Writer and fitness enthusiast living in beautiful Redcliffe, Queensland.
Published August 10th 2012
See the best of the Sunshine Coast from Mount Coolum's peak
Hard work truly does pay off when you climb Mount Coolum. With 360 degree, uninterrupted views of Noosa in the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blackall Ranges to the west and as far down as the Glass House Mountains in the south, Mount Coolum is one of the most rewarding walks you'll find on the Sunshine Coast.
The trail is a rough 800m on the eastern side of the mountain, leading from a small carpark to the summit. The track has been improved in recent times to address safety and environmental concerns using stone stairs to help make it easier to tackle the steeper sections, which had been eroded from the foot traffic.
Signage in the carpark recommends for two hours to complete the walk and for only experienced climbers tackle Mount Coolum – but on average the climb up should take about 30 minutes. I've also seen both five-year-olds and those well into their 60s manage the climb with ease. The fitness fanatic in you might even be up for the challenge of running up the hill. Regardless of the way you take on Mount Coolum, you'll pass many smiling faces on your way up and down this ancient mountain.
Wildlife and plant enthusiasts will have to keep an eye open for the fauna and flora on display in the park. Watch out for the Peregrine falcon, the world's fastest animal. They are capable of reaching speeds of up to 200km/h when diving with half-closed wings to catch and kills their prey. The cliffs of Mount Coolum offer them an important nesting habitat.
The summit also has a diverse montane heath community, which blooms from late winter to spring. Montane health plants are dwarfed and rarely grow about one metre because they grow in harsh conditions including high winds and exposure to sun. The only other place to see it on the Coast is in the Glass House Mountains National Park.