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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Glass House Mountain: 4 Key Things to Know

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.

Glass House Mountains
By Andy Hay/Flickr.copyright 2022

The trip is around one hour journey 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 in this place in the 60s and 70s, and adventurers were never afraid of the big walls that followed. When you get to the top of these old routes, you’ll be admiring the breathtaking scenes of thick velvet bushland of southern Sunshine Coast.

Glass House Mountains
By Blue Mountains Library, Local Studies/Flickr.copyright 2022

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 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the glasshouse mountains were announced as one of the Q150 icons of Queensland.

The ranges are made of molten lava volcanic peaks. The land is of 12 different hills and various mountain peaks which are located inland from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The area consists of 880 hectares around 8 sections of parkland which has also received the heritage protection for its cultural and historic importance.

Australia is known to have some of the oldest geology in the entire world and these mountains of ancient supervolcanos give a proposition for the formation of its 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.

Glass House Mountains
By Dualiti Photos/flickr.copyright

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 beautiful land which invites contrast to the Sunshine Coast beaches which is only a 20-minute away. To anyone who would like to visit the coast, we would highly recommend you to head inland for a day or a night or even more to enjoy it fully. It’s less than an hour’s drive from the nearest major city of Brisbane, making it the perfect weekend drive.

1. All The Peaks That Make Up The Glass House Mountains

Not each and every mountain that makes up glasshouse mountain is surmountable, but most do have lookouts, circuits and walking paths, that go around them.

Let’s see the names of the 12 mountains are, in order of height

  1. Mount Beerwah (Length – 556 Meters)
  2. Mount Coonowrin (Length – 377 Meters)
  3. Mount Tibrogargon (Length – 364 Meters)
  4. Mount Tunbubudla (Length – 294 Meters)
  5. Mount Beerburrum (Length – 278 Meter)
  6. Mount Ngungun (Length – 253 Meters)
  7. Mount Coochin (Length – 235 Meters)
  8. Mount Tibberowuccum (Length – 220 Meters)
  9. Mount Miketeebumulgrai (Length – 202 Meters)
  10. Wild Horse Mountain (Length – 123 Meters)
  11. Mount Elimbah (Length – 109Meters)
  12. Mount Cooee (Length – 106Meters)

Some of the peaks display vertical columns, particularly Mt Coonowrin, Mount Ngungun, and Mt Beerwah at the organ pipes.

2. Natural Environment

Glass Mountains National Park, Queensland, consists of a wide range of terrains like rocky peaks and pavements, gullies, steep hill slopes and swampy coastal plains, which are also known to provide habitat for many different vegetation communities.

Glass House Mountains
By Queensland State Archives/Flickr.copyright 2022

Just 60km from Brisbane, the area is popular for pineapples, strawberries, papaws, passion fruit, avocados, and other tropical fruits. The place is home to goannas, koalas, 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, lorikeets, peregrine falcons, cockatoos, and rosellas, can also be seen. One could search for the glossy black cockatoo, considered prone to extinction, is also found in this place. 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.

Glass House Mountains
By Mark Gillow/Flickr.copyright2022

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

These regions have a diverse array of birds and wildlife. It’s easy to spot goannas and grey kangaroos, but you may also see koalas in certain parts. The birdlife present here is abundant, if you stay in the area overnight, the dawn chorus is amazing to experience .A variety of birds including a nest with parent and baby Tawny Frogmouths and several different types of lizard.

Chenrezig Institue

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

Glass House Mountain
Image Source: Depositphotos

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.

Brouhaha Brewhouse

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.

Get Ready with Your Hiking Shoes

Tibrogargan and Ngungun both are open to the public for walking and climbing. You can’t climb or walk all the glass mountains, but there is a whole range of slightly easy places through the land. Some of the shorter walks to consider include the following.

  1. Mt. Beerburrum is known for being a steep paved walking path up to the tower of fire and has excellent views from the top. 
  2. 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.
  3. Mt Tibrogargan is a place that offers two options, an 800m track, right up to the lookout or even a 3.2km circuit walk near the base, both of these are grade 3 tracks.
  4. 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

  1. 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 many years.
  2. There was a railway station known as the Coonowrin Station opened at Glass Mountains right after the North Coast railway got opened to Mellum Creek on 1 February 1890. In the year 1914, it was then renamed Glass House Mountains Station.
  3. During the Queensland Government Gazette of 22 June 1935, the name of the town was changed to three different words glasshouse mountains. The mountains are visible from almost all of Moreton Bay to far Caloundra, a town in South East QLD, Australia, and are being protected in the glasshouse mountains national park.
glass house mountains
By davidmolloyphotography/Flickr.Copyright 2022

If you’re someone who wishes to sleep and dream in the belly of a mountain, then glasshouse mountains are for you.


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