Mt Ngungun, (pronounced noo-noo), is one of the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. At 253m elevation and 2.8km return, it is ideal for young families or for anyone with an hour or two to spare. The summit provides spectacular 360° views and is especially stunning at sunrise.
Location: Fullertons Rd, Glasshous Mountains, QLD 4518
Walking Distance: 2.8km Return
Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate – rocky path most of the way, rock scramble at the summit
Costs/Permit: No cost, no permit required
Opening Times: Only closes for bad weather and maintenance
Facilities: Seating at base and half way up near the cave, NO TOILETS, parking for 25+ cars
What to take: Insect repellent, sturdy footwear, snacks, hat, water
The information board at the base will have you fearing doom and gloom and make you wonder if you should really be doing the bushwalk – especially if you have children with you. Images of people falling off cliffs and fear of wet weather will have you second guessing your planned adventure. As long as you have a measure of common sense, and use it, you can have a wonderful experience.
Word of warning – there are no toilets at the base. Public toilets can be found at the information centre in the township of Glasshouse Mountains about 3km away (only available when the information centre is open). 24 hour toilets can be found at the PUMA service station on Steve Irwin Way. Also, take insect repellent. There are starving mosquitos all the way to the summit. That said, prepare to be dazzled!
On the day a friend and I climbed Mt Ngungun – with 5 kids between us – there were plenty of other families enjoying the mountain. One stand out group was 2 mums with 3 boys, whose ages looked to be 7, 8 and 9 running the track with the goal of climbing it 3 times. They were on their 3rd ascent and still powering on when I last saw them. This mountain is highly achievable.
About half way up there is a large cave just begging to be explored. With the recent track upgrade the cave is now not accessible but still interesting to look into. Nearby seating makes it an obvious spot to pause if you need to catch your breath.
The path takes you past some gorgeous ferny sections. For the most part the path is very rocky, so sturdy shoes are a must. Even with sturdy shoes our group ended up with 2 sprained ankles. Fortunately the injuries happened only 10 minutes from getting back to the car and weren’t too severe. Take special care on the descent. Since the path upgrade the path is much smoother. However, there is still a rock scramble the final 50m to the summit.
The summit is so beautiful. The Sunshine Coast is a picturesque place, so to see the whole area from the top of a mountain is really something special. Seeing Mt Beerwah and Mt Coonowrin lined up in the distance is very cool. The summit holds potential dangers, so here is where your common sense is needed. It can be quite windy at the top and there are no guard rails or fencing. Keep kids close to you.
My second climb of Mt Ngungun was in time for sunrise at the summit. Such a soul restoring experience. Pleasingly, about 20 other people had the same inspired idea. The path is so obvious that even in the dark it would be very hard to make a wrong turn.
After our climb we headed into the township of Glasshouse Mountains. CJ’s Pastries was a welcome find – some of the best meat pies and croissants we had ever eaten. The Information and Interpretative Centre is a great resource; an ideal place to start planning our next Glasshouse Mountain to climb.