Looking for an easy weekend getaway within just a few short hours drive from the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast? Head to the Glass House Mountains National Park for the perfect mix of hiking, scenic views and more! Here's our guide to spending your weekend in the Glass House Mountains.
Getting to the Glass House Mountains
We recommend having a car for your journey as the mountains are spread out, you'll find this the fastest and easiest way to get around. It's located a 2.5 Hour Drive from the Gold Coast or Gold Coast Airport, 1.5-hour drive from Brisbane and Brisbane Airport or just 35 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport.
There is also a train station located in Beerwah which if you are not driving can connect you there from Brisbane.
We opted to rent a place in Beerwah located centrally near shops, restaurants and close to Australia Zoo.
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A Weekend Itinerary to the Glass House Mountains
Friday Afternoon - Visit Wild Horse Mountain Scenic Lookout:
Wild Horse Mountain Scenic lookout is located in Beerburrum State Forest for some of the most stunning 360-degree panoramic views over the ocean and Glass House Mountains, it's the perfect start to your weekend away.
It's an easy stop right off the M1 between Caloundra and Caboolture off the M1 Bruce Highway. Look out for Exit 171, Johnston Road Turn off, it is right next to a McDonald's and service station area. It's a 6 minute and 1.4km drive from the highway exit. From there it's a steep 700m trip to the top, but don't worry it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to get there.
Friday Afternoon - Hike Mount Ngun Ngun at Sunset:
If you arrive in time for Sunset, plan to hike Mt Ngun Ngun. Following Google Maps to get here will take you straight to the car park at the start of the trail. It's a 2.8km track to the top, which is mostly pathed but fairly steep with a small number of rocks to scramble across to get to the top (no difficult rock climbing though). We recommend allowing yourself 40 minutes to reach the top to allow yourself time to enjoy the views and scenery along the way, however it is doable within 25 minutes if you're rushing.
The 253m high summit offers panoramic views over Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah. If you're staying for Sunset, be sure to leave yourself enough time to get back down before it gets too dark.
Saturday Morning - Mount Tibrogargan Circuit walk
Start the morning early with another hike. For an easy trail with no steep climbing required try the Mt Tibrogargan Circuit walk. You can take a 1km trail to the Mountain View Lookout, which gives incredible views looking up to the summit of Mt Tinrogargan or do the 4.1km circuit trail which loops around the base of Mount Tibrogargan offering some great views fo the mountain soaring above along the way, plus a chance to experience the diverse local fauna.
If you are particularly adventurous there is also a summit trail to the peak of Mt Tibrogargan (364m peak), however, this is regarded as a highly difficult track for those with strong experience only.
Other Hikes and Abseiling in the Glass House Mountains National Park
The Glass House Mountains is full of stunning hiking and summit trails and other adventurous activities such as abseiling. If you're looking for further hiking options be sure to check out the trails of the other mountains and plan which works best for your skill levels as not all are beginner-friendly.
The 12 Glass House Mountains you have to choose from are:
Mount Beerwah (556 metres)
Mount Coonowrin (377 metres)
Mount Tibrogargan (364 metres)
Mount Tunbubudla (294 metres)
Mount Beerburrum (278 metres)
Mount Ngungun (253 metres)
Mount Coochin (235 metres)
Mount Tibberowuccum (220 metres)
Mount Miketeebumulgrai (202 metres)
Wild Horse Mountain (123 metres)
Mount Elimbah (109 metres)
Mount Cooee (106 metres)
Saturday Morning - Have Breakfast at the Lookout Cafe
After your morning hike head to the Lookout Cafe for Breakfast to enjoy some stunning views of the mountains while you dine. We didn't need to book in advance, we were able to get a table by just showing up.
Saturday Morning - Visit the Glass House Plantation for some fresh local produce
Next door to the Lookout Cafe is the Glass House Plantation, if you still have room for food after your breakfast this is the perfect stop for a cake, they also do coffee here. Visit their plantations and stock up on some locally grown fresh produce such as honey.
Saturday Morning - Visit Glass House Mountain Lookout
Slightly further down Woodford Road, Beerburrum, just a few short minutes from the Lookout Cafe and Glass House Plantation is the Glass House Mountains Scenic Lookout. From here you can enjoy panoramic views of the Glass House Mountains, Caloundra, Maroochydore, Moreton Island and Brisbane. There is also the option to take an easy 800m circuit walk from there but the viewpoint is right next to the car park.
Have lunch at the Barrel at Clouds Vineyard Maleny
If you feel like exploring a little further take a scenic drive into the countryside of Maleny, it is beautiful there. We recommend stopping for lunch and wine tasting at the Barrel at Clouds Vineyard.
Spend Saturday Afternoon on a Farm visit to Maleny Dairies
If you're looking for a fun and family-friendly activity visit Maleny Dairies, open Monday to Saturday. You can visit the premises without needing to have booked a tour, where you can enjoy a milkshake, purchase some fresh dairy products and visit some of the animals.
If you wish to do a tour, be sure to pre-book online first, as it's not possible to book on arrival. Tours run Monday to Saturday 3 times per day at 10 am, 11.30 am 1 pm and 2.30 pm. Tickets cost $14 per adult.
Sunday - Visit Australia Zoo
Be sure to keep a day aside to visit Australia Zoo. It is located in Beerwah, along Steve Irwin Way. We generally don't visit the zoo's when we travel, but this is one we found very impressive with a strong focus on the conversation for animals and local wildlife. It's also a very moving experience remembering the story behind its founding and learning more about the Irwin family.
If you're visiting, here's a few things you shouldn't miss:
The main show at the Crocoseum (if you get a chance sit on the first row on top of the exit doors, you'll see why in the show!)
Feeding and petting the Kangaroos
The Tortoise show
The Animal rescue centre (and for the John Oliver fans, don't miss the John Oliver Koala chlamydia ward gifted by Russell Crowe, you can take a picture with the sign there).
We hope you enjoyed guide the Glass House Mountains on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
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