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Over the many years that I have travelled to and fro to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the Glass House Mountains have always intrigued me. Why? You might ask. These series of fourteen mountains seemingly rise out of nowhere and look as though they have been placed here in a pattern with different shaped peaks – some round, some spiked and some table-topped.
The Glass House Mountains are situated around 70Kms north of Brisbane and you can easily reach them by taking the turnoff into Steve Irwin Way at Beerburrum on Tourist Drive #24. This very scenic drive takes you through some of the prettiest countryside, including vast pine forests, strawberry farms, pineapple farms, macadamia nut farms, historical villages with art galleries, cafes, bed & breakfasts and the ever popular Australia Zoo.
How did they get the interesting name of the Glass House Mountains? Lieutenant James Cook first sighted them in 1770 and named them “The Glass Houses” after the shape of the glass kilns back in the north of England with which he was familiar with.
However, Aboriginal legend has it that the mountains were named after a family that lived by the sea, with names such as Tibrogargan, Beerwah, Coonowrin, Coochin, Beerburrum and Ngungun.
These solidified molten rock spires, the result of volcanic magna, have eroded away over time leaving some interesting looking shapes. The mountains are popular amongst walkers and climbers due to their fabulous bushwalking trails and rock climbing.
You can drive to most of the mountains and embark on different levels and distances of walks to lookouts and walking tracks through the terrain.
Glass House Mountains Lookout – Drive up to this lookout which consists of a platform to view all of the mountain peaks and views over Caloundra, Maroochydore, Brisbane and Moreton Island. There is a short 800m lookout circuit which is steep in places and a BBQ and picnic area.
Mt Beerburrum – 1.4Kms return steep paved track that leads to a tower with great views.
Mt Tibrogargan – Drive to mountain view lookout and there is a 800m return walk from carpark. The Tibrogargan circuit track is 3.3Kms around the base of the mountain or the Trachyte circuit which is 5.6Kms and takes you round Mt Tibrogargan, Mt Tibberoowuccum and the Trachyte Range.
Mt Ngungun – This summit walk is 2.4Kms return and is steep in places with spectacular views from the top.
Mt Beerwah – The western boundary walk is 1.4Kms return.
Wild Horse Mountain – 1.4Kms return to the lookout is moderately steep and affords panoramic 360 degree views of Pumicestone Passage and the Glass House Mountains.
For the more adventurous there is abseiling and rock climbing, suitable for experienced climbers only, at Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan.
After you have had enough of mountains there are a couple of places of interest to check out. The heritage-listed homestead of Bankfoot House on Old Gympie Road that is being turned into a museum. Also the historical town of Landsborough with one of the largest social history museums between Gympie and Brisbane and the grand old Landsborough Pub is worth a visit.
If you are looking for a bite to eat or a coffee the Outlook Cafe on the road to the Glass House Mountains Lookout has wonderful views of the mango orchard and Mount Coonowrin.
There are also a few great places to camp in the area at locations such as Coochin Creek, Landsborough and Glass House Mountains Camping Ground. For hikers and nature lovers there is plenty to keep you entertained in this area for a few days.
Now when I drive to the Sunshine Coast I will be able to identify these odd looking peaks by name (although some are very hard to pronounce!) Don’t you find that when you detour off the main road you uncover some of the best treasures? As I did this day!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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