One of the best hikes in Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains is the Mount Ngungun hike. Mount Ngungun (pronounced ‘noo noo’ or sometimes ‘gun gun’) is a fairly easy hike and offers fantastic views over the distinctive peaks of the Glasshouse Mountains.
The Glasshouse Mountains are a cluster of 12 very uniquely shaped mountains. They stand out not only for their unusual shapes, but also as the landscape otherwise is completely flat. They are one of the most famous landmarks in Queensland and can be seen as you are driving on the motorway between Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast. The Glasshouse Mountains National Park is located roughly halfway between the two, taking about 1 hour to reach from either Brisbane or The Sunshine Coast. The Glasshouse Mountains were formed around 25 million years ago and are the result of extinct volcanic activity.
You can climb up several of the mountains, all of which offer stunning views out over the hinterland. Some of them are a lot more difficult to climb that others, with Mount Ngungun being one of the easiest to climb as it is one of the smallest mountains at just 253m tall. It is a relatively quick climb, although it is steep in parts. And what it lacks in height it certainly makes up for in views!
Mount Ngungun Walking Track
The path is well marked, well maintained and easy to follow. The trail head starts in the forest just next to the car park on Fullertons Road – there is a sign marking the start of the path. There is also an information board that gives you some information about the mountain, the hike and how The Glasshouse Mountains are culturally significant to the Aboriginal Gubbi Gubbi people. Infact the word ‘ngungun’ comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘faces’. Actually for the Indigenous people they don’t ever climb the mountains, they show respect simply by looking up to the mountain. The path does a few switch backs to get up the mountain and some rock steps. The last park of the hike involves climbing over some boulders to get to the summit.
The view at the top is absolutely incredible, with 360 degree views looking out over to several of the other Glasshouse Mountains, including Mt Coonowrin and Mt Beerwah. You’ll also look out onto the hinterland and be able to see as far as the sea. As the hike is not too long or challenging or strenuous it is quite popular – I even saw a young family and a fit elderly man who had climbed to the top! Do be careful to supervise young children though as the path often goes very near cliff edges. Also be careful that it can be quite windy at the top (hence why I am holding my hat in every photo!).
How long is Mount Ngungun walking trail?
This is one of the shorter climbs, although it is quite steep. The Mount Ngungun walking track is 2.8 km and it probably took me around 45 minutes to climb to the summit. Therefore allow at least 2 hours here as you’ll definitely want to sit and relax and enjoy the stunning views for a bit before you head back down the mountain. Some people bring a little picnic and enjoy it from the summit, just please make sure you take any rubbish with you.
When should you visit Mount Ngungun?
Sunset is a particularly nice time to be here. There are a few people but it certainly isn’t busy. Also remember to not stay on the summit too late so you’re not walking back down the mountain in the dark.
Try not to visit after it has rained as it will be a little slippery, especially on the rocks at the summit.
Entrance to Mount Ngungun is free.
Remember this is a National Park remember no dogs are allowed here.
What to bring on the Mount Ngungun Hike
- Bring water as you will get a little out of breath.
- Bring sun protection (suncream/hat) as the sun is strong here in Queensland. Most of the walk up you will be protected by the sun from the shade of the trees in the forest, but at the summit there is no shade.
- Wear trainers/walking shoes.
How to get to Mount Ngungun
The Glasshouse Mountains are located in between Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast. Drive along Steve Irwin Way and then turn off at the signs for Glasshouse Mountains town on Coonowrin Road. Mount Ngungun is about 3km from the Glasshouse Mountains township. Turn right at Fullertons Road and you’ll see the parking for Mount Ngungun at the end of the road. There are plenty parking spots. Click here to see the Google maps location.
The car park is free.
Other Glasshouse Mountain viewpoints
Wild Horse Mountain
A 10 minute drive from Mount Ngungun will take you to Wild Horse Mountain – another one of the Glasshouse Mountains located on the other side of Steve Irwin Way and the Bruce Highway.
Leave your car in the car park and then make your way up the steep concrete ramp on foot (you’ll see the big metal gate infront of the path blocking any vehicular access). Wild Horse Mountain is just over 120 metres high, with the track being 700 metres long, making it a nice short climb. Although it does take about 15 minutes to climb to the top as it is quite steep! Again you are rewarded with incredible 360 degree views. You’ll see the Glasshouse Mountains infront of you and the coast behind you. There is shade up here too at the little concrete fire watch tower on the summit.
Wild Horse Mountain is well signposted on the motorway, and you’ll see the fire watch tower in the distance as guidance. For more information on this lookout and the best times to visit for photography click here.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
A 25 minute drive from Mount Ngungun car park is the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Lookout. Park here and walk across the road to get a stunning view of The Glasshouse Mountains. Alternatively head up to the Mountain Views Cafe for the perfect view whilst enjoying something to eat or drink. Here no climbing is required but the view is still breathtaking, so this is perfect for those unable to climb.
The quaint town of Maleny is very close to the lookout so it is definitely worth stopping there for a couple of hours and browsing all the independent shops and the market here.
Brisbane is one of my favourite cities. It’s quite compact but there’s a lot to do here! Click here to discover what to do in 24 hours in Brisbane!
North Stradbroke Island
If you are looking for somewhere unique head to North Stradbroke Island – just a short ferry ride from Cleveland near Brisbane.
Less than one hour north of The Glasshouse Mountains is The Sunshine Coast, a lovely area of Queensland full of stunning beaches as well as lots of lots of waterfalls and rainforests inland. If you will be visiting the Sunshine Coast after The Glasshouse Mountains, be sure to visit Noosa, a beautiful beach town. Also check out some of the beautiful hinterland and waterfalls around The Sunshine Coast, such as Buderim Falls.
If you still want to climb some mountains near Noosa, head to Mount Tinbeerwah for a stunning view.
If you are driving further north than Noosa and will be here from June to October you must stop off at Hervey Bay! Hervey Bay is a sleep town but offers some of the best whale watching experiences in the world! Click here to read about my experience (I was literally 1 metre away from the whale!) as well as which company to go with!
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