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Great Outdoors

Glass house Mountains National Park

autumn 10

MY GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK EXPERIENCE

Colossal, grand, immense – no matter how you look at them, after a recent outing to the Glass House Mountains I can say they are monumental.

Forever promising myself a visit to these sculptural landmarks, I planned on getting through the park and its surrounds in a single day. However, once immersed between its stunning volcanic plugs I soon realised I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

With a choice to be made, it was straight to the lookout of Mt Tibrogargan. Like a feast for the eyes, its spectacular vista not only offered a view of the park’s conversing summits but also their lush, low lying landscapes.

Eager to discover, from here it was down to the Tibrogargan and Trachyte tracks to explore their assortment of plants and wildlife along with a revitalising rest at Jack Ferris lookout.

With weary feet and invigorated mind I called it a day, appreciating that like its vast peaks, these mountains will take you to great heights yet with their tantalising treats, leave you hungry for more.


WHERE IS IT?

Established in 1994 yet formed millions of years ago, Glass House Mountains National Park is 883ha of timeless splendour rising dramatically from the floor of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Adjoining forest reserve and State Forest, it consists of a number of sections and is famous for its characteristic volcanic peaks defining the coast’s landscape. 

Situated about 70km north of Brisbane, entry is via the towns of Beerburrum and Glass House Mountains just west of the Bruce Highway. Accessible via sealed and gravel roads, it is suitable for both four-wheel drives and conventional cars.

THINGS TO DO AND FACILITIES

With its immense size, Glass House Mountains National Park offers something to suit all tastes. A bushwalkers’ and photographers’ paradise, its myriad walking tracks wind around and between the various peaks, allowing you to lap up the region’s natural splendour with panoramic views over the coast.

For those not minding a challenge, Mt Ngungun offers a rewarding view of the major peaks whilst the Trachyte track at Mt Tibrogargan is a longer walk with a sensational view from Jack Ferris lookout. Meanwhile, Wild Horse Mountain is a steeper, shorter track with stunning 360 degree views over the mountains, hinterland and coast.

For a shorter option, take the Mt Beerwah western boundary walk, Mt Beerburrum track or simply make your way to the Glass House Mountains lookout.

Otherwise simply drive and relax at one of the region’s day use areas or stay a while with car-accessible camp sites provided at Coochin Creek camping and day use area.


COOCHIN CREEK CAMPING AND DAY USE AREA

Here you can set up and relax with grassy campsites, space for caravans and facilities including picnic tables, fireplaces and wheelchair-accessible toilets. For those more comfortable on the water, take the boat and throw in a line. The nearby creek and boat ramp make it an ideal spot for the keen fishermen.

Note: Rock climbing and abseiling are permitted in the park whilst horse riding and cycling are allowed through the surrounding State Forest. Please contact QPWS for details and permit requirements.


THINGS TO SEE

Besides its obvious vantage points, the park is also known for its diverse landscapes and plentiful wildlife. From the open eucalypt forests and woodlands around the mountains to the montane heath towards the summits, it is home to remnant vegetation which in turn provides critical habitat for many species. 

Koalas, echidnas, wallabies and gliders all call the park home whilst birdwatchers can look and listen for the rare grey goshawk, vulnerable glossy black cockatoo or cliff dwelling speedster, the peregrine falcon.

 

RESPECT THE PARK

Glass House Mountains National Park and its surrounds are there for us all to enjoy. Let’s keep it healthy by:

  • Taking all rubbish out of the park.
  • Staying on the walking tracks provided.
  • Respecting Indigenous culture . If a site is found please look but do not touch.
  • Using the fireplaces provided; preferably bring fuel stoves when camping.
  • Keeping pets out of the park. 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

 To stay safe and enjoy the park, the following are essential:

  • Take plenty of drinking water and food. Only drink tap water where signed.
  • Wear suitable clothing including a hat and sturdy shoes; keep insect repellent, sunscreen and a first aid kit handy.
  • Supervise children at all times and stay away from cliff edges.
  • Check weather forecasts. Avoid the midday sun if possible. After heavy rain, contact the QPWS office for possible road closures.
  • Be sure to take a camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife and scenery.
  • Let someone know where you are going and for how long.

FEES AND PERMITS

The park is open 24 hours a day and entry is free.

Camping permits are required and can be obtained by:

Phone 131 304 (24 hours) or


words justin loveridge 
 

To view this article in our online magazine please click here: Glass house Mountains National Park