The Ultimate Glass House Mountains Day Trip

A sunrise over a mountain range with trees in the background, offering a breathtaking view for sightseers on the Sunshine Coast.

When you are planning a trip to the Sunshine Coast in Australia, a visit to the Glass House Mountains is a must on your list. The beauty of the Glass House Mountains cannot be described in words; one has to actually visit them to experience the bliss.

The Glass House Mountains are the perfect getaway for those who want to explore the natural walking tracks where people can walk and have spectacular views of the mountain.

To help you discover the Glasshouse Mountains, below is a description of them and information on how you can enjoy a complete day trip in and around the region.

About the mountains

The Glass House Mountains comprise 16 volcanic structures that seem to rise abruptly from the ground. This gives them a unique appearance that should definitely be a part of your photographic memories of Australia.

Your trip to the Sunshine Coast is incomplete without a visit to the Glass House Mountains. In the midst of eucalyptus and pineapple plantations, these mountains are a visual delight and a haven for those who want to bask in the beauty and serenity of nature.

You can plan a day trip or even spend the night here gazing at the stars. The charm of the Glass House Mountains combined with the glorious weather on the Sunshine Coast is sure to fill you with awe.

How to reach

The Glass House Mountains may seem to appear inaccessible due to their name, which gives one a feeling that the path to them is a very treacherous and difficult one. You can plan to see these mountains on a Sunshine Coast Hinterland Day Tour via the Steve Irwin Way.

The drive from Brisbane is approx 1 hour north. Or the region can be reached from Noosa which is the northern part of the Sunshine Coast. If you are coming by air, the mountain is approximately 30 minutes drive from Sunshine Coast airport.

There are six small townships in the mountains which are connected by roads. The mountains are dotted with hiking trails and walking tracks.

Another highlight of the Glass House Mountains is the wonderful Australian Zoo, which was founded by Steve Irwin, who was a famous wildlife conservationist.


Glass House Mountains Australia

The foundation for the Glass House Mountains was laid around 25-27 million years earlier by a massive volcanic eruption. This volcanic eruption was caused by a large quantity of lava from the earth’s centre, which formed these mountains after cooling.

A large variety of flora and fauna can be seen around these mountains and all the trail mix with many different flowers that provides an exotic view.

The legend behind the Glass House Mountains is that the two highest peaks, mount Beerwah and mount Tibrogargan, had eight children, out of whom the eldest was mount Coonowrin. He appeared to be the most dramatic, with a height of 377 metres.

The rest of the children were mount Tibberoowuccum, mount Coochin, mount Elimbah, Miketeebumulgrai and mount Ngungun. There were also twins called Tunbubudla.

Mount Tibrogargan, who was the father of these children was very worried as the water level in the ocean was rising. He instructed the eldest son, Coonowrin, to collect the rest of the family and Beerwah, the mother, who was pregnant, to move quickly away from the water that was rising.

Listening to his father, Coonowrin got scared and deserted. In this act, Tibrogargan got very angry and followed his son. On finding Coonowrin, the father hit him with a club, causing Coonowrin’s neck to fall out of shape.

When the sea level subsided, the family came back to the plains where they lived. Coonowrin was teased for his neck by his friends, which made him realise his mistake and regret his actions. He went to his father to seek forgiveness, who cried and was ashamed of his son’s deed. After the father refused to forgive him, he went to the siblings, who also refused.

When confronted about his acts, when Tibrogargan questioned his son about not helping his mother, he said that he was unaware of the fact that she was pregnant and thought she could take care of herself.

Tibrogargan never forgave his son and disowned him. It is said that even today, he stares at the sea and refuses to look at his son. Coonowrin hangs his neck apologetically and cries.

This tale, which is equally sad and inspirational, is the reason why the Glass House Mountains are so interesting and mystical. Once you reach the mountains, ask your guide to point out all the different characters for you to relate to the story.

Activities to enjoy

While on a holiday, apart from relaxation, doing some adventurous activities and having a thrill is a must. Below are some activities that you can enjoy while on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.


Out of the thirteen mountains, the popular hikes are the Mount Tibrogargan and Mount Ngungun, that welcome the travellers for climbing and bushwalking.

Both the mountains have a wide range of walking tracks. Some of them are very easy to walk, and some can pose a big challenge to hikers even with hiking boots. Several walking paths pass through open forests with points from which one can get magnificent views.

It is advisable to halt at the Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre before you set out for your walk. The people at the centre will apprise you about the attractions en route as well as the history of the area. You can also collect a map of the local area leveraging the free Wi-Fi.

Locally made products such as honey and jam can also be bought as souvenirs of the place.


The best way to explore the wonderful roads of the Glass House Mountains is to rent a car and cruise along the roads with the windows rolled down. One such beautiful drive is the Blackall Range Tourist Drive, which is a stretch of 35 miles north of the Glass House Mountains.

Panoramic views are stretching to the beaches. Strawberries, pineapples, macadamias and avocados are grown in abundance at the farms, and you can stop to buy these fresh fruits at the roadside stalls along the way.

Coins can be left in the honesty boxes in exchange for the fruits you purchase. You can also take a ride on the ancient network through the subtropical area.

Top visits

When visiting the Sunshine Coast, Glass House Mountains and Hinterland, don’t forget to visit the following attractions.

Glass House Mountains Lookout

Glass House Mountains Australia View

Linking the Glass House Mountains to its historical past comprise a group of 13 mountains with Mount Beerwah standing at a height of 556 metres.

Mount Tibrogargan has a distinct resemblance to a face that seems to be looking at the sea and is the most iconic of them. The Glass House Mountain region should definitely be on your bucket list while planning a trip to Queensland.

Mary Cairncross Rainforest Walk

Mary Cairncross is a subtropical rainforest spread over 55 hectares on the Blackall Range. This is an excellent place for nature lovers as one can find more than 100 species of trees with the main ones being Strangler Fig and Australian Red Cedar.

The other attractions of this conservation park are over 130 species of birds and various animals.

Point Cartwright

Point Cartwright is an ideal place for strolling along the beach or just lying back and relaxing. You can go swimming if you wish to refresh yourself in the cool waters.

Gardner’s Falls

Gardner’s Falls is another must-visit place that is located on the bank of Obi Obi Creek on the Sunshine Coast. One can enjoy a good swim during summer or just enjoy the view of the waterfalls.

Australia Zoo

The Australia Zoo is located in Beerwah which is the largest hinterland town in the region. The zoo is the home of Steve Irwin and his family members.

Best restaurants of the region

While spending the day in the Glass House Mountains and exploring the beautiful place, why not visit some of the famous restaurants, cafes and eating joints to have the splendid food that will keep you full during your expedition?

Secrets on the Lake or The Edge Restaurant

Depending on availability, your gourmet lunch may include a stop at either “Secrets on the Lake”, a popular foodie destination near Montville, or “The Edge Café Bar and Restaurant” in Montville which is perched on the edge of the escarpment & offers panoramic views of the Sunshine coastline.

Daawat Indian Restaurant

The Daawat Restaurant in Maleny specialises in authentic Indian cuisine. Along with non-vegetarian options, they also cater to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options that are budget-friendly and delicious food.

A few of its specialities are Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken on the Mountain and Lamb Saagwala.

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