A Quick Guide to Hiking The Glass House Mountains!
National Parks in Queensland? There are so many to visit and so many to choose from! Queensland is an oasis for all types of National Parks. From Hiking the Glass House Mountains and Mount Tamborine. To lounging on the Whitsundays and swimming the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland screams diversity. A drive down Queensland’s east coast is an all-time favourite with travellers and a place I often see overlooked on these itineraries is the Glass House Mountains. The Glass House Mountains sit an hour from Brisbane offering spectacular views, walks and hikes. If you love adventure and the great outdoors then you must visit the Glass House Mountains. In this quick guide, I’m going to be sharing all my tips for Hiking the Glass House Mountains. More specifically, Mount Ngungun.
‘You’ve had the best exercise then all of us here today!’ I laughed as I wipe the sweat from my forehead just looking at the couple in front with a toddler strapped to their backs – EACH.
History Behind The Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains is one of Queensland’s heritage listed national parks! The mountains were originally active volcanoes a very very long time ago, we are talking millions of years here! Over the years, the Glass House Mountains have been subject to erosion and variable weather conditions which has left them the interesting shape 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.
Anyway, 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! Hiking the Glass House Mountains went straight to the top of our bucket list after seeing some incredible photographs of the summit. I admit that even though we’ve only hiked The Glass House Mountains once it’s definitely with regret. From what I’ve seen and what I know about sunrise here in Brisbane, watching the sunrise and fall over Mount Ngungun would be sensational.
Your Guide to Hiking The Glass House Mountains – Mount Ngungun
Where to find The Glass House Mountains
You can easily make a day trip of hiking the Glass House Mountains. Just 70km north of Brisbane there’s really no need to stay overnight unless you want to. It’s even closer to the Sunshine Coast just 42 Kilometres from Noosa so easily accessed.
Transport 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!
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 around 1 hour 20 minutes on the train! You can use you’re GoCard to if you have one!
When leaving the train it’ takes around 15 – 25 minutes to reach the foot of Mnungun. 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!
Check out the map below for walking directions from the train station as it isn’t that well signposted.
Hiking The Glass Gouse Mountains: Mount Ngungun Hike
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. That said, these mountains are all very different and some require more of a scramble than a hike. Make sure you do all of the research before heading out to Hike the Glass House Mountains.
Before we chose which hike to do I did a little research and as recommended by Rachael behind 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 fairly easy despite being classed as a grade 4 hike. The views once we reached the stop were absolutely stunning. The panoramic view of the countryside that surrounds the Glass House Mountains is a gorgeous side of Australia to see – it isn’t all just beaches you know!
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. It was steep in some areas and the track was rocky at times but the walk wasn’t all that hard. I say walk it definitely classes a hike but a fairly easy one. Don’t get me wrong I still broke a sweat but it was like 30 degrees so I’m allowed? As we arrived at the summit, very sweaty, but indeed very happy. I couldn’t help but laugh as we saw a couple with twins strapped to their backs! I suddenly felt very unfit but rather them than me! Although, I really hope that’s the kind of parent I am when I have my own family.
Start the Hike at Mount Ngungun Access Track
The start of the walk begins at the foot of the mountain accessed via the Mount Ngungun access track. The track winds 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 fit 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!
Explore the Cave!
If you’ve been here before then you’ll know that David and I are keen climbers! If you are new are want to find out more about me and this blog then click 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 Queensland countryside at your feet. The other mountains are in the view out in the distance. The views honestly won’t leave you disappointed! We were left speechless at how beautiful the views from the top are!
Australia’s amazing national parks are often overlooked due to the impressive beaches of the east coast but in my opinion, mountains are just as or if not more beautiful than beaches! After all, aren’t most beaches pretty much the same?
Enjoy the Views!
When exploring the summit of Mount Ngungun watch your step but be sure the ensure to enjoy the 360-degree 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. Make sure you leave plenty of time for photographs. We hiked up Mount Ngungun in the daytime on a beautiful day but if I could do it again I’d go up and enjoy sunset and sunrise!
If you’re after something a little more challenging then you can try hiking 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!
The most important thing when hiking the Glass House Mountains is staying safe. 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 or at least let somebody know what time and what hike you’re going to attempt! After all, sunrise and sunset at the Glass House Mountains looks spectacular – why should you miss it if you’re a solo traveller? 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 may need for this hike.
Essentials for Hiking Mt Ngungun
Water – I recommend a Life Straw Water Bottle or Camel Pack Hydration Kit!
First Aid Kit – in case of slips, trips or unwanted visitors like spiders and snakes – you never know!
Walking Boots & Head torch – always better to be prepared!
Sunscreen factor 30 and above!
GoPro and DSLR to capture all the fun!
Don’t Forget How Awesome Hiking is for Your Body!
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!
Another bonus of hiking the Glass House Mountains? It’s completely free so super easy if you’re a budget traveller. The fact that the Glass House Mountains are only a short train journey away from Brisbane means you only need to take a day trip to enjoy them! I’m a lover of working whilst I travel and I love days out like this. It means that I can still pick up all of the nursing shifts for the week as well as enjoying my times travelling! If you’re planning on hiking or have hiked up the Glass House Mountains then let me know in the comments below – I would love to hear about it!!
Sharing is Caring!
If you enjoyed this post then please share with all your friends and family so they can start planning their hike up Mount Ngungun!
Wishing you lots of Happy and Healthy Travels!