Glass House Mountains

The Glass House Mountains, a group of 13 volcanic peaks, are a prominent feature of the Sunshine Coast landscape. Gradual weathering by wind and water has produced these spectacular remains of volcanic activity which occurred more than 20 million years ago. The park encompasses craggy volcanic peaks tower over a scenic patchwork of pine plantations, bushland and cultivated fields. Many of the peaks are protected in Glass House Mountains National Park, while the pine plantations and a range of native vegetation types are managed in several State forests and forest reserves near the park.

Named by British explorer James Cook during his epic voyage along Australia's east coast, the Glass Houses are rhyolite plugs formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Remnants of the open eucalypt woodland and heath vegetation, which once covered the coastal plains, provide a home for an interesting variety of animals and plants, including 26 rare and threatened plant species. The Glass House Mountains area was a special meeting place where many Aboriginal people gathered for ceremonies and trading. This place is considered spiritually significant with many ceremonial sites still present and protected today.

Glass House Mountains National Park protects seven of the thirteen distinctive mountains - Beerwah, Tibrogargan, Ngungun, Coonowrin (Crookneck), Miketeebumulgrai, Elimbah (Saddleback) and Coochin Hills - along with Blue Gum Creek Section. Within the park, rare plants, vegetation, and their dependent animals are conserved. Remnants of a complex pattern of native vegetation are preserved in the park. Open eucalypt forest surrounds the mountains, while rare and threatened heath species occur on the summits. Each vegetation type provides habitat for native animals. Koalas, peregrine falcons, parrots, honeyeaters, lizards, echidnas and wallabies are among species found in the area. Natural vegetation linking the national park's separate sections is vital for the survival of these and other native animals. Nearby landholders can help conserve native fauna by retaining or replanting native vegetation.

Camping

Camping is not permitted inside the national park because of the park's small size and the potential for damage to delicate vegetation. Those wanting to camp near the park should instead consider the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) camping ground on the banks of Coochin Creek, 9km east of Beerwah township. Contact the DNR, Beerwah Office on (07) 5494 0150. Inexpensive accommodation is also available in caravan parks located along Glass House Mountains Road.


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Bushwalking and Climbing

Blue Gum Creek, Mt Elimbah, Mt Miketeebumulgrai and Coochin Hills are reserved primarily for conservation of their natural and cultural features. There are no facilities located on these parks.

Mt Ngungun summit is the most accessible of the peaks in Glass House Mountains National Park. The 700m long trail, while rough and steep, can be undertaken by most people who have a reasonable degree of fitness. Inexperienced climbers and family groups should be careful, as the upper sections of the trail pass close to the cliffline. Children should be guided by adults past these narrow sections. Allow 1-2 hours to complete a return walk. There are excellent views of the Glass House Mountains and surrounding ranges from this vantage point.

At Mt Tibrogargan and Mt Beerwah, lookout points offering views of the surrounding mountains are located near the base of the cliff lines and can be accessed by 350m long walking trails. The summits can be accessed by rough trails continuing past these lookout points. Summit access can take 2-3 hours return and is recommended only for those who are physically fit and have bushwalking and climbing experience.

Walking Tracks

Near by state forest parks and council reserves such as Mt Beerburrum, Wild Horse Mountain, Glass House Mountains Lookout, Jowarra State Forest and Mary Cairncross Park provide formed walking tracks for those who are not experienced bushwalkers or climbers.

The Glass House 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.

See National Park website for details

For Further Information contact:

The Ranger, QPWS, 61 Bunya Street MALENY QLD 4552
Or QPWS, Sunshine Coast District Office, PO Box 168 COTTON TREE QLD 4558 (07) 5443 8944

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