Glass House Mountains – The Spiritual Heart of the Sunshine Coast

Glass House Mountains – The Spiritual Heart of the Sunshine Coast

Timeless, haunting, shrouded in history, the spectacular Glass House Mountains stand as silent sentinels in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. 

Some 31 million years ago a massive volcano erupted south west of today’s popular Maleny Township. This volcano was active for an amazing 4 million years. After the final eruptions molten magma intruded underground into fissures and weaknesses in the layers of sandstone to slowly cool and harden becoming Trachyte and Rhyolite. 

Over the next 25 million years the sandstone eroded exposing the harder rock that had formed between the layers of softer stone. It is hard to imagine but if you stand at the Glass House Mountains Information Centre you would be 300 to 400 metres underground 25 million years ago! It was through erosion and not eruption that the extraordinary Glass House Mountains emerged.  

These mysterious magma monoliths, fire born and ancient, provide visitors with brilliant walks, breath taking views and a unique history to discover. They were named by Lieutenant James Cook on 17th May 1770 as he sailed north through Moreton Bay. They reminded him of the glass making conical brick kilns of his native Yorkshire. 

Glass House Mountains

Copyright – Tourism and Events Queensland and Jason Charles Hill

There is a rich narrative that has been passed down from the first people of Australia and may date back some 65,000 years. Visitors are encouraged to learn more of these legends, a spiritual heritage as ancient as dream time. 

The first European to explore the Glass House Mountains was Lieutenant Matthew Flinders. In July 1799 his ship, the Norfolk, was in need of urgent repairs so Flinders beached her in Pumicestone Passage. He decided to investigate Cook’s Glass House Mountains and subsequently climbed Mt Beerburrum camping overnight at what we call today Matthew Flinders Park just off Steve Irwin Way. 

The Glass House Mountains are unchanged yet forever changing. Warmed by the sunshine the light dances on the rocky talons of the escarpments. Profound in the shadows some will experience a healing, a place to step back and take time to renew. 

As clouds wander through the mood silently changes. Wind swept by rain and shrouded in mist they starkly emerge, menacing, brooding, always possessing a beauty and majesty, ethereal and timeless. 

The Glass House Mountains are generous and embracing to those visitors who treat them with respect. They can be fatally unforgiving to those with little common sense, lacking in skill and naively overconfident who climb too late, in bad weather or stray from trusted paths. Visitors are encouraged to call into the Glass House Mountains Visitor Information Centre for maps and the latest track conditions. 

Mysterious, intriguing, heritage listed, it’s time you discovered the wonder of the Glass House Mountains, the spiritual heart of the Sunshine Coast. 

Glass House Mountains


“The National Heritage Glasshouse Mountains” – a book by Ivon Northage

Second Edition now available – 76 pages. $12.00 + $4.00 Postage and packing







Feature image copyright Tourism and Events Queensland

Article written by and published in June/July Edition of Come on Up

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