A Guide to Hiking in The Glass House Mountains!
National Parks in Queensland? There are so many to visit and so many to choose from! So what I wanna know is how do you know which ones are worth a visit? Queensland has an oasis of natural landmarks that you just can’t miss it when in Australia but you’re probably not going to have time to visit them all! So I’m here with a guide to The Glass House Mountains and why this national park deserves a spot on your itinerary!
‘You’ve had the best exercise then all of us here today!’ I laughed as I told the couple both with a toddler strapped to their backs! Impressive.
A little bit of History
The Glass House Mountains is one of Queensland’s many heritage listed national parks! The mountains were originally active volcanoes a very very very long time ago, we are talking millions of years here! But over the many years, the mountains have been subject to erosion and variable weather conditions which have shaped them to the way they are today.
The mountains were originally named after glass furnaces! Captain James Cook was the one to name the mountains and he was originally from Yorkshire in the UK. Which is exactly where I’m from – pretty cool if there’s any other Yorkshire guys/gals reading this!
Over the years The Glass House Mountains have become one of Queensland’s most impressive landmarks and have become a favourite for walkers, hikers and climbers of all abilities! After seeing the amazing views from the top of the mountains I just had to go and see them for myself! Just type #glasshousemountains into Instagram and you’ll see exactly what I mean! Or just have a look below! Not to mention how good a hike in the fresh air is for you, mentally and physically!
Where to find The Glass House Mountains
Only 70km north of Brisbane and a mere 42 kilometres from the sunshine coast
The Glass House Mountains are super accessible! If you want to know how to get to the mountains via public transport then keep reading as I’ll leave all that information at the bottom of this post! But first, let’s get into the good stuff!
Hiking The Mountains
There are four main mountains that you can venture up in the national park. Mount Ngungun, Beerwah, Tibrogargan and Beerbarrum. All of these mountains are accessible with walking or hiking trails available! But be warned each mountain is very different and will require a level of fitness to ensure safety whilst hiking to the summit! Boring I know but super important!
Before we chose which hike to do I did a little research and as recommended by Rachael, at The Adventurous Wonderer, we opted for the beautiful walking trail of Mount Ngungun. I’m so glad that I took her advice, this walk really is stunning with views to die for at the top! You can check out her amazing Instagram here!
The hike to the summit of Mt Ngungun is classed as a grade 4 hike. This means that there are some steep rocky areas to the track surrounded by cliff edges with huge drops off the side. Basically, you need some experience of hiking up steep hills with an uneasy surface! That said on our hike we were followed by a couple with twins strapped to their backs!! Rather them than me I’d say!
The start of the walk begins at the bottom of the mountain and follows a track all the way to the summit so it really is impossible to get lost. The round trip is 2.8 kilometres so nothing too scary! Depending on how healthy you are and the pace you like to hike at I would recommend giving yourself 1-2 hours to enjoy the wonders of Mt Ngungun! After all, you don’t want to rush and miss the great scenery on the way up! There’s also a fun cave you’ll want to explore!
If you’ve been here before then you’ll know that David and I are keen climbers! If you didn’t know that you can learn a little more about our story here! So when we were presented with a cave halfway up the mountain David was like a little kid at Christmas, very excited to get in there and climb all over!
Please note that we are experienced rock climbers and this cave is slippery and high! Only climb in it if you have the confidence and ability! The architecture of the cave is just as amazing to look at from the bottom too!
After exploring the cave carry on the upwards trail to the summit which is where the real magic happens!
The views from the top of Mount Ngungun are stunning with miles of the Queensland countryside at your feet and the other mountains in the distance, you won’t be disappointed! We were left speechless at how beautiful the views from the top really are! These amazing national parks are often overlooked due to the impressive beaches of the east coast but in my opinions mountains are just as or if not more beautiful than beaches! After all, aren’t most beaches pretty much the same?
When exploring the summit of Mount Ngungun watch your step but be sure the ensure to enjoy the 360 views! Take a picnic and relax as you watch the birds of prey swooping around the sky and take in the beautiful scenery that surrounds you!
Now of course if you’re after something a little more challenging then you can try out the other mountains in the national park! Mount Beerwah and Tribrogargan might just be the mountains for you! These climbs offer a more challenging hike to the summit and somewhat of a scramble in places! You can check out the other climbs and severity here!
Now the most important thing when hiking up mountains is staying safe so make sure you don’t go it alone! If you are one of the solo travellers amongst us make sure you go in daylight hours and let somebody know what time and what hike you’re going to attempt! There isn’t any water when you’re on the trails so make sure you take extra just in case! (especially if you’re a Brit like me and not used to the warm climate!) I’ve created a list below of all the essentials fun and boring you’ll need for this hike!
Essentials for Hiking Mt Ngungun
Water! Make sure you’ve got plenty of water, hydration packs would be the best thing, I wish we had one but we left it way too late! (Typical Alicia style!) Purchase one here!
All of the Snacks!
First Aid Kit! In case of slips, trips and any unwanted visitors – Snakes or spiders!
Walking Boots & Head torch – always better to be prepared!
Sunscreen factor 30 and above!
GoPro to capture all the fun!
Getting to The Glass House Mountains
If you’re in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast then The Glass House Mountains are super easy to get to! From Brisbane Hop on the train from the majority of stations in the city towards Nambour and then get off at The Glass House Mountains Station, it takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes on the train! You can use you’re GoCard to if you have one! If not check them out here as they can save you a heap of money!
Once departing the train the start of the Mount Ngungun trail takes about 30 minutes to get to. Turn left onto Coonowrin Road and continue for 80 yards, turn right onto Coonowrin Road and continue for 0.65 miles, Turn right onto Fullerton’s Road and continue for 0.85 miles and the destination and start of the trail is on your right!
A Little bit of Self Care Whilst Travelling
I’ve found that travelling as amazing as it is can also take a toll on our physical and mental health! Road trips can be tiring, hostels can be a damn right pain in the arse and why do I want to eat all the food which is bad for me?! If you’re like me and want to try all of the cuisines wherever you are then you’ll want to look after yourself too! Getting outside in the fresh air is a great source to relax the mind and focus on what you’re doing in the present! Not to mention how good the physical exercise of hiking to the summit is for you! So pull on our training or gym gear and hike to top enjoying the wonders of The Glass House Mountains. You can have an epic day out whilst taking care of yourself too!
The bonus of hiking? It’s completely free so super easy if you’re a budget traveller like us! If you’re in Brisbane then check out this post that has heaps of free things to do in the city!
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