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Glass House Mountains National Park and Beerburrum Forest Reserve 1

  • 602494
  • Glasshouse Mountains


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
3 May 2007
Natural feature: Geological formation
1.1 Peopling places: The first inhabitants
2.9 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Valuing and appreciating the environment and landscapes
Construction period
Historical period
1940s–1960s Post-WWII


  • Glasshouse Mountains
  • Old Gympie Road, Elimbah
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
-26.94979662, 152.94311636


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Glass House Mountains as ancient landforms illustrate the evolution of the landscape and the geological history of volcanic activity in the area. Because of their size and distinctive form they are readily identifiable from a number of distant observation points from both land and sea and so have played an important role in navigation in connection with the European exploration of the east coast of Australia. Captain Cook sighted and named them in 1770. In 1799 Matthew Flinders also reported on the Glass House peaks and camped in the area. Other early explorers connected with them are John Oxley, Alan Cunningham, Andrew Petrie and Ludwig Leichhardt.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The Glass House peaks are visually impressive, rising dramatically from a flat coastal plain and are landmarks that can be seen from as far away as the Scenic Rim on the Queensland and New South border and out to sea. Views of the mountains, and obtained from the mountains, are of high aesthetic value and have inspired countless paintings and photographs. Their majestic and eerie beauty continues to attract large numbers of visitors to the national park areas that contain them.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

The Glass House peaks are central to the creation myths of the region and have a high degree of cultural significance to Indigenous people.

The wider community also values the mountains as recreational venues and their closeness to Brisbane and major centres on the Sunshine Coast have made them readily accessible to day-trippers. The peaks have for many years been popular destinations for people wanting to bushwalk, picnic and to enjoy the volcanic scenery.


The Glass House Mountains are one of southeast Queensland's most impressive landmarks. They are situated 65 - 75 kilometres north of Brisbane and are a group of steep sided plugs of trachyte and rhyolite, once within volcanoes active in the early Tertiary Period, 20 to 25 million years ago. They have been exposed by wind and water erosion of the softer material of the cones and surrounding area and now rise dramatically from the flat coastal plain.

The mountains are central to the creation myths of the region and their spiritual and social importance and links to Indigenous people continues to this day.

The first European description of the mountains was by Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook, when on his voyage of discovery in the barque Endeavour up the east coast of Australia. In his log for 17 May 1770 he wrote this place may always be found by three hills which lay to the northward of it in the latitude of 26 degrees 53 minutes south. These hills lay but a little way inland and not far from each other; they are very remarkable on account of their singular form of elevation which very much resembles glass houses which occasioned me giving them that name: the northern most of the three is the highest and largest. There are likewise several other peaked hills inland to the northward of these but they are not nearly so remarkable.

Nearly thirty years later, Lieutenant (later Captain) Matthew Flinders sailed up the coast in the sloop Norfolk. In his report to the Governor of New South Wales, Captain John Hunter, dated 14 July 1799 he wrote, At dusk Cape Moreton bore west two or three miles, and the highest glass house, whose peak was just topping over the distant land, had opened around it at 3 degrees west or 4 degrees north. Two Haycock like hummocks distinct from any other land opened soon after a few degrees to the southward. On the 26 July he took two sailors and the Aborigine Bongaree and landed on the shore with the intention of climbing Mt Tibrogargan. They climbed Beerburrum before setting off for Tibrogargan, which they reached the next day, but which they did not climb.

On 29 November 1823 John Oxley entered observations of the Glass Houses in his Field Book. Cunningham also mentioned them in his report of 15 July 1829.

In 1839-42 Petrie and Simpson explored the Glasshouse Mountains and in 1848 Andrew and John Petrie climbed Beerwah and left a note in a bottle at the summit. Petrie and naturalist Dr Ludwig Leichhardt visited the area in 1843 and 1844 and made geological and botanical observations.

The Glass House Mountains have been an inspiration for artists since they were first described by Cook, including the painting by Conrad Martens Glasshouse Mountains, Moreton Bay early morning November 6th 1851. Numerous poems have been written about them and they have been the subjects of writings such as the short story, The Mountains Played, by Judith Wright.

The mountains have also been a popular subject for both amateur and professional photographers from the early years of photography to the present day. Recent musical works such as Robert Davidson's Tibrogargan and John Gilfedder's work Legend of the Tibrogargan testify to the continuing appeal of the mountains.

The proximity of the peaks to several large coastal population centres makes them attractive destinations for tourists who enjoy bushwalking, climbing and the spectacular views from the mountains.

The Glass House Mountains provide islands of natural habitat for plants and animals. They conserve regionally significant areas of rhyolitic mountain vegetation that supports 26 plants that are rare, threatened or of conservation interest. The ridges, rocky pavements, scree slopes and gullies provide a variety of habitats for vegetation ranging from Eucalypt open forest to montane heaths and shrublands. The mountains also provide a habitat for many species of fauna, some of which are rare or endangered. The area now known as the Glass House Mountains National Park was first gazetted in 1954. Gazetted areas incorporated smaller parks such as Beerwah, Coonowrin, Ngungun and Tibrogargan. These smaller parks were amalgamated into the Glass House Mountains National Park in 1994.


The Glass House Mountains are a group of dome shaped hills and conical peaks rising sharply above the surrounding sub-coastal lowlands. They are the remnants of rhyolite and trachyte volcanic plugs and are located in southeast Queensland 65-75 kilometres north of Brisbane and west of the townships of Glass House Mountains and Beerburrum.

Glass House Mountains National Park and Beerburrum Forest Reserve 1 covers eleven of the 16 Glass House Mountains and a small parcel of land known as Blue Gum Creek. The park is in eight sections ranging in size from 11 hectares to 291 hectares and in total cover an area of approximately 883 hectares. The eleven sections of the parks are: Mt Tibrogargan/Mt Cooee, Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun, Mt Coonowrin, Mt Elimbah, Blue Gum Creek, Mt Miketeebumulgrai, Coochin Hills., Mt Tibberoowouccum, Mt Beerburrum and The Twins.

Mt Tibrogargan (364m) Mt Cooee (106m) are composed of alkali rhyolite. Mt Cooee has caves and there are the remains of an old trigonometry station at the summit. It is a habitat for the peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus.

Mt Beerwah (556m) is composed of alkali trachyte. Near the top, there are large hexagonal cooling columns on its north side (the Organ Pipes). The mountain also has early timber trails and timber getters' campsites on the eastern side. It has caves and is also a peregrine falcon habitat.

Mt Ngungun (253m) is composed of alkali rhyolite. This mountain also has good examples of vertical columnar jointing and has caves. There is evidence of early 1950s quarrying activities.

Mt Coonowrin (Crookneck) (377m) is composed of alkali rhyolite. It has good examples of vertical columnar jointing and has caves. Timber and steel pitons left by climbers can be found, though the mountain is now closed to climbers. It is a habitat for the peregrine falcon.

Mt Elimbah (109m) is locally called Saddleback because of the saddle like dip between the peaks. It is composed of alkali rhyolite and right-angled trenches used for World War Two infantry training can be seen on the lower slopes

Blue Gum Creek is an area of about 11 hectares. It supports populations of the endangered swamp stringbark Eucalyptus conglomerata. It is an isolated species habitat for several vulnerable species of frogs including wallum froglet Crinia tinnula, wallum sedge frog Litoria olongburensis and Freycinet's frog Litoria freycineti and the rare green thighed frog Litoria brevipalmata.

Mt Miketeebumulgrai (202m) is composed of porphyritic trachyte and provides feeding and nesting places for the black cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami and the rare grey goshawk Accipiter novaehollandia.

Mt Coochin, (as known as Coochin Hills) - west hill 235m, east hill 230m, is composed of alkali rhyolite and supports an area of the endangered plant species Leucopogon recurvisepalus

Mt Beerburrum (278m) is composed of porphyritic trachyte. The mountain has complex rainforest, with some endangered plant species such as Tindal's stringybark Eucalyptus tindaliae, Pink bloodwood Corymbia intermedia and Smooth-barked apple Angophora leiocarpa. Scribbly gum Eucalyptus racemosa is locally predominant in places, with the largest tract retained on Mt Beerburrum. The mountain has a forestry fire tower with a viewing platform at the summit.

Mt Tunbubudla, also known as the Twins (west twin 294m, east twin 338m), is composed of alkali rhyolite. The majority of the mountain is covered in dry sclerophyll forest. There are also areas of exposed rock dominated by the rare Bronze-barked Tea Tree Leptospermum luehmannii, a plant restricted to the Glasshouse Mountains.

Mt Tibberoowuccum (220m) is composed of alkali rhyolite. The mountain is a dome-shaped rock surrounded by eucalypt open forest, as well as complex rainforest, although the area is not extensive. There is a small population of Narrow-leaf bitter-pea Daviesia Mimosoides present on the southern slope of the mountain. This shrub is widespread in Victoria and New South Wales, but rare in Queensland, and the Mt Tiberoocwuccum population is the most northerly known.

Image gallery


Location of Glass House Mountains National Park and Beerburrum Forest Reserve 1 within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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