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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'
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).
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).
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.