Surrounded by stunning natural scenery, from the hinterland to the vast beaches, the Sunshine Coast is one of the east coast's top destinations to visit year-round. With an endless list of places to explore and towns to discover, one of the best ways to see more of this beautiful region is to get outdoors and go hiking. For this reason, we’re bringing you six of the best mountains to climb during your next Sunshine Coast trip.
One of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular and well-known climbs, Mount Coolum is the perfect summit for moderate to intermediate hikers. Located just off David Low Way before Coolum Beach, first-time hikers should leave around 1.5 hours for their journey to the summit and back. The first portion of the track is relatively easy, but closer to the top you’ll hit stairs and more strenuous climbing. Reaching the peak is well worth the exertion, with views of the coastline from Caloundra to Doube Island Point, hinterland scenery and views of the Glasshouse Mountains. As you look over the hinterland, cast your eye towards Mount Ninderry, your next climb to conquer.
Just behind Coolum and close to Yandina is Mount Ninderry. While you’ll still be hiking a mountain, this one is relatively easy, normally only taking around 40 minutes to complete. Mount Ninderry differs from Mount Coolum in that it isn’t as stair heavy, but it can still get quite steep. At the peak, you have two viewing platforms to take in views of the coastline, Mount Coolum, Yandina and Blackall Range. Unlike Mount Coolum, if you happen to enjoy hiking with a four-legged friend, you can here as Mount Ninderry is dog-friendly.
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Mount Tibrogargan & Mount Ngungun
En route the Sunshine Coast, only an hour north of Brisbane or an hour south from Noosa, you’ll find the incredible Glasshouse Mountains. This landscape of eleven towering peaks has plenty of walking tracks, lookouts and hikes for all levels of fitness ability, offering incredible panoramic views of the Sunshine Coast, surrounding mountains and hinterland.
The two mountains you can hike here are Mount Tibrogargan and Mount Ngungun. Mount Ngungun is the easier of the two, a 2.8km track that begins in open forest and only requires a moderate level of fitness. You’ll need around two hours to reach the summit, and once you do, enjoy the views of Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah.
Mount Tibrogargan has more to offer the intermediate or advanced hiker. You can opt to keep things simple, taking the Tibrogargan Trachyte Circuit Glasshouse Mountains trail for a hike on mostly flat ground. You can link up with other trails, travelling through heathland and open woodland, and there are scenic routes mapped out too. If you’re a more advanced hiker, you can take the Mount Tibrogargan Summit Route. Fair warning, this will require scaling and is considered quite difficult, so don’t attempt if you aren’t a confident climber and of a high fitness level!
Home to the annual ‘King of the Mountain Race’, Mount Cooroora in Pomona, a town in the Noosa Hinterland, is one of the more difficult Sunshine Coast climbs to take. The hike is described as challenging, with an elevation of 439 metres, and involves some chain stair climbing and rock scrambling. Your legs might be in for quite the workout here, but the view from the top will be absolutely worth the pain! 360 degree views cover coastal lakes, the hinterland and the dunes of Cooloola Recreation Area (towards Fraser Island). Allow 2-3 hours for this hike and pack plenty of water and supplies.
Just past Noosa, this is one for those who want to feel like they did something, without doing too much. Mount Tinbeerwah is only 15 minutes from Noosa Heads in Tewantin National Park, a short and sweet 1km hike to an epic lookout. Ideal for early mornings and sunset strolls, you’ll get views over Noosa, the hinterland and the Pacific Ocean, plus there are picnic tables if you want a bite to eat while you take in the scenery.
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Love outdoor activities while you’re travelling? We have plenty of recommendations for the Sunshine Coast! Surf lessons, kayaking, horse riding and 4WD tours can all be added to your east coast trip right here.