This region is one of the seven National Park on Queensland’s sunshine coast.
The ranges are made of molten lava volcanic peaks. The land is of 12 distinctive hills and
mountain peaks located inland from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The area is made up of 880 hectares across 8sections of parkland and has received heritage protection for its historic and cultural importance.
The ranges are made of molten lava volcanic peaks. The land is of 12 distinctive hills and mountain peaks located inland from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The area is made up of 880 hectares across 8sections of parkland and has received heritage protection for its historical and cultural importance.
Australia has some of the oldest geology in the world, and these mountains of ancient supervolcanos give a proposition into the formation of our unique geography. Take a closer look at these amazing geological formations, the plant, the surrounding and animal communities that live here, and the areas’ cultural significance.
Take a walk through tranquil forests, scenic lookouts, and picnic spots are provided in national parks, state forests, and forest reserves around the Glass House Mountains peaks. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service(QPWS) manages the land under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Forestry Act 1959.
It’s a dramatically beautiful land and inviting contrast to the Sunshine Coast beaches only a 20-minute away. To anyone visiting the coast, we’d highly recommend that you head inland for a day, or a night or two if you can, to enjoy it fully. From the nearest major city of Brisbane, it’s less than an hour’s drive making it the perfect weekend drive.
1. All The Peaks That Make Up The Glass House Mountains
Not every mountain that makes up the glasshouse mountain is surmountable, at least not by the newbies like us, but most do have lookouts, walking paths, and circuits that go around them.
Let’s see the names of the 12 mountains are, in order of height
- Mount Beerwah(556 Meters)
- Mount Coonowrin(377 Meters)
- Mount Tibrogargon(364 Meters)
- Mount Tunbubudla(294 Meters)
- Mount Beerburrum(278 Meter)
- Mount Ngungun(253 Meters)
- Mount Coochin(235 Meters)
- Mount Tibberowuccum(220 Meters)
- Mount Miketeebumulgrai(202 Meters)
- Wild Horse Mountain (123 Meters)
- Mount Elimbah(109Meters)
- Mount Cooee(106Meters)
Some of the peaks display vertical columns, particularly Mt Coonowrin, Mount Ngungun, and Mt Beerwah at the organ pipes.
2. Natural Environment
Glass House Mountains National Park, Queensland, contains a wide variety of terrains such as rocky peaks and pavements, steep hill slopes, gullies, and swampy coastal plains, which provide habitat for many different vegetation communities.
Just 60km from Brisbane, the area is popular for pineapples, strawberries, papaws, passion fruit, avocados, and other tropical fruits. The place is home to koalas, goannas, grey kangaroos, and echidnas. In search of exceptional, travellers stay for at least one night to increase the chances of spotting wildlife.
Many birds, including kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas, and peregrine falcons, can also be seen. One could search for the glossy black cockatoo, which is considered vulnerable to extinction, is found in the Glass House Mountains. Australian zoo, Queensland owned and made famous by the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, and their father have a good selection of Australian animals on display and an increasing collection of international wildlife on exhibit.
3. What to explore in the Glass House Mountains
Explore Maleny Botanic Gardens
Maleny Botanic Gardens must be some of the best you’ll come across anywhere in the world. The view out to the mountains is outstanding, and you could get 6km of walking tracks to take your time to walk around. You absolutely must visit the aviary at Maleny botanic garden as well. The owner has rescued over 700 exotic birds, and you’re allowed to go in and meet them all.
Go for a Swim at Garderns Falls
If you are staying at Glasshouse mountains national park and looking to cool down without going to the beach, we recommend driving to the beautiful swimming spot of Gardners Falls.
Wildlife and Bird spotting
The regions have a diverse array of wildlife and birds. It’s easy to spot grey kangaroos and goannas, but you may also see koalas in parts. The birdlife is abundant, and especially if you stay in the area overnight, the dawn chorus is really something to experience, a variety of birds including a nest with parent and baby Tawny Frogmouths and several different types of lizard.
Chenrezig Institute is one of the most famous Western Buddhist centres not only in Australia but also in the whole world. It is situated in Eudlo, north of Maleny. Here you’ll find a large range of courses, meditation retreats, art classes, and many more to help you combat day-to-day life.
Visit Australia Zoo
Just down the road from Glass House Mountains, you’ll find the world-famous Australia Zoo, located on Steve Irwin Way. One could literally spend their entire day enjoying at Australia Zoo, but if you’ve got a limited amount of time frame, a suggested heading over to the Crocoseum for the show. Here you’ll witness croc show, birds show, and loads more, giving you a great insight into the zoo.
You will definitely get hungry after all the trekking, bird watching, and swimming. Do not worry. We got you covered. At an excellent restaurant like Brouhaha Brewhouse, you’ll find all local refreshments, including a wide range of menus.
Visit The World’s Largest Ginger Factory
The Ginger Factory is a great day out with attractions if you’re looking for free activities for kids on the Sunshine Coast. You’ll be able to find tours, rides, gardens, a train ride, tasting events, and a cafe on site which makes for a great day out for the family in Glass House Mountains.
Cabins and Luxury Deals, Qld
Just a 10min drive from Beerwah, you’ll find Glass on Glasshouse, a multi-award-winning collection of three beautiful cottages set in bushland. Most of the accommodation in this area is exclusive.
Check in the gorgeous accommodation, and in the evening, after all the walk, you can enjoy a room stay with a view from Glasshouse Mountains Eco Lodge. Their accommodation options include restored historic train carriages or Glass on Glasshouse, where floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to appreciate the landscape near you fully.
Lace-up Your Hiking Shoes
Tibrogargan and Ngungun both are open to the public for walking and climbing. You can’t walk or climb all the glass mountains, but there is a whole range of easy tracks through the land. Some shorter walks to consider include,
- Mt. Beerburrum is a steep paved walking path up to the fire tower and has excellent views at the top. It’s a grade 4 track.
- Mt. Ngungun summit walking track is a 2.8km trail that begins in an open forest with stunning 360 views of Mount Tibrogargan. There are great views from the top and in the middle too.
- Mt Tibrogargan offers two options, an 800m track up to the lookout or a 3.2km circuit walk around the base, both grade 3 tracks.
- Mt Tibrogargan has covered the easiest of all the mountain trail paths. Even the restrooms and a number of picnic tables at the Tibrogargan trailhead are handy for wheelchairs too.
4. Some Historic acts about Glass House Mountains
- For traditional aboriginal people, this was a very special meeting place for ceremonies and trading events. The area of glasshouse mountains is believed as sacred ground, with many ceremonial sites and public gatherings still present and protected today after this many years.
- There was a railway station called Coonowrin Station opened at Glass House soon after the North Coast railway opened to Mellum Creek on 1 February 1890. In the year 1914, it was renamed Glass House Mountains Station.
- In the Queensland Government Gazette of 22 June 1935, the place name of the town was altered to three distinct words being glasshouse mountains. The mountains can be seen from almost all of Moreton Bay to far Caloundra, a town in South East QLD, Australia, and are protected in the glasshouse mountains national park.
Australia is globally famous for its natural wonders and wide-open spaces, beaches, deserts, “the bush”, and the outback. Australia is a nature lover’s wonderland, ancient land of diverse ecosystems frozen in time, from emerald rainforests and fragrant eucalyptus mountains to rugged woodland caves with Aboriginal art. If you’re someone who wishes to sleep and dream in the belly of a mountain, then glasshouse mountains are for you.
Do you love running into the wild every time you are on vacation? Read, Visit 7 Beautiful Spots In Springbrook National Park to make you fall in love with Nature even more intensely!