Walk the bushland trails, climb to the peaks or just look out over rugged volcanic rock formations in this unique nature reserve in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Named by Captain James Cook, who thought the peaks resembled glass furnace chimneys, the Glass House Mountains are 12 huge rock formations. This national park includes the forest around the roughly 26-million-year-old volcanic peaks. For thousands of years Aboriginal people have held spiritual ceremonies here and some sites are protected. The area is listed on the National Heritage Register. Book a horse-back tour, hike the trails, enjoy a picnic with a view, or go abseiling or rock climbing.
Start at the Glass House Mountains lookout in Beerburrum State Forest to take in the unique landscape. Have a picnic or set up camp at the recreation area at nearby Coochin Creek.
Drop in at the Visitor and Interpretive Centre in the Glass House Mountains township, or visit the website, to get current information about activities and trails. The easiest hike is the 0.9-mile (1.4-kilometer) Western Boundary Walk on Mount Beerwah. This is the highest peak at 1,821 feet (555 meters).
At 1,195 feet (364 meters), Mount Tibrogargan is less high, but offers a better variety of trails. The challenging three-hour summit ascent involves some rock climbing, without ropes. If you take the risk, you’ll be rewarded with views of the Sunshine Coast. Rock climbers with the right gear can tackle even steeper sections of the mountain. If you are not experienced, just walk the short track to the Mountain View platform, or continue to hike the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) circuit track. Another base-level option is the three-hour Trachyte circuit to Mount Tibberoowucum and back.
The Glass House Mountains are 43 miles (70 kilometers) north of Brisbane. If you rent a car, note that some roads are not asphalted. There are some basic bush toilets and barbecue facilities. Bring water, sun protection and appropriate footwear. Don’t climb when it is wet, stay on the paths, avoid dislodging rocks and be prepared for emergencies by bringing a cell phone and first aid kit. Heavy rockfalls can occur, which may lead to trail closures, so check the Queensland National Parks website for updates before you visit.