A small, friendly town with lots of charm, located in The Glasshouse Mountains. It offers views of the 13 volcanic peaks that dominate the Sunshine Coast landscape. The industry of the region it services includes pineapple, citrus fruit, tobacco and macadamia nut plantations.
Location: 69 km from Brisbane.
Points of interest: Beerwah forms part of a collection of small towns namely Beerburrum, Glass House Mountains, Beerwah, Landsborough, Peachester and Mooloolah; Glasshouse Mountains National Park; Australia Zoo; Aboriginal sites - scattered stone tools, long disused bora rings, middens and scarred trees of the Kabi Aborigines are found throughout the region.
The Glass House Mountains were named by Lieut. James Cook, who thought they resembled the glass foundries near his Yorkshire home, but more importantly they stand as a timeless reminder of Kabi Aborigines, for whom they had enormous Dreamtime significance. The Gubbi Gubbi Aborigines were quickly displaced by European settlement. The railway arrived in 1890, establishing Beerwah as the major town of the region.
The Glass House Mountains and surrounding area were well known to the Gubbi Gubbi Aborigines. Numerous sites have been recorded in the Glass House Mountains area that show varied aspects of Aboriginal ways of life and the ancient occupation of this landscape. These include axe grinding grooves, quarries, physical signs of past camping places and other activities, burial places and rock art sites. The mountains lie close to traditional pathways and the peaks are individually important in Aboriginal traditions.
Origin of name: some of the names the Gubbi Gubbi Aborigines gave to the Glasshouse Mountains are perpetuated in the area. Beerwah is one such name. At 555 metres, Beerwah is the highest of the peaks. The name is derived from "birrawaman", "birwa" or "birroa", in the Kabi language, Turrbal dialect indicating, broadly, up in the sky, from "birra" sky and "wandum" climbing.
The Glasshouse Mountains are a series of spectacular volcanic plugs that rise dramatically from the coastal plain and dominate the landscape of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They are formed of rhyolite and trachtyte, lavas which hardened inside the vents of tertiary volcanoes that have been greatly reduced by about 25 million years of erosion. The Glasshouse Mountains offer some spectacular walking tracks through open woodlands and heaths to panoramic lookouts and mountain summits. The walks range from easy to challenging grades.
Mount Beerwah is the highest of the ten volcanic plugs in the Glass House Mountains range. It was formed 26 million years ago during the Oligocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Geologists estimate it may have been three times the height before it was eroded to a volcanic plug. Mount Beerwah has two peaks, the taller of which is 556 metres high. It is one of the most visually prominent mountains in south-east Queensland. Its name comes from the Dungidau language words "birra, or "sky," and "wandum," "climbing up." In the traditional Aboriginal story of the region, Mount Beerwah is the pregnant mother and Mount Tibrogargan the father of all the other mountains in the area. Local aboriginals consider the mountains sacred.
The mountain is basically a column of trachyte. One side features a dramatic, inward leaning cliff face known as the Organ Pipes. At its base is a number of small caves. It is legal to climb all mountains in the Glasshouse National Park. Mount Beerwah along with Mount Tibrogargan, Ngunngun and the rest of the mountains with tracks remain open with maintained walking trails; the views from the summit of Mount Beerwah are however very rewarding. There is a 2.6 km trail up from a state government maintained parking lot. The start of the trail is a "level 5 difficulty" walk that turns into a climb that can be done without equipment. Even experienced hikers should not attempt this trail unless they have at least three hours of daylight and there is no chance of rain. Depending on fitness, climbers should plan on taking two to three litres of water per person.
The world famous Australia Zoo established by The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, is a 25 minute drive south west (24 km) along Steve Irwin Way. Australia Zoo offers a full day of wildlife actin and adventure, where you can check out all the amazing wildlife, set on over 70 acres of natural Australian bushland. There are over 10 shows where you can watch the free-flight bird show, snakes slithering, tigers at play and the huge saltwater crocs. Open every day 9am - 5pm. Location: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah. Ph (07) 5436 2000.