Australia // Coastal Queensland //

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.