By James Cook
Glass House Mountains…. What are they?
(stay tuned to the end of the post for a video!)
The Glass House Mountains are not mountains in the traditional sense. Millions of years ago the whole area used to be covered with volcanos. Over time the lava in the cores of these volcanos cooled and hardened. The hardened lava is incredibly tough. As the outer, softer, rock of the volcano eroded away all that is left are the interior cones. These are known as volcanic plugs and make the glass house mountains very recognizable.
The Glass House Mountains were an inportant place for the Aboriginal People. They believed that Tibogargum (the second tallest of the peaks) was the father of all of the other peaks. Except for Beerwah which was his wife. The peaks used to be a lot closer to the sea. One day Tibogargum looked out to sea and saw a great tidal wave heading towards shore. Worrying for the saftey of his wife he told his eldest son, Coonowrin, to take Beerwah to safety.
Coonowrin instead chose to run off saving only himself. Tibogargum, seeing this act of cowadice gave chase and beat Coonowrin with his Nulla nulla (fighting stick). He hit with such force that Coonowrins neck was broken causing it to lie at an odd angle.
When the flood waters had receded Coonowrin was asked why he abandoned his pregnant mother. He stated he had not learned she was pregnant and thought she was big enough to look after herself. Hearing this Tibrogargum put his son behind him and vowed never to look at him again. That is why Mt. Tibrogargum faces out to sea. It also explains why Mt. Beerwah is so big as she is still pregnant with a mountain.
The Glass House Mountains were fist sighted by Europeans in 1776 by Captain James Cook. He was the one who named them citing the reason as they looked like the glass furnaces of his native Yorkshire.
Now the Glass House Mountains are a popular spot for hikers and rock climbers. There are many short hikes you can do around the area. Some can be very steep though so just be aware that they may be extremely tough short walks! Some even advise that you be a competent rock climber before you attempt them as the track is more just scrambling over huge rocks rather then walking easily!
We did the 3.5km circuit track around Mt Tibrogargum. It was very easy and took us around one and a half hours.
The Nitty Gritty
Getting there from Brisbane via public transport you need to get take the Sunshine Coast Line North to Beerburrum. When you get off the train you will need to walk about half an hour along Steve Irwin Way (a highway). The park is well signposted.
Be sure to take lots of water and sunscreen.
You can download a map of the region here.