Tropical Coast of Queensland

Mount Scoria

Rising 150 metres above the cultivated plains, Mount Scoria is a striking local landmark. Formed by volcanic activity 20-26 million years ago, this volcanic plug features many-sided basalt columns, the same type which make up the Giant's Causeway, Ireland. As the volcano's lava cooled, it formed distinct columns or pillars with five to eight sides, called columnar basalt. Mount Scoria is the only mountain like it in Australia. Mount Scoria is protected in Mount Scoria Conservation Park.

The mountain's nickname - Musical Mountain - is derived from the long six-sided basalt columns on the mountain that project outwards like fingers. They sound musical notes when struck by another rock. From the short cultural trail in Mount Scoria Conservation Park, walkers get a good view of the unusual columns. Interpretive signs explain the significance of the mountain to the Gangulu people and describe how the landscape formed. There are no walking tracks to the peak and climbing the mountain is discouraged due to its unstable scree slopes, but it is possible if care is taken.

This small park in Queensland's brigalow belt contains open woodlands with poplar box, Moreton Bay ash, forest red gums, silver-leaved ironbarks and small patches of brigalow. An open semi-evergreen vine thicket growing on rocky slopes towards the summit and around the base of the mountain is a relict of much wetter times. This vegetation is now uncommon in Central East Queensland.

How To Get There: Mount Scoria Conservation Park is only a short distance along a sealed road that is signposted from the Burnett Highway at Thangool. As you enter Thangool travelling south from Biloela, take the first turn to the right at Winston Street and follow it past the school, aerodrome and racecourse to a T-junction. Turn left and follow a bitumen road for 5 km to Mount Scoria. Access to the park is suitable for conventional vehicles.