Explore Coastal Queensland
The Sunshine Coast, stretching north of Brisbane to Noosa, is a mild-mannered counterpart to the Gold Coast. The larger towns are rather bland, but there’s striking scenery at the Glass House Mountains, good beaches and surf at Maloolaba and Maroochydore, and upmarket beach life at Noosa. Though you’ll find the hinterland far tamer than that behind the Gold Coast, it still has some pleasant landscapes and scattered hamlets rife with Devonshire cream teas and weekend markets.Read More
The Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains
Visible as far away as Brisbane 70km to the south, the nine isolated pinnacles of the Glass House Mountains jut dramatically out of a flat plain at Beerwah. To the Kabi Aborigines, the mountains are the petrified forms of a family fleeing the incoming tide, though their current name was bestowed by Captain Cook because of their “shape and elevation” – a resemblance that’s obscure today. The peaks themselves vary enormously: some are rounded and fairly easy to scale, while a couple have vertical faces and sharp spires requiring competent climbing skills. It’s worth conquering at least one of the easier peaks, as the views are superb: Beerburrum, overlooking the township of the same name, and Ngungun, near the Glass House Mountains township, are two of the easiest to climb, with well-used tracks that shouldn’t take more than two hours return; the latter’s views and scenery outclass some of the tougher peaks, though the lower parts of the track are steep and slippery. Tibberoowuccum, a small peak at 220m just outside the national-park boundary, must be climbed from the northwest, with access from the car park off Marsh’s Road. The taller mountains – Tibrogargan and Beerwah (the highest at 556m) – are at best tricky, and Coonowrin should be attempted only by experienced climbers after contacting the National Parks office in Beerwah.
The exclusive end of the Sunshine Coast and an established celebrity “des-res” area, NOOSA is dominated by an enviably beautiful headland, defined by the mouth of the placid Noosa River and a strip of beach to the southeast. Popular since surfers first came in the 1960s to ride the fierce waves around the headland, the setting is also a haven for gourmets, boating types and conservationists. Beach and river aside, there’s also a tiny national park with beautiful coastal walks where you’ll almost certainly see koalas, and a couple of shallow lakes just north with good paddling potential.