The mountains are calling! If you have thought about hiking Mt Barney or Mt Maroon but you don’t want to risk the life flight chopper bringing you down to safety, why not start with some really fun, pretty walks on some smaller mountains that still offer beautiful views from the top. You can build your confidence and endurance and see if it’s something you want to pursue. You can probably bring the kids on most of the ones below, making it a family fun activity for a Sunday morning.
Check the National Park webpage for any updates, alerts and closures before embarking on your adventure and get relative fitness checks from doctor if necessary.
I climbed this one a few years ago with some friends and our kids. 3 kilometers from Coolum, Emu Mountain is 1.1 km return so it’s a very short and easy walk, but it has surprisingly good panoramic views of coastline from Maroochydore to Noosa. It’s a very fun, refreshing and easy walk the whole fam can enjoy.
The Summit Track in Toohey Forest is a 1.2k (30-40 min) seriously easy walk with maximum reward. It begins at Gertrude Petty Place and leads to Mt Gravatt Outlook gratifying you with fantastic views of Brisbane City from the top.
Mt Cootha Reserve is just 15 minutes from the CBD. There are several walking tracks to do but the summit one (remember this post is about climbing mountains) is 1.9kms and about 30 minutes. It leads from JC Slaughter Falls picnic area to the famous Mt Cootha Lookout overlooking the Brisbane City. A very famous touristy walk so it can be quite busy but well worth it. If you want to make it a longer more challenging walk you can combine it with the Mahogany Trail which is another 2.6kms.
Mt Ninderry near Yandina is considered a Grade 3 walking track it should be suitable for most fitness levels. It is around 304 metres high, quite steep in parts with small rocks – make sure you have decent footwear. It’s a rewarding 2-hour return trip with stunning views from the top.
OK so after doing the previous walks and if you are feeling confident– perhaps it’s time to push your limits a little. Mt Ngungun is graded a 4 (moderate) walking track. It’s 2.8 km return and you should allow about 1.5 hours. It is fairly steep and a bit rocky – it has the hint of a small scramble at the top but should be suitable for the moderately fit. It has fantastic views of the other Glass House Mountains from the top. It was extremely busy the day we went so it’s definitely worth skipping the weekend hike and going during the week.
Mt Coolum is a bit bigger than Emu Mountain and smaller than Mt Ninderry but considered more challenging. The visually impressive mountain rises 208m above the sea level, is quite steep in parts and at one point on the track, you get quite close to the edge. My husband and I did this with our 5-year-old son and we all thought it was worth the effort to get to the top for the stunning 360-degree view of the coast and hinterland. It was so busy the day we went so I suggest going early or during the week.