Hiking the Glass House Mountains of Australia

Mount Ngungun Summit Trail - A Hiking Guide

View from the summit of Mount Coonowrin (front) and Mount Beerwah (back).

FEATURES

Forest climb up to Mount Ngungun Summit, with panoramic views of larger Glass House Mountains in area.

TOTAL DISTANCE

2.8 km (1.74 miles)

ELEVATION GAIN

62 m (202 ft)

Sunset summit view from Mount Ngungun.

Mount Ngungun Summit Trail - Hike Description

The landscape of Glass House Mountains National Park is distinctive, with 13 ancient volcanic peaks that rise abruptly from the plain and reach to the skies. Formed over 26 million years ago, erosion has left standing the hardened rhyolite and trachyte cores of these ancient volcanoes. When the western explorer Captain James Cook first spotted them in 1970, these peaks were given their name because they resemble the shapes of the glass furnaces from Cook’s home in Yorkshire, England. The peaks hold much significance to the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal people, as this area served as a gathering place for spiritual ceremonies and trading, and is also reflected in their legends and culture. Not all of the peaks are climbable, but those that are offer incredible vistas out over the plains to view the surrounding craggy peaks against the horizon. The 2.8-kilometer trail to the summit of Mount Ngungun (253 m) is a short and steep ascent that yields magnificent views of Mount Tibrogargan (364 m), Mount Coonowrin (377 m), and Mount Beerwah (556 m) from its peak.

Mount Ngungun is the sixth tallest peak of the Glass House Mountains and offers unparalleled views of the taller peaks, including the iconic silhouette of Mount Coonowrin against Mount Beerwah in the back. It’s just spectacular. The Mount Ngungun Summit Trail is well maintained and more friendly to beginners than some of the taller peaks. From the car park at the base, allot about 2 hours total for the climb to and from the summit, taking time to enjoy the expansive scenery from the top. Take note: The cliff faces of the summit area are sheer and can be slippery after a rain, so make sure to wear proper footwear! Also, there are many species of endemic wildlife to keep an eye out for including gray kangaroos, goannas, echidnas, koalas, the elf skink, and all sorts of birdlife, including the glossy black cockatoo.

Other popular hikes in the Glass House Mountains National Park include the Tibrogargan lookout (800 m) and full circuit (3.3 km), as well as Mount Beerburrum (1.4 km). There are also opportunities for climbing around the summits of Mount Ngungun and Mount Tibrogargan, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the area. With the diversity of activities to do within the national park, as well being only a 1-hour drive from Brisbane and 20 minutes from the beaches of the Sunshine Coast, this area should not be missed.

NOTE: The Mount Ngungun Summit Trail is experiencing a temporary closure for trail maintenance, scheduled to be completed on July 27, 2019.

Featured in Outdoor Project.