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Twelve Mountains in Twelve Months

Home > Brisbane > Walks | Outdoor | National Parks | Health and Fitness | Escape the City
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published February 10th 2019
Get fit climbing mountains
The Brisbane Bushwalking Club put 'Twelve Mountains in Twelve Months' on the program for 2019. The aim is to start with the easy mountains and work up to harder ones by the end of the year. This is to encourage people who don't normally climb mountains to build up their mountain fitness slowly.

Climb up Mt Beerburrum
Climb up Mt Beerburrum


I signed up for the first one in January. Twenty one of us set out to climb two of the Glass House mountains. We left Brisbane at 6am to get an early start before it got too hot.

Steep path up Mt Beerburrum
Steep path up Mt Beerburrum


The first mountain we climbed was Mount Beerburrum. It was short and sweet and got our heart rate up. The 280m Summit walk is only 1.5 kilometres return and takes about an hour on a concrete track. It is the fourth highest Glass House Mountain Peak.

Rock Climbers on Mt Ngungun
Rock Climbers on Mt Ngungun


We all made it to the top fairly easily and took a group photo with some of the other mountains in the distance. There are great views of the whole area from the fire tower. We could see Mount Beerwah, Mount Coonowrin, Mount Ngungun and Mount Tibrogargan.

Mt Coonowrin and Mt Tibrogargan
Mt Coonowrin and Mt Tibrogargan


When I first came to Queensland many years ago, I climbed the highest Glass House Mountains including Mount Beerwah, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Tibrogargan. In those days, Mount Coonowrin was called Crookneck. It has been closed since 1999. No one is allowed to climb it anymore because of a geological report.

Caves on Mt Ngungun
Caves on Mt Ngungun


Tracy and Brenda had organised t-shirts for us with the 12 mountains in 12 months logo. The t-shirts were a hit with other walkers, although one group thought we were doing 12 mountains in 1 day!

Climbing across top of Mt Ngungun
Climbing across top of Mt Ngungun


Matthew Flinders was the first European to visit the Glass House Mountains in 1799. He climbed Mt Beerburrum. The name Beerburrum is from an Aboriginal word meaning 'rainbow lorikeet'.
The walk down the mountain is steep so it is good to have shoes or boots with a good grip.

On Top Mt Ngungun
On Top Mt Ngungun


After a short rest, we set off to climb the second mountain for the day Mt Ngungun. I had climbed this one once before in 2017. Mt Ngungun is a very popular mountain. It is 253m high. There were lots of people of all ages climbing the mountain from very young babies being carried by their parents, to elderly men in their eighties.

On Fire Tower top of Mt Beerburrum
Fire Tower Mt Beerburrum. Gavin Blakey photo


On top of Mt Ngungun, I met a man I used to work with many years ago when we both worked in rural medical education. Michael was with two elderly German brothers, in their eighties who were visiting Australia. They both made it to the top of the mountain and were admiring the 360 degrees views of the surrounding Glass House Mountains. Michael told me he has a fantastic job now doing medical education and proofreading for a Swiss company. He works from home sitting by his pool in SE Queensland. I should have got more information from him about that job.

Mt Tibrogargan from Mt Ngungun
Mt Tibrogargan from Mt Ngungun


The track is about 2.8 kilometres long and is a fairly gentle climb up through the open forest, ferns, woodlands and cave overhangs. We did see some rock climbers getting ready to abseil down the cliffs.

It was very busy on the mountain top, with lots of people taking photos and having snacks.

Captain Cook named the Glass House Mountains after the chimneys for the glass furnaces in Yorkshire. He wrote in his journal 'these hills lie but a little way inland, and not far from each other: they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glass house, and for this reason, I called them the Glass Houses'

On way up Mt Ngungun
On way up Mt Ngungun


I will miss the February walk to Mt Coolum as part of the program because I will be away, but I have booked on the March one to climb Mount Cordeaux.

On way down Mt Ngungun
On way down Mt Ngungun


The twelve mountains are Mount Beerburrum, Mount Ngungun (January), Mount Coolum (February), Mount Cordeaux (March), Mount Mee (April), Mount Mitchell (May), Mount Edwards (June), Flinders Peak (July), Mount Greville (August), Mount Maroon (September), Mount Warning (October), Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum (November).

Mt Beerburrum sign
Mt Beerburrum sign


I've got the t-shirt so I hope to do as many of the other twelve mountains as I can over the rest of the year. If I miss the club trips, I may have to organise to do them on my own or with friends.

Beautiful Glass House mountains
Beautiful Glass House mountains
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Why? Get fit climbing mountains
When: Anytime
Where: Mt Beerburrum, Mt Ngungun
Cost: Free
Your Comment
My hiking group is doing a similar thing this year (repeating a series we did three years ago). :) Some are the same mountains. BTW, Beerburrum is 5th highest (or 6th if you count the Tunbubudlah twins as 2 mountains).
by motch (score: 1|95) 249 days ago
Hi Roz, assuming you do the walks at the weekend. Good challenge. Would love to know more about the proof-reading for a Swiss company as well haha ! All the best, Marina
by Marina Marangos (score: 2|728) 249 days ago
Great article Roz. Good luck with the mountains!
by hdona (score: 2|237) 249 days ago
Thanks Roz. Really enjoyed reading your article, and love the idea of tackling 12 mountains in 12 months. Have only done 2 on that list (Mount Ngungun, and Mount Warning), so have added Mount Beerburrum to my 'to do' list. Am looking forward to reading about your experiences in the months to come.
by Myrtle Pasquali (score: 2|100) 249 days ago
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